We want to create opportunities to for Black gay men to engage with cultural institutions traditionally seen as being a white middle-class milieu. Many exhibitions that take place in cultural/artistic exhibition spaces are not built for us; not meant for our gaze.
In a recent review of the Barbican’s critically acclaimed Basquiat Exhibition: Boom For Real titled Going the Wrong Way, we explored these issues and questioned the value engaging in spaces which may have social, cultural and educational benefits but are nonetheless not build for our gaze.
We begin a series of social events to explore art and cultural spaces. The first is the V&A African Heritage tours that reveals the fascinating Afro-European narratives within the V&A’s Europe 1600 – 1815 Galleries.
Yvonne Field of Goldsmiths University leads the tour to explore the African presence in 17th and 18th Century Europe as represented in a number of high quality works produced during at the start of social, religious and economic upheaval that eventually ignited the Scientific Revolution and Age of Enlightenment.
From the Baroque to the Rococo and Neoclassical, the tour speculates on the viewpoint of the African individuals portrayed; their stories and backgrounds. As part of the tour attendees will look at a number of known and unknown figures as well as the achievements of individuals of African descent in European history at a time when the African body would become symbolic of degradation.