We See Gloucester (Do you see me?)

The City through the lens of Black photographers

Identity Series 

Rider Shafique, curated by  Abbi Kirby

The mask project was started during lockdown before it was the ‘new normal’ whereby wearing face coverings became essential. Here, I wanted to simply show how peoples’ cultures, identities and heritage are visible through the face mask; through choice of patterned fabrics and colour combinations. My intention is to challenge people’s perception and prejudices when it came to something as simple as cloth. The symbols the pattern and colour combinations represented has a deep association to who we are, who our tribes are, our cultures; whom we are and what we want to portray and communicate to wider groups through non-verbal means. This is indeed a powerful expression which I have a deep interest in being of mixed heritage; both Black and White.

The excitement I feel about sharing this photographic artwork of the people in my community is immense. This is a great experience to raise the profile of these people, My people. My community, our community, Gloucestershires community; individuals and a group that I feel are mostly marginalised, ignored, patronised, stigmatised, overlooked or judged unfairly. Now wearing face covers are mandatory are these perceptions changing? Think carefully about your perceptions of people who traditionally wear face or head coverings prior to the pandemic. How would they make you feel, what was your judgement, what was your instinctual reaction?

What I want my photographic artwork to do is ignite deeper thinking within people (the audience); to look inside themselves and think about their own views of others who belong to different cultures. Can my work challenge ways of thinking and soften our perhaps harsh reactions to others who are different? I hope we together will bring some change, I hope there will be great conversations from the piece. I hope to inspire others to create from their individual perspectives and I hope diversity, equality and the power of art are celebrated/respected. I also more importantly hope people will look into themselves and challenge their own prejudices.

I invite you the audience to get involved in my work. Do this by taking a moment to honestly reflect on your views of ‘others’ who are different to you. Then make a promise of how you can invite a change in thinking and share it through photographing yourself infront of my work, tag me @r7gin on Instagram and or @RiderShafique on Twitter with hastag #BLM #Identity and state your intention.

Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Folk Museum

Rider Shafique

All Images Copyright Rider Shafique

Pro(test) of Time

Elle Bry Thomas, Phil Campbell, Dominic Lofters, curated by Raston

The images I have the honour to be curating are not only thought provoking but are also a powerful reminder that Black people are still fighting a struggle. The struggle manifests in many different ways but has been highlighted by the widely publicised death of George Floyd and others in the US.

The images of Elle Bry Thomas have been inspired by the civil rights marches of 1960’s. During this time period Black Men in America would wear a banner with the words “I Am A Man” as they were no longer prepared to tolerate being called boy or being treated as less than a man. Elle has taken the concept of the “I Am” banner and has reinvented it to show local Black Professionals in their chosen professions, for example “I AM A Teacher”. This as a way of giving visibility to those who are sometimes not seen and recognition to those that are, or if not should be considered as role models.

With such an emotive subject moving people around the world the images of Dominic Lofters and Phil Campbell show how the people of Gloucester from all walks of life were moved, coming together to acknowledge the struggle and to say that Black Lives do indeed matter.

Raston

Desaturate, Dominic Lofters

I wanted to desaturate the backdrop, the narratives that are running in the back of our minds through social conditioning, confusion and lack of education.

All that’s left after that are human beings vibrant with life and compassion.

I am proud that from a black square to the global protests, we have seen an era where people have stood out more vibrantly than the oppressors to say I AM AGAINST OPPRESSION

Dominic Lofters

 

All Images Copyright Dominic Lofters

I Am, Elle Bry Thomas

A photo series in which positive black and mixed role models are highlighted within the community. We have little space and exposure so I would like to make black people more visible as a lot of our success is not documented, erased or tainted.

Elle Bry Thomas

All Images Copyright Elle Bry Thomas

Kings Square, (14th September onwards)

Gloucester History Festival is creating an interactive BAME History Map which will be available from late Autumn 2020.

We are really keen to grow our community forum to ensure everyone’s history in this city is shared and valued. Please contact to get involved.

You can see films about the first Mosque and the first Black business –

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