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African Diaspora Artists in the 21st Century

Reviewing the history of Black Art, taking stock of the present, galvanizing existing networks, developing new projects and asking important questions about the future. 

ADA21 vid thumbThis project aims to promote greater understanding and appreciation of the work of artists of the African diaspora working in the UK today through a new archive of filmed interviews with a range of contemporary British artists with links to the African diaspora. The interviews focus in detail on the artistic strategies, concerns and motivations of these artists in the production of their work often in the setting of their studios.

In this first iteration of the project, curator Paul Goodwin selected ten artists with a wide range of practices. One area identified as needing to be addressed was the relative lack of visibility of black artists in both market and institutional circuits of contemporary art in Britain. The project aimed to address this and also explore the public perception and reception of black artists' practices.

A number of important criteria were considered in determining the selection of artists to be filmed. Gender balance was a paramount consideration as was selection on the basis of representing the widest possible range of media in order to give a snapshot of the broad range of practices that black artists are engaged in today: ‘traditional' media such as painting, sculpture and drawing but also film and video, socially engaged art and digital media are present. There is a mixture of emerging and very experienced artists.

African Diaspora Artists in the 21st Century was a collaboration between King's College London's Department of International Development and Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), supported by the university's Culture team. 

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