The Autograph ABP Archive in Focus: Back in the Day

27 September - 31 October 2013

The Drum

Birmingham, UK

Free exhibition

The Drum in partnership with Autograph ABP presents a selection of photographs from their extensive archive, featuring the work of Raphael Albert, Bandele ‘Tex’ Ajetunmobi, James Barnor, John Goto, Colin Jones, Syd Shelton, Neil Kenlock and Vron Ware.

To resonate with the Drum’s Black History Month theme of civil rights and Dr Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech, the images selected focus on the period of 1968 – 1978, but span more than 30 years. From staged portraiture to social documentary, they offer insight into the experiences of black people during an uneasy era signified by civic turmoil, racial discrimination and a wider struggle for social justice.

The photographers captured key moments in the formation of a diasporic, post-war Britain through depicting ‘ordinary’ people united in their bid to settle in the UK, and documenting their struggles as they too took to the streets in protest, or occupied public and private spaces in quiet celebration and triumph.

What the press says

images which mark historic events, record celebrations, capture protests, document everyday lives, and reveal the emergence of new identities in the late 20th century.

The Birmingham Mail

In partnership with

The Drum

The Drum is dedicated to developing and promoting contemporary art and culture of British African, Asian and Caribbean communities.



Raphael Albert

Bandele ‘Tex’ Ajetunmobi

James Barnor

John Goto

Colin Jones

Syd Shelton

Neil Kenlock

Vron Ware

Curated by

Renée Mussai

As Curator and Head of Archive at Autograph ABP, Renée Mussai oversees the Archive and Research Centre’s programmes. She is currently a PhD candidate in Art History at UCL, with a special interest in feminist and post-colonial politics of portraiture, gender and sexuality in Africa and the African diaspora.


Autograph ABP Photography Roadshow

28 September, 11am - 4pm

The Drum, Birmingham

Read more »

About the Autograph ABP Archive & Research Centre

Autograph ABP's Archive & Research Centre was established to address a gap in the visual representation of Britain's cultural history and its diverse communities.

Through preserving and mining photographic archives and working with artists internationally, we encourage progressive curatorial research in order to produce new narratives. Over the years, we have built a unique collection that, through photography, multimedia and writing, critically exploires global politics of migration, diaspora and difference.

Press contact

For further information, please contact Lois Olmstead at Autograph ABP - phone +44 (0)20 7720 9200  or email lois@autograph-abp.co.uk.

Additional Info

144 Potters Lane
West Midlands
B6 4UU

+44 (0)121 333 2400

Free parking onsite
Disabled spaces are also available

  • Derek Bishton, Brian Homer, John Reardon, Handsworth Self Portrait, 1979
  • James Barnor, Mike Eghan at Piccadilly Circus, London, 1967
  • Neil Kenlock, 'Keep Britain White' graffiti, Balham, London, 1972