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From British bashment, garage and grime, to jazz, soul and gospel, the Horniman explores the roots of black British music in private spaces.

The 696 risk assessment introduced by London’s Metropolitan police in 2005 required the city’s nightclub and venue promoters to provide details of the events they planned to host, including the ethnicity of their target audience. This made it increasingly difficult for London venues to stage black music events and caused many genres of black music to move out of the public realm and into private spaces where it continued to thrive and grow.

The exhibition features a combination of work by two contemporary artists: Naeem David and SignKid. Naeem Davis recreates the private spaces where black music genres thrived, from bedrooms, barbers and living rooms, to community churches. This is complimented by an exploration into British Sign Language versions of key slang words and phrases from black British music through interactive video by SignKid.

The exhibition interrogates the power and responsibility of public spaces to support and amplify local music, and celebrates the black British music scene particularly museum’s local area, South London.

Contemporary artLondonMuseum

Horniman Museum and Gardens

100 London Road, Forest Hill, London, Greater London, SE23 3PQ

020 8699 1872


Opening times

Museum and Cafe:
10am – 5.30pm
Closed 24 – 26 Dec

Mon-Sat 7.15am – sunset
Sun and Bank Holidays 8am – sunset
Closed 25 Dec

The majority of the Horniman is free to enter but you must have a ticket to visit the Aquarium, Butterfly House and Cats and Dogs exhibition. Find out more about planning your visit.

Your ticket is valid only for the date and time you choose.

Please wear a mask or face covering unless you have a good reason not to (children under 11 are exempt).

With a National Art Pass you get

Free entry and free exhibitions
10% off in shop
Valid until 31 December 2022
Valid until December 2022

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