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.