THIS WEEK sees the unveiling of Négritude Re-Embodied, an exhibition delivered in observance of Black History Month in the UK, and presented by HOXTON 253 alongside Halime Özdemir who produced and co-curated the show.
Organisers said they could think of no better time than this moment to embrace and recapture the sentiment of Négritude.
Borne out of 1930s Paris, the term first came into being as the expression of a revolt against the historical situation of French colonialism and racism spearheaded by three black students: Aimé Césaire (Martinique), Léon Gontran Damas (Guiana now Guyana) and Léopold Sédar Senghor (Senegal).
Négritude at its birth was a movement aimed at cultivating “Black consciousness” across Africa and its diaspora which began by examining Western values critically and to further reassess African culture within this context.
The word Négritude, however, was coined by Aimé Césaire himself, in his 1939 poem: Cahier d’un retour au pays natal which translates to Notebook of a Return to My Native Land.
The exhibition addresses the issues of historic legacy, activism and philosophies which unite artists, despite any varied artistic strategies, points of reference and mediums.
Through each of our unique lenses we draw forth our visions of a “Black consciousness”.
More broadly, the exhibition also examines the multicultural nature of Britain and its generations of post colonial inhabitants at a time of division and isolation, reflected not only within the country, but globally in the context of this year’s minefield of events.
Exhibition Run: October 7 – 17, 2020, open Wed – Sun, 12-8pm
Location: HOXTON 253 art project space, 253 Hoxton St, Whitmore Estate, London N1 5LG