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  • Writer's pictureSegolene Py

Get up Stand up Now at the Somerset House, 2019

Corridor by Yinka Ilori

Another exhibition to absolutely consider this summer is the Get Up Stand Up Now : Generations of Black creative Pioneers at the Somerset House until 15 September 2019. The show is curated by Zak Ové, son of the great Trinidadian film-maker and photographer Horace Ové. Father and son have been and are today pioneers of the representation of Black British people in London through their works. And so are over the 100 artists chosen to exhibit their works as they tell us about the windrush generation.

The windrush generation has marked the British Caribbean population especially after the 2018 scandal. Between 1948 and 1973, the UK were in great need of labour for the NHS and the after-war shortage. They called for the Caribbean population to come to the UK for work and promised them British citizenship, a permanent right to stay and work on the UK soil. It was a great opportunity to find work and make money safely. But since 2017 hundreds of people from this period were found detained, deported or denied legal rights after years of service. This was caused after the 'Hostile Environment' legislation established by former Home Secretary Theresa May in 2012. A legislation to create a 'hostile environment for illegal immigrants'. Many lacked of documentation because the Home Office destroyed a lot of landing cards and people found themselves unable to prove their right to stay, which was demanded predated 1973. They were falsely classified as illegal immigrant and were then unable to apply for driving license or access to housing for example.

Through questioning the reforging of identity coming into the UK, the exhibition shows the cultural side of the Caribbean and African decent through videos and photographs of #carnival, demonstration and gatherings in times of Black Power and its influence on today’s times.

Sculptors, painters, performers, film-makers, musicians, all artists from Africa, Caribbean, America and Britain are gathered under the same aim to celebrate the empowerment of Caribbean and African culture in the UK and beyond.

Chri Ofili

This is a big scale exhibition spread across the whole east wing of the Somerset House gallery divided in numerous rooms tackling various themes: Motherland; dream to change the world; imaginary landscape; masquerade and mothership. This is one of the best exhibition to see and enjoy this summer, you will see amazing art by amazing artists while learning and discovering about another side of the UK, agreeably accompanied with music all along the exhibition.

About the gallery:

Somerset House


London WC2R 1LA

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