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Mapping Black Narratives

Uncovering Barred and Alternative Spaces

Sonia Boyce

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This research aims to expose the multiplicity of blackness and presence within historically known exclusive spaces, specifically, mainstream museums that cater to art exhibitions from modern to contemporary art.

In exploring the plurality of black presence within traditional museum spaces, there may be an uncovering of hidden narratives, initiatives, and issues concerning visibility within these fundamentally known oppressive spaces. Through analysing collective experiences of exclusion, environments once meant to preserve identity, pedagogies and unique responses to historical context, we may begin to discern the interconnected layers of the black narrative and grasp the ethos of a cross-national struggle that wages on black identity and belonging within the USA and Britain.

Furthermore, this research will use the National Museum of African American History and Culture as a pinnacle in contemporary initiatives towards black visibility. By discovering these shared narratives, the black presence may begin to break free from a dominating Eurocentric metanarrative and bring to life a postmodern black internationalism.

Supervisor: Pam Meecham

Image: 'Lay Back, Keep Quiet and Think of What Made Britain So Great' (1986). Arts Council Collection. 4-part panel, each 152.5x65cm. Charcoal, pastel and watercolour on paper.