Past Events

Black British Artists and Political Activism: Introduction

Public Lecture Course – Elizabeth Robles

  • 4 November 2021
  • 6:30 – 8:00 pm
  • You will need to register on Eventbrite to participate in this event.
  • This will be streamed live via Zoom webinar

This is session one in the Black British Artists and Political Activism Public Lecture Course series. In this session, Elizabeth Robles ​will lay out the rationale and scope of the series as a whole. Central to this session, and the series as a whole, is the explicit acknowledgement of the limitations of a series that does not (because it cannot) claim or aim to engage with the long and complex history of the relationship between Black and Brown British artists and political activism. This session will also be the place for the temporal framing of the series, which aims to provide some sense of the long history of art and activism that predates the radical activities and conversations we find in our present moment.

Importantly, this lecture will also articulate some of the tensions between art and politics in the reception of work by Black and Brown artists, the implications of the ‘burden of representation’ and the difficulties of naming and categorising artists and art practices by ethnicity/race.

The series will run every Thursday from 4 November to 9 December from 18.30 to 20.00. This series will be broadcast live as a Zoom webinar. It will be recorded and published at a later date. Registration through Eventbrite is required.

No prior art historical knowledge is necessary.

About the speaker

  • Portrait of Elizabeth Robles

    Elizabeth Robles is a researcher and lecturer in contemporary art in the History of Art Department at the University of Bristol. She is particularly interested in the formation of ideas around ‘black art’ across the twentieth century and is currently a British Academy postdoctoral fellow working on a project entitled Making Waves: Black Artists & ‘Black Art’ in Britain from 1962–1982. Most recently she co-edited the exhibition publication The Place is Here: The Work of Black Artists in 1980s Britain (Sternberg, 2019) alongside curator Nick Aikens. She also co-leads the British Art Network Black British Artists Research Group.