Journal of the ...Volume 12Issue Issue 1 & 2 Personal notes ...
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Personal Reflection

Personal notes on the art of the African diaspora

Bernardine Evaristo*email-imageBernardine Evaristo*

Bernardine Evaristo is the author of novels, essays, poetry, journalism, literary criticism and drama. She won the Booker Prize 2019 with her eighth book, Girl, Woman, Other (Penguin) Her two non-fiction books are a memoir, Manifesto: On Never Giving Up (Penguin, 2021), and Look Again: Feminism, a survey of black British women’s art, part of the ‘Look Again’ series of short books (Tate Publishing/Tate Galleries, 2021). Since 2021 she has been the curator of the ‘Black Britain: Writing Back’ series, publishing books from the past (Penguin). She has received over 70 honours including two British Book Awards and several honorary doctorates. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London, an Honorary Fellow of St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, an International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, President of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, and President of the Royal Society of Literature (2022–6).

email-image bernardineevaristo@gmail.com

Abstract

In this personal essay, I reflect on the how cultural shifts in the British art world establishment, have enabled black artists who came of age in the Eighties, to enjoy late career success. I’m particularly interested in the careers of black women, who have traditionally been more overlooked by their male counterparts. I start with my own desire to connect to my Nigerian/African heritage when I was a young woman, one who had grown up brainwashed by the colonial project, and talk about the changes I have witnessed since the Eighties. I interrogate the value placed on transnational artists with ancestral ties to Africa by the art establishment then and now, and how those artists who are currently exhibiting in major art galleries and museums are often showing work created decades ago. This begs the question, if not then, why now? The article arises from a British Academy Lecture delivered on 9 November 2023.

Keywords

blackwomenartartistsestablishmentAfricaBritishEighties
Published on: 22 May 2024
Volume: 12
Issue: Issue 1 & 2
Article ID: a20
Copyright statement
© The author(s) 2024.
Cite this article
Evaristo, (2024), ' Personal notes on the art of the African diaspora ', Journal of the British Academy, 12(Issue 1 & 2): a20 https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/012.a20

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Personal reflection

Normal View Dyslexic View

Personal notes on the art of the African diaspora

Bernardine Evaristo*email-imageBernardine Evaristo*

Bernardine Evaristo is the author of novels, essays, poetry, journalism, literary criticism and drama. She won the Booker Prize 2019 with her eighth book, Girl, Woman, Other (Penguin) Her two non-fiction books are a memoir, Manifesto: On Never Giving Up (Penguin, 2021), and Look Again: Feminism, a survey of black British women’s art, part of the ‘Look Again’ series of short books (Tate Publishing/Tate Galleries, 2021). Since 2021 she has been the curator of the ‘Black Britain: Writing Back’ series, publishing books from the past (Penguin). She has received over 70 honours including two British Book Awards and several honorary doctorates. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University London, an Honorary Fellow of St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, an International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, President of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, and President of the Royal Society of Literature (2022–6).

email-image bernardineevaristo@gmail.com