The work of Jamaican-British photographer, Armet Francis, captures the fragmented experiences and resilience of diasporic communities in London.
From 22 September 2023 to 20 January 2024, Autograph Gallery presents the work of photographer Armet Francis in Armet Francis: Beyond The Black Triangle.
Armet Francis is a Jamaican-British photographer with an acute understanding of black consciousness. His work captures the resilience and survival of African diasporic cultures.
The exhibition takes its name from Francis’ notion of ‘The Black Triangle’, a motivation to document and discover the nuances of Black experiences in Europe, the Americas and Africa.
Francis immigrated as a young child from Jamaica to Britain in the 1950s. The sense of being uprooted and politically alienated had a profound impact on his life and work.
Turning to photography as an aid to share his sense of dislocation and connect with the Pan-African world, Francis developed the idea of ‘The Black Triangle’ in 1969.
Francis said that the concept was forged through a ‘personal need to discover the dimensions of the experiences of Black people…the triangle first came to me in thoughts of the slave trade route, that is how I came to live in the Triangle: Africa, the Americas and Europe…I had to capture it through my camera, through my work…A man reacting to his destiny.’
Notable works include Francis’ 1970s Brixton Market fashion shoots, and his 2008 portraits giving names to the faces of those who journeyed to Britain on the Empire Windrush.
Committed to promoting social and racial justice, Francis photographed young black Londoners who took to the streets in protest after the New Cross Fire of 1981 and political activists such as Angela Davis.
Since 1988, Autograph Gallery has championed photography that explores issues of race, identity, representation, human rights and social justice, sharing how photographs can reflect lived experiences and shape our understanding of ourselves and others.
Francis was one of the founding signatories of Autograph, and Beyond the Black Triangle commences a yearlong celebration of practitioners like Francis who have recorded important narratives in British History.
As with all exhibitions at Autograph, Beyond the Black Triangle is free to attend. Tickets can be booked at Autograph.arttickets.org.uk.
Autograph Gallery is located at Rivington Place, EC2A 3BA.
If you’re looking for more things to do in East London this Autumn, take a walking tour through Jewish Whitechapel.
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