"In a society where skin colour can be seen as a signifier of value, Black History Month provides an annual opportunity to acknowledge the achievements and contributions of Black people to the societies in which they live." Arike, 2019
This year's Black History Month is a collaborative piece which includes ideas from a diverse group of people coming together to celebrate and praise Black men in honour of our founding member Arike (1949-2020). He invested many decades of his life raising awareness of the notion that 'Black Men Are Good' and he worked tirelessly to highlight the Black presence in Folkestone through his Origins projects, Black Lives Matter and the celebration of Black History Month.
This exhibition, which is also part of the Festival of Looking, celebrates Black History Month with insightful voices, discussions and workshops which explore the lived experiences of black men in the UK, interracial relationships and white privilege, and contextualises these important topics in the local landscape.
List of works and events
I AM Fully Human
9 – 11, 14 - 18 October 11:00-17:00
I AM Fully Human is a project exploring the image of a Black man through portraiture and fashion in honour of Arike (1949-2020).
"Whatever a Black Man can do to remind himself that he is fully human to do it and to keep doing it… I don't think we need to do more than that…it is just to remind ourselves that we are fully human.” - Arike
Stereotypical views have obscured the images of Black men for centuries. Racial and class inequalities, systematic discrimination and the media have contributed to creating a distorted portrayal of Black men in which they are pathologised. Black men's real lived experiences and achievements are underrepresented and overshadowed by the representation of them as perpetrators of violent crimes. George Floyd's death, and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests, have instigated a ray of solidarity and hope around the world and have exposed the racism experienced by Black people. In light of these protests, how can we encourage Black men to reclaim their true identity and create their own narrative?
Visible . Invisible
Diane Mae Bundy, Rachel Lilly, Jes Phillips, Leah Thorn, Sjoukje Gummels
9 – 11, 14 - 18 October 11:00-17:00
A recorded creative conversation between white women in committed relationships with Black men.
A collaborative soundscape reflecting on themes of white privilege, taking up and making space, protected space, relationships with Black women, exposure and maintaining privacy, shame and defensiveness, being mothers of Black sons, the impact of racism on our relationships. What is OUR work as white women?
PANEL DISCUSSION: Black Men Are…
Organised by Lee Desai
9 - 11, 14 - 18 October 11:00 - 17:00
ONLINE Q&A: Saturday 17 October 19:00-21:00
A pre-recorded conversation curated by black men.
Through group conversation, we as black men, will explore the experiences of the black male in the United Kingdom, today. By maintaining a focus on “Assimilation” & “Appropriation”, we will try to gain an understanding of how the identity of the black male has been molded by predetermined roles and stereotypes, placed on us by a broader society. Do we as a society continue to uphold these stereotypes or do we move forward by giving black men the space to spearhead their own narrative?
ONLINE WORKSHOP: white noise *
Led by Leah Thorn
Sunday 18 October 14:00-16:00
An expressive writing workshop for white women
A two-hour creative conversation about white identity and privilege and the ending of racism, using flow writing and other individual and collaborative writing activities. Please bring to the workshop a photo of yourself or a personal object that says something about you as a white woman.
* White noise contains all frequencies and is frequently used to mask other sounds
This is a ticketed event. To book your place contact Black History Month Folkestone page on facebook. Due to health and safety measures, the workshop may take place via Zoom. All participants will be notified.
Click here to view the full Black History Month Folkestone 2020 programme.
Brewery Tap UCA Project Space
53 Tontine Street