TAITMAIL   British Council cuts: ‘An act of wilful self-harm’

TAITMAIL British Council cuts: ‘An act of wilful self-harm’

The UK’s soft power pre-eminence, the British Council reported in 2019, “is vital for its post-Brexit future”. But the cuts to the BC’s operations announced this week will significantly disempower us, said our former national security advisor Lord Ricketts: “I find this completely perverse”.

ACE’s priority places for 2030

ACE’s priority places for 2030

Arts Council England has announced 54 places across England as part of its latest ten year delivery plan to implement its Let’s Create strategy, published today.

Rattle's head to aid musicians

Rattle's head to aid musicians

Conductor Sir Simon Rattle has had his portrait sculpted by artist Frances Segelman, completed from start to finish during a fundraising event for the charity Help Musicians.

Nadine Dorries made culture secretary

Nadine Dorries made culture secretary

Oliver Dowden has been moved from the culture portfolio in the Cabinet reshuffle to be the cabinet office minster in place of Michael Gove, the new housing minister.

Getting it together - in the garden on top of a Tube station

Getting it together - in the garden on top of a Tube station

The roof of Temple Underground Station, between the Thames and The Strand, is to come to blazing life of colour for the first time in its 150 year history.

‘Creative industries failing minorities’ – Bull report

‘Creative industries failing minorities’ – Bull report

The creative sector needs to be transformed if it is to be truly inclusive, according to a new parliamentary report.

Soft power front blunted by ‘perverse’ British Council closures

Soft power front blunted by ‘perverse’ British Council closures

Britain’s efforts to use culture to influence the world post Brexit and the pandemic is to be severely cut back with the British Council “significantly reducing its operations” to cut costs because of the impact of Covid.

MY STORY    Taking new music out of its niche

MY STORY Taking new music out of its niche

Tim Williams, artistic director of Psappha

As the Manchester-based classical music ensemble Psappha, which specialises in modern classical music, marks its 30th birthday its founder Tim Williams has announced he is standing down as artistic director. Described by its patron Mark-Anthony Turnage as “one of the most important - and most capable - ensembles in the world”, its anniversary tour will see it playing in London, Cambridge, Halifax and Sheffield and of course Manchester, as well as Italy and the United States.

GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE   Allowing theatres to breathe again

GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE Allowing theatres to breathe again

Philip Dowds is the founder and director of OKTO Technologies and OKTOair that specialise in smart buildings and air cleaning technology. Here he explains how theatres and concert halls can quickly be made safe again

Doran steps down at RSC to nurse terminally ill Sher

Doran steps down at RSC to nurse terminally ill Sher

Gregory Doran is stepping down temporarily as artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company to take compassionate leave as he cares for his husband, the actor Sir Anthony Sher, who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

AI PROFILE   The drumbeat of creativity in the fourth industrial revolution

AI PROFILE The drumbeat of creativity in the fourth industrial revolution

Dr Paul Thompson, vice-chancellor, Royal College of Art

ACE/BBC commission disabled artists

ACE/BBC commission disabled artists

Arts Council England has launched five commissions in partnership with the BBC that celebrate the work of deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists about living through the Covid-19 lockdown.

Shelley Warren steps down at Arts Foundation

Shelley Warren steps down at Arts Foundation

Shelley Warren has resigned after 22 years as director of the Arts Foundation to pursue a musical archive project.

Artists notch £100m from resale rights

Artists notch £100m from resale rights

Artists and their estates have passed the £100m mark in resale right royalties since the Artists’ Resale Right became law 15 years ago

‘Why aren’t tech bosses sponsoring us?’ asks V&A’s Hunt

‘Why aren’t tech bosses sponsoring us?’ asks V&A’s Hunt

Tristram Hunt, director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, has criticised tech giants for not supporting cash-strapped museums and galleries.

Purcell Room reopens as contemporary hub

Purcell Room reopens as contemporary hub

The Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room is to reopen on September 16 after an 18 month refurbishment.

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM   Image of the month

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

Derby Day, Epsom, 1939; tipster Prince Monolulu by Frank Rust for the Daily Mail

MY STORY 	Finbar Conran and Oscar Mitchell

MY STORY Finbar Conran and Oscar Mitchell

Fels is an online gallery and store created by two artists, Finbar Conran (right in our picture, grandson of the late Terence Conran, founder of Habitat and of the Design Museum) and Oscar Mitchell, who met at art school. With Jan Henzel Studio they are presenting an exhibition, Against the Grain, exploring contemporary design. It is at the Copeland Gallery in Peckham from September 22-26 and is part of the London Design Festival

Women sculptors take limelight

Women sculptors take limelight

The largest showing of the work of women sculptors – 50 of them - spanning 75 years including work by Barbara Hepworth, Helen Chadwick and Sarah Lucas, is to go on a national tour through the autumn and winter.

Colette Bailey goes to WOW

Colette Bailey goes to WOW

Colette Bailey, artistic director and CEO of Metal Culture, is to be the new executive director of Women of the World (WOW), the charity set up by Jude Kelly in 2010 to set up festivals and events across the world.

Blue plaque for Kenneth Clark

Blue plaque for Kenneth Clark

Kenneth Clark, at 30 the youngest director of the National Gallery and best known for his television series Civilisation, has had a commemorative blue plaque unveiled in his honour.

Birmingham invited to join in biggest dance fest

Birmingham invited to join in biggest dance fest

For the first time in two years, Birmingham’s annual celebration of contemporary dance returns live in September, this time with an invitation to the public to take part in the city’s streets, squares and public spaces.

First female soccer stars remembered – in dance

First female soccer stars remembered – in dance

A historic moment for female footballers is being commemorated in the town of the game’s first great team - in dance.

Rare Bailey 60s images to feature in Photo London

Rare Bailey 60s images to feature in Photo London

Rarely seen images by the chronicler of 60s fashion and the fashionable, David Baley, are to be part of Photo London, the annual photographic festival.

Where are our monuments? History and the Windrush fiasco

The Black Cultural Archives, the nation’s only repository dedicated to the heritage of African and Caribbean heritage people, opened its centre in Windrush Square, Brixton, in 2014, but why the Windrush documents if no longer thought useful, were they not passed over to the archive?Here its director, Paul Reid, looks at the history behind the unfolding fiasco regarding for the Windrush generation - and sees a shameful lack of appreciation of the Black citizens who have helped create today’s Britain, creating a hostile environment for legal migrants

The thousands of people who travelled as British citizens between 1948 and 1973 were invited to this country to help rebuild post-war Britain. The Elders of the Britain’s Caribbean heritage community were a pioneering generation who laid solid foundations that rebuilt post-war Britain.

Main photograph, Windrush passengers arrive at Tilbury in 1948. By Howard Grey, reproduced by permission of Black Cultural Archives

This is not an immigration story, not a moment of migrant history, but is central to British history. The history of Black people in Britain dates back centuries, yet this history has been long hidden. It is our duty to unearth and share these histories with everyone for a better and deeper appreciation of Britain. And to ensure injustices borne of ignorance and lack of empathy do not continue to occur and debate the value we give to this society.

BCA’s archive collection holds a copy of the 1948 Nationality Act, and subsequent immigration Acts, documenting the legislation relating to those invited from the Commonwealth as British citizens. The “Windrush generation” came on their own and then brought their families here. The resilience and courage of the generations that followed them have shaped today’s Black British community.

Paul Reid. Picture by Sharon Wallace

The fact that citizenship questions are being raised decades later is highly problematic. Our collection holds historical evidence of the oppositional campaigns to the racist 1962 Immigration Act, known as the Colour Bar Immigration Act, which expressly limited the movement of British citizens from its colonies.

BCA https://blackculturalarchives.org was founded in 1981 as our co-founder Len Garrison grappled with the fundamental question of “Where are our monuments? Where are our martyrs? ...” His words echo through the country today, as we are still asking these same questions in the face of institutions that are still unable to value our contributions and heritage.

The destruction of landing cards that form part of a narrative of an entire generation and their children’s history is disheartening. BCA exists to ensure the preservation of this history:
our archive differs from national or government archives, as our remit is to preserve the narratives of the people.

Materials that can no longer be held in central archives should be offered to alternative repositories such as ourselves. We have been entrusted by generations of individuals, families and organisations to safeguard these materials, our history, British history. We call on the government to ensure the travesty of the destruction of the archival materials must never happen again. And BCA must be the recognised home for such important archival material.

BCA are inviting all those who are worried about being affected, have concerns about their documentation either for rights to remain and safeguarding to a public meeting on Saturday 28 April 2018 between 2pm-5pm.The public meeting will be followed by a series of legal clinics from legal professionals who are volunteering their time and expertise.

BCA are open to working with and alongside government and community initiatives to support the wider community to navigate the current situation and help to overcome the distrust and distress that has arisen. Clinics will be held at BCA as a central point of contact for the community and safe space to ask critical questions and make enquiries.

 

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