Brighton mural reflects on city’s slavery links

PUBLISHED : May 2, 2024

WORDS : Archive Team

A new mural has been unveiled as part of a creative project exploring Brighton and Hove’s connection to the Transatlantic slave trade.

The mural has been painted on Ann Street, off London Road. At its unveiling this month, attendees went on to take part in a symbolic procession to the seafront.

A smartphone-walking tour of the city is also available, alongside videos of Brighton residents hidden in QR codes across Brighton and Hove.

The project was created by artists from the black community in Brighton and Hove and is funded by Brighton and Hove Culture Alliance, which evolved in response to the impact of covid.

Brighton Dome and Museum also hosted music and spoken word poetry performance by African Night Fever, called The Seeds of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, on Saturday, 11 November.

Ebou Touray, chief executive of African Night Fever, says: “This project aims to reveal the bravery, true creativity and fruits of the hardship of our enslaved African ancestors, who have created for us the pathway to music such as blues, jazz, reggae and hip hop and the roots of our ancestral history.

“We are indebted to preserving their legacy through the creation of this collaborative and experimental piece of work.”

The augmented reality (AR) walking experience, Street Story, uses smartphone technology to overlay information around the city with digital artefacts which reveal information and artwork by students along the route.

Street Story developer and artist, Judith, said: “By walking, and experiencing this difficult history amongst the physical buildings of the city’s enslavers, my hope is that audiences will contemplate our legacy by walking with the past directly overlaid onto parts of our local neighbourhoods.

“This work is designed not just to highlight locations in the city, but most importantly to start to make connections with the plantations and people which had a significant financial influence on this city.

“My goal for this highly experimental work is to encourage reflection, discussion, dialogue and further research within Brighton and Hove’s diverse communities relating to how we remember and commemorate the people of this legacy who, generationally, helped to shape this city”.

A video collection of spoken-word pieces called I Sing My Song To The Sea by Yemisi Mokuolu features the voices of local Brighton residents which will be available to listen to via QR codes placed around the city.

Kim Jack-Riley, chair of the Brighton and Hove Culture Alliance’s Anti-Racism Collective said: “The Exhale Creative Grant provides an outlet for Black creatives living and working in Brighton and Hove to tell our own story.

“Each artist has used innovation and creativity to uncover and acknowledge truths about our city’s history whilst paying homage to the African and Caribbean people at the heart of that history.”

Originally published 20/10/2023

Via Brighton and Hove News

Photo Copyright © Diensen Pamben