Wednesday, July 15, 2020

History repeating itself

Like so much else, best-laid plans for this year's EYE Festival have fallen casualty to coronavirus, but thankfully the two-day event is still taking place, albeit virtually.

Among the scheduled speakers is Vanley Burke, who, when recently asked by the Guardian to select a favourite image from his archive for a feature on leading black photographers, chose a 1972 picture of a march in Birmingham. Its selection at a time when worldwide protests against racism and police harassment are once again in the news just goes to show how little has changed, sadly.

Indeed, Burke is sceptical that they ever will, at least as long as the damaging myth of British colonialism as a civilised and civilising force is perpetuated. Perhaps the toppling of Edward Colston's statue was a sign of progress to cling on to, though.

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