Certain Blacks

"Certain Blacks, do what they want to …… This is the song from The Art Ensemble of Chicago. The song was written in the 1970s during a time of cultural activism and awareness which still resonates today, and it inspired the formation of our arts development organisation, Certain Blacks, which we set up to support the growth of diverse artists.

The organisation presents spoken work, live art, music and theatre and supports the creative voices of our society. To date we have presented three festival showcases featuring live arts and performance. Past artists have included Franko B and Lady Vendredi. In September 2017, we presented a four-day festival called Harlem. The Harlem Renaissance describes a period in 20th century Harlem, New York when black theatre, literature, music and arts found its own unique voice within American culture. Certain Black’s Harlem featured jazz, poetry, theatre and performance including Shabnam Shabazi’s Body House iii, Fancy Chance’s Flight of Fancy, Lyrix Organix's Unfold, Crying in the Wilderness’s Invisible Man and Byron Wallen’s Indigo."

 - Clive Lyttle – Artistic Director

Highlights from Harlem 

Fancy Chance is the undisputed comic spectacle of the UK live arts scene. Flight of Fancy, her debut solo show, is a globe-trotting, time-traveling mini-spectacle taking you from her humble origins as a Korean refugee to the darling of the London cabaret scene.

Shabnam Shabazi is a London-based creative whose signature theme is home, as a sense of place, identity and the spaces in and around the body. Her practice is archival, and her process is based on walking, journeys, and experiences. Conducting video interviews, which have a life of their own, but also help Shabnam articulate her own creative response to the research, there is always more than one output in Shabnam’s work.

Crying in the Wilderness’s Invisible Man is based on Ralph Ellison’s book of the same name. This was no ghost affected by science but rather a man made less visible to society through society.

Certain Blacks are now looking forward to 2018 and future festivals. As part of this they are looking for new artists, ideas and commissions, and are interested in new reflections on race, culture, gender, place, identity or time. If this is of interest please email certainblacks@gmail.com.

Categories: Report

Date Posted: 22 February 2018