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Your October Cultural Calendar: The Must-Visit Exhibitions, Events And Talks To Enjoy This Month

As autumn sets in, it’s the perfect time to update your list of must-see exhibitions, events and talks for the season ahead. October also marks the start of Black History Month, the annual celebration of Black culture, history and its achievements, so there’s a host of offerings around Black heritage worth diving into.

With that in mind, have your calendar ready to mark these dates and embrace a rich and multifaceted agenda where art, culture and heritage collide.

1.A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography

This exhibition unites artists spanning various generations to explore the ways in which photography, film, audio, and other mediums have been employed to reinterpret the rich cultures and historical stories found across Africa.

It aims to delve into how images traverse both historical timelines and geographical boundaries. Through the lens of spirituality, identity, urban life and climate crisis, this exhibition leads visitors on a journey through a surreal vision of ideal worlds and vibrant urban landscapes.

On until 14th January 2024 at The Tate Modern, London

2.The Missing Thread: Untold Stories of Black British Fashion

A curation of BOLD Agency which explores the transformation Black British fashion starting from the 70’s to the present day. The exhibition highlights the profound influence of Black style on mainstream fashion and broader culture whilst approaching cultural, social economic and political factors. The narrative is split into four key themes: home, tailoring, performance and nightlife. Honouring Joe Casely-Hayford and other contemporary designers, it acknowledges the crucial role of Black fashion in shaping British fashion today.

On until the 7th of January 2024 at Somerset House, London

3. Julianknxx: Chorus in Rememory of Flight

Multidisciplinary artist Julianknss challenges conventional notions tied to African art, history, and culture. Through his personal narrative, this exhibition delves into themes of heritage, loss, and belonging. By fusing written expression, music, and visual art, and spotlighting diverse European regions, Julianknss encapsulates the Black experience, a self-defining act of resistance that forges a fresh understanding of identity across different spaces. This resonates with Edouard Glissant’s philosophical reflections on identity, embodiment, and multiplicity.

On until 11th February 2024 at Barbican Art Gallery, London

4. Hélène Amouzou: Voyages

In her first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom, Hélène Amouzou, a Togolese-born artist showcases her self-portraiture to explore her own life experience as a female migrant. Through the hand-printed photographs, she reconstructs her identity and reflects on her belonging, body, refuge and foster homes. Her artwork redraws poignant moments in her journey.

On until the 20th January 2024 at the Autograph, London

5.Lagos, Peckham, Repeat: Pilgrimage to the Lakes

There is a strong connection between Lagos in Nigeria and Peckham in South London, better known as “Little Lagos” and this is what a group of Nigerian and British Nigerian artists built together. The exhibition showcases a panel of artistic expressions including installations, sculptures, photography and films. The large-scale installation by Ndidi Dike challenges and provokes your senses and dives you in the vibrant atmosphere of the Lagos marketplace.

On until 29th October 2023 at the South London Gallery, London

6.Between Two Worlds: Vanley Burke and Francis Williams

Burke’s photography is the exploration of portraits of two Jamaican scholars. Dive into his archives, historical moments and scientific imagery bringing into light William painting. This exhibition raises questions on identity and colonial legacies.

On until the 31st December 2023, at the V&A museum

7. Celebration Windrush: Tracing a Live Legacy

As a celebration of the Windrush, the display retraces the 75 years since the arrival of HTM empire Windrush. You are transported back with emotions in 1948 when thousands of British from Jamaica, Trinidad, St Lucia, Grenada and Barbados were brought to the United Kingdom with the hope of employment and better life.

On until 31st December 2023 at the V&A South Kensington, London

8.Here and Now

This exhibition showcases a series of images of Black British photographers who explore contemporary themes. Inspired by African and Caribbean cultures in London, you can expect to encounter portrayals of undiscovered Lagos fisherman, reflections on mixed-race childhood memories and depiction of Nigerian cuisine. From Nigeria to Somalia, discover the richness of Somalia through narratives and social celebrations.

On from the 6th to 28th October 2023, at Brady Arts Centre, London

EVENTS + TALKS

1. Black Culture Market
Black Culture Market celebrates African and Caribbeans cultures and businesses and it is a great opportunity to meet and support new entrepreneurs and black-owned businesses. Products vary from gifts, cards, clothes, prints to jewellery, skincare and accessories. The market’s vision is to narrow the wealth divide, spur job creation, and foster a culture of entrepreneurship and ownership.

Downstairs, The Department Store

2.Black History Month Gospel Concert
Dive into the vibrant cultural legacy of the African diaspora with the uplifting melodies of gospel music. This live event guarantees an emotionally stirring encounter that will leave you full of inspiration. It feels like a perfect fusion of Black history and the power of music.

28th of October 2023, 551b High Road Tottenham London N17 6SB

3. Black History Month – Wembley Celebration Day
Wembley Celebration Day encourages a deep appreciation of the Black history in various artistic expressions such as art, fashion, music, dance and more. Enjoy this cultural moment with a selection of performances and exhibitions by up-and-coming artists from the local community, who will share their personal experiences of all the challenges faced by the Black community and their inspiring journey to triumph. A live band will ensure a lively atmosphere, keeping you moving all night long.

14th October 2023, at The Yellow, London

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