Framing the Critical Decade: After the Black Arts Movement

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


This conference brought together scholars from across the humanities, critics and artists to engage questions around ‘Black British-ness’ and Black British creative production during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Often perceived, and dismissed, as a by-product of the social, critical and political milieu of the 1980s, the Black Arts Movement in Britain has been, until recently, largely archived as something no longer relevant in a global, multicultural, even post-racial world. Building on and responding to a growing interest in reassessing the role of the Black Arts Movement in the construction of contemporary ideas around race, national identity, gender and aesthetics (see recent exhibitions such as Thin Black Line(s) (Tate, 2012), Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience (V&A and Black Cultural Archives, 2015) and Keywords: Art, Culture and Society in 1980s Britain (Tate Liverpool, 2014) and the opening of the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton), the conference foregrounded the continued and dynamic presence of the ‘Critical Decade’.
Period21 Mar 2016
Event typeConference
LocationBristol, United KingdomShow on map


  • Black Arts Movement
  • Black British Art