A selection of latest news and published articles
Caught in the Medium: Racist Cameras
The summer exhibitions at the Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, are open from 13 May – 28 August.
The paradoxes of photography audio installation includes Caught in the Medium: Racist Cameras, a co-creation between Rosie Swayne and Marjorie H Morgan.
Linked to the essay The Black and White Truth of Photography.
Augustus Edwin John: the painter at home in society’s margins
Upon entering the gallery space, I was transfixed. I stood still for what seemed like years but was in reality only minutes. I stared at a painting that, for me, stood out above all others. This was my first encounter with Augustus Edwin John, and his painting Two Jamaican Girls in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.
It was an unexpected, and delightful discovery because it reminded me of my own childhood in my home county of Wiltshire, and also linked me to a side of Jamaica that I knew about from my family, but had not seen reflected in British artworks in major national galleries before this visit.
Read more at ArtUK
‘The Talk’ Learning Resources
Created for teachers and those working with children and young people to support the vital work needed to increase learning, knowledge and understanding of racial literacy. TTLR aims to equip teachers with the starting points for wider structured discussions around race and racism, especially in the UK.
TTLR consists of a set of four short, animated films, a series of flash and trivia cards and detailed biography profiles celebrating the achievements of 20 Black British figures throughout history that, in a number of cases, have been overlooked or ignored.
To find out more about this work and to download ‘The Talk’ Learning Resource please visit https://lnkd.in/e3HTwjPt
TTLR has been commissioned by Heart of Glass and supported by Arts Council England
Women Working Class
A web resource that was the brainchild of Fox Irving for working class women artists to consider the way we navigate art spaces, and to consider ways of making art spaces more accessible to lower class people.
A festival of links and resources, including art work, self worth reflections, provocations, podcasts, and working class identity.
Art Curation – The Global Majority
A personal curation of over 350 artworks that reflect the lives and times of the Global Majority.
The forgotten citizens of Merseyside’s migrant communities
WAR has long-lasting impacts on generations of families. War takes many shapes in people’s lives. War reshapes people, changing their relationships to each other and to the land where they were born and where they live. Citizenship is a vital part of identity. When unexpected migration impacts a person’s life their identity can be altered overnight, or by the stroke of a pen.
The boy with the pearl earring: the decorative art of slavery
In seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe, Black children trafficked from the African continent were used in visual art as a prop to highlight both the wealth and whiteness of their European enslavers. A regular feature of this Black child adornment was to add an expensive pearl earring to their decoration. The enslaved child was not seen as a person, but as property that signified the wealth of the people or family who commissioned the portrait performance.
‘Other’ mothers: motherhood and the African diaspora
Centuries of repeated cultural messages about the ‘ideal’ mother, supported by the upheld dominant white culture, continues to have an impact on how non-white mothers are viewed and treated in popular opinion and the law.
Motherhood is the root of the world. Without motherhood, human civilisation as we know it would not exist. It has been proven that human civilisation started in the African continent, yet, despite this, most canonical art images of mothers depict white women in a saintly, nurturing role, and positive images of Black motherhood are generally obscured. Black mothers were traditionally viewed as ‘others’, and not quite human.
Read more on ArtUK
The visible invisibility of Black people in aristocratic portraiture
It was increasingly fashionable, and a form of social currency from the seventeenth century onwards, for the Black servant in the British aristocratic home to be shown in portraits….
These portraits are not uncommon for this era and they encapsulate the seventeenth-century fashion for aristocrats to be presented next to Black individuals, as a way to demonstrate their social and economic status, and whiteness….
The Black presence in these various portraits demonstrated the establishment involvement in the transatlantic slave trade.
Read more on ArtUK
Ronald Moody: a European identity with Caribbean roots
Ronald Moody, a man from the small Caribbean island of Jamaica, made big sculptures, many in England, and showed them all over the world…
Moody’s work is a combination of internal and external examination, and I believe, like many artists, his practice emerged by looking at himself first, his image and view of the world, before he started to look outwards…
Moody stated that his work reflected his very existence and presence in Europe and the Caribbean – a perpetual state of friction. (Read more on ArtUK)
The changing face of the people of the African diaspora in British art
The peoples of the African diaspora have been represented in British art from around the seventeenth century to the current day; the colonial influence is the undercurrent of many of the works that are present in the museums and art galleries of Britain. The white gaze is the unlabelled and ever-present curator of British art, especially relating to the depiction of people originating from the African continent.
Ideas of privilege, power and history cannot be separated from the white gaze on Black bodies, and art is the construction of creative cultural commodities. (Read more on ArtUK)
A first look at The Talk Learning Resources is now available at the Heart of Glass. Please watch, share, and sign up for more information to be released early 2022.
I’ve recently had the privilege to work on a Rural Black History Project with dramaturg and filmmaker Amani Naphtali.
The start of many joyful mind-expanding collaborations I hope.
My short film (1 of 4) will be available in October.
Watch this space for more details.
#AmaniNaphtali #RBHP Rural Black History Project
Friday 9 April – Saturday 10 April 2021.
10 Year Anniversary
Join in with this 10 Year Anniversary of the Threshold Hybrid Festival of Music and Arts.
My recent PSA film, The Talk, will be available to view among the art and music of so many great contributors. Get your tickets now.
From slavery to voguing: the House of Swann, published 22 February 2021 by Liverpool Museums for LGBT History Month.
What is Drag? Where did the concept of Drag Queens start? There are multiple answers to those two simple questions.
Drag has been variously described as the theatrical performance of gender, a man in a dress, ‘wearing clothes of the opposite sex, creative self-expression that uses costume, makeup and/performance to play with traditional notions of gender’.
If there were only two genders, or clothes were globally gendered, answers to these questions might be easier to find, as it is, history shows Romans, upper-class 19th century Albanians, Scots and Irish men wearing kilts or skirts, women of all nationalities and continents regularly and mundanely wearing ‘male’ trousers, therefore the idea of what ‘drag’ is seems to centre around the hyper-masculinity of the globally pervading patriarchal systems. Men in ‘female clothes’ are sometimes designated as monstrous, ‘grotesque’ and ‘depraved’. The terms ‘Drag’ and ‘Drag Queen’ continue to evade fixed definitions.
‘The Talk’ by Marjorie H Morgan.
‘The Talk’ premiered on Thursday 28 January, 2pm, it is a short, ‘public service announcement’ style film, giving a brief insight into the personal impact of racism in the lives of Black young men in the UK. The premiere event consisted of an initial sharing, followed by a conversation with Marjorie, Professor Patricia Daley and Professor Godfrey Palmer around the subjects raised in the film – available here.
A subtitled version of the conversation will soon be available from Heart of Glass.
‘The Talk’, and associated resources are intended to stimulate discussion, education and conversation into the reality of some aspects of life lived while Black in the UK, in the hope that barriers will be removed and equality and equity of opportunity and access will increase.
Introducing The Talk, a new commission by Marjorie H Morgan
‘The Talk’ by Marjorie H Morgan is a short ‘public service announcement’ style film giving a brief insight into the personal impact of racism in the lives of Black young men in the UK. Sharing and conversation with Professor Patricia Daley and Professor Godfrey Palmer on Thursday 28 January at 2pm.
‘The Talk’, and associated resources are intended to stimulate discussion, education and conversation into the reality of some aspects of life lived while Black in the UK, in the hope that barriers will be removed and equality and equity of opportunity and access will increase. Free tickets here.
In Other Words is a collection of urgent reflections, created by 49 artists over 4 months in 2020 exploring their hopes and fears for the future at a time of global crisis. Through prose, poetry, drawing, collage and photography it is a clarion call for change from a diverse group rich in wisdom, shared experience, and what it means to be marginalised in the UK.
The book was devised at the start of the Covid -19 pandemic in the UK, and was initially inspired by an Arundhati Roy quote in April 2020.
“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred … or we can walk through lightly, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”
Buy your copy here: https://metalculture.bigcartel.com/product/in-other-words
From Homotopia Arts – THE WALK podcast series.
“Looking at Liverpool through a queer lens, THE WALK is a stroll through the city, as told by six queer writers.
Download the podcast and listen along as you retrace the writers’ steps, or enjoy the recording from the comfort of your own home.”
Here is a link to my contribution: “Ep. 7. Award-winning playwright Marjorie Morgan offers an intersectional approach to the Albert Docks, anchored to the city, to family, to self.”
Black Oral Histories in the North – an online panel discussion hosted by Liverpool Everyman Playhouse theatres on Friday 30 October 2020.
Coming soon … 10 November 2020 – Stage Your Story, a playwriting workshop collaboration with The Goddess Projects and Liverpool Everyman Playhouse theatres.
Coming soon …
Show Your Working from Homotopia Festival 2020
Throughout the month of July I have been selected as one of the artists who has been granted a Metal Remote Residency. Along with the other artists I will carry out my residency working remotely from my own home but with access to the support, networks and resources available from Metal. More information available below.
#Windrush interview with Prison Radio UK #WeTalk
Listen to all the #WindrushStories here: Lloyd Bradley, Benjamin Zephaniah, Cecil Wright, Jamz Supernova, Nadine White, Brendan Batson, Sister Ina Spence, Blacker Dread, Marjorie H Morgan, Matthew Phillip, Mr. Wright, Dr. Vanley Burke
#Windrush #WindrushStories interview with Prison Radio UK https://pod.link/1518310698
I Can’t Breathe (Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?)
The Mis-education of a Moonraker
Commissioned by #WithForAbout2020 premiered 17 June 2020 at 2.30 BST
The Mis-education of a Moonraker was featured in the live #WithForAbout session 4 available here:
Vanishing Points is a new anthology of cultural criticism, focusing on the making, watching and conditions of Live Art and performance in the UK today. Vanishing Points is edited by Salome Wagaine, with deputy editors Ava Wong Davies and Ben Kulvichit, and designed by Chani Wisdom.
The book features contributions from Ava Wong Davies, Zarina Muhammad, Ben Kulvichit, Season Butler, Jack Tan, Salome Wagaine, Marjorie H Morgan, Rajni Shah, Selina Thompson and Dr Cecilia Wee.
It is co-published by LADA and Diverse Actions, a Live Art UK initiative, championing cultural diversity in the sector and marks the final point of three years of activity. Supported by an Arts Council England Ambition for Excellence grant, Diverse Actions is managed by Cambridge Junction on behalf of Live Art UK.
10° of Separation – a commission from Northern Broadsides Theatre, 2K20.
Granted a HomeWork Commission from Heart of Glass as part of their Compendium of Care Package during the Coronavirus Pandemic 2020.
Joined the board of trustees.
Cultures of Love
by LUMA Creations – FREE entrance.
7pm Friday 21st Feb 2020 at John Archer Hall, L8 1YR
An evening of food, music & spoken word celebrating love, books, and stories inspired by the novels that shaped our world.
Each weekly session costs £10.00 per participant. Book here.
“Moonlight” (2016) is a poetic and universal tale. It is a coming-of-age story for everyone who has every questioned “Who am I?” The central character in Tarell Alvin McCraney’s story is a Black American young man in Miami, yet he is also all of us, in all locations of this world growing up and coming to terms with our unique identities and surroundings. (Read more)
Who Wants to Live Forever? tells the incredible story of Henrietta Lacks through art, science, storytelling and documentation.
Liverpool will premiere a major new play this week as part of a series of celebrations and reflections about the city’s Windrush Generation.
Home from Home has been penned by city-based playwright Marjorie Morgan and looks at the turbulent recent events of the ‘hostile environment’. The play tells the story of a Liverpool woman who enjoys a celebrated career in the NHS but also faces the threat of deportation after being caught up in the Windrush scandal.
It will premiere at Liverpool’s Blackburne House on Friday 28 June as part of a weekend of events aimed at celebrating and recognising the huge contributions made to the city by our Commonwealth members.
Home from Home author Marjorie Morgan said: “I have been writing about Windrush for some time now and this is a story that I thought would both celebrate and show the truth of the reality that some people are stuck in. It is like people have a dual identity, on one hand they are happy to be British and on the other they are not sure if they are British because people are telling them they are not. So this indication what reality is like for many people with a Commonwealth background. We are all Windrush. This affects all of us, it’s about all of us.” (Read more)
Home From Home, a new play by Marjorie H Morgan. Featuring Kel Nkondock and Dorcas Sebuyange. With production assistance from Curtis Watt and Gabe Morgan.
President Macron and Cultural Reparations
British colonialism is alive and thriving in the art world. The museums of the UK, and of the Western world, are filled with objects of uncertain provenance. Museum culture ignores the realities and sensitivities of the centuries of illicit trade as they are largely self regulated – they justify retaining their collections by claiming they are ‘universal museums’ that serve the citizens of every nations, not just one nation – this theoretical global access is a western luxury as the citizens of London, Paris, and New York may benefit, but not those of countries like Benin – access is not a global reality.
The British Museum was one of 18 museums who, in 2002, signed released a ‘Declaration on the Importance and Value of Universal Museums,’ as providers of “a valid and valuable context for objects that were long ago displaced from their original source”. This ‘displacement’ is a contested term used by mainly Western museums instead of looting, uncertain provenance, plunder, theft, and extortion. The use of the umbrella term, ‘universal museums’ provides institutions with a defence against the discussion of cultural reparation of objects to the countries of origin.
More from this piece available at: https://blkbld.uk/304PkDP
An extended article will be posted here soon.
“But it is Marjorie Morgan, whose Thin Red Line, a script written in response to The List – Liverpool Biennial’s most memorable work from 2018, for all the wrong reasons – that draws out the emotion of the festivals. She clarifies the role that introspective investigation can have on understanding the value of art, by shaking off the shackles of the Independents Biennial, and delving into a story pushed by Liverpool Biennial. Her script ignores the recent artwork, and the tales of destruction, and focusses on the story of three of the List’s occupants.
True to form, Marjorie Morgan’s nerve-wracking writing, alongside the fact and fiction of the other writers turns Post-it into a truly purposeful anthology.”
Art in Liverpool usually writes very outwardly, reflecting on the highs and lows of what’s going on around us, so the upcoming book has been a fascinating opportunity to self-reflect, often very critically of the festival, and its context.
Working with eight of Liverpool’s most exciting writers, the book includes work from Richard Billing, Jessica Fenna, Joanie Magill, Bernadette McBride, Paul McDermott, Marjorie Morgan and Callan Waldron-Hall …
The book gives an insight into the stories behind work, and the voice of those who made it speaking truthfully about some of the most impactful work of IB18.
Liverpool Mental Health Week – October 2018
“This Festival’s final event launches the TranScripts anthology at Museum of Liverpool on 14th October. This features new writing and launches an anthology of work from a creative writing project run by Liverpool Mental Health Consortium … and led by tutor Marjorie Morgan, writer-in-residence for Independent Liverpool Biennial and recently shortlisted for the prestigious Kenneth Branagh Award. ” (Read more)