Shining Lights: Black Women Photographers in 1980s–90s Britain

Shining Lights: Black Women Photographers in 1980s-90s Britain

Autograph has co-published the first book dedicated to the legacy of black women photographers active in the UK during the 1980s and 1990s. The book, titled “Shining Lights“, is a critical anthology that brings together groundbreaking work of these photographers, providing a richly illustrated overview of a significant and often overlooked chapter of photographic history.

The publication, seen through the lens of Britain’s sociopolitical and cultural contexts, draws on both lived experience and historical investigation to explore the communities, experiments, collaborations, and complexities that defined these decades.

Shining Lights: Black Women Photographers in 1980s–90s Britain
Shining Lights: Black Women Photographers in 1980s–90s Britain
Image courtesy of Autograph ABP

During a particular period, various artists created innovative and diverse works using different techniques like photomontage, self-portraiture, staged imagery, and photography in combination with other media. The exhibition Shining Lights presents a collection of this work along with supporting material like archival material, historical essays, and roundtable conversations. The exhibition includes new writings by pioneers of the period, like Pratibha Parmar, Roshini Kempadoo, and Symrath Patti, alongside a foreword by Sonia Boyce. Finally, Taous Dahmani’s concluding essay provides a summary of key issues from an art historical perspective.

Shining Lights: Black Women Photographers in 1980s–90s Britain
Shining Lights: Black Women Photographers in 1980s–90s Britain
Image courtesy of Autograph ABP

Shining Lights is a collection of work from fifty-seven photographers, including Maxine Walker, Ingrid Pollard, Claudette Holmes, Mohini Chandra, Carole Wright, Sutapa Biswas, Maud Sulter, Brenda Agard, Anita McKenzie, Mitra Tabrizian, Poulomi Desai, Virginia Nimarkoh, Nudrat Afza, Merle Van den Bosch, and Eileen Perrier.

The book was edited and researched by Joy Gregory, a highly influential photographic artist from that period, and art historian Taous Dahmani. This book is an invaluable contribution to the study of photography and the experiences of Black women artists.

Shining Lights: Black Women Photographers in 1980s–90s Britain is available to purchase from Autograph ABP for £60.00

©2024 Autograph ABP

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