As powerful and impactful as Williams’ work was at the time – and as successful as he was as a solo artist – it is in relation to his work and service within the CAM that we can appreciate the movement as an act of political and social change. Through the members own creative talents CAM drove for a better representation of Caribbean life, art and community. Outwardly it reflected the culture of the time; it rebelled against white supremacy in Britain, brought its own flavour from back home and together sought to merge the two – much like the ethos of the Notting Hill Carnival.
Author: Christabel Johanson
After the 1958 race riots, there was an effort to heal the rift between the black and white communities. From that intention, those immigrants from Trinidad, St Lucia, Jamaica and other countries established the Carnival, bringing through the influences and flair from back home. The first Carnival was held on 30th January 1959 in St Pancras Town Hall under the organisation of political activist Claudia Jones. Jones founded The West Indian Gazette, the UK’s first black newspaper, and the carnival was televised by the BBC in an aid to build bridges in Britain.
Christabel Johanson: How Notting Hill Carnival was meant to heal the rift between the black and white communities
Carnival costume designed by Peter Minshall Read more »
My paintings are also a testimony to the beauty and intelligence of pre-colonial societies and a tribute to how these societies were organised. The way in which I place these societies in relation to the present is rather like tracing a traditional and cultural knowledge that was crushed by the rise of industrial power.
Christabel Johanson meets Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga in London
Art gives us the ability to acknowledge each other’s humanity. In the words of MLK (Martin Luther King Jr), Justice is what love looks like in public. I believe that but there is clearly a discrepancy as to who gets justice & who doesn’t. We need more love and art, to me this allows us to access parts of ourselves and reimagine a better tomorrow. I don’t think there can be justice without art. There cannot be art without an interrogation of justice.
Spoken word artist Malcolm London from Chicago in conversation with Christabel Johanson
I was grieving the loss of a close friend and during one of their wakes, I heard someone say that my friend was lucky because she had left all of the weight of the world behind. That got me thinking. What if that’s not true. What if some of this baggage follows us to the other side. That was the seed of the story and we developed the world from there with my co-writer Mugambi Nthiga.