BY THE RIVERS OF BIRMINAM | VANLEY BURKE
JULY – OCTOBER 2013
Vanley Burke’s exhibition By the Rivers of Birminam brings together 100 images, which explore the history of the Caribbean community in Birmingham from 1967 to the present representing arguably the greatest photographic document of Caribbean people in post-war Britain.
Shot entirely in black and white, this careful and considered collection of photographs concentrates on the intelligence, beauty, the sense of community, the churches and family values, as well as the political, emotional and spiritual contexts that have united Birmingham’s (and more widely the UK’s) black communities since the mid 1960s.
Exhibition curator Lynda Morris, a Senior Lecturer at Norwich University College of the Arts commented, “(Vanley Burke’s) connection with the subject has allowed him to depict the immigration of the Caribbean community to Great Britain in a way which (is) unparalleled. Nowhere can tell this story better than Birmingham and Vanley Burke is the photographer who was there and who knew he was living through a great moment in history.” Burke’s reason for accumulating his collection is best summed up in his own words: “The photographs are very much a part of a documentation process which we as black people need to go through… it is not an attempt to show the black community to the wider community, this is where we are, it is more importantly a record.”
By the Rivers of Birminam is a touring exhibition from mac birmingham, curated by Lynda Morris