'Black Suffolk' photography project to celebrate Afro-Caribbean heritage

A photograph from John Ferguson's Black Britannia collection, which originally exhibited in London and opened by then...

A photograph from John Ferguson's Black Britannia collection, which originally exhibited in London and opened by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2007 - Credit: John Ferguson

A photography exhibition portraying people of Afro-Caribbean heritage from around Ipswich and Suffolk is planned for spring to inspire, elevate and inform the county's black community.

Aspire Black Suffolk is seeking sponsors to fund the project and has so far been supported by the Cornhill Fund, compromised of Ipswich Central, Ipswich Borough Council and The New Anglia LEP, as well as Pacitti Company which is providing free studio space for the photo shoot.

All images will be captured by Ipswich-based photographer John Ferguson who has won multiple awards for his work, including the Black Britannia collection, which originally exhibited in London and was opened by then prime minister Gordon Brown in 2007.

John Ferguson is an award-winning Ipswich-based documentary photographer

John Ferguson is an award-winning Ipswich-based documentary photographer - Credit: John Ferguson

Mr Ferguson said: “The theme of the exhibition is based on the everyday people of Suffolk’s black community.

"Although inspired by the Black Panther film and the Power of Stories, the concept aims to make the idea of black ‘superheroes’ more accessible and relatable, and, therefore, empowering.

“The images will pay homage to people of Afro-Caribbean heritage across all generations and areas of life: work, education, the Windrush generation, community workers, arts, culture, etc.”

The Power of Stories exhibition on the Black Panther film will feature the iconic costumes of T’Challa, Shuri and Okoye, Marvel comics and historic museum objects — the event was originally due to open at Christchurch Mansion last summer but has been moved to April 2021.

Elma Glasgow, a Felixstowe-based PR expert, has been working pro-bono with Mr Ferguson to coordinate the project and needs £5,000 to fund costs including equipment hire, production, and refreshments and travel for photo shoot volunteers by March.

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“This is an incredible opportunity for companies and individuals to show their support for a positive creative project, whilst being associated with an initiative that aims to promote equality and support positive change," she said.

"Not only is this the right thing to do, but they’ll also help us celebrate the longstanding contribution of Suffolk’s black community and create positive ripples across the wider population.”

Planned for the Cornhill in April, Black Suffolk will aim to inspire, elevate and inform the black community, and create positive ripples across the local population in general.

Other organisations already involved include; Colchester and Ipswich Museums Service, Suffolk Black Community Forum, Windrush Select Committee, Caribbean and African Community Health Support Forum, BeWeLikeMe, Vibe Radio, West Suffolk College, Suffolk Records Office - The Hold, Tis Respect, Red Cactus Media, Rosy May, Love One, KarMarTri, Karibu African Women’s Group, Volunteering Matters, Cllr Mandy Gaylard, Ipswich Community Radio, Franstine Jones and Imani Sorhaindo.

To get involved email: hello@elmaglasgowconsulting.com

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