Summer Talks at the Heritage Hub

Gloucestershire Heritage Hub

History, Her Story, Their Story, Our Story

“When was the first time you saw a black person?” What would the oldest person in your family say in answer to this question? Is your answer the same? Is it the same as your next door neighbour or the people living in the next street?

In this exciting new project, funded by Arts Council England, Gloucestershire Archives is working jointly with Fresh Air Foundations and renowned photographer Vanley Burke as well as local artists, schools and members of the community. Using the answers to the question we aim to build our black history archive and inspire creativity. By collecting stories and oral histories this project will be an important step in further enabling Gloucestershire Archives to meet the needs of the wider community and continue to grow the trust we have built amongst local people. We know from our previous art projects that the arts can be a very successful way of involving communities in their heritage. The project will help address barriers and lead to better representation of Black communities in cultural and heritage management.

Launched during The Gloucester History Festival Spring Weekend with an interview with Vanley Burke and local creative Rider Shafique, the project. will culminate in both physical and online exhibitions as well as a Spoken Word event. Participants will collaborate in the creation of a series of artworks which explore Gloucester’s communities.

Click the image to watch the interview with Vanley Burke and local creative Rider Shafique

The project involves four Gloucester artists - Rider Shafique, Thembe Mvula, JPDL and Phil Campbell who will be mentored by Vanley Burke. The artists will lead school workshops at Sir Thomas Rich’s School and Denmark Road High School and community workshops at The Venture: White City before creating their own work.

To discover more about the project and the artists involved visit the 'History, Her Story, Their Story, Our Story' page at Gloucestershire Archives

In addition, each artist will choose a piece from Vanley Burke’s iconic portfolio that relates to their practice, and contributes to the final exhibition & event. The resulting artworks will be shared in community and heritage locations as part of City Voices, during the September 2021 Gloucester History Festival.


Vanley Burke (born 1951) is a British Jamaican photographer and artist, who has been described as "the Godfather of Black British Photography". For more information visit Gloucestershire Archives




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