Attractions Management Vol 29 / Issue 1 2024

Page 58

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London’s V&A East Museum’s inaugural exhibition will celebrate Black British Music. Its curator tells us more

Jacqueline Springer he V&A East Museum – a

and versatility of Black British music as an

new outpost of the Victoria &

instrument of protest, affirmation, and creativity,

Albert Museum set to open in

and reveal the untold stories behind some of

Stratford, London in 2025 –

the world’s most popular music of all time.”

has announced its first major exhibition, The Music Is Black: A British Story. Spanning 125 years of Black British music including reggae, jazz, 2 tone, drum & bass, trip hop, grime and UK garage, the exhibition will feature immersive AV, largescale installations and equipment and

Here Springer gives Attractions Management an insight into what to expect from this ground-breaking exhibition.

Why was The Music is Black: A British Story chosen as the V&A East’s launch exhibition?

musical instruments and personal belongings

Music is an intoxicating and relentlessly

from some of the musicians featured.

interesting art form and subject. What

The exhibition will explore the contributions of

better way to demonstrate its power than

musicians from early pioneers such as Samuel

to trace how music has responded to the

Coleridge-Taylor, Winifred Atwell and Emile

political, steered the social and also tapped

Ford to more recent performers including Joan

into memories in exhibition form?

Armatrading, Soul II Soul, Fabio & Grooverider,

It is fitting because as part of the V&A’s family

Goldie, Massive Attack and Tricky. Current

of sites, V&A East is committed to platforming

musicians including Little Simz, Jorja Smith

diverse, global stories, and championing the

and Ezra Collective will also be featured.

pioneering and radical visionaries of the past

“Music is the soundtrack to our lives, and

and present. The scale of the contribution Black

one of the most powerful tools of unification,”

British music has made to British culture, and

says Jacqueline Springer, curator of The Music

around the world, is a story which has often

Is Black: A British Story and curator of Africa

been overlooked, and its impact not given the

and Diaspora Performance at the V&A.

respect it deserves. The Music Is Black: A British

“Set against a backdrop of British colonialism


ni f at ic



Story will seek to redress this, inviting visitors

and evolving social, political, and cultural

to immerse themselves in 125 years of Black

landscapes, we will celebrate the richness

British music, and engage with the long-overdue Vol 29 / ISSUE 1

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