Black artists design exhibit on Black experience at Royal BC Museum
A new exhibit at the Royal BC Museum in Victoria showcases the past and present experiences of black people in British Columbia.
Hope Meets Action: Echoes Through the Black Continuum, which opened on August 14, was created in partnership with the BC Black History Awareness Society.
Located in the museum’s Pocket Gallery, the exhibit captures the history and tells the stories of British Columbia’s black community through multimedia exhibits.
“These stories haven’t been told. They’ve been whitewashed, they’ve been erased. They’ve been covered up in a way,” said exhibition curator Joshua T. Robertson.
Brooklyn, NY-based designer Rodney Hazard helped design the exhibit, which features photographs, video interviews and visual art by black artists, including paintings by Colombia-based Sade Alexis. -British.
Black audiences can also participate by calling a phone number to record their experiences living in the province. Selected stories will be performed at the exhibit, according to the company’s website.
“We created this so that our community can read our own stories and see our own stories and see our own images, and feel held, seen and loved by each other,” said Alexis.
Silvia Mangue Alene, president of the company, said the exhibition is important because many blacks do not know the black history of the province.
“When you bring a five-year-old, 10, or 12-year-old black kid to see this, it gives them pride … to know the legacy, the rich legacy that these black pioneers left here in this province,” she said.
Black voice centering
Chris O’Connor, developer of the learning program at the Royal BC Museum and project manager for the exhibition, said in a telephone interview that it is important for the museum to address historical wrongs and not not perpetuate them.
He added that the way to do this was to work alongside the community, rather than on their behalf.
Having black voices at the center of the exhibit was one of the reasons the BC Black History Awareness Society agreed to work with the museum.
“I think that’s the way museums should go when working with the community,” said Mangue Alene.
“Museums and institutions, they must realize that … stories must be told by [the] people who own the story. “
The people involved with Hope Meets Action want people to know that this is not a one-time event. The BC Black History Awareness Society and the Royal BC Museum will work together to make parts of the exhibit permanent.
“One of the main messages from this exhibit is that darkness is a continuum,” Alexis said.
“It is not a point of arrival. It is a point of departure.”
Hope Meets Action is open to the public free of charge and will run until March 2022.
For more stories about the experiences of black Canadians – from anti-black racism to success stories within the black community – check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.