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Inside the invisibleMemorialising Slavery and Freedom in the Life and Works of Lubaina Himid$
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Celeste-Marie Bernier, Alan Rice, Lubaina Himid, and Hannah Durkin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620856

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620856.001.0001

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‘They who document/paint the History hold the Power’: Retelling, Reimagining and Recreating New Narratives of Black Heroism in Toussaint I (1987) and Toussaint II (2002)

‘They who document/paint the History hold the Power’: Retelling, Reimagining and Recreating New Narratives of Black Heroism in Toussaint I (1987) and Toussaint II (2002)

Chapter:
(p.89) 3 ‘They who document/paint the History hold the Power’: Retelling, Reimagining and Recreating New Narratives of Black Heroism in Toussaint I (1987) and Toussaint II (2002)
Source:
Inside the invisible
Author(s):

Celeste-Marie Bernier

Alan Rice

Lubaina Himid

Hannah Durkin

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781789620856.003.0005

Across her decades-apart series, Scenes from the life of Toussaint L’Ouverture I (1988) and Scenes from the life of Toussaint L’Ouverture II (2002) which are the subject of this chapter, Himid excavates and examines Louverture’s mythical status as the leader of the ‘only successful slave revolution’. ‘History is painted/documented to glorify the living’, she declares, only to conclude at the end of this same page: ‘They who document/paint the History hold the Power’. In this multi-part and multi-layered series, Himid assumes the role not only of the artist but also of the historian, political commentator and social radical in order to ‘paint the History’ and ‘hold the Power’ over retelling, recreating and reimagining the life and works of this African Caribbean freedom fighter. No lone legend, exceptional icon or ‘single figure’, however, Himid’s Louverture is newly rooted in missing genealogies of African diasporic collective and collaborative militancy. In the Black Lives Matter era, the Louverture we need now is not a legendary lone icon but a fallible human being whose activism is embedded within and not separated from his life as a husband, father and grassroots community campaigner.

Keywords:   Lubaina Himid, Slavery, Memory, Freedom, the Body, Representation, Trauma, violence, activism, agency, resistance, rebellion, revolution, radicalism

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