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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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No More Silent Victims: Agency, Authority and Artistry in the Black Woman’s Story in Revenge (1992)

No More Silent Victims: Agency, Authority and Artistry in the Black Woman’s Story in Revenge (1992)

Chapter:
(p.123) 4 No More Silent Victims: Agency, Authority and Artistry in the Black Woman’s Story in Revenge (1992)
Source:
Inside the invisible
Author(s):

Celeste-Marie Bernier

Alan Rice

Lubaina Himid

Hannah Durkin

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781789620856.003.0006

“I was trying to write myself, paint myself, and my compatriots, my fellow black artists, if you like, into the history of British painting’, Lubaina Himid writes of the aesthetic, political, ideological and cultural philosophies undergirding her series, Revenge (1992), which is the subject of this chapter. Warring against the iconographic and invisibilising stranglehold exerted by white western male artists in particular, she says, ‘I’m trying to make a comment about how European artists ... have hijacked some of our African and Caribbean imagery, our bodies and all the rest of it’. Staging her own acts and arts of revenge against white western strategies of appropriating and objectifying Blackwomen’s bodies and art-making traditions, she exults in her successes by declaring that ‘I’ve hijacked some stuff back’. ‘The old solutions did not seem to allow for creative imaginings nor did they enable the black woman’s story to take its place amongst the other voices’, she concedes. Himid diagnoses a situation in which ‘old solutions’ or dominant representational modes are responsible for denying as well as distorting ‘the black woman’s story’. Working to do justice not to one but to many Blackwomen’s stories, she cuts to the heart of the matter: ‘Her story is complex and constantly interwoven through the whole, yet is often told simply and by others as that of a silent victim’.

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

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