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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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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 12 May 2021

Imaging and Imagining ‘Vanished lives of the black diaspora’ in Venetian Maps (1997)

Imaging and Imagining ‘Vanished lives of the black diaspora’ in Venetian Maps (1997)

(p.173) 7 Imaging and Imagining ‘Vanished lives of the black diaspora’ in Venetian Maps (1997)
Inside the invisible

Celeste-Marie Bernier

Alan Rice

Lubaina Himid

Hannah Durkin

Liverpool University Press

Working to represent, recreate and reimagine denied and distorted traditions of African diasporic artistry, Himid was inspired to create Venetian Maps, the subject of this chapter, and which consists of ‘a series of paintings that illustrated this hidden culture that was incredibly influential but never discussed in general touristic guide book conversation’. As Lubaina Himid observes, ‘Venice though is also a symbol for me to how people of the black diaspora have for centuries been the backbone of the cultural development of many European cities but that this presence is invisible’. She exposes centuries of social, political, historical and cultural injustices: ‘That such a visible set of people, there because they were used as slaves and signifiers of European wealth, could be so invisible in the discussions around the origins of patterns and architectural forms of the countries from which they came has always been a continuing preoccupation of mine’. Warring against white supremacist erasures of a very real Black presence in every area of national, political, social and cultural life, she is under no illusion that ‘Venice looks like it does because Venetians were impressed by North African/Arabic culture its richness and sophistication its intricacy and its colour and spectacular shifting moving symbolism’.

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

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