Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F , Case SP, Shelf 4

Ragga Crouching

Photograph
1993 (photographed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Jennie Baptiste’s photographs explore fashion and style as expressions of black British identity, often with a focus on music culture. She was born in Northwest London in 1971, after her parents moved to the city from St. Lucia in the 1960s.

Ragga music originated in Jamaica in the 1980s, building on dancehall and reggae styles by using electronic music and sampling linked to both hip hop and dance music trends. The music style became popular in Britain during the 1990s when it was increasingly fused with hip hop. The influence of Ragga is credited with popularising dancehall music with which it shares many features, including styles of dancing and female dress. Female ragga dancers typically wear elaborate, colourful costumes, which are often hand-embellished.

The V&A acquired four photographs by Jennie Baptiste as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
C-type print
Brief Description
Photograph by Jennie Baptiste, 'Ragga Crouching', C-type print, 1993
Physical Description
A colour photograph of a young black woman dancing against a dark blue background. She is in a crouched position seen sideways on with her head titled, as she moves her hands in front of her. She wears shorts and a crop top both of which are made of purple velvet with tassle fringing. She has darker purple tights on underneath the shorts with a band of gold sequins around the leg in full view. She wears a variety of jewellery, including large gold rings on every finger of her left hand. She also has a gold dollar sign earring mirroring the dollar sign shaved onto the side of her head. The long exposure of the photograph means that a blur is created mimicking her movements.
Dimensions
  • Image height: 40.64cm
  • Image width: 30.48cm
Styles
Gallery Label
Baptiste's photographs explore fashion and style as expressions of black British identity. Here, low-slung jeans and flaunted designer labels are shown alongside the colourful, hand-embellished costumes associated with Ragga, a form of reggae music. Both styles show off the body, highlighting the wearer's masculinity or femininity. Two of the photographs capture the movements of a woman dancing to Ragga music, while the more static portrait of a woman named Pinky shows how personal style can extend to interiors as well as dress. [83 words](2011)
Credit line
Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Object history
The V&A acquired this photograph as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.
Production
First edition print
Subjects depicted
Summary
Jennie Baptiste’s photographs explore fashion and style as expressions of black British identity, often with a focus on music culture. She was born in Northwest London in 1971, after her parents moved to the city from St. Lucia in the 1960s.



Ragga music originated in Jamaica in the 1980s, building on dancehall and reggae styles by using electronic music and sampling linked to both hip hop and dance music trends. The music style became popular in Britain during the 1990s when it was increasingly fused with hip hop. The influence of Ragga is credited with popularising dancehall music with which it shares many features, including styles of dancing and female dress. Female ragga dancers typically wear elaborate, colourful costumes, which are often hand-embellished.



The V&A acquired four photographs by Jennie Baptiste as part of the Staying Power project. Staying Power is a five year partnership between the V&A and Black Cultural Archives. The project aims to explore black British experience from the 1950s to the 1990s through photographs acquired by the V&A and oral histories conducted by Black Cultural Archives.
Associated Objects
Collection
Accession Number
E.973-2010

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record createdFebruary 1, 2011
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