Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Photograph - Bagga, vocalist with Matumbi, Hackney, London, 1978
  • Bagga, vocalist with Matumbi, Hackney, London, 1978
    Shelton, Syd, born 1947
  • Enlarge image

Bagga, vocalist with Matumbi, Hackney, London, 1978

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Hackney (photographed)

  • Date:

    1978 (photographed)
    2012 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Shelton, Syd, born 1947 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatin silver print

  • Credit Line:

    Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

  • Museum number:

    E.318-2013

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case SP, shelf 6

Born in Yorkshire in 1947, photographer Syd Shelton documented resistance to racism in Britain during the 1970s and 1980s. Shelton became the official photographer for Rock Against Racism, a collective of political activists and musicians that organised concerts with an anti-racist message across the country. The popular British reggae group Matumbi were one of the bands to play at these events, alongside punk bands like The Clash.

This photograph depicts Matumbi’s lead singer Bevin ‘Bagga’ Fagan (1954-2008) offstage in London, where the band first formed. Bagga’s defiant stance suggests the need to confront racist attitudes on the street as well as through music in order to create an equal future for black and white people. This kind of direct action was realised in a wave of political demonstrations during this period.

The V&A acquired three of Shelton’s photographs 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.

Physical description

A black and white photograph of a man stood legs apart in front of a wall made up of splattered wooden planks with a painted sign above it that reads 'Continental Services'. The man is wearing sunglasses and a hat, with one hand in his left pocket and the other holding a glass bottle. Behind him, to his right, a young boy is walking with his right hand touching his head. The young boy wears a long sleeved turtle neck top tucked into slightly flared trousers. A headlight, wing mirror and part of a grill and number plate of a car can be seen in the left corner.

Place of Origin

Hackney (photographed)

Date

1978 (photographed)
2012 (printed)

Artist/maker

Shelton, Syd, born 1947 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin silver print

Marks and inscriptions

Signed and editioned by artist recto in ink/certified verso by Autograph ABP

Dimensions

Width: 41 cm image, Height: 28 cm image, Width: 50.5 cm paper, Height: 40.5 cm paper

Object history note

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.

Descriptive line

Photograph by Syd Shelton, 'Bagga, vocalist with Matumbi, Hackney, London, 1978', gelatin silver print, London, 1978, printed 2012

Materials

Photographic paper

Techniques

Gelatin silver process; Photography

Subjects depicted

Bottles; Streets; Hats

Categories

Photographs; African Diaspora; Music

Production Type

Limited edition

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.