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Photograph - Darcus Howe, Anti-National Front Demonstration, Lewisham
  • Darcus Howe, Anti-National Front Demonstration, Lewisham
    Shelton, Syd, born 1947
  • Enlarge image

Darcus Howe, Anti-National Front Demonstration, Lewisham

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Lewisham (Clifton Rise, photographed)

  • Date:

    13/08/1977 (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.320-2013

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case COS, shelf PHO

Born in Yorkshire in 1947, photographer Syd Shelton documented resistance to racism in Britain during the 1970s and 1980s. Shelton photographed historic moments of political activism such as this 1977 demonstration led by the vocal civil rights campaigner and former British Black Panther, Darcus Howe (born 1943). Photographed holding a megaphone, Howe was rallying opposition against a march taking place the same day by the far right political party the National Front.

The events became known as the ‘Battle of Lewisham’, as counter protests in support of Lewisham’s black community opposed the National Front’s extreme anti-immigration stance. The diverse support for the black community was seen as a turning point towards the more widespread advocacy for equal treatment in Britain, regardless of race.

The V&A acquired three of Shelton’s photographs as part of the Staying Power project. A photograph by Charlie Phillips of a picket line protesting the imprisonment of Darcus Howe the same year was also acquired as part of the 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 crowd of people with high-rise tower block buildings behind them in the distance. In the centre of the image a group of people are standing on some form of raised platform facing out toward the crowds below. One man to the left of this raised group holds a megaphone and appears to be shouting into it. A younger man to the right of this raised crowd has a large camera around his neck. In the centre of the crowds below a policeman's hat can be seen.

Place of Origin

Lewisham (Clifton Rise, photographed)

Date

13/08/1977 (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, 'Darcus Howe, Anti-National Front Demonstration, Lewisham', gelatin silver print, London, 1977, printed 2012

Materials

Photographic paper

Techniques

Gelatin silver process; Photography

Subjects depicted

Tower blocks; Crowds; Racial politics; Photographers

Categories

Photographs; African Diaspora; Politics

Production Type

Limited edition

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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