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

Darcus Howe, Anti-National Front Demonstration, Lewisham

Photograph
13/08/1977 (photographed), 2012 (printed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
gelatin silver print
Brief Description
Photograph by Syd Shelton, 'Darcus Howe, Anti-National Front Demonstration, Lewisham', gelatin silver print, London, 1977, printed 2012
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.
Dimensions
  • Image width: 41cm
  • Image height: 28cm
  • Paper width: 50.5cm
  • Paper height: 40.5cm
Styles
Production typeLimited edition
Copy Number
3 of 10
Marks and Inscriptions
(Signed and editioned by artist recto in ink/certified verso by Autograph ABP)
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.
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
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.
Associated Objects
Collection
Accession Number
E.320-2013

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record createdFebruary 7, 2013
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