An exhibition by artist Barby Asante that aims to celebrate, preserve and investigate South Londoners’ personal relationships with moments in black music history.

South London Black Music ArchivePeckham Platform, SE15

Peckham Space presents The South London Black Music Archive, an exhibition by artist Barby Asante that celebrates, preserves and investigates South Londoners’ personal relationships with moments in black music history.

Peckham Space is transformed into an ‘open archive’ mapping objects which represent and explore the personal stories which comprise the fascinating history of the influence and evolution of black music in South London. Welcoming contributions from the public, this archive includes items such as books, magazines, concert tickets, posters, stories, records and CDs gathered and displayed with the reverence of museum pieces. Asante’s selected objects highlighting seminal moments in this history share the same platform as visitors’ objects and stories depicting their own experiences through music and memorabilia.

Barby Asante said: “The influence of black music on the development on popular music is often overlooked. Black music has also played a significant role in the development of British culture from the 1950’s and this is a great opportunity to provide a platform for people to consider the significance of this cultural activity on their lives.”

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One of the founding items of the South London Black Music Archive is a ‘limited edition’ vinyl specially produced for the project as a result of the artist’s collaboration with young people from the Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) mentoring programme.

This artwork was created in affiliation with Regeneration & Community Partnerships, Tate Modern with an exclusive record sleeve by graphic design collective Åbäke. It features Asante’s own take on the BBC’s ‘inheritance tracks’ for which members of LOT were asked to contribute songs that inspire them. Songs chosen include tracks by Michael Jackson, Edvard Grieg, Nigerian singer Prince Nico Mbarga, Hard Times from Sierra Leone and Bob Dylan. These are represented as a soundscape alongside recordings of the young people telling the stories and explaining their selections.

Copies of Legacy Tunes will be available from Peckham Space for the duartion of the exhibiton, as well as other shops and stockists across London. A list of stockists will be available from this page shortly, please check back for updates.

LOT member Mayowa Sofekun said of a track she has contributed to the project: “I have chosen Sweet Mother as my inheritance track as it is associated with some of my oldest memories as a child. When the song is played at all occasions whether it be a party, wedding, or even a funeral, everybody, both young and old will get up to dance and thank their mothers.“

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Press Coverage

Culture 24

Creative Review

The South London Black Music Archive was also featured by Timeout London, The Voice newspaper, a-n magazine, Resonance FM and Reprezent Radio