It’s amazing how little so many of us know about ancient African - european history despite the wealth of information available whilst we are living in the age of the internet. Perhaps one of the reasons is that so much of our shared history resides not within a computers rendition of binary code, but instead - offline on the canvas and literary craft of artists. The V&A’s African Gaze tour offers us a gateway into part of this world. Typically inundated with requests from those who want to learn more about the African presence in Europe, it begins with our host, Nadia Denton setting the scene for the journey we are about to embark on. She is surrounded by a large crowd who wisely decide to split into smaller groups and return later for a second, more intimate showing.
I won’t spoil the surprise that's to come suffice to say that if you are interested in African history then bring a notepad and pen. The V&A’s extensive collection includes tangible evidence of the intersection of art and the African presence denied by ignorant school teachers, historians and university professors. Nadia's knowledge is authoritative whilst her quietly engaging manner is captivating. The tours are free to attend and I recommend you arrive on time as they are typically over subscribed.
The forthcoming FREE V&A African Heritage tours reveal the extraordinary African-European narratives within the V&A’s Europe 1600 – 1815 Galleries!
Led by Nadia Denton, the African Gaze is a specially researched tour that gives an overview of the African presence in 17th and 18th Century Europe as represented in a number of high quality artistic works.
From blackamoors to rebel leaders - visitors will look at the experiences and achievements of individuals of African descent in European history at a time when the African body would become symbolic of degradation.
Next Sessions for 2017:
14 April, 19.30 – 20.30
12 May, 19.30 – 20.30
9 June, 19.30 – 20.30
14 July, 19.30 – 20.30
11 August, 19.30 – 20.30
8 September, 19.30 – 20.30
13 October, 19.30 – 20.30
10 November, 19.30 – 20.30
8 December, 19.30 – 20.30
Comments from previous attendees;
- Attended the African Gaze tour which was fascinating and extremely well presented.
- Nadia’s tour was informative, based on a pool of knowledge/intuition and full of passion and wisdom for the African Gaze.
- Excellent – informative, thought provoking. Opened my eyes to the V&A Collection.
TOURS ARE FREE, AND DROP-IN, THERE IS NO BOOKING PROCEDURE. MEET AT THE MEETING POINT IN THE GRAND ENTRANCE OF THE V&A MUSEUM (FIRST COME FIRST SERVED), WHERE I WILL COME TO COLLECT YOU.
Victoria & Albert Museum
Nearest Station: South Kensington
Buses: C1, 14, 414 and 74