Blanc Noir was devised by artists Stephen Davids and Cathy Lomax to investigate the significant contribution that the Afro-Caribbean diaspora has made to contemporary British culture. It examines the way that in Britain this culture, rather than being seen as an exotic enclave of otherness is becoming intrinsically meshed within the mainstream.
Blanc Noir features a mixed group of artists who map this process in a counter-intuitive and highly personal way by both overturning and celebrating stereotypes from Sarah Doyle's MySpace girls with rap star monikers to Cathy Lomax's Afro paintings to Gary O'Connor's Rock Against Racism inspired audio.
Background to Blanc Noir
Hackney in the East End of London is on the front line of an effusive multi-racial mix. It is here that you will find a fusion of cultural energy that is stemmed in a strong black identity born from its well-established black population. As far back as the 1700s the East End has had a tradition of black and white living in harmony, bound together by poverty and outsiderness. This still holds true in today's East End where you find both black and white school kids cherry picking phrases and points of style from black originating music, fashion and patois.