Black art was a widely used category in the late 1970s and 1980s to describe the artwork of British people of South Asian, African or African-Caribbean descent. There are numerous problems associated with the collective labelling of such a group, not least because of the lack of stability as to what the term refers. This article addresses the inherent problems with this category and proffers alternative ways of thinking about Black art in terms that encompass broader identity issues. The concept of diaspora aesthetics, for instance, is presented as a more satisfactory alternative that resists the claim that culture develops along ‘ethnically absolute lines’, to use a phrase by Paul Gilroy, and instead encompasses the lived realities of identity positions as well as the heterogeneity of cultural experience.
- Department of Art and Communication - Professor of Visual Culture and Theory
- School of Art, Design and Architecture
- Centre for Cultural Ecologies in Art, Design and Architecture - Member