African, Caribbean & South Asian Photography, by Similola Coker and Devdan Sen
… The bottom line is that this report puts the cart before the horse. The photographers involved in this scenario should first have met together, voiced their naturally diverse opinions, and then proceeded to collectively build on ideological common ground. Then, only then, should this report have been initiated. What this report in fact does is add weight to the notion that “If you start off wrong, you end up wrong” (Last Poets). The initiative for this project originally came from the Arts Council, instead of from the photographers themselves. As such (and as the researchers themselves feel obliged to point out) the whole initiative is an “artificial” one. A bolder observer than myself would probably conclude that no genuine development could ever come out of such an ungenuine initiative.
Distressingly, the report also contains a number of persistent myths. Of the GLC, the report states: ‘Their anti-racist stance and innovative funding policies provided a positive beginning to progressive arts provision.” The GLC did nothing of the sort. Their ham-fisted and half-baked attempt to interfere with the work of Black artists was patronising and counter-productive. Enough said…
The full version of the above text by Eddie Chambers was published in Ten.8, Number 25: 69-70. It was a response to a report, African, Caribbean & South Asian Photography by Similola Coker and Devdan Sen – A report commissioned by the Arts Council and the Minorities Arts Advisory Service Ltd.