I was chosen to feature in the UCL Living History Exhibition as part of their Black History Month programme. The images exhibited in the Living History Exhibition are all of people who are alive now – politicians, entrepreneurs, artists, media personalities, academics and many more who are making waves today, in order to promote a positive future.
The images on display include Adam Afriyie MP, Ainsley Harriott, Amna Malik, Andi Peters, Andre Anderson, Andy (Ayo) Akinwolere, Angie Le Mar, Anjela Lauren Smith, Ash Ptsa Rahman, Aubrey Owusu, Charlene White, Cyril Nri, David Adjaye, David Ayo-Geogeous II, David Lammy MP, Dean Atta, Eli Anderson, Evadney Campbell MBE, Grace Ononiwu OBE, Heather Rabbotts CBE Helen Grant MP, Imran Khan, Jamal Edwards, Kulveer Ranger, Lord Adebowale, Manford Ncube Maria Adebowale, Patricia Gallan, Paul Sagoo, Prince Saprai, Ronke Phillips, Rushanara Ali MP Sal Idrris, Sanju Pal, Seyi Obakin, Shabana Mahmood, Simon Woolley, Speech Debelle, Steve McQueen and Tim Campbell MBE.
I attended the launch event on Wednesday 16th October 2013 with my daughter. The event was well attended and I spotted Angie Le Mar, Ronke Phillips and Charlene White as I entered the room.
I asked my daughter to find my picture on the wall, which she found and started to jump up and down in excitement. My picture was displayed between Helen Grant MP for Maidestone and The Weald and Dr. Amna Malik who is a Senior Lecturer in History and Theory of Art at the Slade School of Fine Art at UCL. This was a new experience for me to be showcased in this way as I don’t do this work for praise or glory but to promote our rich and wonderful history so we can learn from the past to inform a better future. This would not be possible without the support of my husband Mark Simpson and support from Sis Sonia Scully and Sis Lorna Campbell of the Public and Commercial Services Union.
As we looked through the other images, we met up with our colleague Eli Anderson who teaches the Creative Writing and Storytelling course at PCS. I also had a lovely conversation on life and history with Andy Akinwolere.
On the way home, my daughter said to me “Mum, I am proud of you, I love you” which made me stop and give her a big hug while my eyes filled with tears. She was our inspiration for starting Black History Studies and one of my main motivators behind our work as she is part of the future.
The exhibition is located at Roberts Foyer G02, Torrington Place London WC1E 7JE, open to the public until Wednesday October 30th 2013.
Charmaine Simpson – 28/10/2013