A map of major black music landmarks in South London — from venues and record shops to street corners and radio stations — has been created for the South London Black Music Archive (SLMBA), which explores the fascinating history and influence of black music south of the river.
The Harry Beck-inspired map, which connects such legendary locations as Rat Records, Porky’s Wine Bar and the Ninja Tune offices, is a unique highlight of the SLBMA exhibition, which opens 17 January at Peckham Space.
Acting as an ‘open archive’, the SLMBA encourages the public to contribute their own additions to the map, to build a comprehensive record of key places in South London for black music as well as depicting people's personal experiences.
Artist Barby Asante has ensured the exhibition contains an array of memorabilia such as records, posters and stories to highlight seminal moments in black music history. Asante said:
The influence of black music on the development on popular music is often overlooked. Black music has also played a significant role in the development of British culture from the 1950's and this is a great opportunity to provide a platform for people to consider the significance of this cultural activity on their lives.
A specially commissioned vinyl record accompanies the exhibition containing inspirational songs chosen by members of Leaders of Tomorrow — a mentoring program supporting underachieving learners aged 14-18 — with exclusive artwork by the Åbäke collective.
The record also makes up an audio soundscape to complement the exhibition, alongside recordings explaining why the songs, including tracks my Adele, Prince Nico and Bob Dylan, were chosen.
The South London Black Music Archive takes place at Peckham Space, Camberwell College of Art, 89 Peckham High Street, London SE15 5RS 17 January – 24 March, Free entry. Tuesday-Friday 11am-5pm, Saturday 11am-4pm, closed Sundays, Mondays.