Black Flowers blossom

Council’s equality champion Anna Rothery backs creative exploration of city’s slave trade past

This weekend a trio of Liverpool-based artists will premiere a new film that explores one of the city’s landmark building’s connection with the slave trade.

Multi-disciplinary artist and film maker Kiara Mohamed, with Amber Akaunu and Fauziya Johnson – the creative duo behind ROOT-ed magazine, will showcase Black Flowers 2018 at Tate Liverpool on Saturday 13 October.

The film is set in Liverpool Town Hall, a space built from the success of the slave trade and a space for meetings between slave masters. It looks at how Black artists can reclaim such ‘historically white’ spaces and use them as backdrops for their own creative vision.

Kiara said about the piece: “Places and people inspire to create art. When I went into the Town Hall for the first time for an event, I instinctively felt like I was in a space that was not meant for someone like me. The power unspoken – it is carved in the building itself, it’s history very blatant. I wanted to take that space and make holy, ‘melanate’, give it forgiveness and create a new narrative for the space and history of Liverpool.”

The event is a part of a series of workshops, discussions and performances taking place at Tate Liverpool as part of October’s Black History Month celebrations.

As well as the film premiere, the group will also present a series of photographs and host a panel discussion exploring the issues raised by the film.

They will be joined by Liverpool City Council’s Mayoral Lead for Equality, Cllr Anna Rothery, who will take part in the round table discussion.

Cllr Rothery said: “This event and the film highlights a different perspective and makes us look at one of our city’s most iconic buildings in a very different way.

“This event is all about recognising and accepting some of the grim realities of our city’s past and then using this as a basis to create something new and positive.”

“It’s a fantastic example of how we are using the arts to challenge as well as stimulate and raises issues that our communities may still face.”

The Black Flowers showcase is a free event and takes place between 2pm and 3pm at Tate Liverpool on Saturday 13 October.

Photo: A scene from the film Black Flowers (photo by Charlie Granby)

Liverpool Waterfront