The power of images – Charlie Hebdo

8th January, 2015

None of the British newspapers published the cartoons today. The Independent impressively skirted the issue with a fresh commission.

Today for one day satirical cartoons was the news and in the UK none were published. Today of all days. There will be many column inches written about Charlie Hebdo but in fact images are far more powerful.

RIP the cartoonists who died. May many young cartoonists go on to ridicule us all.

Charlie Hebdo, in the Independent

 

Note: Yesterday, 7th January 2015, 12 people were murdered at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

Rewarding to be thanked recently in the forward of two books

25th November, 2014

It is rewarding to discover I’m thanked in the forward of two books. ‘The Routledge Companion to Visual Organisation‘ and ‘Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World’s Most Polluted Places.’
Books that reflect my life recently…?

Congratulations and thanks to Samantha Warren and Andrew Blackwell. I’m happy that what goes around comes around in life especially when you didn’t even know it!

 

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Audio – Stuart Hall Library, INIVA talk

8th October, 2014

From the Talk and book signing on 16th October

Click here for Helen Couchman’s talk:
https://soundcloud.com/iniva/shlrn-october-2014-helen?in=iniva/sets/shl-research-network-oct-2014-helen-couchman-dr-caroline-bressey-dr-gemma-romain

10 2014 Research network Helen Couchman_Gemma Romain_Emma Chambers_Caroline Bressey INIVA

Librarian Nick Brown with Helen Couchman, Caroline Bressey, Emma Chambers & Gemma Romain

 

Click here for the Q & A: (>>30:20)
https://soundcloud.com/iniva/shlrn-october-2014-spaces-of-1

10_2014 Research Network Helen Couchman INIVA

Helen Couchman

 

Click Here for all the Audio from the event and a description of the participants work.

Photo of Helen Couchman speaking about her work at INIVA Oct 2014

 

Many thanks to our presenters for their stimulating talks, and to the audience for a lively discussion. Dr.Caroline Bressey and Dr.Gemma Romain of the Equiano Centre were joined by Tate Britain curator Emma Chambers to talk about their research for the Tate Britain display ‘Spaces of Black Modernism’. The artworks were selected to reveal that the artistic community in Britain during the inter-war years included artists and models from diverse ethnic backgrounds. It was revealing to hear how these artists played an active and influential role in the art scene of the time, particularly in London. The curators have brought to light the trans-national exchange between artists of the pre-war era. It was fascinating to see the artworks, don’t miss the display!

Artist Helen Couchman described her project and book ‘Workers’- photographs of Chinese labourers at the Beijing Olympic site. These migrant workers often spend years many miles away from home. Helen spoke about the nature of the exchange between herself as the photographer and the labourers. She gave each one a high-quality print of the photograph, which many workers sent back to their families. The photographs enabled them to express a pride in what they had constructed. Helen then talked about her other book ‘ Mrs.West’s Hats'; a photo-essay in self-portraiture and identity. A series of photographs show Helen trying on her late grandmother’s many hats. The photographs capture her expression at the instant she saw herself in a mirror. The series elicits responses about family, memory and sense of self. Visit Helen’s website to see her photographs.

Many interesting connections between the two presentations emerged over the course of the evening including; identity, portraiture, ways of connecting with the past and with others.

Talk and book signing at INIVA

7th October, 2014

Update 08/10/14: Event sold out at the end of the day.

sell out talk at INIVA October 2014

 

07/10/14
Talk and book signing with Helen Couchman at INIVA, London

Stuart Hall Library’s Research Network at INIVA

Institute of International Visual Arts

With Dr. Caroline Bressey , Dr. Gemma Romain and artist Helen Couchman.
Thu 16 October, 6.30-8pm
Stuart Hall Library
Rivington Place
London EC2A 3BA

Dr. Caroline Bressey and Dr. Gemma Romain will present on their research and curation with Tate Britain of the current display ‘BP Spotlight: Spaces of Black Modernism: London 1919–39’.

Artist Helen Couchman will be talking about her first two books, WORKERS (Gong Ren)’ and ‘Mrs. West’ Hats’ which will be available to buy.

Talk and book signing with Helen Couchman at INIVA, London

Artist Helen Couchman will be talking about her first two books, ‘WORKERS (Gong Ren)’ and ‘Mrs. West’s Hats’. She will present the books and describe how her surroundings prompted each project. WORKERS her first book is a portrait of Chinese migrant workers building the Olympic Stadiums in Beijing in 2007/08. Her second book “Mrs. West’s Hats is a memorial piece about her late grandmother. The projects explore themes of repetition, participation, portraiture, self-portraiture and the role of photography as a record and a celebration.

Further information can be found at www.helencouchman.com

Helen Couchman moved to London to study first a BA and then an MA in Fine Art. More recently she was invited to do a period of PhD research into her own practice ending in 2012.Couchman lived in China for nearly seven years and during her time there exhibited in Hong Kong and numerous times in Beijing as well as back in the UK and in New York. Previously she had often produced new bodies of work while working abroad, Cyprus (2003), Armenia (2004), Vermont (2005) and China (2006). She worked in New York City on new work relating to that city and Beijing (2012/2013).
Couchman will be artist in residence at The Asia Society and is planning an exhibition at CFCCA, Manchester both in 2015. She is currently based out of the UK and working in Oman on her third book.

                                           —————

Dr. Caroline Bressey and Dr. Gemma Romain will present on their research and curation with Tate Britain of the current display ‘BP Spotlight: Spaces of Black Modernism: London 1919-39′. The display brings together artworks which demonstrate the trans-national exchange between artists from diverse ethnic backgrounds during the inter-war years. The artworks were selected from the Tate Collection and public and private collections. Between the wars, a cosmopolitan network of artists exchanged ideas in London’s art colleges, studios and clubs. They were instrumental in shaping the cultural and political identity of the city.
Caroline and Gemma are researchers at the Equiano Centre at University College London. The Centre was founded to support research into the Black Presence in Britain. Spaces of Black Modernism builds on research from the Drawing Over the Colour Line project.

Dr. Caroline Bressey is a lecturer in the Department of Geography, UCL. Her research focuses upon recovering the historical geographies of the black community in Victorian Britain, especially London. Parallel to this are her interests in ideas of race, racism, early anti-racist theory and identity in Victorian society. A large part of her research uses photography and this interest led her to collaborate with the National Portrait Gallery, London, on the representation of black and Asian people in their collections. She has worked as a curator with the National Portrait Gallery and Museum in Docklands.
Dr. Gemma Romain is a historian who researches Caribbean and Black diasporic history. Research Associate for the AHRC funded project ‘Drawing over the Colour Line’.
Vera Douie Fellow at the Women’s Library, documenting interwar Black histories within the collections. Leverhulme Early Career fellowship at Newcastle University, project entitled ‘Negotiating Slavery and Freedom: petitioning and protest in the nineteenth century British Caribbean’. She has worked for various museums and archives including The National Archives UK and the National Maritime Museum. She has taught at Birkbeck College, University of London on the subject of Black hidden histories in museum and archival collections.

www.iniva.org/library/news/research_network_meeting_october_2014