Online 31 Mar 2021 7:00 pm Free BSL Interpreted Subtitles

Join the Serpentine for Portraits for the Future, a unique virtual event celebrating visionary photographer James Barnor’s practice and his influence on generations of artists, looking forward to his major survey show at the Serpentine later this year.

Hosted by Clara Amfo, the event features James Barnor in conversation with photographer Tyler Mitchell and Hans Ulrich Obrist; music by Ebo Taylor; poetry by Nii Ayikwei Parkes; a look through the archives with Black in the Day; contributions from Sir David Adjaye, Naomi Campbell and British Vogue Editor-In-Chief Edward Enninful; plus instructions, reflections and tips from some of the most exciting photographers working today, including Liz Johnson Artur, Samuel Fosso, Eric Gyamfi, Zohra Opoku, Dayanita Singh, Ming Smith and Tourmaline.

Portraits for the Future brings together artists, photographers, musicians and leading cultural figures inspired by Barnor’s visionary work to explore how his vision is a crucial guide for the future.

Curated & Produced by

Portraits for the Future is curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine, Kostas Stasinopoulos, Assistant Curator, Serpentine and Bianca Manu, Curatorial Associate. Produced by Holly Shuttleworth, Producer and Duncan Welsh, Head of Events.

BSL/English Translator by Nadia Nadarajah.

BSL/English Interpreter by Anna Kitson.

GFX by Koo Bhangra, Unloved.

Global online broadcast by Jackshoot.

Producer for Jackshoot, Alex Bertschin.

Editor for Jackshoot Robert Regan.

With special thanks to:

Sir David Adjaye & Adjaye Associates, Accra, Clara Amfo, Black in the Day (Tania Nwachukwu & Jojo Sonubi), Naomi Campbell, Lizzie Carey-Thomas, Edward Enninful, Samuel Fosso, Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière & Maison CF, Isabella Seniuta, Eric Gyamfi, Liz Johnson Artur, Francis Kokoroko, Awa Konaté, Laraaji, Róisín McVeigh, Tyler Mitchell, Zohra Opoku, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Jo Paton, Lucia Pietroiusti, Dayanita Singh, Ming Smith, Ebo Taylor and The Saltpond City Band, Tourmaline.

About James Barnor

Barnor inspires generations of photographers around the world. His career as a studio portraitist, photojournalist and Black lifestyle photographer spans six decades and records major social and political changes in England and Ghana. Born in 1929, James Barnor established his famous Ever Young studio in Accra, Ghana in the early 1950s, capturing a nation on the cusp of independence. In 1959 he arrived in London, furthering his studies and continuing assignments for influential South African magazine Drum, which reflected the spirit of the era and the experiences of London’s burgeoning African diaspora. He returned to Ghana in the early 1970s to establish the country’s first colour processing lab while continuing his work as a portrait photographer and embedding himself in the music scene.


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