Liverpool

Black Audio Film Collective

Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT)

IS IT REALLY A MYSTERY why Black Audio Film Collective have had to wait nearly ten years since their dissolution for their first retrospective? Founded in London in 1982, the group operated in a context far removed from Britain’s burgeoning fascination with Turner Prizes and blockbuster YBA shows. Rather, their formation took place against the background of the country’s tumultuous 1970s: a period of postindustrial recession and increasing racial and class division during which violent unrest was both cause and consequence of policing tactics seen by urban groups—and by African-Caribbean and Asian populations in particular—as the return of colonialism to England itself. The subsequent attempt by government agencies to redirect public turmoil toward cultural production lent support and visibility to BAFC’s work, as the new public-service television station Channel 4 both funded and presented

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