Black Atlantic: Power, People, Resistance explores the impact of the Black Atlantic by focussing on the Cambridge-based collections – the Fitzwilliam Museum included – which were built with the profits from Atlantic enslavement. Black Atlantic brings together significant national and international loans with a total of some 112 artworks and objects from across the University of Cambridge’s museums, libraries, and colleges to tell stories of profit, collecting and continued wealth. With Viscount Richard Fitzwilliam as the starting point, the exhibition charts a global history that encompasses Africa, the Caribbean and Europe.
The exhibition explored the radical change wrought by Atlantic enslavement in terms of new financial and scientific ventures, racialisation, fashionable new goods and commodities flooding European markets produced by enslaved labour, resistance movements on the plantations and the role of enslaved and free people in producing scientific knowledge. Historic artworks and objects were shown in dialogue with works by historic and contemporary Black artists, including Donald Locke, Barbara Walker, Keith Piper, Alberta Whittle, Jacqueline Bishop and Grada Kilomba, that reflected on hidden histories and reveal stories of courage, resistance, hope and repair.
POCC developed a creative strategy, comms plan, key visuals and digital content to deliver a holistic marketing campaign promoting the exhibition. The key visuals leveraged Barbara Walker’s iconic artwork ‘Vanishing Point’, appearing in outdoor, social, digital and print media inviting audiences to discover more and visit the exhibition.
Following the launch of the key visual campaign, POCC concepted, produced and launched a three-part digital content series collaborating with Tiktok Historian and Influencer Kayne Kawasaki to dive deeper into the history surrounding three pieces on display at the exhibition: Portrait of an African Man, The Coloureds’ Codex and Bust of an Enslaved Man. Alongside this POCC produced short B-Roll content showcasing the interior of the exhibition in its full design to give viewers a glimpse of what they could expect from the exhibition and capturing the positive press reviews. Content was posted on Kayne and Fitzwilliam’s Instagram and Tiktok channels, sparking strong engagement and conversation with new audiences.
Black Atlantic: Power, People, Resistance was open 6th October 2023 – 7th January 2024.