Access key: Wheelchair access, Audio-description, Subtitles (English)
Fi Dem is a durational work, a continued investigation into Blackness and diaspora and the title of the first video in a body of work that artist Zinzi Minott has made annually on the anniversary of the Empire Windrush docking in the UK, on 22 June 1948. Fi Dem was first released on 22 June 2018, and to date comprises five moving image works, all of which are presented here for the first time together as a five-channel video and sound installation.
This ongoing iterative work moves through Minott’s personal diasporic journey and takes the Windrush Day as a moment to focus on those who move and who have been moved, those who stay, those who cannot leave and all of the slippages in between. In the video works the artist reflects on questions of labour and remembrance, of slavery and racism, of performative activism and representation, of LGBTQIA+ identities and pride, as well as on the precarity of the political and civic systems in the UK. Throughout, glitching images and sounds create a feeling of movement and dislocation, alluding both to the migratory lives of Black Caribbeans but also to the experience of racism, which the artist describes as “confusing, and unnerving”.
Alongside Fi Dem I-V, Minott has been commissioned to present an iteration of Black on Black*, a solo dance performance that explores Queerness, Blackness and the body as an archive. Composed of movement phrases donated to the artist by an extended network of Black dancers and artists, the work interrogates both the notion of dance as a form of labour, and the limits of the body, through the exhausting processes of repetition and duration—sparking a nuanced discussion that attends to the lived and embodied intersections of race, class and gender in the aftermath of British colonialism.
*Black on Black will be presented over the closing weekend of the Brent Biennial, 9 – 11 September 2022. Venue details and timings to be announced.