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DECENTRALISE is a new free interactive digital archive which celebrates the cultural history of Black British art, put together by Somerset House’s Young Producers collective.

Participants of the Somerset House’s Young Producers collective are putting on their inaugural project DECENTRALISE, a new free interactive digital archive which celebrates the cultural history of Black British art.

DECENTRALISE offers guests the chance to engage virtually with over 16 key objects from, and inspired by, Somerset House’s exhibition past, spanning Afro-nowism, Afrofuturism, political arts and disobedient objects, through design, interaction and play.

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Soundsystem by Kayleigh De Sousa

The project delves into Somerset House’s exhibition archive, from Get Up, Stand Up Now (2019) and Return of the Rudeboy (2014) to 2026: Utopian Voices Here & Now (2016), to host illustrated objects inspired by some of today’s pioneering contemporary Black artists and creators including GAIKA, Richard Rawlins and Althea McNish.

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Using these objects as materials, each of us are then able to build own artistic creations and contribute to the Decentralise archive, exploring how themes from the exhibition archive relate to the personal and collective experiences of what it means to be Black and British

The Young Producers collective launched in October 2020 as part of Somerset House’s Engagement and Skills programme and offers development and support to young creatives who are underrepresented in the cultural sector.

Six London-based emerging creatives aged 18-30 worked closely with COMUZI to co-produce a digital resource, seeking to re-centre Black people in cultural history at Somerset House.

This project forms part of Somerset House’s recent Anti-racism Pledge, which commits to conducting, and making available, new research into what is currently understood of Somerset House’s social history.

Feature Image by Okocha Obasi

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