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Jan 23, 2020

Headteacher's Blog

Posted by: rbramley

Dear Parents, Carers and Friends

Year 11 art students visited the Walker and Tate art galleries in Liverpool today (Thursday). The students were fantastic company and it was a joy to spend time with them.  One particular highlight was the exhibition by Theaster Gates in the Tate   We were given a narrated tour during which the little-known story behind the exhibition, called Amalgam, was explained.  Malaga is an island off the coast of Maine in the United States.  From the 1860s, the island was home to a small mixed-race community who lived in harmony during a time when racial segregation was enforced across the country.   So Malaga was a little haven of sanity and safety in a harsh and unpleasant world.  In 1912 the state governor forcibly evicted the island’s community, sendiing them to the mainland with no housing and no jobs. The dominant view at the time was that the mixed heritage of the island’s population made them genetically immoral or criminal and their presence damaged the reputation of the state.  There was also the prospect of developing the island as a tourist destination, something which never happened.   As  part of the exhibition Theaster Gates created a 20 minute film which used, amongst other powerful motifs, quotations from America’ s laws about race, segregation and slavery.  The students watched this film with respect and reverence and you could see the revulsion they had to the way people could be treated so inhumanely based solely on the colour of their skin. It was abundantly clear that the students can see the evil inherent in racism, and, whilst society has a long way to go, the young people I was with today give us real hope things will change.

Richard Bramley.


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