Cephas Williams’ Portrait of Black Britain exhibition opens at Bluewater
Cephas Williams – campaigner, photographer and speaker committed to centralising Black representation and uniting communities and organisations to deliver long lasting change – has partnered with Landsec to showcase Portrait of Black Britain, a project to create the largest collection of photographic portraits of Black people living in the UK.
Landsec’s support of the exhibition demonstrates a commitment to being an active ally and making their spaces more inclusive and welcoming for everyone. Landsec’s involvement in this project follows a recent incident at Bluewater, where Cephas was wrongly accused of theft by House of Fraser’s security team.
It is a celebration of the beauty in identity and diversity, highlighting that Black people are not a monolith and amplifying the achievements of the Black community within the British landscape. The portraits feature 220 individuals including members of the local community, and Cephas’ goal is to grow this collection to 1,000, with future exhibitions in locations across the UK.
The instalment is on display to members of the public at Bluewater, Kent, from Monday 1 November until Sunday 14 November 2021.
Cephas Williams, creator of Portrait of Black Britain, said:
“When I sat down with Mark Allan [CEO, Landsec] I saw someone who was willing to listen, learn and really commit to the work, accountability and action needed to dismantle systemic racism. Launching Portrait of Black Britain at Bluewater is just the start of this relationship and I’m keen to explore and deliver on other aspects of our joint aspirations for societal reform. Mark and I may not share the same lived experience, however we have a shared understanding and passion for the change we need to see in this area and as such have become peers of the cause.”
Seven Hills is extremely proud to support Cephas’ Portrait of Black Britain, securing coverage in the likes of the Evening Standard and Metro. The project is one strand of the Black British Network, an alliance set up in 2020 and made up of business leaders, their organisations and the Black community. The focus of the network, founded by Cephas, is to work together to dismantle systemic racism and improve the economic prospects of Black people living in the UK. Founding members include Salesforce, Dechert, EY, Sainsburys, Clear Channel and Alfa, whose employees feature in the Bluewater exhibition.