As a young photographer growing up in Brixton, Neil Kenlock spent much of his time capturing his local community on film. He soon became known for taking sentimental family portraits, wedding photos and other special occasions. He used photography as a creative way to document the lives, cultures and experiences of the people around him.
The photographs featured in this collection play a crucial role in the story of black British history. Not only did Kenlock capture individuals, he captured their emotions, and environments. In recent years his photos have been used to explore the ideas behind the Caribbean ‘front room’, the life of migrating families and community leadership.
Racism and the British Black Power Movement
Some of his most powerful photos were taken as he documented the experiences of the British Black Panthers, and their fight against discrimination across the UK. There are few archives that uncover the stories of influential black British leaders from this period, like Olive Morris who pioneered black feminism and impacted on politics and the law. The exceptional lives of men and women like Morris, some of whom were members of the British Black Panthers, are documented in his collection.
Very few photos of black people and their communities were published or even taken at that time, hence why Kenlock’s work is so insightful to relatives of those in the photos and those witting biographies and academic texts etc.
Other interesting and key figures in the archive include Althea LeCointe, Brother Herman, Courtney Laws, Audley Baines, Lionel Morris and Darcus Howe.
For more information on this collection or to view some of these photos please contact us.