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How Black Women In Liverpool Are Reclaiming Colonial Spaces

Inspired by APESHIT by The Carters, in which Beyoncé and Jay Z hired out The Louvre to film, there was a drive by artist Kiara Mohamed to do something comparable, more locally to us in North West England. With the help of then-Councillor Anna Rothery (who is now the First Black Lord Mayor of Liverpool) we decided to use Liverpool Town Hall to create our own art. Entitled 'Black Flowers', we gathered the black community, mainly womxn, to come and express themselves within the space. To perform freeing and expressive dances whilst, frame-by-frame, making small essential actions responding to the space.

Since its conception in 1207, Liverpool has been known for its shipping port, used initially to transport perishable goods, but even more so with the beginning of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Since 1700 in the sailing of the first ship with 220 enslaved Africans, Liverpool was the major controller of trade until the abolishment in 1807. Liverpool’s domination soon overtook powerhouses such as London and Bristol during this development, securing 80% control of the British slave trade, and around 40% of the entire European slave trade.

Colonial spaces are spaces that have been created as a direct result of colonisation and imperialism and most are Grade Listed buildings – spaces that were created as an extension of colonial and imperial powers preserved in a physical manifestation. These spaces were not ever intended with black and brown people in mind, hence why black and brown people are taking back spaces and making it theirs through simple, but radical, states of being.