Tate Modern presents The South London Black Music Archive (SLBMA), a display by artist Barby Asante that aims to celebrate, preserve and investigate south Londoners' personal relationships with moments in black music history.
Commissioned by and presented at Peckham Space in early 2012, the SLBMA is now brought to the McAulay Gallery at Tate Modern, transforming it into an 'open archive' mapping objects which represent and explore the personal stories which comprise the fascinating history of the influence and evolution of black music in south London. Inviting contributions from the public, this archive includes items such as books, magazines, concert tickets, posters, stories, records and CDs gathered and displayed with the reverence of museum pieces. Asante's selected objects highlighting seminal moments in this history will share the same platform as visitors' objects and stories depicting their own experiences through music and memorabilia.
One of the founding items of the South London Black Music Archive is Legacy Tunes, a limited edition 12" vinyl specially produced for the project as a result of the artist's collaboration with young people from the Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) mentoring programme. This artwork was created in affiliation with Peckham Space with an exclusive record sleeve by graphic design collective Åbäke. Copies will be available from the Tate Modern shop and are offered to visitors for free in exchange for items contributed to the archive for the duration of the display. It features Asante's own take on the BBC's 'inheritance tracks' for which members of LOT were asked to contribute songs that inspire them. Songs chosen include tracks by Michael Jackson, Edvard Grieg, Nigerian singer Prince Nico Mbarga, Sierra Leone's Hard Life and Bob Dylan which are represented as a soundscape alongside recordings of the young people telling the stories of and explaining their selections.