Zita Holbourne Rountable Discussion


AT: Women’s Art Library, Special Collections Library Rutherford Building Goldsmiths, University of London New Cross London SE14 6NW


ASRR 2016 project aims to exhibit, expose and decensor political art by black and brown women. Zita Holbourne; poet, artist and activist is first the artist invited to participate in ASRR 2016 project at Women’s Art Library. We’re displaying and exhibiting Zita’s art because she has broad experience of activism, and an inspirational, relentless campaigner. Zita’s also a dynamic artist who captures issues of social justice through art in an articulate and expressive dispositions.

On Tuesday 10th May, 6pm – 8pm, we’ve organised a roundtable event where Zita Holbourne will be discussing her art and also her new book:

Embracing Roots, Culture and Identity: A Collection of Poetry by Zita Holbourne

A collection of poetry, quotes and art by award winning and inspiring London based poet, artist and activist Zita Holbourne.

The book is a poetical journey through the struggle and resistance, a story of strength determination and love used to challenge discrimination and injustice, documenting important historical and current struggles from the Haitian Revolution to the Black Lives Matter Movement. This is combined with Zita’s personal journey as an activist, mother and artist.

Some of the poems in the book have won awards and others have been performed at awards ceremonies, some are dedicated to those who have inspired the author and others written in the hope of inspiring others. Zita performed ‘A tribute to Nelson Mandela; Now You Are Free’ at the official UK Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela after he passed away. Progression is an autobiographical account of Zita’s personal struggle against race and gender discrimination. Dare to Dream – a tribute to Martin Luther King – was written to support a year long campaign entitled MLK 50; Equality in Our Lifetime, marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington initiated by Zita’s campaigning organisation BARAC UK.

All illustrations in the book including the front and back covers are original artworks created by the author who uses art, poetry spoken word and activism to strive equality, justice, freedom and human rights.

This is a book not just for lovers of poetry but all those who want to make the world a better place and who stand for social justice and equality, combining the poetical with the political.

It is a story of survival, empowerment and healing, embracing roots, culture and identity being a key part of this.

From historical events to Blue Plaque Unveilings, childhood to motherhood, stories of lost love and gained values, lives lost through racism and campaigns won through determination there is something in it for everyone to relate to.

Themes include roots and identity, embracing our cultures, standing up against racism and injustice, understanding our pasts, growing spiritually, strength and determination.

Women of Colour catalogue collated by Rita Keegan Archival References:

– There have always been great black women artists, Chila Burman

– Racial Assault at A.I.M Gallery, Sutapa Biswas

– Migration Drawing by Amanda Holiday, 1988

– Black Perspectives, South London Art Gallery, 1987

– Some of us our brave all of us are strong, an exhibition by and about black women, at the Black Art Gallery, 1986

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