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



Exhibition runs from: Monday 25th April till Friday 27th May 2016
Opening times: Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm

Round Table Dicussion with Zita Holboune: Tuesday 10th May, 5pm – 7pm

Address: Women’s Art Library, Special Collections Library
Rutherford Building
Goldsmiths, University of London
New Cross
London SE14 6NW
Website: http://www.gold.ac.uk/make/

Zita Holbourne; Poet~Artist~Activist

Zita is an award winning, trade union, community & human rights campaigner and activist, a visual artist, curator, poet and writer.

Zita studied art & graphic design at the London College of Printing and Watford School of Art. She has worked as a graphic designer, illustrator & make-up artist and exhibits at a range of cultural, community & political events.

She was commissioned by the TUC to design a poster for the TUC Stephen Lawrence Trust Fundraising Appeal; her art has been used for numerous campaign leaflets, flyers, posters, illustrations for journals and books and adverts including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign joining form.
Zita founded and is the curator of the Roots Culture Identity arts movement and touring exhibition to showcase the art of predominantly young black (BME) and migrant artists which includes an annual exhibition at the Trades Union Congress HQ, hosted by the TUC Race Relations Committee, an initiative stemming from the TUC Stephen Lawrence Task Group recommendations. Zita is also the curator of the Black Women in Focus exhibition which was established as part of the same initiative.

Zita has exhibited her art recently at the TUC, the PCS Union HQ, the GMB Union HQ, the CWU Union, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Stratford Picture House, Africa in the World Conference, Newham Arts Festival and many other venues. She was a ‘talking head’ providing commentary in a year long exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, ‘Disobedient Objects’ and has signed up as an artist to Fossil Free Funds.

Zita is a spoken word artist and a performance and published poet. She has performed at a diverse range of events, including the National Diversity Awards, Glastonbury, The Houses of Parliament, and TUC and had the honour of writing a tribute poem and performing this at the official UK Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela. She has also performed on radio and television and been published in a range of anthologies.
Her new collection of poetry to be launched later this year is published by Hansib Publications and features Zita’s art as well as her poems.

Zita is a proud and committed trade union activist and is elected to the PCS Union National Executive Committee & the TUC Race Relations Committee.
She is the Co-Founder and National Co-Chair of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC) UK, elected to the ACTSA (successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement) National Executive Council and the Movement Against Xenophobia National Steering Group.

Since summer 2015 Zita has been coordinating humanitarian aid convoys to refugees in France.

Zita won the positive role model for race award at the National Diversity Awards in 2012, was listed as one of the top 10 African & Caribbean Women of the Year in 2013 and was a finalist and one of 5 people’s choice poets in the Manorlogz Xtreme Spoken Word Contest in 2013, She is one of 17 British women campaigners featured in the new book Here We Stand; Women Changing the World which won the Bread and Roses Award for Radical Publishing in 2015.

Zita campaigns for Equality, Freedom, Justice & Human Rights through art, poetry and activism.

Web: http://www.zitaholbourne.blogspot.com
Facebook: Zita Holbourne; Poet, Artist
YouTube: Zita Poet Activist
Sound Cloud: Zita Holbourne

ASRR 2016

Since I’ve started going through Women of Colour catalogue in Women’s Art Library, I’ve come across valuable, important sources and references. That are still prominent, need to be shared and discussed. We’re still in a time when back and brown women are heavily scrutinised, tokenised and marginalised. Below a quote from an exhibition in 1983 called ‘Black women time now’:

‘However, it is widely known that black women are disadvantaged by both sex and race, and they have thus had little chance to bring their work before the public. The majority of black women artistes work in isolation, without even the support of communication with other artistes in the field. This lack of support and assistance often acts as a stop in allowing these artistes to attain their full potential.

It is this kind of gap that Black Time Now hopes to fulfil. Not only will the festival bring the work of Black women artistes before the public, it will also provide a forum where artistes can come together and discuss their work and share ideas.’

Above quote from 1983, and is still relevant in 2016. ASRR aims to mirror, develop and progress all objectives of ‘Black women time now’.

Women of Colour Catalogue

One of the aims of this exhibition is to go through with artists, Women of Colour catalogue in Goldsmiths archive. And have a conversation with artist, about their feedback of the catalogue, which may also inspire artwork for exhibition.

I also want to go through parts of Women of Colour catalogue with each artist because a lot of artwork in this catalogue by black and brown female artists, has been censored, silenced and ignored. Most artwork in this catalogue has not also been recognised as academic references in art education, and theres hardly any documentation of black and female artists in any well known museum and galleries.

I want to use this project also as an opportunity, to share artwork by black and brown artists with more people. Creating wider discussion about silencing and censoring black art.

Curator: Samia Malik

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/580664025434274/