Personalities make their entrances and exits, each of them bringing a unique combination of skills and talents. The genre that used to be described as Black Theatre in Britain has changed beyond recognition within a short amount of time.
When I was an emerging artist, the folks at the helm of the companies that produced Black Theatre were influenced primarily by the performing arts traditions of Africa and the Caribbean. There were only a few prominent artists who created presented works that had an intrinsically Black British aesthetic. Inevitably, as the years rolled by, artists with different mindsets and worldviews made their presences felt.
Nowadays, there are numerous practitioners who are making and creating work about the experiences of young Black Britain. It is likely that they address issues such as intergenerational misunderstandings to an extent, but it would be interesting to know if anyone is creating work that aims to transcend such matters.
I was privileged enough to meet up with some artists of my generation at the screening of a film a few months ago. It was great to catch up with each other and look back at the work we created when we were much younger. The output will stand as a testimony to the fact that we were around, but it was definitely steeped in the era that it was created.
Wouldn’t it be nice if some of us could aim for timelessness in the work we create?