Four large projectors against three walls in a dark room, one showing a man in black and white, wearing glasses.

Listening All Night To The Rain, Canto VI by John Akomfrah. Image by Jack Hems.

The exhibition captures pivotal moments in the history of colonised countries, namely independence movements and rebellions that swept across Africa and Asia from the 1940-70s.

The installation includes archival imagery of the Mau Mau uprisings in Kenya (1952-1960) and the brutalities of the British counterinsurgency campaign. In the Congo, it portrays the struggle for independence from Belgian colonialism. Nigeria’s journey to independence and civil war in 1970 is seen through the tragic consequences of colonial land amalgamation. While the devastation of the Indian Partition in 1947, sheds particular light on emblematic figures such as Jawaharlal Nehru, first Prime Minister of independent India and the implementation of his five-year plan to recover from the deprivation caused by the British occupation.

Akomfrah approaches these narratives through the lens of the diasporic community in Britain, intertwining personal memories with the collective consciousness of those displaced by political crises in order to highlight the interconnectedness of enduring legacies of colonialism.

Photos: Jack Hems © British Council

Visual identity: TEMPLO