A special tour of the Brighton Photo Biennial 2016 exhibition The Dandy Lion Project
Get behind the exhibition with insights from the show's curator, Shantrelle P.Lewis.
The Dandy Lion Project explores global expressions of the Black Dandy phenomenon against the backdrop of contemporary life. The exhibition presents more than 150 images from over thirty photographers and filmmakers and is curated from an international open call by US curator, Shantrelle P. Lewis. The first comprehensive exhibition of its kind, this project highlights young men in cityscapes, defying stereotypical and monolithic understandings of Black male identity, by adopting Edwardian-era fashion and fusing this with traditional African sartorial sensibilities. Following acclaimed showings at Museum of Contemporary Photography - Chicago and Museum of African Diaspora - San Francisco, this European premiere of The Dandy Lion Project will also include a digital element featuring vintage family and archive images from a special call–out. A book accompanying the exhibition will be published by Aperture in Spring 2017.
(Image © Hanif Abdur-Rahim, Ubiquitous SWAG, 2010)
A native of New Orleans, Shantrelle P. Lewis (b. 1978) is a 2014 United Nations Programme for People of African Descent Fellow and 2012-13 Andy Warhol Curatorial Fellow. She is a U.S. based curator and researcher who travels internationally researching Diasporic aesthetics, spirituality and the survival and nuances of Transnational African Diasporan communities. Her traveling curatorial initiative The Dandy Lion Project, examines Global Black Dandyism through photography and film. Other exhibits and projects have been on view in institutions throughout the U.S. and Europe. She has written for Slate, NKA: Journal for Contemporary African Art and Art Papers. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR and Huffingtonpost. At present, Shantrelle is researching ties between the Dutch Caribbean and the African Diaspora at-large. Currently, she is directing and producing, The Black Dutchman, a documentary about the Dutch blackface tradition Zwarte Piet and Black identity in the Netherlands. Forthcoming is her first book, Dandy Lion, to be published by Aperture in Spring 2017.
Find out more about the events and free exhibitions that make up Brighton Photo Biennial 2016 at bpb.org.uk