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To mark Black History Month 2023, we are hosting a free exhibition of photography by Charlie Phillips and Eddie Otchere, commissioned by the University of Sussex for Black@Sussex.

In 2022, two of Britain’s leading photographers, Charlie Phillips and Eddie Otchere, were commissioned by the University of Sussex to photograph Black alumni as the starting point for Black@Sussex, a five-year project critically reflecting upon student and staff diversity.

Charlie Phillips has been documenting Black British life since the late 1950s while Eddie Otchere emerged as a photographer during the 1990s with images of the jungle music scene in London and the hip-hop scene in New York.

First Contact includes portraits of novelist Diana Evans, academic Paul Gilroy, theatre director Lynette Linton and artists Topher Campbell and Michael McMillan. The exhibition celebrates these remarkable alumni whilst posing challenging questions about the history of the University. Is their success because of Sussex, despite Sussex or perhaps a complex place in between?

Curated by Martin Evans, Jenni Lewin-Turner, Karina H Maynard, Eddie Otchere. Thanks to ACCA for commissioning the five initial portraits. Thanks also to Gavin Coker-Mensah, Irene Fubara-Manuel, Isobel Pearce, Allison Pitcher, David Rubain and Rob Yates.

Main image: Charlie Phillips/Topher Campbell by Eddie Otchere

Dates & Times

Tuesday 17 October, 2023
– Sunday 19 November, 2023
Free | Drop-in | Open Monday–Friday, 10am–5pm and during public events at evenings and weekends
Exhibition
First Contact: Black@Sussex
Tuesday 17 October  – Sunday 19 November
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