Shifting the Centre: Grenada as Reference (Leaflet)

16 Mar 2023

Grenada as Reference was the first iteration of our Shifting the Centre project. This exhibition displayed archival materials relating to the Grenadian Revolution (1979-1983) at Black Cultural Archives in Brixton. The exhibition is curated by ICF curator Orsod Malik.

SHIFTING THE CENTRE is an archival activation project dedicated to excavating the radical observations, emancipatory dreams, and revolutionary practices of anticolonial thinkers to develop counter approaches that can be applied to artistic, teaching, and organising work. By repositioning the centre away from Europe, we can ask: what kinds of ideas emerge when those resisting dominant forces are the protagonists of world history?


View Leaflet

GRENADA AS REFERENCE is an invitation to think about world history from the vantage point of a small island nation, which was home to the first revolutionary government in the English-speaking Caribbean between 1979-1983. In this relatively brief historical moment, the Grenadian people engaged in a collective process that reoriented their country’s resources, economy, and education away from neo-colonial interests and towards their self-determination.

The archival collections on display are portals into this historical moment. A moment characterised by the emergence of Margret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan’s brand of capitalism. This is known today as neoliberalism – an economic system designed to privatise the public sector and transfer the production of consumer goods to the poorest countries at the cheapest possible cost. It was also a moment marked by international political struggles, from waves of working-class protests in the UK to an antiimperialist revolution in Nicaragua, and the making of a new revolutionary society in Mozambique. It is through the archival materials on display that we can witness how people have/can engage in politics and relate to the world.

This exhibition does not intend to rely on a timeline or lay claim to a single sequence of events. Rather, the exhibit enacts a set of open-ended questions: how can these materials be contextualised? What can be learned from them? What silences do they fill and where do silences remain? Are there teachings from this moment that can be applied to our present? And why isn’t Grenada referenced more widely?