Neil Kenlock’s Expectations Project supported by HLF.
The Expectations Heritage Lottery Fund project aims to increase public awareness and access to the archive collection of black British community leaders taken by photographer Neil Kenlock. Kenlock’s collection covers two decades, from the 1960s to the 1970s, giving a unique insight to the lives and experiences of the first generation, African Caribbean leaders who settled in UK and influenced the community particularly in Lambeth and the surrounding boroughs.
70 years on from the arrival of the Empire Windrush into Great Britain, the ‘Expectations’ exhibition project celebrated British Black community leaders, many of whom come from that same Windrush generation. The photographic images featured in the project celebrate the 70-year anniversary of the Windrush and a selection of these images have been displayed at the Black Cultural Archives since 2018, with three themes of challenges, collaboration and change. ‘Expectations’ includes some breath-taking images from Kenlock’s vault, including the notorious ‘Keep Britain White’ photo that depicted the resistance to Black immigration. Funded by a grant of £79,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the ‘photographic building take over’ exhibition has been curated by acclaimed photographer Neil Kenlock and his daughter and curator Emelia Kenlock.
The project was based in the heart of Brixton, Lambeth and created to raise awareness of untold stories from Black British culture, as well as give access to younger generations and spark discussion, ‘Expectations’ invites the community to respond and share their ideas and impressions of the photographs. The series of exhibitions comprised of photography from the archives of Neil Kenlock himself, once the official photographer of the British Black Panthers and founder of Choice FM. There were also a series of public talks led by Neil. He states, “Many young Black people from our community only engage with heritage when they visit museums during their educational studies. This project aims to give access to examples of Black leadership, as well as archive material outside of the normal educational environment. ”