South London Black Music Archive (2012) was a project based on community archiving curated by Barby Asante and commissioned by Peckham Space in London. Asante worked with a group of young people from South London in order to encourage a mutual dialog between generations. She collected stories of the Youth about music and then asked them to have conversation with their parents. The Youth later created a sound piece on a vinyl called Legacy Tunes consisting of the most significant for both generations’ songs. The second part of the project was based on collecting from the public an archival material related to South London music scene like books, magazines, concert tickets and posters. All this material was shown with the reverence to museum pieces during exhibition at Peckham Space.  The archive celebrated an overlooked influence of black music on the development of popular music and told the story of multicultural relationships.  The format of an archive give a higher rank to the subject which was underestimated, overlooked. Significant part of the exhibition was the map of South London with music venues, record shops and street corners. The map encourages dialogue between races and cultures in a creative arena, being a dominant part of the space. The Archive will be shown at Tate, and after that some of this material will go back to people. The rest will be probably donated to the Black Cultural Archives.

Images in order of appearance:

The South London Black Music Archive map of South London, Credit: Culture24


Barby Asante


South London Black Music Archive launch