Akeroyd Collection


Ingrid Pollard, Belonging in Britain, 2009-2022

Belonging in Britain (2009/22) combines images taken from family albums from the UK and the Caribbean with letters of a newly arrived migrant to 1950s London. On one level, the video poignantly evokes memories, emotions, and historic spaces, and on another, offers a poetic and political counter-mapping of the Atlantic. The artist’s own personal biography, experiences, and practice are woven into the broader historical narrative of photography and the post-war Black experience. The video includes written extracts from airmail letters sent from London to the Caribbean that describe the thrill of being in the city. Pollard has said of this; ‘I recall Raymond Williams’s key text, The Country and the City, where he evokes his journeys from rural Wales to cosmopolitan London. He writes of his ways of making sense of the contrasts between being newly arrived in the city and his connections to the former historic rootedness of his home’. The confluence of densely packed bodies, historic buildings, and reflections of home that recur in the work contribute to this sense of mapping by holding up ideas of dispersal and diasporic spaces. The editing gives a pace that allows us to consider ideas of movement; who can travel, where, and with what political and social consequences?

Duration8 minutes 30 seconds
Editionof 3 + 2 APs