Toxteth 1981

1st July 2011 - 1st July 2012
International Slavery Museum, Albert Dock

Reviewed by John Owen

A photography display marking the 30th anniversary of the Liverpool 8 riots held at the International Slavery Museum had an excellent turnout on its opening evening. A receptive crowd came to discuss the aftermath of these events and, despite the rather stifling conditions, they were rewarded for their patience with a sneak preview of the new book by Diane Frost on the subject, some of which were raffled.

Members of the public who engaged with the Writing on the Wall project earlier this year produced a short DVD of ‘vox pop’ style interviews, as well as images on the wall outside, to commemorate the occasion.

The discussion that followed from the floor was relevant to the point and in one way helped people let go of the events of the past whilst simultaneously preserving its legacy. Although heated at times, people asked in earnest what lessons had been learnt and the general response was that the gift for the future generation was the collective power of the community to resist oppression.

No matter what the government, police or others throw at people, the will to resist is strong and, in spite of poverty and hardship, racism will be rejected whether it be local or institutional. In the words of one of the poets "white right black wrong to discuss will be an argument".

The questions asked proved that the issue is still very much alive and the Merseyside Black History Month Group, who organised and created the successful night, had gauged well the public’s interest in the topic. They have created a new website for the event and are available for more information.

An amazing experience and great buffet to the delight of some. This event is well worth a visit by those who remember, took part or experienced it or were even a plainclothes policeman at the time.

10/10 for this exhibition and I look forward to seeing more as people continually add their own photos and personal experiences. All in all the evening proved that the fire of the explosive political event of 1981 might have died down but the embers inside still glow.

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Comments:

Comment left by Tanyamula on 20th December, 2011 at 20:15
Are you serious?

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