The Fifth Pan-African Congress Exhibition Autograph ABP exhibition

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Open from 16 July – 12 September 2015
Rivington Place, London, EC2A 3BA

Photo: John Deakin, Jomo Kenyatta, 1945. Courtesy Getty Images. © John Deakin/Picture Post/Getty Images

This is the first exhibition showing John Deakin’s photographs of the Fifth Pan-African Congress as a body of work.

The Fifth Pan-African Congress took place in Manchester in October 1945, five months after the end of the Second World War. The Congress demanded that European powers liberate hundreds of millions of Africans living under colonial rule, and passed radical measures condemning imperialism, racial discrimination and capitalism.

The fifth was the most influential of the seven Pan-African Congresses. It brought together key activists who would go on to shape liberation struggles, including Jomo Kenyatta, the first leader of Kenya after independence, and Kwame Nkrumah, who later led anti-colonial resistance in Ghana. Leading American civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois travelled from the USA to attend.

Although the British press scarcely covered the meeting, extraordinarily Picture Post sent celebrated Soho photographer John Deakin (1912-1972) to document the event, his only assignment for the magazine in his entire career. This exhibition is the first time these rarely seen photographs have been shown together as a body of work.

The Fifth Pan-African Congress will be open from 16 July – 12 September 2015. A Pan-African Film Installation will accompany the exhibition, screening a programme of films exploring Pan-African history and ideals.

Curated by Mark Sealy. Film Installation curated by June Givanni. The Fifth Pan-African Congress is produced in collaboration with the Hulton Archive, a division of Getty Images, who own the Picture Post archive.

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