News Story

Vanley Burke is a British Jamaican photographer and artist. He is one of the UK’s leading Black artists of the commonwealth generation, and his work has been exhibited in museums and art galleries worldwide.

He was born in St. Thomas, Jamaica in 1951 and moved to the Handsworth, Birmingham at the age of 14 in 1965. A couple of years later he began to take photographs that documented the lives of Black people in Handsworth.

‘Rivers of Birminam’, his collection of 100 black and white photographs chronicling 40 years of Caribbean heritage in Birmingham, were acquired by Birmingham Museums Trust in 2017. The images have been described as the “greatest photographic document of Caribbean people in post-war Britain”. We asked Vanley to select and talk about some of the ‘Rivers of Birminam’ photographs for this video.


Blood & Fire: Our Journey Through Vanley Burke's History, Soho House Museum

The Blood & Fire exhibition features images and archival material from Vanley Burke's personal collection. It takes visitors on a journey through the artist’s history and the Black British experience. It is open at the Soho House visitor centre from 1 June 2023 until 4 Nov 2023 on Thursday and Fridays.

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