Down at the Bamboo Club
2008 - 2009

Down at the Bamboo Club project explores legacy through participation, historic sites and events with 3 commissions, an exhibition and a publication.

Down at The Bamboo Club: Film, participation and re-enactment was developed by Picture This as a response to national and city wide projects marking the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery act.

Picture This was keen to develop participatory projects involving re-enactment through workshops and community events. Re-enactments offer sensitive ways to link to diverse communities and gain newly produced material. Re-enactment is a means of expression that has sympathies with oral traditions of storytelling. It has the potential to reconcile the dynamics of contemporary and historical perspectives of slavery and to respond to the specific site, place and context of Bristol.

Through a period of research and development Picture This invited artist Harold Offeh to start conversations with three organisations in the city with links to sites and moments in the city's history of slavery, abolitionism and community relationships - The Georgian House, Wesley's New Room and the Bristol Black Archives Partnership.

These conversations developed into a brief to three commissioned artists (Barby Asante, Mandy McIntosh and Mark Wilsher) to produce new film and video works with communities and partner sites.

Following the commissions Picture This curated an exhibition bringing together the three new works with existing film and video pieces which share ideas of legacy, re-enactment and community.


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Mandy McIntosh

Mandy McIntosh is a Glasgow based artist who uses an array of media: animation, video and knitting in the development of her projects.

Mark Wilsher

Mark Wilsher is an artist, curator and writer currently based in Norwich. His practice incorporates, sculpture, drawing and performance.

Barby Asante

Barby Asante explored the cultural legacy of Bristol’s Bamboo Club and worked with its rich social and oral history in Bamboo Memories.

The Use of Money

Artist Mark Wilsher explores the links between John Wesley's famous speech and Bristol's Cabot Circus development.