A new exhibition that aims to redefine black masculinity is opening in celebration of Black History Month. Curated by artist and multimedia storyteller Jonah Batambuze, the experiential exhibit is called The Black Male Is ________, and features authentic, diverse stories about black men. ‘Throughout our lives, black men appear invisible in mainstream society unless connected with negativity,’ Jonah tells Metro.co.uk.
‘The goal of the exhibition is to expose people to more complex stories about black males, contrary to what they may have seen in the media.’ Jonah says the exhibition is fully inclusive and features work by a diverse range of artists, including art, panel discussions on mental health and black fatherhood, and music. ‘I want to inspire children and adults to dream and to know it’s okay to be unapologetically black,’ says Jonah.
‘Black masculinity to me is something that is fluid and whatever we want it to be. Hence, the concept of the exhibition. ‘For example, It’s okay to be an artist rather than an athlete. And, it’s okay to show sensitivity instead of restricting our emotions.’ Jonah thinks it’s important for black men to create their own expectations of themselves and stop trying to live up to other people’s ideas of who they are. ‘I want people to understand that there are many different layers associated with being a black male. And, as much as some people may think we’re all the same, we are entirely different.’
Jonah’s exhibition is about reclaiming the narrative of black men and chipping away at archaic, damaging tropes. ‘For too long, The story of the black male has been mistold by others,’ he says.
Tickets available on: Eventbrite
Featured artists include:
Eria Nsubuga, Kourtney Paul, Daniel Oduntun, Jess Mally, DJ Snuff, Secret of Manna, Jonah Batambuze, Djoffrey Makumbu, Lolie Darko, Special Guests
05:00 PM – 07:30 PM Exhibition & Pop-Up opens
07:30 PM – 07:45 PM Break
07:45 PM – 08:45 PM Believe the Hype — Black Fatherhood Is Flourishing panel
08:45 PM – 09:00 PM Break
09:00 PM – 09:45 PM Secret of Manna DJ set
09:45 PM – 11:00 PM DJ Snuff set