Sarah Okpokam

Sarah Okpokam


Thesis Title

In Plain Sight: Photography and the Black diaspora in Liverpool 1848 – 1948


University of Liverpool


Professor Michelle Henning
Dr Wallis Motta

Research Summary

My research will critically explore representations of the Black presence and ‘lived experience[s] of Blackness’ (Fanon, 1986:109-140) in Liverpool and its Black communities, as articulated through photographic images. Through comprehensive archival analysis, my research will seek to demonstrate the existence and nature of pre-1948 photography, with a special focus on works by people of colour; its contexts of production and use; and evaluate existing approaches to interpretation and archiving. Contributing to anti-racist conversations in cultural institutions rekindled by the Black Lives Matter movement, I aim to collaboratively inform interpretive, archiving and cataloguing practices that shape the global story of Liverpool and indeed, Britain.

Research Interests

Black history,
archival and interpretive practice,
cultural representation and collaborative design.


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