n Image & Text : a Journal for Design - The Front Room ‘Inna Joburg' : a hybrid intervention

Volume 29 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1020-1491


The material culture of the front room, created by the Windrush generation from 1948 through to the 1960s, and later by black British families, expresses a shift from the “sacred” codes of respectability, propriety and decorum, to the “profane” stylistic signification of modernity and consumer culture. This dynamic formed the basis of an installation-based exhibition entitled The West Indian Front Room: Memories and Impressions of Black British Homes (WIFR) (2005-2006, Geffrye Museum, London) that I guest-curated. The exhibition evoked and invoked a range of responses from a diverse range of audiences. Many of the responses from black British visitors spoke to their lived experience of the material culture of the front room. In recognition of thetranscultural appeal of the installation, subsequent iterations of The Front Room (TFR) were staged in various locations, the most recent being an installation-based exhibition entitled The Front Room ‘Inna Joburg’ (TFRiJ) (2016, FADA Gallery, Johannesburg). Instead of focusing on the end product, in this article I concentrate on the process through which it was created, looking at how WIFR’s theoretical framework and other TFR iterations informed the curatorial intentions, as well as what practical strategies were developed to support the curation, production and public engagement activities of TFRiJ. Rather than seeing TFRiJ as a replication of WIFR, through this approach, I revisit the process that led to it becoming a “hybrid intervention”.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error