Dear friends, colleagues, culture & art lovers,

I hope this email finds you well!

Please, allow me to share with you my latest newsletter, probably the last of 2021.

For more on my writing and reflections about art, multiculturalism, post-colonial history, activism, here are a few links and events to…

I’m so happy this artbook is now almost ready!! It was so wonderful to work with Arnolfini, especially Phil Owen.

I had such a great time as their writer in residence and the gallery really feels like my home. The book will be out in PDF and a few physically…

These Black Britons have produced some of the most thought-provoking and envelope pushing art for decades

This year sees an array of exhibitions by leading Black British artists, and as the writer in residence at Arnolfini in Bristol, Melissa Chemam shares her selection of five ground-breaking Black British artists.


The 87-year-old pioneering abstract British painter Frank Bowling is celebrated in three art venues during summer 2021, as he joined the Hauser & Wirth gallery.

The largest collection of his recent paintings in on display at Arnolfini, Bristol’s main art centre, in a show titled ‘ Land of Many Waters’…

The pioneering Lubaina Himid and Sonia Boyce paved the way for Black women artists in Britain. Both have incredible work on display this year that you absolutely must see.

Sonia Boyce’s exhibition In The Castle Of My Skin (11 June 2021–12 September 2021) is currently on show at MIMA —…

2021 is a great year of reckoning for many Black women artists in the UK, from the great winner of the 2017 Turner Prize Lubaina Himid to critically acclaimed Sonia Boyce, but also for young and upcoming artists. …

Melissa Chemam

19 July 2021

In the 80’s, Bristol was one of the pioneering graffiti art hotspots in the world and a new exhibition pays tribute to its history


A new exhibition at the M Shed museum in Bristol sheds a light on its exciting street art scene: “Vanguard…

By Melissa Chemam

All over the world, since the toppling of this one in Bristol, the ripple effect has been felt everywhere and people who had hardly heard of Bristol, UK, suddenly penned their opinion about a movement they had not seen coming. They didn’t know about Countering Colston, or…

  • By Melissa Chemam

At the esteemed Wagner Books, Nella is also the only Black employee and despite her two-year lobbying to instigate conversations on diversity, the literary world is anything but receptive.

That is… until “another Black girl” is finally hired. The stunning and confident Hazel left a job in…

One of my poems has been published this month of May 2021…

Heavenly Gardens

An enemy of our future

Is walking by at dawn.

Our city, darker and darker,

Violated by a gesture,

All broken, drowned and done.

Paris floats like a dreamer.

Its people have become ghosts,

Lost in fear and…

Melissa Chemam

Freelance journalist/writer, I’ve reported in 30 countries for the BBC, CBC, DW, magazines, on African-European relations, social change, arts, music & politics

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