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For every pork chop there's a frying pan by Esiri Erherine-Essi

For every pork chop there's a frying pan by Esiri Erherine-Essi

©The artist

This image of two activists was taken from the 1968 short documentary film Black Panthers by the Belgian-French film director Agnès Varda. The film focuses on the Black Panther Party in Oakland, California, during protests over the arrest of Black Panther co-founder Huey P Newton for the alleged murder of police officer John Frey in 1967. Newton was initially convicted of manslaughter but charges were later dropped. In the background there is a printed image from 1981 of black protestors at the New Cross Fire March, shouting at police officers who were overseeing the demonstration.

The New Cross House Fire refers to the arson of a house in New Cross, South London where a group of young black people had a party. The fire that killed 13 people aged 14-22 was started early in the morning of Sunday 18 January and no one was ever arrested for the murders. It is generally believed that the fire was started by members of the far-right group The National Front who were aggressively ‘patrolling’ the area.

The New Cross House Fire and the hostility and indifference of the white population to the murders sparked a strong community-based protest and invigorated political activism and resistance. Two months after the New Cross Fire, on 2 March 1981 some 20,000 people marched over a period of eight hours through London, carrying placards that bore statements including: "13 Dead, Nothing Said”.

This work was made in June 2020 just after the first lockdown in The Netherlands was lifted. It is, in part, a response to the global Black Lives Matters protest marches that happened in the summer of 2020, which were fuelled by the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd at the hands of white American police officers.