Revolution 19-21

Free School: Poetry, Carnival, Politics

curated by Ian Sergeant

5 – 7 September 2013

Poetry, Carnival, Politics aims to interrogate notions of art, revolution and the controversial figure that was Michael X, through music, film and spoken word.

The programme explores the complexities of the burgeoning black community’s experience of life in Britain during the 50s and 60s – socially, culturally and economically. The programme adopts the principal of the revolutionary ‘London Free School’, a community action group launched in 1966 in Notting Hill, opening up Vivid Projects space for artists and the public to create their own dialogue.


Thursday 05 September, 6.30pm
SCREENING: Who Needs a Heart? [dir John Akomfrah, Black Audio Film Collective]. 

Who Needs a Heart? is a parable of political becoming and subjective transformation and one of Black Audio Film Collective’s most controversial films.

The film explores the forgotten history of British Black Power through the fictional lives of a group of friends caught up in the metamorphoses of the movement’s central figure; the countercultural anti-hero, activist and charismatic social bandit Michael Abdul Malik, formerly known as Michael X and christened Michael De Freitas, who left England in 1970 and was tried and executed for his role in an unsolved murder in Trinidad in 1975.

Running time: 78 mins. Courtesy LUX.

Friday 06 September, 6.30 – 10pm
An evening of film and music curated by Ian Sergeant


A collaborative performance between DJ, musician and composer Bobbie Gardner, artist Matt Watkins and dub-griot Kokumo, revealing the contrasting incarnations of the protagonist from Michael De Freitas to Michael X to Michael Abdul Malik.

Jerk Chicken and Rum Punch available from 6.30pm.
Tickets £3 on the door.

Saturday 07 September, 10.30am – 2pm

Who Am I? is all about bringing young people together to experience, explore and express through art, who they are and what it means to be a citizen in this country. Participants are invited to work with an artist from one of the following fields – photography, poetry/ spoken word, drawing or painting.

For this event, the workshop will bring together participants from Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell and Wolverhampton to discuss and share some of their ideas and experiences to date as part of the project.

Michael X at Paddington Station By HORACE OVE' CBE