Made In Britain: Uncovering the life-histories of Black-British Champions in Cycling

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition

Abstract

The backdrop to this exhibition is Great Britain’s emergence over the last ten years as the leading force in International Road-Racing and Track Cycling competitions across the globe. Since 2012, British cyclists have enjoyed consecutive annual victories at the greatest bike race in the world – The Tour de France, whilst their multiple successes at the London 2012 Olympic Games and at the 2016 Rio Olympics saw them celebrated by the public and honoured by the establishment through a string of ‘BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards’; Knighthoods; Damehoods; MBEs, OBEs and CBEs. This has been declared a ‘golden-age’ for cycling in Britain. It is this exclusive discourse of acclaim, associated with elite Road-Racing and Track Cycling in Britain on which this exhibition is positioned, alongside common observations of Road-Racing and Track Cycling as being ‘whites only’ sports in participation. The absence of Black-British Road-Racing and Track cycling champions representing their country of birth - Great Britain in elite and international levels of competition is a stark observation. Why is this?

Originating from research and fieldwork, this exhibition presents findings from the lives of former British, European and World Championship title winning cycling athletes, born in Britain, and of African or African-Caribbean parental heritage: ‘Black-British Champions in Cycling’. The stories of their competitive cycling span over fifty years: from the 1970s to the current date. What are their backgrounds? How did they enter the sport of cycling? Who were their mentors? What were their breakthrough achievements to the elite world of cycling? How do they articulate their successes and the barriers in their careers? What are their views on representation and identity in cycling? How were they ‘Made in Britain’? Their oral testimonies, photographs and memorabilia are exhibited to assist with providing some answers to the questions above.

By centring the life-histories of Black-British champion cyclists within the ‘golden-age’ of British cycling, this exhibition seeks to provide viewers with an opportunity to consider what appears as an interplay between elite cycling; representation; whiteness; nationalism and the persistence of racism.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2018
EventMade In Britain: Uncovering the life-histories of Black-British champions in cycling - Grand Parade Galleries, University of Brighton, BN2 0JY, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Dec 201820 Dec 2018
https://www.instagram.com/blackchampions_/

Keywords

  • Cycling
  • Representation
  • Nationalism
  • Black-British
  • Racism

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  • Activities

    • 1 Invited talk

    Made in Britain: Uncovering the Life-Histories of Black British Champions in Cycling

    Marlon Moncrieffe (Presenter)

    12 Dec 2019

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk

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