International Slavery Museum – Beyond the Boundary

Viv-Richards-100Beyond The Boundary. 19 March 2010 – 13 February 2011. Exhibition explores cricket, culture, class and politics.
Beyond the Boundary is an exhibition of powerful and emotive photographs exploring aspects of cricket that have not been seen before. Beyond the Boundary explores the relationship between cricket, culture, class and politics and how it can be seen as a legacy of British imperialism and colonialism and, paradoxically, as a means of resistance against it.

Through photographs featuring cricketers such as Viv Richards, Paul Adams and Basil D’Oliveira, the exhibition celebrates contemporary players who, by playing in the boundary of the cricket pitch, broke the boundaries of racial apartheid. Beyond the Boundary explores the story of enslavement and oppression of people from the African Diaspora globally, and their deep connections with cricket.

The initial introduction of cricket to the Americas, Europe and Africa was a result of the transatlantic slave trade and colonialism. As the sport became more entrenched in the African Diasporas cultures it became a tool of resistance to the regime that had ironically first introduced it. These communities brought about their own identities in their struggle against the imposed boundaries of Empire, colonialism and Apartheid.

Despite exclusion from the elite “white game” throughout the Empire, by the second half of the 20th century the West Indies team became the undisputed world champions. They rode on the wave of nationalism which accompanied political independence in the 1960s, while at the same time Apartheid in South Africa isolated their team internationally.

Beyond the Boundary illustrates that the transatlantic slave trade holds a deep-rooted legacy that is evident and prevalent today. However, this exhibition is both emotive and dynamic in its demonstration of resistance to the elitism that was imposed on the African Diaspora.

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