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Water with small waves and ripples

Libita Sibungu

Sonic poem

Art at Bristol Beacon focusses on the physicality of sound and making relevant connections to our heritage. The history of Bristol Beacon is tied to the history of our city. That history includes our city’s role in the transatlantic slave trade and our inherent connection to water, the harbour and the sea.

In ‘Undercurrents’, a sonic poem created by Libita Sibungu, Bristol Beacon’s history and our position on the water is re-contextualised in resonance with African diasporic experiences and Afrofuturism.

Developed collaboratively through a series of workshops with black artists, writers and historians with a connection to Bristol, Libita has created an audio artwork that amplifies the hidden histories and memories of people of colour in the city.

Undercurrents takes inspiration from; ‘Ruttier for the Marooned in the Diaspora’ a poem by Dionne Brand, in her seminal 2002 novel: ‘A Map To The Door of No Return’.


Libita Sibungu, 2023

Medium: Audio

The audio artwork will be available to listen to from 25 January 2024.

Produced by Prince Taylor. Curated for Bristol Beacon by Field Art Projects

About the artist

Libita Sibungu

A person with short dark hair wearing hoop earrings and white overalls stands against a wooden bannister in warm light

I’ve always felt a tension around this city and in particular our relationship or non-relationship to the transatlantic slave trade.”

Libita Sibungu, 2023

Libita Sibungu is an interdisciplinary artist who draws on her British-Namibian heritage to make discursive works that explore personal histories and colonial legacies inscribed in the body and land. Often creating audio-visual outcomes rooted in performance, collage and sound ecologies, Libita’s work seeks to usher subversive pathways into the present through reimagining materiality, movement and collective healing in relationship to the environment.

She is the (2022) recipient of both the Paul Hamlyn and Arts Foundation Future awards. Exhibitions have been presented with; Kunsthall Trondheim, Norway (2023); Sonsbeek, Netherlands, (2021); Spike Island, Gasworks, (UK), Cabaret Voltaire, Switzerland, (2019); Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg (2018); Diaspora Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale (2017).

Kayle Brandon

An interdisciplinary artist and educator who works within public and social contexts. Making works which are embedded in specific sites, places and communities. Brandon is interested in the role of art within the everyday and works to engage audiences in several ways from intentional participation through to the incidental witness.


Imani Mason Jordan

An interdisciplinary writer, artist, editor and facilitator based in London. They are one half of the artistic and curatorial collaboration Languid Hands, who were the Curatorial Fellows at Cubitt (2020–22) and curators of the LIVE programme for FRIEZE 2021.


Felix Taylor

South London based artist working with different audio media to create soundscapes and collages, for radio, installation and film. Felix’s work often explores themes of history, comfort and beauty through speech, environmental recordings, sound design and music. As of this year he has begun to explore audio based programming and procedurally generated audio. Previous work features include; soundscapes for NTS and 1020 radio, exhibition soundtracks at We The Curious museum (Bristol), workshops led at The Arnolfini (Bristol) and performances at The Jewish Museum (London).


Edson Burton

A poet and writer of drama for radio, stage and screen. His work has been produced by Show of Strength, Trinity Community Arts and the Bristol Old Vic. He is co-founder of Black theatre company Dip & Fall Back, and is a Bristol Old Vic Associate Artist.

His academic interests include Afrofuturism, the transatlantic slave trade, and race and representation. He has worked as a consultant and coordinator for national and regional history-based projects.


Valda Jackson

A multidisciplinary artist and a published writer. Jackson creates complex narratives that reflect and interrogate our past and present. Her work is about existence and survival, entitlement, and above all, dignity; themes which extend into her public art commissions, where the personal becomes universal.


Maria Christoforidou

An artist, writer and researcher. She was born in Zambia, grew up in Greece and has spent most of her adult life in the UK. The insoluble differences of these environments are powerful incentives toward theory. A lateral approach to critical theory of image, language and their combinations is the foundation of her practice. She uses research and collaboration in different formats – lectures, workshops, events, written and visual essays, publishing – to explore the political, physical and performative implications of writing and photography.


Shawn-Naphtali Sobers

Professor of Cultural Interdisciplinary Practice at University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). His work includes projects on legacies of slavery in Bristol, Bath, and Nottinghamshire; African presence in Georgian and Victorian Britain; disability and walking; Rastafari language and culture; and creative citizenship in social media.

His work has been exhibited and screened nationally and internationally, and he has directed and produced documentaries for BBC, ITV, and Channel 4. Principles relating to community media and participatory practice underpin much of his work. His book, Black Everyday Lives, Material Culture and Narrative: Tings in de House, was published in 2023.


Fozia Ismail

Founder and researcher at Arawelo Eats, a supper club which explores East African food and what it can mean for our understanding of belonging in a post-Brexit world. She has designed and delivered workshops/presentations for organizations such as Keep It Complex Serpentine Gallery, Jerwood Project Space and Tate.