The Tetley The Tetley

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Past Projects

50 Years of Leeds West Indian Carnival

12 August – 5 November 2017

Exploring and celebrating the legacy of the Leeds West Indian Carnival with a mix of cultural, aesthetic and political displays including costume, film, sound and ephemera. Curated by Sonya Dyer, the exhibition reflected two journeys at the heart of Leeds Carnival: the journey of carnival from it's West African roots to Leeds via the Caribbean, and the journey of Leeds Carnival from humble beginnings to being a highlight in Leeds' cultural calendar.

Each gallery had a key object such as a photograph, costume or video that other items engaged with, pivoted around, contextualised or complicated. Going beyond simply celebrating the Leeds Carnival's 50th anniversary, the exhibition also situated it as a vital force in Leeds' history, the UK and across the Caribbean diaspora. The exhibition ran alongside Joseph Buckley's Brotherhood Tapestry exhibition at The Tetley and was part of a wider programme of events and activities scheduled across the city.

To find out more about future Leeds Carnival events, visit

In partnership with Leeds West Indian Carnival.
Supported by Heritage Lottery Fund.

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