The Past Cannot be Cured

MA student Leah Henson explains the work she produced for our new module The Colonising Camera:

Leah-the past cannot be cured

“This project was designed to explore the idea of history, identity and heritage. The title, ‘The Past Cannot Be Cured’, is a quote from Elizabeth I. She was concerned with the number of black people in England and ordered that they should be deported to Spain and Portugal.”

“Through my research for the project, I felt that the historical representation of black people was rarely positive. I wanted to counter hegemonic representations and show a black woman in an empowering way – something that I hoped viewers would be able to identify with.”


“I combined other photographs with archival imagery of Victorian and Tudor patterns, and Victorian botanical drawings. This was designed to create a sense of a fusion of cultures and make the audience further consider their place in society and history.”

“Using the past to contextualise the present is a theme that I hope is apparent in my work. It is my intention that my work will promote discussion and that those who view my work will want to challenge hegemonic attitudes and reduce negative representations in art based on race and gender.”

Leah Henson

More work here:


About fieldnotesuclan

Produced by the BA and MA Photography programmes at UCLAN - the University of Central Lancashire
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