The Sound of Music Migrations In Paris And London (1962-1989)

These images of protest and partying in Paris and London show how several generations of immigrants from two former colonial powers, seized music to make their rights equal, claim their place in the public space and help transform both the urban economic and cultural aspects of both countries.

Dancing at the Electric Ballroom, London, 1983 Photograph: © Pierre Terrasson

Dancing at the Electric Ballroom, London, 1983 – Photograph: © Pierre Terrasson

‘Midnight to six man / For the first time from Jamaica / Dillinger and Leroy Smart Delroy Wilson, your cool operator’ – The Clash, (White Man) In Hammersmiths Palais (1978)

These images of protest and partying in Paris and London were pulled together for an exhibition at the Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration. They recall the potent mix of migration, music, anti-racism and political activism that reshaped the cultures of France and Britain since the early 1960s.

From the beginning of the 1960s to the end of the 1980s, multiple musical trends linked to migratory flows transformed Paris and London into multicultural capitals… The exhibition shows how several generations of immigrants, in these two former colonial powers, seized music to make their rights equal, claim their place in the public space and contribute to transformations both urban economic and cultural aspects of both countries.

 

A nightclub in Cable Street, London, 1964, originally shot for the Observer magazine Photograph: © Ian Berry/Magnum Photos

A nightclub in Cable Street, London, 1964, originally shot for the Observer magazine
Photograph: © Ian Berry/Magnum Photos

 

The playlist is a cracker, a composite blend of such notables as: Poly Styrene’s reggae-punk, Manu Dibango’s makossa, Cheikha Rimitti’s vintage rai, Desmond Dekker’s ska, Soul II Soul’s R & B, Salif Keïta’s Mandingo, Millie Small’s beat, Noura’s Algerian song, Rachid Taha’s punk without borders, Asian Dub Foundation’s Asian underground, Papa Wemba’s rumba rock, Aswad’s roots reggae, Dahmane El Harrachi’s chaâbi, Linton Kwesi Johnson’s dub poetry, Kassav’s zouk, Neneh Cherry’s electro-rap, Alpha Blondy’s afro-reggae, Bob Marley’s legendary reggae, Khaled’s modern rai, mixed-metal rock Green Negresses, Vigon’s rhythm’n’blues, King Sunny Ade’s juju music …

 

Protests in Brick Lane, London, after a racist murder in 1978 Photograph: © Syd Shelton

Protests in Brick Lane, London, after a racist murder in 1978
Photograph: © Syd Shelton

Rock Against Racism, 1984 Photograph: © Bertrand Huet / Tutti/Collection François Guillemot

Rock Against Racism, 1984
Photograph: © Bertrand Huet / Tutti/Collection François Guillemot

A poster for a ‘Rock Against Police’ concert in Paris, 1980 Photograph: © Bertrand Huet / Tutti/Last Siou - Collection François Guillemot

A poster for a ‘Rock Against Police’ concert in Paris, 1980
Photograph: © Bertrand Huet / Tutti/Last Siou – Collection François Guillemot

The cover of Temporary Hoarding fanzine, the Rock Against Racism Carnival issue, 1978 Photograph: © Bertrand Huet / Tutti/Collection particulière

The cover of Temporary Hoarding fanzine, the Rock Against Racism Carnival issue, 1978
Photograph: © Bertrand Huet / Tutti/Collection particulière

March for equality and against racism in Paris, 1983

March for equality and against racism in Paris, 1983

Dancing at Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1975 Photograph: © Chris Steele Perkins/Magnum photos

Dancing at Notting Hill Carnival, London, 1975
Photograph: © Chris Steele Perkins/Magnum photos

Ugandan singer Constance Mullando, London, 1966 Photograph: © James Barnor / Galerie Clémentine de la Ferronière

Ugandan singer Constance Mullando, London, 1966
Photograph: © James Barnor / Galerie Clémentine de la Ferronière

Dancing at the Electric Ballroom, London, 1983 Photograph: © Pierre Terrasson

Dancing at the Electric Ballroom, London, 1983
Photograph: © Pierre Terrasson

Drum cover model Marie Hallowi in Trafalgar Square, London, 1966 Photograph: © James Barnor / Galerie Clémentine de la Ferronière

Drum cover model Marie Hallowi in Trafalgar Square, London, 1966
Photograph: © James Barnor / Galerie Clémentine de la Ferronière

The BBC’s first black broadcaster, Mike Eghan, at Piccadilly Circus, London, 1967 Photograph: © James Barnor / Galerie Clémentine de la Ferronière

The BBC’s first black broadcaster, Mike Eghan, at Piccadilly Circus, London, 1967
Photograph: © James Barnor / Galerie Clémentine de la Ferronière

Misty in Roots on stage at a Rock Against Racism gig, 1979 Photograph: © Syd Shelton

Misty in Roots on stage at a Rock Against Racism gig, 1979
Photograph: © Syd Shelton

Paul Simonon of the Clash performs at the Rock Against Racism concert at Victoria Park, London in April, 1978 Photograph: © Syd Shelton

Paul Simonon of the Clash performs at the Rock Against Racism concert at Victoria Park, London in April, 1978
Photograph: © Syd Shelton

A Kabyle dancer in the district of Barbès, Paris, 1955 Photograph: © Pierre Boulat - Musée national de l'histoire de l'immigration, Palais de la Porte Dorée Paris

A Kabyle dancer in the district of Barbès, Paris, 1955
Photograph: © Pierre Boulat – Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration, Palais de la Porte Dorée Paris

Reportage pour le centre d Çducation civique des Africaines Ö Paris Etudiant et sa femme devant le PanthÇon 1966 Ja

Paris 1966