Home is Not a Place, Johny Pitts and Roger Robinson
A gorgeously produced, hugely original examination of Black Britishness in the 21st century.
What is Black Britain? In 2021, award-winning poet Roger Robinson and acclaimed photographer Johny Pitts rented a red Mini Cooper and decided to follow the coast clockwise in search of an answer to this question. Leaving London, they followed the River Thames east towards Tilbury, where the Empire Windrush docked in 1948. Too often, that is where the history told about Black Britain begins and ends – but Robinson and Pitts continued out of London, following the coast clockwise through Margate to Land’s End, Bristol to Blackpool, Glasgow to John O’Groats and Scarborough to Southend on Sea. Here, the authors found not only Black British culture long overlooked in official narratives of Britain, but also the history of Empire and transatlantic slavery to which every Briton is tethered.
Home Is Not a Place is the spectacular result of the journey they documented: a free-form composition of photography, poetry and essays that offers a book-length reflection upon Black Britishness – its complexity, strength and resilience – at the start of a new decade.
Originally commissioned through the Ampersand/Photoworks Fellowship, with support from Ampersand Foundation and Photoworks.
This beautiful, haunting, thought-provoking fusion of poetry and photography offers us layers of society, the self, the subconscious and Britishness from a Black perspective.
It’s a book I will return to again and again
-Bernardine Evaristo, Booker Prize-winning author of Girl, Woman, Other
Home is Not a Place has echoes of The Sweet Flypaper of Life (…) It is a thing of brilliance, with its own immersive energy, pulling the reader in and allowing them to wander around the world of Black Britain created on these pages. In the authors’ hands, the quotidian becomes transcendent. Robinson’s words are as careful as they are masterful; Pitt’s casual gaze is warm and conversational. This is a book I have been waiting for
-Caleb Azumah Nelson, Costa Book Award-winning author of Open
Published in 2022
170mm x 221mm
160 pages, extensive colour and b&w photos
Images by Syl Ojalla