Clement Siatous exhibition in Crawley Museum to celebrate Black History Month

As part of Diverse Crawley and Crawley Campaign Against Racism, artist Clement

Siatous presents the latest paintings from his on-going epic pictorial narrative of the

collective history of the Chagos Islands, Indian Ocean.

Clement Siatous was born in 1947 on the Chagos rIslands, a small isolated

archipelago in the middle of the Indian Ocean. He spent most of his childhood on

the island of Diego Garcia until he and his family were forcibly evicted. The entire

population was expelled by the British Government to make way for a US naval

base in 1973. The base on Diego Garcia, also known as Camp Justice or Footprint

of Freedom has become one of the most strategic, integral bases for the US global

War on Terror and known as a transit site for CIA rendition exercises.

Working with acrylic on canvas, Siatous renders a counterpoint to official and

traditional modes of record. He creates sequential canvases that draw from

memory, photography and film. Through his practice he reclaims ownership of his own history, while becoming a voice for his community in defying their culture’s


Siatous’s decision to paint is striking. It is partially about creating a counter-memory,

using one of the oldest technologies in the world - painting, to reassert the presence

and identity of a culture distrustful of newer imaging technologies with their guise of

objectivity. But it is also about an activist sense of time; the sum of the marks that

went into their own slow creation. Patience a radical gesture. - Jace Clayton,


Join the artist, local leaders and organizers for an opening reception on Saturday,

2nd October, from 12 noon to 4PM. MarieSabrina Jean will speak about Chagos

Island History and the culture of the Chagos community.

The exhibition is organised by Marie Sabrina Jean of The Chagos Refugees Group

UK, and curator Paula Naughton.

For more information


Artist Website:

Crawley Museum:

103 High St, Crawley RH10 1DD, United Kingdom

Diverse Crawley:

The Chagos Refugees Group website:

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