What’s the value of the past in directing the future? Reliving an amazing memory.

Images Courtesy of Kwame Kwaten

Imagine you’re a relatively new UK band. Your sound is so funky that the the king of pop Michael Jackson calls you to be his opening act on his Dangerous tour at Wembley, London. I mean what a thing!

Imagine the band’s leader who today is a star producer, entrepreneur and consultant who’s worked Mick Jagger, Seal, Jay-Z, Tom Jones, Beverley Knight.. (long list), listens back on an interview of that incredible event

Kwame Kwaten’s response was that this was:“Proper Black Memory” in this 1 min (trailer) clip.

The background to this story and some. In 2020, lock down, I came across some archive from a programme I co-produced and presented on BBC Greater London Radio in the 1990s called Black London.

When I left the station, they’d dumped all the programme’s recordings. I kept the odd interview like the one you’re listening to. But thirty years later in my garage I discover I kept a trove of recordings. My friend, an expert Archivist and producer Jose Velazquez, MA has a plan. Let’s pitch it to FIAT/IFTA who are involved in restoring archive. It’s a global competition. The archive makes it.

We then set about preping the find. Jose at my house indexing to make them ready. Yesterday at the MeCCSA-PGN BBC 1922–2022 navigating the waves of change conference at the University of Bedford, I tell our story

There are an incredible array of super stars and political issues from that era. Ozwald Boateng breaking into fashion, Kanye King remortgaging her house to set up something called the Mobo Awards. The first Black student to go to Oxford Uni under a new diversity scheme.

Comms experts like Ayesha Taylor-Camara Bernard Peter Achampong, Gemma Cairney, and Dr Carlton Brown PhD,MBA,PGDiP have commented on the value of archive around Black people.

We’ve got an idea and it involves next generation podcasts using Atmos Binaural in an immersive environment. Remember Stranger Things.

But what do you think it means? What’s its value? And how do you get to listen to some of the most extraordinary people and issues of yesterday that experts say frame where we are today?



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Dr. David Dunkley Gyimah

Creative Technologist & Associate Professor. International Award Winner Cinema journalist. Ex BBC/C4News. Apple profiled Top Writer,