A new mural celebrating the 1981 Brixton Uprising by R.A.D Mural Collective

Entitled “The Wall of Respect for the Radical Histories of Railton Road” the mural commemorates the 40 year anniversary of the Brixton Uprisings of the 1980’s. It features on the side of the newly redeveloped 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning on Railton Road and has been led by Jacob V Joyce, afro futurist illustrator, art activist and muralist.

On the 10th of April 1981 Brixton became a battleground as communities unleashed their frustration at a climate of racism and police harassment. Railton Road, once referred to as ‘the front line’ housed  many radical activist groups who stood against racism, sexism and homophobia in the post war period. The UK Chapter of the Black Panther Party, The Brixton Black Women’s Group, The Race Today Collective and the Gay Liberation Front were all based in the area.

The mural draws inspiration from these local histories of resistance as well as broader Pan African opposition to injustice, police brutality and systemic oppressions. These include a banner from local activist group B.A.S.H (Black People Against State Harassment) and revellers from the 1881 Canboulay uprising in Trinidad & Tobago.

The mural is a work of joy and pride. Based on an initial design by Jacob V Joyce and Monique Jackson, the work evolved through the process of painting and speaking with residents to reflect community voices. It was commissioned to coincide with the re-opening of the 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning following major redevelopment of the site. The new building offers greatly extended education resources, with the mural as a learning resource to chronicle and amplify historical anti-racist narratives.

Artists Ailsa Yexley, Parastou Miri, Hannah Catherine Jones, Iman Mahdy, Buki Bayode, Sola Olulode worked together with Jacob V Joyce and Monique Jackson, as a team of mural painters over several weeks and decided off the back of this to form R.A.D (Reanimating Archives of the Diaspora ) Mural Collective to continue collaborating and creating public artwork.

As a learning resource to help you find out more about the radical histories of Railton Road we have spotlighted 19 key points in the mural; people, locations and groups. This interconnected local and global timeline places Black and Brown British anti-racist activism in dialogue with global struggles against colonial and state police violence. The hyperlinked list of articles and archives below is by no means an extensive account of all the histories but we hope it will be a useful starting point to further conversations and research.


Click each link to find out more

  1. Rotimi Fani Kayode ‘Bronze Head’ 1987

  2. Rasta in doorway taken from archival photo of Railton Road 1980’s

  3. Brixton Women’s Centre

  4. Black and White Cafe Bristol  

  5. Sound System Culture

  6. Fire Breather and Stick Fighter from Canboulay Riots Trinidad and Tobago. 

  7. Liz Obi and Olive Morris

  8. Cherry Groce 

  9. Darcus Howe

  10. Firefighters taking the knee at 2020 Black Lives Matter Protest

  11. Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana 

  12. Southhall Uprising

  13. CLR James Supplementary School

  14. 121 Books and Squatters

  15. Brixton Black Panthers

  16. Pearl Alcock 

  17. The Front Line Blue Plaque 

  18. Bash (Black People Against State Harassment)

  19. Archival photo of young boy Skating through the Riots 1981