The title of this exhibition, similarly to our namesake, is borrowed from the 1956 novel ‘The Lonely Londoners’ by Sam Selvon. Much like us, Selvon made it a priority to represent the underrepresented. He told the stories of working-class Caribbean immigrants and how they navigated through London streets with signs that proclaimed ‘keep the water white’. It is upon this history we model ourselves, to resist and exist every day and claim a city that belongs to us too. We discover both the limitations and freedom of movement as well as the need create a community of solace and inspiration.
This desire for a communal meeting place is expressed by many of the characters. Big City, explains that if he wins the football pools, he would “buy out a whole street of house, and give it to the boys and say: ‘Here, look place to live’.. I would put a notice on all the boards: 'Keep the Water Coloured, No Room for Whites’.”