People of Letters is the pilot project for Museum of Colour, a digital museum focused on the creative journeys of British people of colour.  The gallery is curated by David A. Bailey and the portrait subjects selected by Joy Williams and Samenua Sesher.

The project celebrates how writers of colour in the U.K have been encouraged and promoted over the past 250 years. It explores the memories and experiences of those who felt it was important to support these writers – and in doing so, creates new, tangible heritage for the nation. It is made up of four strands: Portraits, Films, Workshops and Performance.

The Portraits strand is a series of 25 new photographic portraits by Sharron Wallace Photography of a selection of individuals who made or are making significant contributions to supporting writers of colour.

The Film strand, in partnership with Reform The Funk, will expand upon the Portraits. The film subjects will each choose 6 objects from their life that reflect who they are today and how they got to this point.  Artefact photographs by Sharron Wallace Photography.

The Workshops strand is delivered in partnership with the Bodleian Library in Oxford. It explores how to improve access to existing catalogue and archive content, manuscript handling and curating an exhibition based on the written word.

The Performance strand comprises 10 writers of colour who each selected one artefact from the Pitt Rivers Museum to write a piece of work.  This strand culminated in one day of promenade performances, curated by Melanie Abrahams, in the Oxfordshire County Library and Pitt Rivers Museum on 20th September 2019.

This performance date will coincide with the Museum of Colour going live, with the first exhibition being the Portraits and Films from the People of Letters gallery and the commissioned poems from the Response gallery alongside images of the Pitt Rivers artefacts.

If you would like any further information about Museum of Colour, or People of Letters please contact Samenua and Germma on


We gratefully acknowledge the support of National Lottery Heritage Fund to this project.