Pogus Caesar

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Dr Pogus Caesar (born 1953)[1] is a British photographer, conceptual artist, archivist, author, curator, television producer and director. He was born in St Kitts, West Indies, and grew up in Birmingham, England.

Early life[edit]

Pogus Caesar was born on the Caribbean island of St Kitts and came to the UK at an early age, growing up in Birmingham, Great Britain. A self-taught artist, he took up painting seriously in his early 20s. Caesar developed his own technique by using simple pens and ink, composing his paintings with thousands of tiny dots. This minutely detailed use of a fountain pen meant that even the smaller works took several months to complete.

Career[edit]

During the early 1980s Caesar became director of the West Midlands Minority Arts Service. He was also the first Chairman of Birmingham International Film & Television Festival.[2] For the Arts Council of Great Britain he curated with Lubiana Himid and contributed to exhibitions by Black artists, including Into the Open (1984) and Caribbean Expressions in Britain (1986).

During the late 1980s Caesar began working in British television – originally as a journalist on Channel 4's Black on Black, then as producer and director of entertainment, sport and multicultural programmes for Central Television, Carlton Television and BBC. Radio programmes include Mr & Mrs Smith BRMB Radio and The Windrush E. Smith Show BBC West Midlands. In 1993 he founded a production company, Windrush Productions - programmes include I'm Black in Britain, Respect, Drumbeat and the award-winning multicultural series Xpress.

As a photographer and artist Caesar has worked in Spain, India, South America and Sweden and Denmark, South Africa, Albania and Jamaica, documenting diverse communities. Caesar's artwork and photographs have been acquired by the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), National Portrait Gallery, Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery represent important visual documents recording key figures in black British history. Caesar's first publication, Muzik Kinda Sweet, is a photography book featuring legendary black musicians including Lee "Scratch" Perry, Stevie Wonder and Grace Jones. The foreword for the book was written by Paul Gilroy and it was published by OOM Gallery Archive in 2010. Caesar's second book, Sparkbrook Pride (2011), consists of 70 black-and-white photos of residents of Sparkbrook. The book has a foreword written by Benjamin Zephaniah and an introduction by Paris-based photographer Nigel Dickinson. In 2015 his photographs documenting the Handsworth riots of 1985 was presented by the V&A at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. Caesar was featured in Jacqui MacDonald's book Portraits of Black Achievement: composing successful careers' (Lifetime Careers Ltd, 2001). The book included extended interviews with 70 black achievers, describing what it means to be black in Britain today. In 2018 Caesar was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Birmingham City University for his outstanding contribution to the visual arts. Caesar also made the list of '175 Brummies Who Inspire.' This includes inspirational people across arts, business, education, sports and science who either hail from Birmingham or have made a significant contribution to the City.

Exhibitions[edit]

Throughout the years Pogus Caesar has provided support and development for a host of educational and cultural initiatives regionally, nationally and internationally.

Television Production credits[edit]

  • Black On Black, Channel 4 1985–1986 Multi-cultural current affairs/entertainment series. Line Producer
  • Here & Now, Central Television, 1986–1989. Multi-cultural series, featuring Lenny Henry, Maya Angelou, Nigel Benn, Craig Charles, Omar Sharif, Carmen Munroe, James Baldwin. Presenter and Director
  • One World, Central Television. 1990–91. Multi-cultural series, featuring Al Sharpton, MC Hammer. Interviewer and Director
  • I'm Black in Britain, Central Television, 1993; 30-minute documentary investigating racism in Britain. Interviewees include John Tyndall of National Front. Interviewer and Director
  • Designer Babies, Central Television 1993. 30-minute documentary on Vitro Fertilization. Interviewees included Patrick Steptoe CBE & Professor Robert Winston. Co Producer and Interviewer
  • The Cook Report, Central Television 1994. 30-minute current affairs programme. Investigative Reporter
  • An Eye on X, Windrush Productions for Carlton Television/ACGB 1995. Short film on micro sculptor Willard Wigan. Producer and Director
  • Xpress, Windrush Productions for Carlton Television 1995 14 X 30-minute entertainment series featuring Sharron Davies, Derek Redmond, Mark Morrison, China Black, Rozalla, Ranking Roger of The Beat. Series Producer and Director
  • Edwin Starr: Agent 00 Soul, Windrush Productions for Carlton Television 1995. Documentary on American soul singer Edwin Starr. Producer and Director
  • Prince at The New Power Generation at the NEC, Windrush Productions for Carlton Television 1995. Short film on Prince and his band including interviews and concert footage. Producer and Director
  • Love in Kenya, Windrush Productions for Carlton Television 1995. English woman on holiday finds love and marriage with Kenyan man. Producer and Director
  • 15 Minute Meals", Windrush Productions for Carlton Television, 1995. Six chefs from around the world cook up local dishes in 15 minutes. Series Producer and Director
  • Respect, Carlton Television, 1995. 6 x 30-minute sports series, documentary on Heavyweight champion boxer Lennox Lewis. Series Producer and Director
  • Respect, Carlton Television, 1995. 6 x 30-minute sports series, documentary on British rugby player Martin Offiah. Series Producer and Director
  • Respect, Carlton Television, 1995. 6 x 30-minute sports series, documentary on Olympic athlete Judy Simpson. Series Producer and Director
  • Respect, Carlton Television, 1995. 6 x 30-minute sports series, documentary on Aston Villa footballer Tony Daley. Series Producer and Director
  • Respect, Carlton Television, 1995. 6 x 30-minute sports series, documentary on Olympic athlete John Regis. Series Producer and Director
  • Respect, Carlton Television, 1995. 6 x 30-minute sports series, documentary on disabled tennis player Diana Bowles. Series Producer and Director
  • Aaliyah Live in Amsterdam, Windrush Productions 1995 51-minute documentary on hip-hop superstar Aaliyah. Producer and Director
  • The A-Force, BBC TV Manchester, 1997. 6 x 60-minute entertainment series, lifestyle documentary featuring Jada Pinkett Smith, Dave Chappelle, John Singleton and Isaac Hayes in Toronto, Canada. Senior Producer and Director
  • The A-Force, BBC TV Manchester, 1997. 6 x 60-minute entertainment series, lifestyle documentary on AC Milan footballer George Weah in Italy. Senior Producer and Director
  • The A-Force, BBC TV Manchester, 1997. 6 x 60-minute entertainment series, lifestyle documentary on Liverpool footballer John Barnes. Senior Producer and Director
  • The A-Force, BBC TV Manchester, 1997. 6 x 60-minute entertainment series, Nas & The Fugees in Manchester. Senior Producer
  • Drumbeat, Carlton Television, 1999. 6 x 60-minute entertainment/current affairs series. Interviewees inc Lynden David Hall, Ruby Turner, Mr Vegas. Series Editor and Presenter

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pogus Caesar", Diaspora Artists.
  2. ^ a b Shannon, Roger (8 May 2008). "Life through a lens with Pogus Caesar". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
  3. ^ VIBES/Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.
  4. ^ Burning Images Exhibition, 2005.
  5. ^ * Handsworth Riots – Twenty Summers On", BBC, 28 October 2014.
  6. ^ "From Jamaica Row – Rebirth of the Bullring". Photographs of the development of Birmingham's Bullring OOM Gallery/Pogus Caesar.
  7. ^ The Art of Ideas.
  8. ^ Pattern Recognition exhibition, The City Gallery, Leicester.

External links[edit]