Inspired by Chiedza Mhondoro’s contribution to the Rossettis exhibition catalogue Sensitivity and Possibility: Reading Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s The Beloved Through Fiction. This event will showcase and bring together authors who also blur the lines between fiction and history with writing that expands upon existing narratives within art and society.
In Victorian England, the period that gave rise to the Rossettis, mainstream culture and society rarely engaged with minority and marginalised groups and had a tendency to stereotype and exoticise them. In The Rossettis exhibition are a series of portrait studies by Dante Gabriel Rossetti of working class people who he employed to sit for his painting The Beloved. Two women and three children are people of colour: Roma, Black or of mixed heritage. Chiedza Mhondoro’s contribution to the exhibition’s catalogue seeks to imagine the life of the young servant boy who sat for The Beloved to counter the objectifying narratives of the time.
This event will feature discussion between authors that explore the boundary between historical and fictional writing chaired by Izabella Scott. There will be an opportunity for audience questions and answers towards the end of the discussion.