Wednesday, March 28, 2018 to Friday, September 28, 2018


Venue: Syon House, Brentford

In 1616, on her visit to England, Pocahontas was a guest at Syon House, the London home of the Dukes of Northumberland.  During the 2017 ORIGINS Festival, Border Crossings brought three Native American women to Syon House, to make a ceremony commemorating her presence there.  

Since the Festival, we have been working with a range of diverse volunteers, local schools and refugees to explore how Native American people have been represented to Western audiences, particularly through the photographic archives held at institutions like the British Library, the British Museum and the National Maritime Museum.  Often these photos show a cultural construction by the photographer - creating an image of Native Americans that appeals to a romantic colonialism, rather than reflecting the reality of the subjects' lives.  Our participants have responded with self-portraits that make themselves the subject of their own narratives, in a range of fascinating and beautiful images, displayed alongside the archive originals.  

The exhibition occupies the free Visitor Reception area, as well as the Print Room at Syon House. Click here to download the Exhibition Catalogue.

Click here for a blog post about the exhibiton.

For more information on Border Crossings' heritage projects around the ORIGINS Festival, see originsproject.org.uk

Archive Photo: The Misses Simeon - photo by Byron Harmon, 1907.  British Library.  Contemporary Photo: created by Rose Al Saria and photographed by John Cobb.