Dr. Mark Sealy
Rivington Place

Autograph was founded in 1988 in London to support black photographic practices. Responding to the poor visibility of Black photographers, and in the context of debates about race and representation during the Margaret Thatcher era, it was formed as a collective forum by photographers including Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Sunil Gupta and Armet Francis.
Beginning in Brixton, Autograph, the Association of Black Photographers, launched an ambitious programme of exhibitions, publications and events, initiating projects in gallery spaces, museums, at festivals and other public sites, while campaigning for a permanent Black Photography Centre. It has built an extensive repertoire of projects and curatorial partners, delivering commissions, developing a permanent photography collection, and publishing books by photographers including Yto Barrada, Vanley Burke, Clement Cooper, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Joy Gregory, Ingrid Pollard, Bruno Boudjelal, Sammy Baloji and Fazal Sheikh. Dr. Mark Sealy has served as Autograph’s Director since 1991.

With the guidance of Stuart Hall, its Board chair, Autograph became a charity in 2007, and in the same year moved to a permanent purpose-built home: Rivington Place in Shoreditch, designed by architect Sir David Adjaye. Rivington Place showcase Autograph’s annual programme of exhibitions and events, houses its permanent collection and dedicated learning studio. Supported by grants from the Arts Council of England and others, and the sales of limited collectors’ editions, Autograph continues to publish and promote photography books by photographers exploring issues and ideas around race, identity, representation, human rights and social justice.