David Dabydeen: Turner Overturned - Art and the Literary Vision of David Dabydeen

David Dabydeen’s ‘Turner’, written in response to Turner’s famous painting of 1840, ‘Slavers Throwing Over the Dead and the Dying’, is a masterful reworking of the painting originally celebrated for its composition and colour – Ruskin noted the ‘genius’ with which he illuminated the turbulent sea and sky during a typhoon – in which critical process the slaves whose lives were cast aside so easily in the hopes of a successful insurance claim were quite forgotten.

In Dabydeen’s poem, this process is reversed and the “slaves who have been drowning in Turner’s sea for centuries” are given a voice – the voice of the poem’s speaker, a child Dabydeen names Turner.

Originally published in 1994, Dabydeen’s poem has a particular contemporary resonance at a time when once more, victims of inhumane situations face enormous peril travelling by sea.

(David Dabydeen’s participation in the Festival is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Unilever Foods.)

FGLF

Event Gallery

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Photography by The Fotocube

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