About Hidden Presence UK

The Hidden Presence initiative was founded by Dr Shawn Sobers, Ruth Hecht and Rob Mitchell in 2009, growing out of the Re:Interpretation research project, in partnership between Firstborn Creatives, National Trust and English Heritage.

Finding out about the fascinating stories of Black people who lived in Britain before the 20th Century, they became inspired to take this work forward and commission creative responses to these untold pieces of history.

To date three key projects have taken place under the Hidden Presence banner, with additional smaller initiatives happening in other sites.

Click on the links in the menu above to find out more about the projects that have taken place. 

Partner organisations of Hidden Presence have included:
(in alphabetical order);

Arts Council Wales


Bath & North East Somerset Council

Bath Record Office

Black Families Education Support Group

Cardiff Council

Caroline Bressey – The Equiano Centre

Centre for Moving Image Research – UWE

Chepstow Museum

Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Local Study Group (Chair – Terry Bracher)

Chippenham Museum and Heritage Centre

Diffusion – Cardiff International Festival of Photography

East Tytherton Heritage Project

English Heritage

Eva Sajovic


Firstborn Creatives

Heritage Lottery Fund

Dr Iain Biggs

Julian Germain

Monmouthshire Council

National Trust

Nigel Pocock

Penney Ellis

Photography Research Group – UWE

Pound Arts Centre

PLaCE International

Ruth Hecht Arts Agency

Signifier UK Think Tank

SEEME Wiltshire

University of the West of England, Bristol

Wiltshire Council