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Dr Pogus Caesar (born 1953) is a British photographer, conceptual artist, archivist, author, curator, television producer and director. He was born in St Kitts, West Indies, and grew up in Birmingham, England.
Pogus Caesar was born on the Caribbean island of St Kitts and came to the UK at an early age, growing up in Birmingham, Great Britain. A self-taught artist, he took up painting seriously in his early 20s. Caesar developed his own technique by using simple pens and ink, composing his paintings with thousands of tiny dots. This minutely detailed use of a fountain pen meant that even the smaller works took several months to complete.
During the early 1980s Caesar became director of the West Midlands Minority Arts Service. He was also the first Chairman of Birmingham International Film & Television Festival. For the Arts Council of Great Britain he curated with Lubiana Himid and contributed to exhibitions by Black artists, including Into the Open (1984) and Caribbean Expressions in Britain (1986).
During the late 1980s Caesar began working in British television – originally as a journalist on Channel 4's Black on Black, then as producer and director of entertainment, sport and multicultural programmes for Central Television, Carlton Television and BBC. Radio programmes include Mr & Mrs Smith BRMB Radio and The Windrush E. Smith Show BBC West Midlands. In 1993 he founded a production company, Windrush Productions - programmes include I'm Black in Britain, Respect, Drumbeat and the award-winning multicultural series Xpress.
As a photographer and artist Caesar has worked in Spain, India, South America and Sweden and Denmark, South Africa, Albania and Jamaica, documenting diverse communities. Caesar's artwork and photographs have been acquired by the Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A), National Portrait Gallery, Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery represent important visual documents recording key figures in black British history. Caesar's first publication, Muzik Kinda Sweet, is a photography book featuring legendary black musicians including Lee "Scratch" Perry, Stevie Wonder and Grace Jones. The foreword for the book was written by Paul Gilroy and it was published by OOM Gallery Archive in 2010. Caesar's second book, Sparkbrook Pride (2011), consists of 70 black-and-white photos of residents of Sparkbrook. The book has a foreword written by Benjamin Zephaniah and an introduction by Paris-based photographer Nigel Dickinson. In 2015 his photographs documenting the Handsworth riots of 1985 was presented by the V&A at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. Caesar was featured in Jacqui MacDonald's book Portraits of Black Achievement: composing successful careers' (Lifetime Careers Ltd, 2001). The book included extended interviews with 70 black achievers, describing what it means to be black in Britain today. In 2018 Caesar was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Birmingham City University for his outstanding contribution to the visual arts. Caesar also made the list of '175 Brummies Who Inspire.' This includes inspirational people across arts, business, education, sports and science who either hail from Birmingham or have made a significant contribution to the City.
- Pogus Caesar Paintings – Cartwright Hall, Bradford, 1985. Solo exhibition
- Instamatic Views of New York – National Museum of Film and Photography, Bradford, 1986. Solo exhibition
- Into The Open – Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, 1984 (as Curator/Exhibitor). Group exhibition
- Caribbean Expressions in Britain – The Leicestershire Museum and Art Gallery, 1986 Central Museum and Art Gallery, Northampton, 1986 Cartwright Hall, Bradford, 1987 (as Curator/Exhibitor). Group exhibition
- Break in the Seal – Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry, 1988. Joint exhibition
- Sharp Voices, Still Lives – Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 1990. Group exhibition
- Vibes: The Roots of Urban Music – Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry, 2004 / Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, 2005. Group exhibition
- Burning Images – Revolution Through The Lens – The Drum, Birmingham, 2005. Group exhibition
- Handsworth Riots - Twenty Summers On – OOM Gallery / BBC Mailbox, Birmingham, 2005. Solo exhibition
- From Jamaica Row – Rebirth of the Bullring – OOM Gallery, Birmingham, 2006. Solo exhibition
- Seeing Slavery – Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, 2007. Group exhibition
- Religion, Slavery and Diaspora – Horniman Museum & Garden, London, 2007. Group exhibition
- Trespassers Will Be Shot – Survivors Will Be Shot Again – Images of Joburg & Capetown – Friction Arts, Birmingham, 2007. Solo exhibition
- The Art of Ideas – Birmingham, UK, 2008. Group exhibition
- That Beautiful Thing – Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton, 2008. Solo exhibition
- That Beautiful Thing – Three White Walls Gallery, Birmingham, 2008. Solo exhibition
- From Jamaica Row – Rebirth of the Bullring – Kinetic AIU, Birmingham, 2008–09. Solo exhibition
- Muzik Kinda Sweet: Photographs 1985–2009 – Fazeley Studios, Birmingham, 2009. Solo exhibition
- Pattern Recognition – City Gallery, Leicester, 2009. Group exhibition
- Participation: The film and workshop movement 1979–1991 – VIVID Birmingham Exhibition and archive project, 2009
- South Africa – Brighter Flame – Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 2010. Solo exhibition
- Muzik Kinda Sweet – British Music Experience, O2, London, UK. 2011. Solo exhibition
- Reggae Kinda Sweet – Trinity Centre, Bristol, UK. 2012. Solo exhibition
- Reggae Kinda Sweet – The Drum, Birmingham, UK. 2013. Solo exhibition
- " Islands on the Edge" - Atlantic Wharf Gallery, Boston, USA, 2015. Group exhibition
- " Staying Power: V&A Museum - London UK 2015. Group exhibition
- " Within and Without: Body Image and the Self, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham, 2019. Group exhibition
- " Handsworth '1985' Revisited, Multi Site Installation with Benjamin Zephaniah, Birmingham, 2019. Joint exhibition
- " Inspiring Photographs: Collecting for the Future, National Portrait Gallery, London, 2019-2020. Group exhibition
Throughout the years Pogus Caesar has provided support and development for a host of educational and cultural initiatives regionally, nationally and internationally.
Television Production creditsEdit
- Black On Black, Channel 4 1985–1986 Multi-cultural current affairs/entertainment series. Line Producer
- Here & Now, Central Television, 1986–1989. Multi-cultural series, featuring Lenny Henry, Maya Angelou, Nigel Benn, Craig Charles, Omar Sharif, Carmen Munroe, James Baldwin. Presenter and Director
- One World, Central Television. 1990–91. Multi-cultural series, featuring Al Sharpton, MC Hammer. Interviewer and Director
- I'm Black in Britain, Central Television, 1993; 30-minute documentary investigating racism in Britain. Interviewees include John Tyndall of National Front. Interviewer and Director
- Designer Babies, Central Television 1993. 30-minute documentary on Vitro Fertilization. Interviewees included Patrick Steptoe CBE & Professor Robert Winston. Co Producer and Interviewer
- The Cook Report, Central Television 1994. 30-minute current affairs programme. Investigative Reporter
- An Eye on X, Windrush Productions for Carlton Television/ACGB 1995. Short film on micro sculptor Willard Wigan. Producer and Director
- Xpress, Windrush Productions for Carlton Television 1995 14 X 30-minute entertainment series featuring Sharron Davies, Derek Redmond, Mark Morrison, China Black, Rozalla, Ranking Roger of The Beat. Series Producer and Director
- Edwin Starr: Agent 00 Soul, Windrush Productions for Carlton Television 1995. Documentary on American soul singer Edwin Starr. Producer and Director
- Prince at The New Power Generation at the NEC, Windrush Productions for Carlton Television 1995. Short film on Prince and his band including interviews and concert footage. Producer and Director
- Love in Kenya, Windrush Productions for Carlton Television 1995. English woman on holiday finds love and marriage with Kenyan man. Producer and Director
- 15 Minute Meals", Windrush Productions for Carlton Television, 1995. Six chefs from around the world cook up local dishes in 15 minutes. Series Producer and Director
- Respect, Carlton Television, 1995. 6 x 30-minute sports series, documentary on Heavyweight champion boxer Lennox Lewis. Series Producer and Director
- Respect, Carlton Television, 1995. 6 x 30-minute sports series, documentary on British rugby player Martin Offiah. Series Producer and Director
- Respect, Carlton Television, 1995. 6 x 30-minute sports series, documentary on Olympic athlete Judy Simpson. Series Producer and Director
- Respect, Carlton Television, 1995. 6 x 30-minute sports series, documentary on Aston Villa footballer Tony Daley. Series Producer and Director
- Respect, Carlton Television, 1995. 6 x 30-minute sports series, documentary on Olympic athlete John Regis. Series Producer and Director
- Respect, Carlton Television, 1995. 6 x 30-minute sports series, documentary on disabled tennis player Diana Bowles. Series Producer and Director
- Aaliyah Live in Amsterdam, Windrush Productions 1995 51-minute documentary on hip-hop superstar Aaliyah. Producer and Director
- The A-Force, BBC TV Manchester, 1997. 6 x 60-minute entertainment series, lifestyle documentary featuring Jada Pinkett Smith, Dave Chappelle, John Singleton and Isaac Hayes in Toronto, Canada. Senior Producer and Director
- The A-Force, BBC TV Manchester, 1997. 6 x 60-minute entertainment series, lifestyle documentary on AC Milan footballer George Weah in Italy. Senior Producer and Director
- The A-Force, BBC TV Manchester, 1997. 6 x 60-minute entertainment series, lifestyle documentary on Liverpool footballer John Barnes. Senior Producer and Director
- The A-Force, BBC TV Manchester, 1997. 6 x 60-minute entertainment series, Nas & The Fugees in Manchester. Senior Producer
- Drumbeat, Carlton Television, 1999. 6 x 60-minute entertainment/current affairs series. Interviewees inc Lynden David Hall, Ruby Turner, Mr Vegas. Series Editor and Presenter
- "Pogus Caesar", Diaspora Artists.
- Shannon, Roger (8 May 2008). "Life through a lens with Pogus Caesar". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 8 August 2012.
- VIBES/Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.
- Burning Images Exhibition, 2005.
- * Handsworth Riots – Twenty Summers On", BBC, 28 October 2014.
- "From Jamaica Row – Rebirth of the Bullring". Photographs of the development of Birmingham's Bullring OOM Gallery/Pogus Caesar.
- The Art of Ideas.
- Pattern Recognition exhibition, The City Gallery, Leicester.
- Muzik Kinda Sweet exhibition in Birmingham South Africa – A Brighter Flame exhibition – Symphony Hall Birmingham / OOM Gallery
- "Behind The Lens Of Pogus Caesar", BBC TV
- Creation For Liberation exhibition, UK
- The Pogus Caesar / OOM Gallery Archive at Birmingham City Archives, United Kingdom
- – Pogus Caesar/Black History Month/BBC TV
- .Pogus Caesar interview for Outsideleft Magazine (Los Angeles)
- "A Different Reality-minority struggles in Britain", Warwick University
- "History in the making", Birmingham Life article.
- "City artist Pogus Caesar's best work in focus"