Sophie Bass - The Black Peril, Soweto Kinch

  • Charlie S
  • Sophie Bass
  • Ella Preda

Sophie was commissioned to illustrate ‘The Black Peril’ by Soweto Kinch in October 2019. The record is a bold piece, inspired by the 1919 Race Riots - a period of extreme violent disorder and racial conflict in the wake of WW1, spanning the UK and the US. To create this artwork, Sophie delved into 1920s cartoons that often described the 'infectious' effect of black music on white audiences. Her artwork also plays on the concept of the ‘Black Peril incarnate’. The illustration of the King-Kong-esque propaganda image serves to represent both the fears of white society, and liberation and emancipation from the black perspective.

"A politically and racially-engaged body of work, historical inspiration for the record can be traced to the episodes of civil unrest that erupted across the western world one year on from the Armistice Declaration in 1919. What should have been a moment of triumph and social cohesion, disintegrated into violent disorder and racial conflict. From Liverpool, Glasgow, Cardiff and South Shields, Jamaica and the ‘Red Summer’ across the US, city streets were set ablaze by race riots.  The album is a reflection on this history as well as celebration of 100 years of ‘black music’ across the Diaspora." - Soweto Kinch
"The album plays like a swirling montage, an effort to resist the linear narration of history." - Ammar Kalia, The Guardian