Library Exhibition Highlights Scholars of Colour

30 April 2021

A new exhibition on display in Trinity’s Library reading room highlights the work of jurists and scholars of colour. Organised by Trinity College Fellow Katherine Ibbett, the exhibition highlights a diverse group of scholars and writers  from the UK and beyond. The sitters were nominated by fellows of Trinity, focussing on scholars whose work they want to introduce to the wider college community. 

The sitters include professor of international law Dapo Akande; classical scholar Katherine Harloe; poet and literary critic Tsitsi Ell Jaji; physical chemist Carla Pérez-Martínez; French scholar Debarati Sanyal; mathematician Pranav Singh; and barrister Alexandra Wilson.

The portraits were created in lockdown, with photographer Ben Peter Catchpole working remotely with the subjects via Zoom. Each subject’s laptop served as a camera, and subjects were photographed at home. The results are fuzzily informal and suggest the real warmth of each encounter. 

Katherine Ibbett says: ‘This exhibition signals a firm commitment to diversity in representation at Trinity – in the pictures we show in public areas, in our reading lists, and in the decisions we make about the future of our academic community. Some of our subjects already have a Trinity connection, and we plan to invite others to spend time here at some point in the future.’

Ben Peter Catchpole says: ‘This project was certainly different to anything I’ve done before. Firstly it was during what has been a difficult time for all of us. To photograph someone, often miles away, in various places around the world without even holding a camera, felt like such a challenge. It isn’t necessarily an original idea to take photos remotely, but I had to decide on the best methods while retaining consistency. It was a pleasure photographing every one of them. Shining a light on diversity within academia is very important, so I’m delighted to participate in the project.’

The photographs will be on display in the Lawns Pavilion Reading Room, and when the library reopens they will find a new home there. The portraits are available online at Ben Peter Catchpole's website.