Celebrate Black Joy

We collaborated with artist Nadina Ali to creatively collate experiences and thoughts about being a BLACK staff member or student at Loughborough University.  Using templates we issued a callout for poster designs which Nadina then used as inspiration to design a large mural that communicated these ideas to the wider university community; which was installed on campus.

We received a large number of entries including slogans, illustrations, heartfelt poems & painted collages all representing powerful imagery of Black Joy and identity. 

Nadina and ourselves judged all the incredible entries and awarded three cash prizes.


1st Place - Candis Boateng

An illustrative design featuring five black women standing by each other on a pink background.
Candis Boateng's unapologetic and strong celebration of Black girlhood won first place.

2nd Place - Zak Bates

A collaged illustrative poster design in the colours red, orange, yellow, purple, blue and black, featuring words in serif font such as Bright, Unique, Intelligent and Brave.
Zak Bates came in 2nd Place for an uplifting and colourful celebration of Black people's qualities.

3rd Place - Festus Adeyemi

A poster design illustrated in the colour yellow and black with a stencil image of a Black woman looking at the viewer, she is wearing a circular white earing. The phrase I LOVE BEING BLACK BECAUSE OF MY IDENTITY surrounds the frame.
Festus Adeyemi's entry came third and features a bold and confident celebration of Black cultural identity.

The Black Joy mural

After the competition, Nadina got to work on designing a 30-metre wide mural celebrating Black identity. It was initially installed on the hoardings in front of Sir Arnold Hall before being moved to James France, where it will stay until October.

Nadina was inspired by slogans, illustrations, heartfelt poems and painted collages, all representing powerful imagery of Black joy and identity, from the competition. She took some of the key words from the collection of poems and artwork and incorporated them into her mural design. Nadina’s artwork amplifies these words and through their presentation on the mural, communicates messages of positivity to the wider University community.

A 30 metre wide mural installed on campus featuring graphic words and colourfully designed squares.

Voices of Diversity panel discussion

To complete our Black Joy project we hosted a panel discussion with Nadina Ali, Denise Coles and Candis Boateng.

Denise is an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Manager at the University. She works with the EDI team, EDI leads and senior management to help implement the University’s strategic aims for EDI. A large part of her job is to promote a culture of EDI good practice, identify systemic barriers, and work collaboratively to address and eliminate structural barriers, processes, and practices that result in discriminatory outcomes for students and staff. 

Candis Boateng is a current Architecture student and the Black Joy competition winner.

During the discussion, Nadina discussed her artistic practice and how she uses her colourful graphic style to communicate important messages. Denise and Candis then both spoke from their positions as Black staff and students working and studying at Loughborough.

Three black women sit with microphones talking to each other

About the artist