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Born in 1945, Armet Francis spent the early years of his life in the rural community of St. Elizabeth, Jamaica. He lived with his grandparents until he moved to Britain at the age of ten to join his parents who were living in London. While still in his teens Francis worked as an assistant for a West End photographic studio. He then worked as a freelance photographer for fashion magazines and advertising campaigns.

Francis became interested in representations of the black Diaspora on a global scale and began his cross-cultural project The Black Triangle, in which he photographed black people in Britain, Africa, America and the Caribbean. He was the first black photographer to have a solo exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery when The Black Triangle series was exhibited there in 1983.

During the 1980s Francis also became actively involved in supporting the practice of black photography in Britain. He was part of the exhibition Reflections of the Black Experience - 10 Black Photographers at Brixton Art Gallery in 1986 and co-founded The Association of Black Photographers (now Autograph ABP) in 1988. Francis was recognised as a significant black British photographer of the post-war period in The Museum of London’s exhibition Roots to Reckoning (2005-2006), which also featured work by his contemporaries Charlie Phillips and Neil Kenlock. 


Armet Francis, 'Fashion Shoot, Brixton Market', 1973. Museum no. E.102-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Armet Francis, 'Fashion Shoot, Brixton Market', 1973. Museum no. E.102-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Armet Francis, 'Self-portrait in Mirror', 1964. Museum no. E.103-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Armet Francis, 'Self-portrait in Mirror', 1964. Museum no. E.103-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Armet Francis, 'Fashion Shoot, Brixton Market', 1973. Museum no. E.104-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Armet Francis, 'Fashion Shoot, Brixton Market', 1973. Museum no. E.104-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Armet Francis, 'Children Playing a Game, London', 1965. Museum no. E.107-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Armet Francis, 'Children Playing a Game, London', 1965. Museum no. E.107-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Armet Francis, 'West Indian Sitting Room, London', 1974. Museum no. E.105-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Armet Francis, 'West Indian Sitting Room, London', 1974. Museum no. E.105-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Armet Francis, 'Fashion Shoot, Brixton Market', 1973. Museum no. E.106-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Armet Francis, 'Fashion Shoot, Brixton Market', 1973. Museum no. E.106-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Armet Francis, 'Mothers and Babies, London', 1965. Museum no. E.108-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Armet Francis, 'Mothers and Babies, London', 1965. Museum no. E.108-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Armet Francis, 'Portrait of a Woman, London', 1965, . Museum no. E.109-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Armet Francis, 'Portrait of a Woman, London', 1965, . Museum no. E.109-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Armet Francis, 'Portrait of a Little Boy, London', 1965. Museum no. E.110-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Armet Francis, 'Portrait of a Little Boy, London', 1965. Museum no. E.110-2013. © Armet Francis/ Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Audio: Oral history

Armet Francis and Natalie Bedeau discuss a fashion shoot in Brixton.


View transcript of video

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