Meet: Linett Kamala, President of the Alumni of Colour Association

UAL: University of the Arts London 

https://www.arts.ac.uk/stories/news?college=alumni&news_id=52578

Linett Kamala graduated in BA (Hons) Graphic Design from London College of Communication in 1991. She was involved in the planning Alumni of Colour Association pilot event and has recently taken up the role as its President.

Linett is an artist and educator whose work enriching the lives of young people spans a period of over three decades. Her previous roles have included Associate Education Director for a multi-academy trust, setting up Chelsea Academy in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and serving in a voluntary capacity for 7 years as Director and Vice Chair of the South Kilburn Trust, a charity which is part of a £600 million regeneration scheme in North West London.

Currently, in addition to her artistic practice, Linett is an education consultant, team leader for an Arts and Design department in a West London international school and is Director of Lin Kam Art Ltd.

What made you want to take on the role of President in the Alumni of Colour Association?

I love working collaboratively with others and was excited by the opportunity to help create a vibrant community of talented individuals. Furthermore, I enjoy bringing out the best in others and making things happen in a timely fashion.

Can you tell us a bit more about your role as President and what you hope to achieve?

Presently the creative industries are not fully utilising the wealth of talent out there and I hope that our association will play a significant part in changing this. Whether through highlighting exciting opportunities, showcasing new projects or expanding a business idea, I would like to ensure our events and activities add real value to its members.

I also hope that our group will create a supportive environment to network and discuss issues which are particularly unique to its members, regardless of whether they are established in their field or new graduates seeking to make their mark.

I am determined to make sure that our Association is the ‘go to place’ for anyone in the industry who is serious about looking to connect with the wealth of talent within our membership group.

Why should alumni join this association?

Increasingly, being part of strong networks is where you can access the best opportunities. By joining the Alumni of Colour Association you can enhance being a graduate of the University of Arts London’s reputation as a world leader in arts, design and communication education.

If you would like to receive emails sent on behalf of the Alumni of Colour Association informing you of events and relevant news, please email alumni@arts.ac.uk

Linett Kamala is a London based visual artist and a long-time champion of the Notting Hill Carnival. The Notting Hill Carnival. London. England. GB. 2018. © Alex Majoli | Magnum Photos

Exploring Notting Hill Carnival Through the People That Make it Happen

https://www.magnumphotos.com/arts-culture/exploring-notting-hill-carnival-through-the-people-that-make-it-happen/

Magnum photos article featuring Linett Kamala

Alex Majoli photographs the biggest street party in Britain, capturing the crowds, performers, and characters behind the historic London event.

Since the 1950s the Notting Hill Carnival, led by the city’s Caribbean community and celebrating its heritage, has been a key fixture in the capital’s late-summer calendar. Images of Carnival are key icons in the city’s visual identity – from the mas bands and floats, to crowds of revellers turning the usually more staid West London streets into riots of color. Magnum photographers have over the years photographed this, the biggest Carnival event outside Rio, adding to that visual and cultural history. This year Alex Majoli was present to photograph the crowds and performers, as well as those less-sung heroes behind Britain’s most famous party.

Over on Powis Terrace, there is one character whose presence is almost as intrinsic to carnival as the curried goat steadily bubbling at nearby food stands. Throughout her career, Linett Kamala has helped set up schools across London, trained head teachers, and facilitated creative workshops. But very few of her pupils know that she was one of the first women to ever DJ at Notting Hill Carnival, back in the early 80s. “I was a novelty back then,” she smiles, “everyone was taking photos of me.”

In the 36 years since, she has helped to run Disya Jeneration, a monumental sound system that plays everything from classic soul and r&b to house and jungle, and still aims to provide a platform for new female DJs. “This is the best time to be in London,” she says. “No one can tell me any different. When people come together on these streets it is historical.” But what exactly makes it so unique? “It’s simple,” says Linett, “you just turn up and be you – that’s carnival.”

It’s these scenes of mass love, unity and celebration – across all age groups and ethnicities – that make Notting Hill Carnival such a unique phenomenon in Britain and such a tribute to the community that makes it happen. As Linett Kamala said earlier in the day, “I get enough energy from these two days to last me right through to next year.”

University of the Arts London Alumni Competition Winner 

http://blogs.arts.ac.uk/alumni/2018/08/24/ual-alumni-competition-winners-2018/

What made you want to enter the competition?
I was motivated by the opportunity to share my work with UAL’s creative community in a way which would remind them of their area of study as well as inspire potential future graduates.   I wanted my design to celebrate the expansion in the range of courses in the disciplines of art, design, communication, fashion, media and performing arts across its six colleges.

What is the inspiration behind your design?
I consider graffiti art to be one of the most far-reaching global art movements to date.  It was first introduced into the UK when I was a teenager, only a few years before I started my degree.  For me, it was love at first sight.  Graffiti has since progressed to what is known as ‘calligraffiti’ which is how I would describe my current style of work. During my LCC interview, I responded with gusto when challenged by a member of the interview panel’s comment “graffiti is vandalism and not art” that I completely forgot I was being interviewed! Thankfully the tutors appreciated my passion and offered me a place.

What were the highlights of your time at UAL?
I remember looking forward to the weekly cultural studies where I was introduced to classic books and films.  It opened up my eyes to the depth and theory behind design and also triggered my quest to learn about my own cultural heritage.  I became an active member of the student union and made some lifelong friendships.

What made you chose UAL, and LCC, in particular, to study at?
I chose to study at UAL because of its international reputation for producing high calibre graduates, many of whom had gone on to do amazing things within the creative industries.  I particularly wanted to attend the London College of Communications because I was a fan of the work of graphic designer Neville Brody, who had been a former student.  Back then, I was one of a small number of students from London who got accepted onto the BA (Hons) Graphic Design course that year as it was always heavily oversubscribed, taking in students from across the country and beyond.  I remember literally being in shock when I received my acceptance letter! I was also the first member of my family to do a degree, so at the time it was a big deal in my neighbourhood.

How else are you involved in UAL?
Alongside being a visual artist, I am also an educator involved in developing the next generation of creatives through my teaching and collective Lin Kam Art.  Over the years I have supported numerous young people with their portfolio preparation for courses at UAL.  I am presently part of the founding committee of a new Alumni group which I am very excited about.

Artists you should be following

Virgin online article by Black Blossoms – August 2018

https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/black-blossoms-black-female-artists-you-should-be-following

Former location of painting: 6 Somerleyton Road, Brixton, London SW9 8ND

You are enough 

Linett Kamala was the 9th subject of the ‘You Are Enough’ series of portraits painted across London.  The paintings created by artist Neequaye ‘Dreph’ Dsane were a tribute to his friends who are doing amazing things for their communities and society at large.

Linett has always been passionate about improving the lives of others, especially young people through education and the arts. She has worked tirelessly with organisations across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Some of her contributions include;

  • At the age of 14, becoming one of the first female DJs at the Notting Hill Carnival and after 34 years, still being a member of the same static soundsystem ‘Disya Jeneration’. Sitting on the 2018 Advisory Council for the Notting Hill Carnival.
  • Setting up the South Kilburn Studios which gave early stage support to many creatives including chart topping band Clean Bandit, design collectives Paint Jam, Oomk and station K2K Radio
  • The South Kilburn Studios formed the basis of successful pitches by Brent Council to be named the 2020 London Borough of Culture, as well as secure funding from the Mayor of London to set up The Granville, a new enterprise hub in NW London
  • Being a member of the founding cohort of Future Leaders, an organisation set up to train exceptional leaders for schools in challenging circumstances.  This organisation has since gone onto grow across the U.K. and is now known as School Ambition Leadership.
  • Newly appointed president of the Alumni of Colour Association at the world renowned University of Arts London.