Still from holus-bolus

Camara Taylor

This video is inspired by the tellings and re-tellings of the life and death of William Davidson (1781 – 1820). Conspirator, radical or wrongfully convicted, Davidson was the son of a Scotsman, the Attorney General of Jamaica, and a black woman. He studied mathematics at Aberdeen University and later became a cabinet maker. In 1820, Davidson delivered an ‘eloquent and unsuccessful’ speech to court during the trial for his alleged involvement in the Cato Street Conspiracy (a radical plot to assassinate cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister). Throughout the trial, Davidson maintained his innocence, claiming he’d been mistaken for another man of colour in the area at the time. Taylor references court transcripts, anecdotes and other records and ephemera, questioning what these can tell us about Black presence or about truth.

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