Belfast Exposed


30th Nov - 23rd Dec

The Big Christmas Photo Sale

In preparation for Christmas, Belfast Exposed will be transforming Gallery II into a Big Christmas Photo Sale spectacular.  ...

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25th Nov - 23rd Dec

We, Us, Them – Preview

We, Us, Them is a collaborative artist exchange residency and exhibition programme between Belfast Exposed Photography in Nor...

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14th Oct - 25th Nov

Looking Through Our Eyes

Belfast Exposed present a photographic exhibition exploring the theme of portraits by a group of individuals who have an acqu...

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1st Mar - 22nd Apr

Natural Connections

Belfast Exposed is delighted to partner with Translink on a photography competition to capture the 'Natural Connections' whic...

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The Default is White

Gallery 2

4th Nov 2021 to 27th Nov 2021

About The Exhibition

Sheila Chakravarti’s work, “The Default is White”, is an exhibition of photographic portraits and written word in which Chakravarti illuminates the lived experience of immigrants of colour who come to make Northern Ireland their home. Through creating the work, she uncovered her experience of racism was not isolated, but rather it is suffered by many universally.

Revealed in her work is the trauma of experiencing racial abuse which often triggers emotions of shame, hurt, anger and loneliness. Chakravarti understands the discussion on the topic and sharing of lived experience, can be difficult as it causes these emotions to rise to the surface and relive the awful racist incidents. All participants within ‘The Default is White’, have made a direct and useful contribution to Northern Ireland, but now attempt to forefront the difficulties of being an outsider and coming to terms with the nuances of another culture made more challenging by daily racism in various forms. Chakravarti hopes that the project will help people acknowledge the insidious problem that affects our society and the harm it causes.

Using direct quotes and social media posts, Chakravarti hopes the images will resonate with those who have lived here all their lives and make some sort of contact that allows for humanity and understanding.

The Artists

Sheila Chakravarti

Artist Biography

Sheila Chakravarti is a socially engaged photographer, long time educator, and activist. Her current work centres around her own experiences, and that of other people of colour, of racism in Northern Ireland. Chakravarti uses photography as a tool to promote change in her community.


Exhibition Opening

Thursday 4th November | 7pm | Belfast Exposed

Artist Talk and Seminar

Thursday 25th November | 1pm | Belfast Exposed



'The Default is White’ is generously sponsored by Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council.