Belfast Exposed


4th Jun - 29th Jun


Each year, Belfast Exposed proudly collaborates with Ulster University’s Belfast School of Art Photography Department to pr...

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4th Jun - 27th Jul

Belfast Stitched

Leon Krige is a South African photographer and architect on a mission to capture the intricate urban landscapes of major cosm...

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25th Sep - 7th Oct

Young People Behind the Lens

Over the summer, a group of young people from Start 360 explored the cityscape of Belfast. They found new ways to see the...

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21st May - 22nd May

Showing the faces of dementia with Alzheimer’s NI

Ahead of the Alzheimer’s Society Annual Conference 2019 (ASAC19), Belfast Exposed was commissioned by Alzheimer’s NI to w...

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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.