16th Century Life Expectancy - UK Black Pride - UK Black Pride JPG
16th Century Life Expectancy - UK Black Pride - UK Black Pride JPG
16th Century Life Expectancy - UK Black Pride - UK Black Pride MP4 2m:13s

16th Century Life Expectancy - UK Black Pride
UK Black Pride

16th Century Life Expectancy - UK Black Pride - UK Black Pride


Title: 16th Century Life Expectancy
Brand: UK Black Pride
Product/Service: UK Black Pride
Client: UK Black Pride
Entrant Company: McCann London
Agency: McCann London
Production Company: Craft
Creative Director: James Crosby & William Cottam, McCann London
Release Date: 2023-05-30
Duration: 02:14
Individual Credits: Rob Doubal & Laurence Thomson, Chief Creative Officers, McCann London
Individual Credits: Ben Conway & Lauryn Raymond, Creative, McCann London
Individual Credits: Lisa Carrana, Head of Design, McCann London
Individual Credits: Max Henderson, Design Director, McCann London
Individual Credits: Rebecca Priest, Strategy Director, McCann London
Individual Credits: Sophie Toy, Account Manager, McCann London
Individual Credits: Nishita Upadhyay & Lucy Cooper, Project Manager, McCann London
Individual Credits: Clementine Cuthbertson, Communications Director, McCann London
Individual Credits: Ashley Biack, Marketing Manager, McCann London
Individual Credits: Sonia Amini, Producer, Craft
Individual Credits: John Martin, Photographer/Retoucher, Craft
Individual Credits: Robbie Maynard, Lead Creative Artworker, Craft
Individual Credits: Liam White, Art Production Lead, Craft
Individual Credits: Atikah Zainidi, Director
Individual Credits: Pablo Gallegos, Photographer
Individual Credits: Talulah Eve, Ebun Sopido, Amani Cosmo & Mzz Kimberley, Talent
Individual Credits: Rico Jacob Chace, Creative Consultant & Casting/Talent, UK Black Pride
Individual Credits: Lady Phyll, Co-Founder, UK Black Pride
Individual Credits: Aaron Carty, Head of Marketing, UK Black Pride
Individual Credits: Andre Bogues, Head of Communications, UK Black Pride
Notes for Judging: BACKGROUND:

As a non-profit, UK Black Pride’s activity is solely focussed on their annual Pride Festival, held every August. UK Black Pride wanted to diversify their reach year-round, by raising awareness of the experiences of the UK’s Black LGBTQIA+ community by being factual and empathetic, whilst giving this marginalised community an opportunity to speak to their struggles and highlight the real issues they face.

The core objective of this activity, to create a platform which represents and legitimises black trans people’s stories by challenging the most vicious misinformation that exists about them. UK Black Pride also set the objective of collaborating with a bigger organisation or institution on this campaign, to help leverage black trans people’s stories outside the community’s four walls and create a wider reaching halo effect of understanding for the community in the UK.


When it comes to misinformation, the most damaging and shared story is that ‘Black trans women have a life expectancy of just 35’. This bleak statistic first arose in 2015 when a report compiled by the ‘Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ found the average age of a Black trans homicide victim in some parts of Latin America was between 30 and 35. Although rooted in a very real and shocking statistic, it quickly became misappropriated, extrapolated, and shared widely around the world – out of context, misreported, and cited as fact.

This misinformation affects the UK Black trans community, and as the organiser of the world’s largest celebration for LGBTQIA+ people of colour, UK Black Pride could authentically challenge the misinformation and create a strong more sustained relationship with their community and allies as a leading voice.


To debunk the misinformation, we dramatised the absurdity of it. A life expectancy of 35 years old is the equivalent of someone living in the 16th Century – a time where diseases like the Black Death and Cholera cut lives short.

Explored through the most popular form of that age, ‘16th Century Life Expectancy’ heroes modern day black trans influencers in authentic portraits of the era. Featuring prominent members of the Black trans community, we unearthed their personal stories and lived experiences, which were brought to life in a real-world exhibition & event, raising issues awareness and debunking myth.

16th Century portraiture was indicative of rank and status, reserved for aristocrats and the elite – reflected in the prestigious exclusivity of Christie’s as venue for the debut. The choice of both medium and venue further served as symbolic tether aligned to the campaign values, signalling inclusivity of a usually marginalised community.

The portraits debuted at world-renowned art & auction house, Christie’s, with an opening showcase & high-profile event. This included a panel discussion with prominent trans and Black LGBTQI+ community members highlighting the issues the community faces - such as media misinformation, housing difficulties, mental health, and access to trans affirming healthcare.

Nationwide OOH, digital media and fly-posters drove awareness. And an online hub acted as a virtual exhibition in support of the Christie’s debut, showcasing the portraits and delving deeper into to the sitters’ lived experiences. Within the website, a digital tool empowered visitors to lobby their local MPs to force change and better improve the healthcare rights for the trans community.


The ‘16th Century Life Expectancy’ campaign diversified UK Black Pride’s reach. The Christie’s partnership, launching exhibition and events thereafter saw an upshoot of 25,000+ attendants, bringing people together within and outside of the LGBTQIA+ community – and platforming UK Black Prides activity to Christie’s 1.1M followers.

Through the participation of allies to the campaign, in their own 16th Century portraits, UK Black Pride saw the campaign spread to a combined reach of 500,000+ followers through social media.

But most significantly, the campaign lobbied vital political change. UK Black Pride saw the alignment of multiple members of parliament, such as MP Nadia Whittome, to back a pledge to push for the trans community to receive reduced wait-list times for gender affirming healthcare.
Additional Credits: Digital Agency: That Lot
Media Placement: Uncle; Clear Channel
Jemima Monies, Managing Partner, McCann London
Olivia McDowell-Foord, Account Associate, McCann London
Chelsea Nascimento, Make Up Artist
Randolph Grey, Hair Stylist
Benjie Aguilera Brown, Studio Manager, ThatLot
Seb Coker, Editor, Craft
Theo Sturgis, Sound Recordist, Craft
James Mack, Digital Designer