Autonomy, Activism and Art Direction

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Content Disclaimer. Please note that some of the words within this document, including the Key Terms section of this ToR are considered highly offensive to People of Colour but we have included them to support difficult discussions around the subject of race and ethnicity to support understanding and evolve thinking with the aim of transformation. Selection for content in a Shades of Noir publication does not mean endorsement but is an opportunity for discourse.

Special Thanks. Shades of Noir would like to extend a special thank to the ToR Support Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark art and Angie Illman as well as Editors Melodie Holliday and Aisha Richards for their contributions of this Terms of Reference Journal.

WITH THANKS TO. Contributors: Phase 5 Shades of Noir Team Peer Reviewers: Lawrence Lartey Richie Manu Aisha Richards Alaa Kassim Andrew Ailman Andrew Hart Awuor Onyango Brittany Smith Bunmi Agusto Chizitalu Uwechia Ethel-Ruth Tawe Favour Jonathan Gold Maria Akanbi Inês Mourão Jason Sam Jonathan Cali Fernandez Jorge Aguilar Rojo Julie Wright Kourtney Paul Stuart-Mason Louis Majek-Odunmi Margaret Zawadde Melodie Holliday Mercedes Lewis Mikael Calandra Achode Miriam Amankwa INFO: W: E: Tw: @shadesofnoir Fb: shadesofnoir

Rahul Patel Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark Ryann Oakley Shannon Bono Sharon Foster (as Alicia Dean Artworks) Tam Joseph

Cover Illustation by Kana Higashino





A Note From The Leads


Key Questions


Peer Review


Key Data

Lawrence Lartey, Richie Manu.

24 . 144.

Expanding The Conversation

Further Resources Key terms, Further Reading, Digital Resources.

WELCOME. Autonomy, Activism and Art Direction From an intersectional perspective (Crenshaw) “Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety” - James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name (1992) Autonomy: How to resist the “seedy demon born when the ignorant tastes of the people mate with the fiscal lust of the capitalist”? Autonomy serves as a normative foundational principle for the creation of cultural products. Autonomy allows for activism, which in turn serves as a radical catalyst for growth and greater representation. As Banks (2010) points out “the belief that cultural and artistic labour can serve to effect radical social transformation remains vital and enduring” - it is this belief that has underwritten some of the more significant social shifts and reveals the source of power in modern societies. As Adorno (1991) implied, are we now producing cultural goods ‘more or less according to plan’? Is the autonomy of works produced in addition to the freedom of producers and consumers, being ‘tendentially eliminated by the culture industry’? Within this, they thread the charged metaphysical space between ‘art’ and ‘consumerism’ as they strive to create bodies of work that are once authentic and also capable of garnering economic and cultural acclaim. This dialect reflects what Banks (2010) terms as the ongoing “struggles” for coherence” cultural workers face in striving for authentic ownership over their creative work within the confines and ‘cultural’ demands of the capitalist marketplace. On some level, art direction seems intrinsically linked with capitalism and consumerism - a capitalist zeitgeist (i.e., appeal to the tastes of the time that are somewhat profitable). This TOR explores the way cultural workers of color attempt to develop a more autonomous and authentic relation to their work. It asks questions around how they are creating/finding a space for artistic freedom in cultural work? If this is a realistic desire? and what this looks like in practice? A diversity report by Arts Council England (ACE) shows that 17% of the workforce in England’s 663 national portfolio organisations is BME a rise in figures from last year of 13.9% (Brown, 2018). This lack of representation can lead to an undeveloped world of opportunities from a wide, diverse range of creatives. Art directors play a multifaceted role in the production of cultural goods. Throughout the creative industries - advertising, publications, film, music - they are charged with bringing together the nuances of an artistic vision in a way that creates cultural meaning for the consumer.


Slater and Tonkins (2001) describe the autonomy of culture as meaning at least two things: In the first instance, “autonomy from economic values, the creation of art in relation to its own inner gods rather than the marketplace” - and secondly: “autonomy from the false and inauthentic ‘culture’ that arises in and through the marketplace, the seedy demon born when the ignorant tastes of the people mate with the fiscal list of the capitalist”, essentially when human nature gets in bed with Mr. Money. In practice however, the boundaries are in a constant state of flux. Oakley (forthcoming) identifies the struggle for artistic autonomy as both an ethical and a social practice, ‘the importance of being an artist lies not in its anti-commercialism, but in an assertion of meaning beyond the commercial’. Through looking at several high-profile advertising campaigns, films, television series, and other pop-culture references that support the marginalised voice, such as sports campaigns from Nike and Adidas Campaigns for Nigeria National Teams, and influences of representation music films like Sampha Process and Beyoncé’s Lemonade directed by Kahlil Joseph and influences from Virgil Abloh, and Edward Enninful, Ibrahim Kamara, and Jenn Nkiru, this TOR will consider this ‘assertion of meaning’ and explore the “struggles for coherence” of the art directors championing the narratives of the other. This ToR will focus particularly on Art directors of colour who are capturing the nuances of authentic lived experiences by pushing boundaries of visual representation into the mainstream. In achieving this goal we hope to put the notions of creative autonomy and activism at centre stage. Topics for this ToR include, but are not limited to: • Cultural capital of visual storytelling • Plagiarism in the Western world: little fish/big fish • Decoding the Diaspora: “The New Africa on screen” • Art Direction through diversity • Identity and culture in Art as a visual narrative • Consumerism and Capitalism within Art Direction • Lack of, and the importance of marginalised visibility in visual media




Creative Autonomy. What can such an activity mean to a creative of colour? The nucleus for ‘collective imagination’, Art Directors work tirelessly to curate a global ‘Unity of Vision’ and are ultimately responsible for solidifying the curatorial demands of modern aestheticism, whilst resolving several conflicting agendas between the various intersections. The binding power between how various elements communicate visually, stimulates moods and psychologically appeals to a target audience, undeniably so, one of the greatest difficulties that art directors face is how best to manifest desired cultural symbols, messages, concepts, and ideas into imagery that - in order to thrive - now have to translate on a global stage. Perhaps then, in this current political climate, with what feels to be an ever-unfolding visual narrative of creative output that can be experienced both online and IRL, in many respects it is this unique kind concentration of artistic energy that becomes one of the truest forms of autonomy. Prof. Deborah Gabriel in the introduction to ‘Inside the Ivory Tower: Narratives of Women of Colour surviving and thriving in British Academia’ (2017) explored the idea of ‘sites of resistance’ (p.1). To this end, the activity of ‘collaboration’ in order to ‘build solidarity and engage in collective activism; to develop strategies (collectively) to overcome exclusion and marginalisation; to explore and articulate our own experience through counter-narratives’ (ibid.) becomes a key provocation of creative autonomy. Even in vitality of creatives of colour successfully carving out the space for intersectional narratives to emerge, what are the ways in which art direction can, and chooses to, engage with public discourse - in the creation of (capitalist) cultural products - and what are its social responsibilities? Similarly then, we must ask who are such cultural products accountable to? In combining all the narrative elements, - if we are to wholly accept that ‘autonomy serves as a normative foundational principle for the creation of (capitalist) cultural products‘ - within spaces that continued to be dominated by whiteness and patriarchy, characterised in no less uncertain terms by the global digital landscape - capturing the nuances of authentic, lived experiences by pushing the boundaries of visual representation into the mainstream becomes much more than the act of championing the narratives of the other by creatives of colour. For this single mission - of engendering the visibility of cultural narratives - it is not only Art Directors who take on this role; all creatives of colour begin upon a journey of collective betterment - in a wider discussion of perceived hypervisibility - in which artist autonomy (essentially, the right to self govern, thus imbuing personal narratives and defining the trajectory of their own creative practice) centres activism as a means of liberation. But what, I must ask, what will the future of art direction look like in the everchanging digital landscape? The duality of the ‘assertion of meaning’ and ‘struggles for coherence” become just another means to explore the narrative richness of shared histories - to this end, I do not mean the familiar discussion of collective, experiential racial and gendered oppression, but the liberatory movements and activities that result from Black Joy; an unapologetic and joyous outcome of creative autonomy, how can and does the global cultural market continue to encourage such stories?


In my constant use of the title ‘Art Director’, my aim is not to categorise the singularity of this role in relation to activism and autonomy, but to delineate the type of activities who form the impetus, power and energy behind the creation of such precious cultural goods. Moving forwards to a consideration of autonomy in a commercial context, can the monetary commodification of such cultural products be an appropriate valuation to goods already under attack? There are, in my mind, an endless number of leaders in the sector who illustrate the unique vitality, universality and popularity of goods from creatives of colour in the West - Virgil Abloh (Louis Vuitton’s Menswear, Artistic Director, March 2018), Edward Enninful (Editor-in-Chief of British Vogue Magazine), Ibrahim Kamara (Vogue, Stylist/Fashion Influencer), and Jenn Nkiru (Artist/Filmmaker & Director, Vogue/The Carters) - all of whom have spearheaded black culture into the mainstream aesthetic; as a kind of universal popular culture. From Childish Gambino’s This is America (2018) which explored the unique politić of black and brown bodies, to films such as Moonlight (Jenkins, 2016) and Get Out (Peele, 2017) that popularised the roaring potential of black cinema, in this respect, discourse surrounding the function - and need for protection and preservation maintains itself in the discussion of the authenticity of such cultural currency. I suppose, that in leading a investigation such as this, I similarly wanted to curate a document that could contribute this this unfolding visual narrative? To tell the story of just a few of the talented and generous creatives who have chosen to participate within this document, it fundamentally becomes a question of ‘power’ and what this represents in the activity of storytelling. Salute. Bee Smith & Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark.



1. Does the creative industries cater for intersectional narratives? 2. How can we explore social justice within the art direction sector? 3. W hat is the future of Art Direction in the global digital landscape? 4. Does art direction help show the authentic self? (Does Art direction aid Authenticity?) 5. How can academia prepare an ethical art director? 6. How does art direction engage with the public and what are its social responsibilities? 7. How does diversity play a role in art direction? 8. Can art direction be used as a tool for activism? 9. W hat is the importance of art directors within activism? 10. Can female art directors/artists/creatives contribute to movements such as ‘MeToo?’ 11. What does autonomy look like in the commercial context? 12. How can we explore social justice within the art direction sector? 13. How can we preserve and protect marginal voices within art? 14. What does representation and discrimination within art/ creative direction industry roles look like? 15. How does academia play a role in art direction? 16. How does art direction contribute to popular culture? 17. How can visual art continue to contribute to culture ? 18. Does art direction aid authenticity? 19. Can race and culture inform the future of art direction? 20. How can academia prepare an ethical art director? 21. Can & how does ‘whiteness’ take advantage of marginalised storytelling? 22. W hat are some of the ways art directors can serve the call for social justice? 23. How can art direction fit into wider sectors than “the arts?” 24. W hat does ‘power’ represent in the context of art direction?


PEER REVIEW. Shades of Noir has been pleased to invite Lawrence Lartey and Richie Manu to peer review this Terms of Reference.

Lawrence Lartey. Widening Participation and Progression, Careers and Employability, High Holborn (UAL). With a background in music, events and branded content, journalist, digital producer and LCC lecturer Lawrence Lartey has more than 15 years industry experience. Formerly a Contributing Editor for Touch Magazine, Lawrence has also written for Music Week, Now, The Daily Record, Time Out and The Guardian. Lawrence authored and conducted the interview for the popular Jay-Z Special broadcast on MySpace and authored and co-produced Usher The Ultimate Entertainer for BBC Radio 1. Other notable credits include An Afternoon With Al Green for the Arts Council which he produced. He also spearheads the ongoing NY-LON project. His previous TV work includes Hugo Urban Rules for MTV and How Hip Hop Changed The World for Channel 4. Lawrence is the Creative Director for Question Media Group, Question Media Group recently produced a 12 part radio drama for Unicef around the education and prevention of HIV. He was recently named as ‘One of the most influential black people under 40 in the UK’.


Richie Manu. Richie Manu is a Course Tutor on MA Applied Imagination at CSM and also teaches on Academic Support across University of the Arts London. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, he has a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education. Richie blends a career in professional design practice with other roles as an educator and writer. Richie has taught briefly in Hong Kong where he was a Lecturer on the International Design Camp Programme in Hong Kong Poly U and Hong Kong Design Institute, working with design students from across the globe. Richie has also won awards for his teaching practice and was recently awarded a UAL Teaching Award. With a background in design and branding, Richie has specialised in working with start-ups and entrepreneurs, devising strategies on distinctiveness in personal and professional branding. Richie is also a best-selling author of book ‘YOU: Rebranded’ which was reviewed as an essential read on personal branding, amplifying individuality and distinctiveness. Richie is a TEDx Speaker and delivered a talk on ‘Creativity unearthed by a sensory adventure’ He is also an occasional broadcaster and has featured on podcasts and interviews for the BBC and Design Council.


A NOTE FROM LAWRENCE LARTEY. I was lucky enough to work closely with the Diaspora Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale. This experience opened me up to how ‘exclusive’ the art world can be. However, it also showed me that artists from diverse cultural backgrounds offer a new interpretation and practice that many are willing to embrace, once exposed to them. A more anecdotal way to summarise this experience is to describe the music played at the pavilions launch party; hip hop, r n b, afro beats and ragga pulsated and overflowed from the Diaspora Pavilion, as the queues snaked around the cobbled streets of Venice where posh, wealthy, middle aged ‘art types’ eagerly wait to enter this pavilion after hearing sounds they had never witnessed before. It was beyond curiosity. It’s safe to say the established art world had never witnessed anything like this. There was a sense of inquisitiveness, anticipation, and eagerness. Once inside the Pavilion the public were not disappointed. Diversity and diverse voices engaged an audience who had not previously displayed an active interest in other forms of expressions in art. The Diaspora Pavilion demonstrated the need to reflect upon global artists, whilst engaging new audiences. Galtung and Ruge’s ‘Gatekeeping Theory’ (1965) can also be applied to the arts, creativity and diversity. More simply, the theory states that a set of people or organisations are the ‘gatekeepers’ (of the ‘news’ or ‘information’ in this instance) and that they simply disseminate what they feel is news worthy to the general public. The gatekeeping theory is relevant to, and translates within the arts sector. One homogenous group should not dictate the interests and agenda of other creative practitioners; however it regularly happens and it’s surreptitious, undermining one’s ability to authentically create. An advantage of living in a multi-channel, agile age epoch is that creativity and art direction can be found anywhere, beit ‘online’ or at any ‘pop up’ space in global cities. When it does ‘pop up’, it’s authentic. 2018’s ‘Nothing Beats a Londoner’ campaign by Nike clearly demonstrates the role diverse art direction and authenticity plays in creating authentic art. Global creative Agency Widen+Kennedy were the engine behind the campaign. However, they sought-out a group of grassroot creatives to give their campaign a stamp of authenticity (and authority). Nike wanted 14 // AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION.

to talk to a ‘diverse’ London, so guess what? - they consulted a ‘diverse’ demographic of people from London to make sure their message resonated. Despite the plethora of sporting icons in the advertisement, it feels local, familiar and that is largely to do with the art direction and creative strategy of the campaign. And in this case, the campaign’s art direction reflected a culturally diverse London. Nike got this advert right, but not everyone does because it is not that easy. Take for example the recent ad by Pepsi which tried to engage a new generation of consumers with their ‘Live for Now’ campaign. The premise - that they could jump on the ‘protest’ bandwagon, solving world problems with a can of Pepsi. They assumed that they knew their newly desired ‘diverse’ audience and what drives them. They relied on big budgets and a celebrity personality who they thought represented their target audience. The campaign was pulled after one day. There was a lack of credibility, insight and considered thought in regards to art direction which resulted in a campaign with no authenticity. Exploring social justice and art direction in the creative sector can lead to established organisations being forced to embrace new voices and routes regarding art-direction. Devin Allen’s 2015 Time Magazine cover skilfully depicts this with the visceral reportage of the Baltimore riots. By changing the message delivery, voices and narrative, more stories and forms of expression will be weaved into what is deemed as ‘mainstream practice. Perspectives can shift depending on how art is placed and framed in order to engage the audience. The shift that enabled society to report and document black culture at the time it was becoming mainstream in the USA brings us to the point we are today. We have black artists such as Dapper Dan and Virgil Abloh working for major fashion houses, while maintaining their hip-hop sensibilities and influence. Perhaps one of the best examples of creative autonomy within a commercial context; Puma’s decision to hire rapper Jay Z as a creative consultant. Big brands are taking note of the creative power the black community hold. In addition to the diverse voices from different backgrounds that I touched upon earlier, the male/female voice also needs to be explored. The advertising industry has largely been dominated by the male voice and to an extent it still is. However, when you have a female voice dictating the editorial and creative direction, results can be entirely different. Take for example Kim Osorio’s stint at Editor-in-Chief of Hip-Hop Bible ‘The Source’ which enabled readers to consume the culture (mainly male dominated) through the lense of a team led by a woman. The role that academia plays in art direction should be held accountable with the same rigour as the commercial context. Text, image and resources should reflect the history and legacy of creative ideas and practice, but often fail to. Embedding diverse materials, speakers and teaching methods into courses and programmes is the only way to stop viewing materials and speakers as tokenistic. Once such projects become ‘initiatives’ or ‘standalone projects’, we fail to integrate them into an existing practice for all to benefit from. AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 15

Coming full-circle back to Galtung and Ruge’s theory on Gatekeeping: The argument is that the dissemination of information it can be ‘switched on its head’ and used to visually tell the narratives of the underrepresented. Edward Enninful’s tenure at British Vogue has seen him use his ‘gatekeeping’ influence to reflect what he feels is ‘diverse Britain’. Not just with regards to the use of models on the cover, Enniful has achieved this expansion within his backroom staff, the demographic now comprised of individuals such as black female publisher Vanessa Kingori and Pat McGrath as Editor at Large. Until the creative industries - including those linked to academia - represent the audience they serve, intersectional narratives in art and art direction will be limited within the mainstream. The digital landscape will ensure ideas, expression and narratives free from commercial constraint will continue to flourish and be accessible to those who seek it. But while the mainstream remain intent on tinkering with diversity in the frontof house, rather than fully embracing it across their businesses, they run the risk of misappropriation of cultures. A well-meaning creative can sit in their office looking for the next thing, go online and appropriate an idea without any consideration or thought. Without the foundation of a truly diverse creative team to interrogate, execute and review the idea, mistakes can be made at best and offence caused at worse. The saying goes: ‘it happens in black culture first, and then it goes mainstream’; from Rock n Roll music, to fashion trends, to visual art, the voice of black art thrives without the need of validation from the masses. However, this does not mean that it can be easily and authentically portrayed within an academic or commercial space. The opposite is true, which is why acknowledgment and recognition should be not dismissed. Further Reading: Bergh, J. and Behrer, M. (2011). How Cool Brands Stay Hot: Branding to Generations Y and Z. London: KoganPage. Charnas, D. (2011). The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop. New York: New American Library. Ogg, A. (2002). The Men Behind Def Jam: The Radical Rise Of Russell Simmons And Rick Rubin. London: Omnibus. Stoute, S. (2012). The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy. New York: Gotham Books.


A NOTE FROM RICHIE MANU. Autonomy, activism and art direction are all very pertinent domains in their own right. Yet in this space, the intersection and relationship of the three elements brought together in this publication offer refreshing, dynamic cultural perspectives that bring new light and insights within the contexts of race, gender, identity and socio-economics. This publication does not just serve to provide definitions but to instead explore the often feral, yet dignified accounts and vantage points from creatives of colour within the frameworks of each key term. In this arresting, thought-provoking, unapologetic collection of essays, the authenticity of the contributors provide an often immersive read that transforms you into the space, time and mindset of the writers. And while the punctuation of visuals, photography, art and creativity provide context and visual stimuli, we must be reminded that the presence and dominance of the written word remains the anchor for discourse around the paradigms of autonomy, activism and art direction. The contributors are truly a community of practice, but also evidently a community of action and more importantly – reaction. None of the pieces here are designed or written to be passive creations. In fact quite the opposite. They are the catalyst and continuation for discourse, action, discussion and reflection that foster empathy, contemplation and deeper meaning within the words and images. The contributors are all congruent with the themes of the book and bring an element of unity through their individual voices. To set the context, this publication is preceded with some key data that makes for uneasy reading. And rightly so. This is the harsh reality of a landscape that by definition presents issues of imbalance of representation, lack of diversity, injustice and ignorance. However, this data must not be received in a negative light, but conversely to act as impetus and stimulus for change. Real change. Meaningful change. Positive change. While the data presented is numeric and statistical, the following narratives, stories and essays unearth the qualitative prose and authenticity that is so often missing from the percentages. Key Questions are punctuated throughout the publication and provide a unique opportunity to gain perspectives from the various contributors. The interviews are not just revealing but also demonstrate and celebrate the knowledge, expertise and cultural nous that the writers possess. Throughout the publication, we have a unique opportunity to glean very different perspectives from contributors from the same gamut of questions. It is a wonderful opportunity to gain different insights on the same lines of enquiry. The essays in this publication meander elegantly through the themes of autonomy, activism AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 17

and art direction with the occasional piece that provides an amalgam and intersection of all three facets. It leads with a visual narrative and demonstration of art direction by Bee Smith and Julie Wright in a piece that examines the narrative that surrounds black women from the diaspora through dance. Here they challenge the stereotypes, stigmas and misconceptions around dance, while embracing the connectivity and bond that movement evokes. The images displayed not only capture the movement through dance, but also the inclusion of the rich tapestry (literally) provides a rewarding cultural context. While each and every contribution commands its own space and time, the pieces all tie-in relevantly to the fields of autonomy, activism and art direction. Art direction in this context is also presented through ‘a period of intentional selfdiscovery’ in Chizitalu Uwechu’s piece ‘Agbogho II’ where she discusses the importance of authenticity; ‘Having a unique vision, a vision specific to one’s heart or mind and bringing it to life can only be authentic’. This attribute of authenticity carries throughout the book publication and into ‘The House Party’ by Favour Jonathan, where she describes a simple video that was triggered by her own experiences in of conversations society is not ready to speak about. While authentic in its own right, this is a powerfully written piece that holds a mirror up to society yet channeled through the visceral command of creativity. Inës Mourào offers a stand-point that explores the intersection of art direction and activism by stating that art direction has a unique role in introducing new thoughts and perspectives to the mainstream or by changing pre-existing ones. Additionally, she asserts that art direction can foster a practice of questioning with the potential to develop into activism. Another highly thought-provoking amalgam is presented by Shannon Bono in her piece, ‘Body’. Here she introduces us to the phenomena of ‘Artivism’ – combining art and activism in what she calls an attempt to ‘push political agendas through art whilst raising social environmental and technical awareness’. The exploration of the black female body as a source of education and liberation is very powerful indeed especially when Bono places herself within the frame of activism and artivism her own ‘artivism’. In Sola Olulode Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark’s essay, ‘Autonomy in Contemporary Art Practice’ is discussed and leads begins with a definition of autonomy as ‘the right or condition of self-government and complete freedom from external control and influence’. While the notion of autonomy presents itself in a progressive light, Olulode D’Clark is also realistic about the obstacles of social pressure and socio-economic difficulties that remain at the forefront of autonomous practices. Perhaps one of the most revealing and thought-provoking contributions in this publication comes from Gold Maria Akanbi as she explores, discusses and unpacks the notion of ‘Blackness’. In this highly reflective and emotive piece, the spectrum of ‘Black’ from a cultural identity to political and social constructs is examined. Here she questions who controls the narrative of being ‘Black’, often alluding to the misinterpreted and skewed political (and geographical) constructs served by the media and popular culture. Interesting that she concludes with the notion of Blackness not as a cultural or geographic identity, but more so an emerging and visible presence in society making modern references to Edward Enninful, Meghan Markle and the ‘Blacked up’ Windsor Castle! A truly compelling read.


In one of the most visually arresting works in this publication, Kourtney Paul StuartMason’s contribution, ‘Diversity Report’ exercises artistic license and agency to unearth an emotive narrative drawn from Diversity Reports. The powerful visuals transcend beyond the canvas and into the consciousness of the reader. This ability to enable the viewer to really stop – read – pause – consider; successful in changing the original delivery of information from the diversity reports into something that creates a space for dialogue and a more deeper understanding of the issues that face students of colour in Higher Education. The work also explores identity and the close relationship between being Black and a ‘Black Artist’. It is interesting that the facts and data presented in the works are repurposed and given a totally new context, and while retaining their dignity in the piece, the artistic delivery and dynamic commentary is unapologetic, direct and a true call to action. These are just a small selection of the contributors you will discover in the following pages and I trust you will enjoy reading through the various works presented in this publication. But I ask you to see these works, not as a starting point but as stimulus for continuation of discourse and action. Please also take a moment to read through the key terms first before reading through the works as they serve to provide context and more informed meaning. It was a real pleasure to read through each and every piece as well as being drawn in to the immersive visual content. I learned much reading through the various contributions. As an academic, writer and broadcaster, I am always enthused by the energy, dynamism and creative excellence of artists and I consider myself to be highly fortunate to be in a space where I can continue to learn from active participants in my creative community. I would like to personally thank all the contributors for their generosity in participating in this publication. I would also like to thank Shades of Noir for the opportunity to Peer Review this publication. Richie Manu MA, FHEA, PG Cert Lecturer | Writer | Speaker | Broadcaster | @richiemanu



Source Arts Council England, p.1: Diversity_and_the_Creative_Case_Infographics_from_report.pdf 20 // AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION.

Source Arts Council England, p2: Diversity_and_the_Creative_Case_Infographics_from_report.pdf AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 21

Source .GOV, Department of Culture Media & Sport, p.21: attachment_data/file/534305/Focus_on_Employment_revised_040716.pdf 22 // AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION.

Source .GOV, Department of Culture Media & Sport, p.22: attachment_data/file/534305/Focus_on_Employment_revised_040716.pdf AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 23



A Visual Narrative: How Dance is Used to Identify & Connect with Each Other. Inspired by the Childish Gambino – This is America video, this shoot aims to visually explore the narrative that surrounds black women from the diaspora and dance. Often labelled as being too hypersexual and low in socioeconomic hierarchy yet appropriated and celebrated when practiced by the same bodies that attach those negative stigmas, dance continues to be a form of bonding and familiarity amongst black bodies. Photography: Bee Smith Makeup & Styling: Julie Wright Dancer: Rema Kahsay







RAHUL PATEL, ACADEMIC SUPPORT AND ASSOCIATE LECTURER, BA/MA CULTURE CRITICISM AND CURATION CSM (TW, 2016). Donald Rodney 1961-1998 It is 30 years since Donald Rodney died from sickle-cell anaemia aged 37. Rodney, with Eddie Chambers and Keith Piper, played a pivotal role in the development of the BLK Arts group*. He was an artist who had to fight against racism and in the art world for representation of his art and these struggles turned him into an art activist. He was dubbed as “one of the most innovative and versatile artists of his generation”. Donald Rodney’s sketchbooks which are in the Tate archive were recently exhibited at Tate Britain. His work has been used by Luke Willis Thompson who has been shortlisted for the 2018 Turner Prize. At the Devils Feast exhibition in April 1987 at Chelsea College of Art he with Keith Piper used his art to create a daring and creative installation highlighting the ‘injustice’ of the criminal justice institutions of Britain. Art is always been ‘political’ and nearly all artists have understood this. In every given period artistic experiments have been made by artists for their practice to speak out for change. In the late 1970s and 1980s the world of contemporary British arts seemed oblivious or even refused to acknowledge racism faced by black people. Rodney and his fellow black artists were determined to puncture this sham edifice of contemporariness of British art which failed to bring the contemporary into the body of art and in particular art schools. The Devils Feast exhibition offered a chance to give a voice. It was the first exhibition in a London higher education arts institution by black only artists. 30 // AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION.

Inner city riots in the UK which broke out in Brixton in April 1981 but then spread across the country were a manifestation against police harassment of young black men. The subsequent fallout from the conduct of the state, judicial and education institutions was meant to signal a change in their relationship with young black men. However, supremely confident after their ‘pounding’ of the working-class mining communities during the Miners’ strike of 1984-85 the inner-cities police institutions returned back to their traditional form (racial and prejudicial) in dealing with all black communities. Two incidences sparked another set of riots in Brixton and in Tottenham in late 1985. The ferocity was even more then in 1981 and resulted in the death of a policeman. But incursion of the police into the homes of black families resulted in Joy Gardner in Tottenham dying and Cherry Groce in Brixton permanently injured and maimed by the police who shot her. This time it was also different because it was black women who were the target of the police. Pipers and Rodney’s The Next Turn of the Screw installation was probably the most thought-provoking, innovative and controversial piece at the Devils Feast exhibition. The installation was in response to the death of Clinton McCurbin in late February 1987 at the hands of the West Midlands police in Wolverhampton just over two months before the exhibition. The Wolverhampton, Birmingham and West Midland connection for the artists – where most the BLK Art Group had originated raised further anger as well as public outcry at what had taken place.

With Tottenham and Brixton riots fresh in the minds of people there was a sense that the police and their relationship with young black men was again out of control and oppressive. Donald Rodney attended the demonstration on March 7 in Wolverhampton protesting against the treatment of black people by the police. He took photographs outside the Next close shop where ther demonstration had stopped to lay a wreath where McCurbin had died. The riot police had also assembled in large numbers outside the Next shop. A set of these photographs taken by Rodney were used as part of the installation for The Next Turn of the Screw. The installation was in three parts. The main part was outside the exhibition in the courtyard of Chelsea College of Art. A large wooden construction within entrance into the structure where you could watch a video sequence of these photographs. The screen was the glass frontage of the facade of the art school. Once inside the box story of how Clinton McCurbin in died is exhibited by the use of video. Outside the graphics and the images were hand-painted in black paint and the structure as a whole was painted white. Next clothes shops brand their graphics in this way. The door opening into the structure had the words painted The Next Turn of the Screw. On the other side of this partition, inside the gallery were large painted six faces of both black men and women who had been killed in police custody over the last three years. Under each of the faces was short texts detailing how they had died. It was a very clever use of space so that the visitor’s attention was immediately grabbed whilst entering the exhibition. The killing

of Clinton McCurbin could have been of one of their friends or even one of them. The death of young black men at the hands of the police still continues in Britain today. It has been internationalised with the Black Lives Matter movement from the USA. Luke Willis Thompson’s work for the 2018 Turner Prize centralises this using his film work _Human and Autoprotrait. The African-Caribbean, Asian, African Art in Britain Archive at Chelsea College of Art holds a collection of ephemeral works documenting the work of black artists in particular the second generation of black artists of the 1980s and full documentation of the Devils Feast Exhibition. *the BLK Art Group were a collective of second generation of black artists since the end of WW2. They saw themselves as art activists as central to their practice was the need to challenge the art establishment and institutions for representation of their art.





“Activist art is a term used to describe art that is grounded in the act of ‘doing’ and addresses political or social issues.” TATE The aim of activist artists is to create art that is a form of political or social currency, actively addressing cultural power structures rather than representing them or simply describing them. People that defend the practice of art activism believes that we’re moved by affective experiences to do physical actions that result in concrete effects: Affect leads to Effect According to The Center for Artistic Activism (2018) Cognitive science suggests we make sense of our world through stories and symbols that frame the information we receive and then act accordingly. “People don’t share policy papers, they share things that move them.” C4AA It has been used to make awareness of different issues such as: Feminism, apartheid, spanish civil war, racism among others. Art activism can be practiced anywhere And it’s not limited to a physical space.

justice subjects she inputs in her songs. M.I.A.’s commentary on the oppression of Sri Lankan Tamils, Palestinians and African Americans has drawn praise and criticism worldwide. Another example could be Banksy, a grafitti artist, who has been throwing his politically pointed, satirical, clever and often funny pieces all around the world. Pussy Riot - A Russian feminist punk rock group who have dealt with various politically charged themes such as feminism, LGBT rights, democracy, freedom of speech and opposition to Vladimir Putin. “Artistic activism creates an opportunity to bypass seemingly fixed political ideas and moral ideals and remap cognitive patterns” C4AA “If anything, art is... about morals, about our belief in humanity. Without that, there simply is no art.” Ai Weiwei

One example of art activism that can reach millions of people is the singer/artist M.I.A. Coming to London as a refugee from Sri Lanka at the age of 8. A former student from Central Saint Martins. She is famous for the political and social com/watch?v=kOCSgz2hPI& or scan the QR.


SANKARA (2018).


From my ongoing series “Social Justice Work is Science Fiction”, a statement by the Octavia’s Brood duo, this work draws inspiration to explore the process of envisioning and writing African social movements and histories into the future. “We are imagining a world free of injustice, a world that doesn’t yet exist” (Brown, Imarisha 2015). Thomas Sankara, an iconic pan-africanist revolutionary and leader of the Burkinabé, is venerated for his conscious reinvention and radical assertion of black identity on a global scale. His feminist politics and adamant call for anti-imperial solidarity led to his assassination in 1987, yet his vision and philosophies are embedded throughout pan-African consciousness. Sankara’s imagined Africa is decolonised, feminist, self-sufficient and pro-people. While his works long remained in the shadows, recovering his legacy has allowed for his celebration within its own right. Sankara’s unconventional political career is an embodiment of afrofuturist creativity and radical thought that aims to dignify African cultural identities. In this work, reference to looted Benin bronzes reflects the haunting presence of cultural neocolonialism that is ever present in African politics and art, attempting to delink our identities through heritage displacement. Sankara gazes at his living legacy evident in the transmission of his vision into holistic forms of resistance and emancipation through reclaiming heritage. Sankara’s science fiction shall unfold into a lived-reality for future generations. #LaLutaContinua 34 // AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION.



ARTIST/DESIGNER, ESCOLA PROFISSIONAL BENTO DE JESUS CARAÇA (2018) NASTY WOMEN PORTUGAL FOUNDER. How does Art Direction/curation engage with the Public (discourse) and what are its Social Responsibilities? The first thing that goes through my mind when I think of Art Direction are the ‘masses’. I think of Art Direction, applied to the visual communication methods developed for the general public. I believe, that since day one, Art Directors have been challenged in several ways - visual language, freedom of speech, continuum of changing visual manifestations . Even though the approach to the masses has to be ‘gentle’, it also has to stir (and start!) the conversation. Some do it subtly, while others get emotional! Do the creative industries cater for intersectional narratives? I also see Art Direction it as a means for inclusion: what happens when an Art Director places symbols of African Heritage into a commercial for example? Or when there are references to the LGBTQ+ community? The diversity of commentary/ references is immense and continually evolving and so it becomes the unique challenge of the Art Director as a creative to challenge and engeder public discusoe using more varied frames of reference


Can Art Direction be used as a tool for Activism? Art Direction has the unique ability to introduce new thoughts and perspectives to the mainstream, or change the pre-existing ones. It can plant the seed of self-critic, while embedding contemporary concepts into the viewer. Whilst in one way it might just visually instigate the curiosity of the viewer, it can also be the fuel - or catalyst - for new learning opportunities, research strands, sources of information in a number of ways. Whatever the outcome, that’s becomes one of the great things of Art Direction - It makes you question, and THAT, can later translate into activism!


How does Diversity play a Role in Art Direction/Production?

How can we preserve and protect marginal voices within art?

Art and culture is influenced by a variety of different contributions / ers. It can be therefore assumed that the role of diversity is reciprocal to the richness of art (just as in the wider world). Art direction / production gives us a platform to showcase a selection of artists leading to a richer narrative as a range of styles and stories can be shared, understood and hopefully social change can occur as a result.

By providing an environment in which artists have the liberty to produce work without fear of consequences. We must also celebrate this courage when we recognise it.

Do the creative industries cater for intersectional narratives? Definitely, we are seeing a great deal of artists emerging who’s subject matter confronts inter sectional narratives. It is imperative to continue to provide opportunities and platforms for these themes to be broadcast. In time these narratives can be a catalyst for discussion among the general public. Can Art Direction be used as a tool for Activism? Definitely, it’s arguably an essential tool. Art is often used to engender an emotional reaction to stimulate a feeling, or alter perceptions. It is only when people are moved by an emotional stimuli that they will act in an effort to make social change.

How can academia prepare an ethical art director/creative practitioner? Academia can prepare an ethical practitioner by doing more than simply teaching one how to enter the workforce. Education can ensure students understand their values by challenging them with questions about what and why particular principles govern their lives and how their actions can affect others (vice - versa). How does Art Direction/curation engage with the Public (discourse) and what are its Social Responsibilities? I think art acts as a stimuli for public discourse. Art itself has no social responsibility however the producers of the art do. Their social responsibility is based on their particular ethics.




*Artivism - A word combining the words art and activism. An attempt to push political agendas by means of art but a focus on raising social environmental and technical awareness. My current thesis explores the black female body in art as embodied activism (artivism) and the work I have presented is an act of of liberation and celebration. Analysing the artivisms of Mickalene Thomas (an artist included in my thesis) and her coupled works entitled ‘Origin of the universe’ 1 and 2 2012, a reworking of Gustave Courbet’s ‘The Origin of the World’ I find my self decoding the gaze (bell hooks), understanding the role of eroticism and the role of controlling the image. The images of the black female anatomy are usually for male consumption or to uphold stereotypes . I believe in art, especially the works we create as black women, the subject serves a purpose as a source of education and liberation. There is power within the visuals we intake as it becomes a vessel of unknown knowledge and in turn is embedded within our lives and contributes to our perception of the world. I have recreated this piece of work placing myself within the frame of embodied activism/artivism as Mickalene Thomas did, as it explores the avenues of identity politics, sexuality and controlling the narrative.





John Wayne Acrylic paints on canvas 76 x187cm



Team Building in the Early Stages Oil paints on canvas 76x192cm

The Extraordinary Qualities of the Gaderene Swine Oil paints on canvas 76x192cm




Art direction can help show one’s authentic self. I can lead to the discovery of one’s authentic self. These works, apart of the “Agbogho Chizitalu” collection were all created in a period of intentional self discovery. A period of researching my family and ancestry. The research and creation of these works have served as a mirror to my authentic self. Artist background / practice: Art is the language in which I best communicate, it has become the tool which I use to explore narratives that are misrepresented, unaccounted for or have only just begun to be discussed. I am both an artist and designer, raised in New York and born of Igbo heritage. The last four years of my life has been spent in London learning and practicing my craft. My work consists of multiple mediums; painting, collage, textiles, and audio amongst others. It serves as a means of social commentary, expression of thoughts and analysis of non-American cultural practices. There is an emphasis on the intersection of ethnicity, gender and race, where blackness is present but the intersections are the focus.

,watching , listening ) to find what is useful creates work that is genuine to investigation . No two people process information entirely the same, so once true exploration is done, organised and directed it is real. “Agbogho Chizitalu” aligns with this. The research I did was true to the vision I had, exploring what womanhood meant for me specifically and how my background influenced it. I could have been vague in my research and explored womanhood for women in their 20’s in London, black women or Nigerian women in general but that wouldn’t fit my vision. It wouldn’t have been authentic and I wouldn’t have learnt what I set out to. Choosing text written by Igbo authors, interviewing family members and self documentation led me to producing “Agbogho Chizitalu”

Does Art direction aid Authenticity? Art direction does aid authenticity. Having a unique vision, a vision specific to one’s heart or mind and bringing it to life can only be authentic. In my practice art direction is an inevitable part of the process. Selecting materials , planning layouts , following colour schemes that align with a projects purpose is authentic. The research ( reading AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 45




Photo Credit with the name Nwaka Okparaeke


TESIFA (2019).


I’ve realised this piece at crossroads between editorial design and comprehensive art last summer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It intends to be a speculation around the ideas of survival and self-preservation through the prisms of time, folklore and exodus. Time as a fragmented succession of events is an alien concept within the majority of African folklores; consequently the three muses represent black bodies associated to the three measures of time, past present and future, and were photographed in the train station Legehar. The piece engages graphically with elements that have been used and are currently used in popular media to portray narratives around African immigrants in european territory. Specifically Italy. Prior aggressor and oppressor of the Abyssinian country. The three muses allegorically associated to Trojan viruses here, propose that survival, self-preservation and intrusion allow organisms to access extraneous domains critical information, perceived sense of immutability and of safety.






You hear it in the news and you experience it in person, whenever people of colour come together it’s somewhat of a threat? Remember BBQ Becky? Yeah that’s one of the most recent situations on the news and the ones that never make it to the news are stuck in your memories but you brush it off your shoulders because hey! they’re always out there trying to kill our Joy. “Yoo guys, the party is getting shot down, you all have to go home. I told the neighbours but they’re still complaining’’ Their too many of them They look like gangsters They are harming the girls A fight is going to break out They’re scaring me and my children …. Sometimes these parties do get out of control when it involves people that already had tension between them. However NO ONE organises a get together with the intention to hurt people that you know and call friends. It is actually just a lot of youth coming together to let off steam, to be with friends as tight as family, to meet new people and to have a GOOD TIME. I enjoy the process of a night out, I enjoy over hyping my friends on how ‘Lit’ they looked knowing they have spent the time getting ready like i did. “OMG ! Natalie!! Your eyeliner bangs, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? That’s mad slick my sister” “Haha Leroy fresh trim yeh! Let me see the back? RAHH you’re really out here trying to snatch our wigs with that pengness”

“Oooooh shhhhietttt! Fire!’’... points at friends up and down” “Came through DRIP DRIP with the sauce’’ … points at pinky ring or chain” The joy of getting ready is HEALING! Messing up your whole house finding the right outfit that makes you look hella fly! Making sure your hair is FIRE! And you look and feel ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! Looking forward to do that lil dance move you and your friends been laughing at, letting loose with the whole team. Myself, Nwaka and Bernice wanted to capture this with a simple video, leading on from ‘’ A Statement Of Pride’’ look at all these beautiful people having a good time. It’s a house party! What else did you think was going on? All the work that I create is triggered by my own experiences in life and as a person of colour most of these experiences are not a conversation our society is ready to speak about. As a creative I enjoy using creativity as a way of blasting the issues in everyone’s faces. ‘’Tiny drops of water could make a mighty ocean’’ If we keep talking and singing, making noise about the issues I believe that a change will come, look at all the artists, directors, writers and influencers that have used their voices and speak using creativity to talk about their life experiences. We are tired and need things to change Slowly but surely. AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 53


by Favour J, Nwaka Okperake and Bernice Mulenga or scan the QR.




In this particular series I was exploring what a black female body, expressing itself in queer ways, would look like standing in its power, in response to all the history of “scientific” speculation, exoticization and mammification. What does it mean to be female and androgynous and queer and stand in your skin? In this particular series I was exploring what a black female body, expressing itself in queer/ androgynous ways, would look like standing in its power. I was seeking a representation of the black female nude devoid of and in response to the historic positioning of the black female nude, to its violent history of being positioned subhumanly for “scientific” speculation, exoticization and mammification or uberhumanly as queen for its resilience in the face of gross pain and suffering for the sake of its offspring or/and male counterparts. What does it mean to be female and androgynous and queer and stand in your skin? To wear the influences of your lifetime on your skin outside of clothing and labels? What are the semiotics apparent on a (wilfully) participating black body, one that is present and in charge of their own narrative.






The lack of emotional balance as a consequence of extreme situations, evoke the necessary, limitation-free self-expression. The subject is the ‘self’, and the depicted visuals defy it’s ever-changing definition. The ‘self’ becomes the result of what she sees, depending on how others make her feel. Her relationships with the world, and others and the emotions they bring out, become a means to discover the developing statement of who she is, might be or might become.









Autonomy in Contemporary Art Practice What if we begin to think of autonomy as a performance, and capitalism as its stage. The opposition between autonomy and commodification - in all its hidden contradictions - is too stark to count as mutual dependence (Hamilton, ). ‘It is now widely accepted that leaders of an organisation shape its culture’ - Northouse, 2001. The notion of autonomy is the right or condition of self-government. Known by many other synonyms: self-government, independence, free-will freedom and autocracy. Autonomy refers to a strict freedom from external - and internal pressures control or influence; independence, capitalist, political or otherwise. What then does it mean to be an autonomous creative in the contemporary art landscape? To attempt to operate removed from the market forces, political climate and critical influences upon this as autonomy should be seen as the remedy to the struggles of self-determination. Is this state of production sustainable? Autonomy,, still pertaining to the ‘auto’ emphasis in this article’s title - can be broken down further: ‘auto’, ‘no’, ‘my’ there seems to be active resistance in the singularity of the word alone. It feels that the fiscal lust of the capitalist and autonomy seems entirely opposed, and yet the creation of cultural products is tantamount to capitalist (consumer-producer) gain. Whilst autonomy functions as a

normative foundational principle - of great social power being exercised in modern societies - can we name any practitioners currently displaying an autonomous art practice. Hence the marginalised voice becomes a dominant performers of autonomous activities in the everyday. But while existing in a dimension of capitalist visual storytelling, the influence of cultural capital in autonomous activities present themselves as an affront to the dominant aesthetic. Hence, calls for ‘‘assertion of meaning’ and the “struggle for coherence” of the art directors championing the narratives of the other, manifesting the nuances of authentic lived experiences by pushing boundaries of visual representation into the mainstream becomes an important exercise in continuing to push the boundaries of creative autonomy and activism at centre stage. While such practices can be placed on a continuum of performative leadership styles, there are, of course, obstacles - such as social pressure and socio-economic difficulties - that remain at the forefront of autonomous practices as a form of positive autonomy; In this instance, this pertains to the extended interrogation in the form of activism or social justice commentary of diasporic identity and culture through visual narrative pertaining to Art Direction - in order for the object to be successful, the distinctive character of its medium (Rush, 2004, p.146) will shine through. On the topic, Adornoʼs unique brand of Western Marxism presents a complex and elusive treatment of the autonomy of art; which is to task the performer to examine AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 65

the economic base/superstructure model of culture in the conditioning of cultural goods, lying somewhere between autonomous objects and its functionalisation in the everyday Adorno emphasises its social situation in virtue of that in functionless-ness nature of such objects - as work simultaneously became autonomous and commodified through entry into the capitalist marketplace. For Adorno, autonomy and commodification stand in a dialectical relation. Thus, Adornoʼs Aesthetic Theory develops two inter-related senses of autonomy - social and aesthetic - under the provisory that autonomy and commodification stand in a relation of mutual dependence. (Hamilton, u.d.) The interpenetrating elements of sociological and the aesthetic facts within the cultivation of modern cultural visual storytelling maintain this balance almost perfectly. Therefore in the discussion of contemporary visual storytelling within art, it becomes important to stress autonomy as a defining feature of the modernisation and social proliferation of art is itself an expression of modernism as cultural (capital) products. The quasi-political narrative of the emancipation of artistic activities is not a neutral history but arises from the history of aesthetics under the banner of modernism was both nonideological and and illusion. As Bernstein notes, the art of modernity is characterized by its developing autonomy, and ‘modernism is that increment in which art becomes selfconscious of its autonomy’ (Bernstein, u.d.). Yet to be inextricably linked to technology, in trying to distance your processes from the cycle of automation, in this vein Irmgard Emmelhainz’s 2013 e-flux article bids farewell to a Committed, Autonomous Art? In a discussion of art from the cultural turn of the century, ‘the commodification of culture and its use as a resource — as well as the fusion of art, politics, and media — have had a significant impact in the way in which capitalist economies operate’ (ibid.) . 66 // AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION.

While many artists may address exhibition politics as a theme in their work, they are limited in terms of producing something outside of the consensual barriers placed on exhibition politics especially. This is due to the existence of a systemic enclosure which extends well beyond the consensus of the art world: art is fused with political sensibilities that exploit its diplomatic potential in likening culture to be a form of social capital, a resource (Vidokle, 2012). Under these conditions, is there any room left for autonomous, committed art? In a context in which the creative, political, and mediatic fields are intrinsically linked, contemporary cultural practices point toward a new social order in which art has merged with life, privileging lived experience, collective communication and performative politics. These works propose solutions for short term improvement, entertainment and satisfaction, but, unlike more traditionally politicised art, it sometimes opposes the status quo and reveals contradictory social truths. Contemporary art and the democratisation of culture being “contemporary,” means that art maintains its existence in the same temporal space as culture and has therefore been integrated into it. So what are the implications of this for committed, autonomous art? Culture is, therefore, a significant sphere of production that multiplies meaning by mobilising a system of overlapping cultural references in generating, on one hand, economic surplus, and on the other, social life—its forms and styles. For a Committed, Autonomous Art: Besides artistic production that is at the center of social movements, there is autonomous art — not created specifically to serve social movements or causes - and art that is produced for museums or biennials which occupies a privileged space of politicisation.

When it comes to contemporary art, we must inevitably consider the economic sustainability of its products — alongside the internal conditions of producing, exhibiting, and consuming art. (Steyerl, 2012) This is because contemporary art is a playground for opportunism, competition speculation and manipulation. As such, the contemporary artist embodies the figure of the entrepreneurial worker; managers of their own human capital. In defence of artistic autonomy however, the art object - in and of itself - must always exist in a critical relationship to capitalist society, Politicised autonomous ar should make visible that which does not exist from a different point of view, spreading the contagious attitude of those who have nothing to either gain or lose. Thus, in all this it becomes clear that there is no one thing meant by the claim that all contemporary art is autonomous. Undoubtedly, the state of contemporary art is quite different from the ideological-emphasis institutional critique in the 1970s. Nevertheless, politicised art, as Hito Steyerl argues, should focuses not on what it shows but on what art does and how it does it (Zizet, 1989) with share objectives intrinsically linked to corporate, neoliberal agendas (Buchohl, 2006) on the modern era. Bibliography at the end of document






Base Head Jazz. You are a series of objects floating in an expanse flattened. What are you remembering right now? Is it an image in your head? A dusty book taken in by your eyes, plugged into nerves. Nerves to electrified segments, in the squiggles of your brain. And somehow we arrive at a thought. Ideas anyone? I haven’t got a clue. Inbetween Spaces. Fleeting Spaces in limbo. CON GLOM MOR ATE. Defined as a thing consisting of a number of different and distinct parts or items that are grouped together. Your home of fading memories dances in a sequence. Click, retain a section of this moment to simulate and digest in the future. Sheba. Ma’rib. Aden. Hudayda. Ta’iz. Hayfaan. San’aa. Lahj. Shameer. Dhale3. I utter you knowing that so much of your history has been negated. Yemen. Aiyn means eye. To give the Aiyn is like a hex. Soften your glances in this angular place. The Divided Self. You are a succession of moments that have been infinitely placed before you. You are not just this one thing that tries to understand others or the world or itself. But you’re actually a series of selves and they themselves have a series of selves. All contained in the seemingly unified vessel of flesh.


Untitled Underwater. Around and down. Down. Bubbles float upwards and the last contained your life ascending. Your small body transforms into glowing red letters spelling your story. They sink until a giant squid feeds.

Base Head Jazz.




The Divided Self.

Untitled Underwater.





The ‘Beautiful’ Series Celebrates African-Caribbean features which has been a subject of ridicule and discrimination; black skin, thick lips, wide noses and afro textured hair, are now accepted ideals of beauty. Media: Scraperboard Etching



‘It’s A Black Thang’ Is a light hearted look at black women’s preoccupation with hair. I created Boo Hoo as my conceptual representation of the black woman, she has 365 hair do’s for 365 days of the year, The Boo Hoo calendar series captures all of these images. Media: Digital Print


‘Duafe’ Wooden Comb Is the symbol of good feminine qualities, patience, prudence and love are. Media: Digital Print


‘Motherhood’ is a flavour of art from the African Caribbean perspective. It incorporates Adinkra symbols, a traditional highly developed art form of West Africa. The symbols have aesthetic and communicative values. Above: Sesa Woruban the Adinkra symbol of life transformation. Right: Akoma the Adinkra symbol of patience and tolerance Both attributes needed in a Mother. Media: Scraperboard Etching






By questioning ‘Blackness’ as an identity truly forged by Black People I remember meeting with a friend a few years ago in North London. The sky was a pale grey and dark denim blue, clouds formed, ready to burst at any time - it always seemed to rain whenever I was in North London. For some reason it always felt closer to the sky. My friend was only a few years older than me but wise beyond her years, she had been the catalyst with so much when it came to me and my life. The world existed around her, she did not simply exist in the world. I remember us walking towards either her house or the park, not too sure which one it was but I am sure about what we did during the time - we discussed different facets of blackness, political and otherwise. But on this particular day she really led me down the rabbit hole. She began to talk and walk in that fervent manner so familiar to me; walking as if planting her knowledge in the ground and talking as if what she was saying was half conspiracy, half spiritual enlightenment. It was hard to keep up - and I have pretty long legs. She began to talk about how she didn’t aspire to be ‘Black’ in any sense of the word, how the concept of ‘blackness’ and being ‘ghetto’ as we know it today was created by the white imperialists of the world. She went on to say that the concept or even identifier of ‘Universal Blackness’ was a farce and had only really held negative connotations for her. For her, first she was Igbo - Nigerian - Nigerian British - Black (I

think my memory even threw in Nigerian British to be polite) because being identified as Black never did her any favours and held so many premeditated and preconstructed connotations, few that she even had control over. However, remembering that she was Igbo, Biafran even, helped her to overcome the prejudices that being Black brought her in her Britain. It gave her pride and helped her to remember who she truly was, aside from the stereotypical and that lauded by pop culture as being the representation of the day. This made me ponder, for at least 4 years, who really controls the narrative of being Black? Who gets to say what is Black enough to be on TV, to be in all the music videos, to make the music and be the social influencers we see in the mass media and on TV? I’ve often felt too ‘African’ to be ‘Black’ when I was growing up in South London. Nose too broad, dress sense too sensible and hair too nappy - too ‘aff’. Today, Blackness is around more than ever in London. Whole events, book clubs and picture galleries are dedicated to the Black Presence in the UK. Edward Enninful is the Editor of Vogue and the new biracial Princess, Meghan Markle, made our jaws drop as she ‘Blacked Up’ Windsor Castle with her African-American live choir and priest. Blackness is everywhere but is it truly ours? Did we TRULY create it? Or are we simply following a recipe that was conjured up by The Oppressors 250 years ago? The recipe for Blackness seems to be oppression and struggle - but make it fashion! Never debate Blackness, don’t talk about AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 81

your ancestors in case you sound like a ‘hotep n*gga’, attend Notting Hill Carnival (yes, even if you’re an introvert) and celebrate all the stereotypes, even if you know that you don’t fit into that ‘Cool Blackness’. Try to. Because if you stand out too much, if you’re too different, Black People might start looking at you funny. And White people might even be confused as to what to call you because you’re not a ‘typical blackie’. Who gets the funding for Black events? And why do THEY get the funding? Sometimes I believe that they’ve simply learned to be interesting and ‘cool’ enough to play the game of identity politics, in such a way that is aesthetically appealing for the white gaze, whilst also capitalising off of struggling ethnic-minority communities - but you know, making it fashion. Maybe I’m too harsh but I do often wonder who are the tastemakers for the things we 82 // AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION.

are producing? And are we being honest in our representations or do we strive to be identifiable enough to get the funding that we need to celebrate Blackness.

‘2 MOONS’.

JONATHAN CALI FERNANDEZ, FILM & TELEVISION PRODUCTION, CTK (2009-2012). Diversity in Art Direction Diversity plays a role in art direction, as it is an Art form, which everyone should have an equal chance of demonstrating their vision in. Art direction has endless creative possibilities, and being black myself it is sometimes very hard to get the opportunity to be an Art director, hench why I had to make a film on my own, budgeted by myself. However the reality is I still probably don’t fit this criteria in some odd way, and even after creating a film from start to finish, still I am not noticed in the creative art director job sector. Such is f**king life.

Background Info: This is a film that I made entirely by myself, and is part of a sequel called ‘2 Moons 2’ which I am currently making. As china has made plans to build a faux moon by 2020, some day we probably will see 2 Moons in the sky – Cali LINK:

FILM: ‘2 MOONS’ – 90 second short Film – Written & Directed by Cali Blurb: 2 Moons is a film about a girl who is out with her friends. She sees how beautiful the moon looks, she takes a picture on her phone of the moon but when reviewing the picture she notices there is 2 moons. She is shocked and looks up to check the sky and sees 2 moons. She tries to tell her friends who are occupied at the time and miss the spectacle, who as you can imagine doubt her story although she has photo evidence. The story ends with the girl being admitted to a mental hospital, after trying to gain attention from posting the picture on instagram.




Saying “I Don’t See Color” when referring to race is like saying you can’t see the color of my skin. I love the color of my brown skin and I find beauty in color. I wanted this series to reflect that color is beautiful and it should never be ignored but embraced. Mercedes Lewis is known for her abstract works using mixed media. Her art explores African American issues surrounding systematic oppression, slavery, racism, sexuality, identity, and dehumanization. Part of her process involves researching the history about these issues prior to creating each piece. For her series” I Don’t See Color series” it investigates the idea that saying “I Don’t See Color” is supporting a form of oppression and embraces the idea of white supremacy. She is motivated to develop paintings that represent experiences of the modern day African American. Her focus is to create conceptual pieces using texture, composition, patterns, contrast and color to support the issues and ideas that African Americans are facing. Using techniques of masking layers of paint, colors, patterns, paper and mixed media on canvas allows Mercedes to share her ideas and research about black history & culture with the world. Color: This piece was the first piece created for the “I Don’t See Color” series. Saying the term “I Don’t See Color” when referring to race was something that I felt the need to explain my thoughts from an African American perspective. Saying “I Don’t See Color” is like saying that you can’t see the color of my skin. This piece was represented to express that there is beauty in color. I love the color of my brown skin and I find beauty in color.

I wanted this piece to reflect the idea that color is beautiful and should never be ignored but embraced. Using various layers of color, contrast, texture and mixed media this piece was created to highlight the beauty and sense of unity when recognizing different colors. Angela: “Angela” was inspired by the activist named Angela Davis. Angela was a leader when it came to fighting systematic oppression and prison abolishment. She sacrificed her time and her life to fight for the freedom of African Americans. This mixed media piece uses the bold and bright patterns and colors inspired by African Art. Using similar techniques and colors I wanted to reflect the emotions behind anger, sadness, happiness, justice and peace. Despite how many obstacles Angela came across in her journey of activism she continued to remain bold and strong in her opinions. Angela was an inspiration for me to create the “I Don’t See Color Series”. Angela always saw color, embraced her own color and fought for people of color all over the world. She is truly a hero. Motherland: Motherland represented a place that black people all over the world can call home. As an African American some of us will never know our true ancestry because of the history of slavery. Our documents are lost or were thought not to be important enough for some to even record. Despite the unknown history of our families being kidnapped, tortured, and killed we somehow still have started at a disadvantage and continue to exceed in our black excellence daily. I think of black people AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 85

as a tribe in this Motherland. Regardless where any black person comes from it’s a part of our culture to genuinely love our tribe. When we truly come together and love each other it’s the strongest bond. The “glue-like” texture in this piece represents that bond and connection between us. The uncontrollable happy moments we share within our tribe is rich. The rich and bright colors, textures and shapes reflect the emotions and culture of love that we have for one another when we truly can come together in the Motherland. Bloodshed: This is a representation of my ancestry and bloodshed that is endured through slavery. Slavery is not just the past but the present. Black bodies are dying in a system where they have no control. Limited resources of healthy food and water in our black neighborhoods leaving African Americans left with deaths caused by diabetics, cancer, and heart disease. These diseases constantly are still killing our people. With discrimination in the hospitals, education, workplace, it can also cause a toll on the mental health that is killing our people. The criminal justice system is killing our people breaking apart families. There are a lot of factors that causes death in black people in the past and the present. We acknowledge our past but understand that our present doesn’t have to be our future. Losing our people to slavery and systematic oppression is heartbreaking. The blood that has been shed is represented within the monochromatic scheme of this piece. Despite this oppression we still acknowledge that we can make it through. Our strength allows us to change our lives among a time of bloodshed and that what makes us beautiful. Futuristic: This piece represents the positive outlook on our future when we can carry our beauty, culture and knowledge into future generations through our own self-awareness. I believe that in order for us to continue to grow as a people we must be aware that 86 // AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION.

we have greatness instilled in us. We must educate ourselves outside the Western Education system for us to understand our greatness as a people. Despite the everyday challenges our culture may face, we still know that there are opportunities for us to become successful in our future. The progress of our people in the present helps set up success of African American people for the future. Knowing this brings an emotional sense of calmness and happiness which I wanted to express in using this color scheme. The gold represents the greatness that is in store for our future. I believe if we continue to spread our history, knowledge and culture we can create a better future for ourselves as a people. Division: Living in the Trump Era has made racial tensions heighten between black and white people in modern day America. Despite the systematic oppression, discrimination and killing of black bodies we still remain strong during a time where other factors attempt to create a division between people. By using the contrast of colors I wanted them to represent the pain & love that racial tension has caused in our modern day society. Some may say “I Don’t See Color” but I could never really understand how can color be ignored? We see more color in our prisons, color in areas with no clean drinking water, we see color poverty schools, we see color homeless and we see people of color dying every day. Can you see color or are you ignoring it is the real question? This piece was created to represent the racial tension that has been/ is ignored throughout history.














‘Cherry’, was an academic project. I’ve always had a deep admiration for photoshoots that evoke some sort of ‘fictional’ world. I love both the fakeness of it, and the freedom I have to create such fictional scenarios and characters. In that way, I also love to watch how colors communicate with the viewer and generate sensations.






Trained in architecture Jason often uses the built environment as a miseen-scène for his surreal realms. His work examines discrimination or marginalisation in society. A dichotomy of the isometric (defined as all things being equal in measurement) drawing technique used to create these vibrant illustrations. This allows for a complex social commentary to play out in an abstract manner. Insta - @insearchofsam






MIRIAM AMANKWA, ARTIST/ILLUSTRATOR/PHOTOGRAPHER, SOLENT UNIVERSITY (2018). My work relates to the colonial preconceived stereotypes of black women. The modern day black woman. People tend to underestimate the struggles and hardships that black women go through because they don’t understand the intersectionality of being black AND being a woman at the same time. My project focuses on the struggles and personal triumphs that come with being a black woman.







How does diversity play a role in art direction? Diversity plays a major role in art direction to visualize a different narrative or viewpoint from another cultures perspective. Art direction brings an opportunity for representation, especially for people of color. Representation is so key in the documentation of African Americans own art & history. Whether its fashion, music, art or visual content in general it’s vital that we add our own viewpoints and culture from our own perspective. For so many years black culture has been suppressed or appropriated. To think that we were once killed for learning simply how to read to becoming faces on magazine covers to being in the covers is outstanding. It would be even greater if we controlled our own content with no restrictions on how we speak up for ourselves and explain our truth. We were not allowed to be treated as human beings let alone praised in the public eye. We are constantly dehumanized and the diversity art direction gives us an opportunity to change that. To create visuals that show the emotions, skill, talent and beauty shows our story and the value of a black life. It’s vital order to break the stereotypes, discrimination and systematic oppression that we still face today. Can Art Direction be used as a tool for activism? Yes I believe art direction can be used as a tool for activism. To have the opportunity to express our own black history and culture is to make sure that our culture isn’t stolen or suppressed. Art direction allows us to showcase our greatness and leadership. The 104 // AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION.

purpose of art direction is to tell a story. When given the opportunity to have art or a visual representation that represents a black culture its history within itself. Even seeing a black images of people existing is history within itself. Living in a world that oppresses black people and culture. Art Direction not only becomes a part of our history but allows us to have a voice to share our viewpoints visually that may not be shared in the mainstream media. Art direction fuels me as an artist to shed light on certain concepts of racism, systematic oppression, black culture and history that normally is not shared in our education system or media. Think about the movie Get Out, this movie was an opportunity for someone of color to tell a story about these concepts from a black man’s perspective. Through the lighting, music, composition of shots and timing the art director was able to portray the emotion, feeling, and mindsets of the characters that are relatable to most black people today. The concepts of racial tension, slavery, systematic oppression were key themes that were highlighted that were portrayed in a way that most black people could relate to. How can we preserve and protect marginal voices within art? We can preserve and protect marginal voices within art by ownership of our artwork, support more black businesses and create black businesses. It’s important for black culture to have more investments in our own art to preserve our own history. Often times our art is not showcased or given the same opportunities as the average European male artists. It’s vital that we

continue to support todays black artists because we need to have more representation of black culture in the art museums.

news outlets or TV shows actually directed and from the view point from the modern day African Americans perspective.

How can academia prepare an ethical art director? Academia can prepare an ethical art director by exposing students to learn more about Black history & culture. Growing up in Texas, we have to learn about Texas history. In no way is Texas history more important than Black history, but it is apparently important enough to be a part of the core curriculum in the schools here in Texas. Even the art history that we study in school could influence a more ethical art director if they learned not only about past but even modern day artists of culture. To be open to teach black artists their subject matter and viewpoints of people of color will bring more awareness of cultural background and art history. Can whiteness take advantage of marginalized storytelling? Yes. Whiteness has already taken advantage of marginalized storytelling. The fact the growing up majority of the fairytales, movies and even religious history protagonist white characters or antagonist dark characters still support the idea that “white is right”. I know when I was growing up I saw a lot of main characters in Disney films were created with the characters heroes in films or survivors but killed off the black characters first . Media and Film tell these stories is predominantly from the white person’s perspective. It’s very rare to me in America to see movies, AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 105




My work relates to poc, particularly black people trying to fit themselves into a particular spectrum to fit (white) society’s ideals, often becoming confused or losing their identities in the process.




Titled “Retweet” this project explores the significance of memes in the 21st century. With the help of the internet it is a lot easier to express your voice and opinion online through a comedic format such a memes. I question whether it is easier to laugh off particular hard hitting issues that we face on a daily basis and whether by downplaying these serious problems we are using humour to heal or educate? In particular I have chosen to highlight the fetishation of women of colour and the black body. Each illustrated response has been influenced by particular scenarios that friends and I have experienced which I’ve tried to articulate visually through illustrated designs.







‘Female Black Bodies’ 2018 (Collage on paper) Female black bodies relates to the awe of black female culture without acknowledging the individuals. Whilst exposing its beauty and celebrating its form the heads are detached to remove their identity. I have produced this stacked collage of the black female form to push an agenda for further dialogue.


‘Ain’t I A Woman?’ 2018 (Collage on paper) An ode to the Sojourner Truth’s famous speech she delivered in 1851, poetically questioning the position black females hold in society as well as addressing the issues of female inequality and race. Through manipulating the female anatomy to create these words it relates to the mistreatment of black female bodies as well as the community. This collage is also a direct reference to the erotic and political power of the female nude image as Sojourner Truth bared her breasts to a crowd questioning her gender and power as a woman.




My practice is a voice for those who are unable to discuss the ideas of diversity and inclusivity within an art institution. I mainly focus on the lack of Home BAME students and staff within UAL, while giving my own personal experience of being here. Often referencing Black British/ American history, the work explores the close relationship between being Black and being a Black artist. In my most recent work I decided to just paint in black and copy the information from Diversity Reports, however the font I used was very harsh and aggressive, therefore completely changing the original meaning of the report from a positive to a negative one. Although I do use my own experiences within my practice, I also collect various ideas from other students, staff and people outside the institution to create a pool of discussion within the work.










Introspection Illusion is based on a cognitive bias of the same name which describes how people perceive their own actions as rational because they can examine the situation through introspection but are unable to do that with other’s actions and thus views those actions as irrational. Each subject’s face is superimposed onto another’s silhouette to advise viewers to put oneself into another person’s perspective and try to understand both them and their background.




GOLD MARIA AKANBI, BA FINE ART, LIVERPOOL JOHN MOORES (2018). How does Diversity play a Role in Art Direction?

Well, when it comes to Art Direction the term in itself covers a broad range of industries that come under the terms ‘Arts’, sometimes overlapping into the entertainment industry - though not too much as that’s when it becomes pop culture and not everyone can pull off turning art into a popular trend. But I think that is one major impact of diversity within The Arts; changing popular culture and what is seen consumed by the masses. Plurality of choice, intersectionality and concepts of unique identity, in terms of both ethnic/natural cultures and personal constructs have made The Arts not only more appealing but more entertaining but also educating. For instance, I educate my mother on certain aspects of our ethnicity that she never knew about or that she even feared because there was no one around her that was willing to delve into the uniqueness of our culture to give her the comfort of understand, to educate her on the world that was around her. Does the creative industries cater for intersectional narratives? I think the Creative Industry is ‘attempting’ to cater to intersectional narratives. I think at times not all representation is good or even worthy representation. When it comes to the catering to or representation of the intersectional narratives, things can become skewed. Integrity and honesty comes into question. How much is for entertainment? How much is for education? How much is raw honesty? Is it really the rose and 124 // AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION.

all its thorns or is it merely a digestible version being created in order to meet a new, popular and demanding quota. Can Art Direction be used as a tool for Activism? Art direction can definitely be used as a form of activism but if it should always be used as a form of activism is another thing. I’ve found that activism can also become a thing of contentious entertainment, trying to see how far we can trigger someone into reacting, into clicking on a link, tweet or article. Sometimes the activists I see on Twitter make the activist life seem like a Telenovela, all drama with very little hope for change. I think that’s my issue with activism in Art direction, too many lack hope for change to be using activism in the creation or curation of art to make it a successful and beneficial thing for society as a whole. Also, who is being educated? And are we reinforcing stereotypes and the same olf tropes to fit these narratives into stirile and confirmed, acceptable boxes? What is the importance of Art Directors within Activism? Well without female activists I’m sure most of the world would be without rights. Man, woman or child. From what I do know the ‘Me Too’ movement was started by females, particularly black females, though I take issue with the use of the word ‘females’, I prefer ‘women’ or the more inclusive ‘womxn’ (it might be the millenial in me but I do like to include all my sisters). I think my problem is, when does it stop becoming activism and when does it start to become

clickbait? When does it become something to bolster one’s career? Sorry to sound cynical but I have seen many women rise on the necks of feminists only to discard the title or the belief system as soon as it starts to not represent their brand or as soon as it becomes ‘too extreme’. Of course things can have their extremes but that’s not the issues I’m referring, I’m trying to find a way to acknowledge culture vultures, whilst simultaneously acknowledging those who truly make sacrifices and everyday choices to truly make the world more aware of sexual assault, rape and abuse. I can’t think of a mainstream artist that truly does that. They talk about a man cheating on them quite often but they never truly delve into the dark dregs of sexual abuse. And they shouldn’t have to. I don’t want every womxn to feel like she must be part of the movement if it does not feel natural to her or it compromises her mental health. I’m often reminded of Nina Simone who said she wishes she never let the Civil Rights Movement affect her art so much, as she lost her way and her mind. How can we Preserve and Protect Marginal Voices within Art? Preserving and protecting marginal voices within art mainly lies in protecting marginal voices outside the art world. I’ve seen artists, spoken word for example, literally give what little they have left of their minds and pockets to the public to consume, whilst the hosts, at most, will offer nothing but transport fare. There are no real conversations happening about the real life struggles of marginalised people outside of the sphere of creating. Sometimes we seem to turn marginal people

into caricatures of themselves, making them numb to their own real life whilst they perform for institutions and companies. What does Representation and Discrimination within art/creative direction industry roles look like? Representation and Discrimination looks like the sentence. The separation of the people into what is seen as quality and not quality, too much ethnic and not enough, too much reality and not garish enough for reality. We are often seen as nothing more than a trend, a commodity, rather than people of different backgrounds that are also citizens of the Earth simply living their truth without fear and often with pride. That scares some people I think, when it comes to artistic and creative direction, that so many of us have (now) come out in droves believing that our narratives, our art, our visions and perceptions of truth are valid. I think that’s the true face of discrimination against representation in the art and creative industries, the power to tell someone their truth and their art is not worthy. Completely shutting down generations of voices because someone in HR merely looked at the applicants surname and skimmed through their portfolios and CVs - though they made up their mind as soon as they saw their name, they just skimmed through to be politically correct. What is the future of Art Direction in the Digital Landscape? Art Direction in terms of the digital landscape is still very much controlled by the AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 125

capitalism of this age. What do the masses want, what do they not realise they want and how can we make them want something completely different. But this is where the artisans come in. The niche photographers, designers, illustrators, writers and artists who express through numerous other mediums. They are part of the system too but they still offer liberation, even if on a niche scale. A niche subculture, as we have seen far before the age of social media when print and screen were the main modes of digital communication, can easily grow to influence most of the world, Hip-Hop culture of the 80’s and 90’s for instance or even Jazz and Blues era that came before the Civil Rights Movement in America. These things start off as niche and then break out into subcategories and cultures that even the creators did not imagine (and some did not live to see) just how far it would go. So I do believe that in the age that we currently live in, plurality may come to rule over mass consumerism. People will take from many art directors/content creators to buil upon their individuality creating a uniqueness created by globalisation that we have not seen before. The artisan can become famous from having followers, not just from their hometown (sometimes rarely, word to Little Simz) but from small portions all over the world equating in a large following and a kind of viral affect. Once again, the issue with this becomes authenticity. Who is a master of capitalism and who has simply benefitted from it? How does Academia play a role in Art direction? I believe those who have succeeded the most at Art Direction have normally had strong academic or professional connections before pursuing their works. Before Naomi Campbell was a model she took ballet classes, before Basquiat was a painter his mother took him to numerous art galleries as a child and he came from a middle class family with good ties to education, Edward Enninful was a 126 // AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION.

model at just 16 and was noticed by a stylist and model scout most likely because his mother already had roots in fashion. People often disregard education as some kind of bourgeoisie lie but I think that is very far from the truth. In all honesty I believe what we really need is a more diverse approach and perspective when it comes to education, within ethnic communities and the larger social model. Art clubs and artist talks and workshops being held at primary schools, dance classes being available on concession, giving children and teenagers access to technical equipment and programmes at a younger age. We should have the opportunity to integrate these things into our lives from a very young age. I was taught about geometric abstract art by a South African supply teacher who HATED me (I was demon at 10 years old) and I’ve never left it behind, integrating it into my philosophical theoretical and visual artwork till this day. How does Art Direction contribute to Popular Culture? Art direction has a way of permeating and setting the scene for the perspective of the day. Such as the decision for fashion designers to give women’s clothes shoulder pads in the 80’s, some say this was indicative of the new emerging feminine power and concepts of dual sexuality. I vaguely remember in the early 00’s when men started to wear pink more and more because of some stylist somewhere in the world, soon after conversations about masculinity and masculine beauty soon became a topic. Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill gave birth to a wealth of Black women who love their natural hair, natural beauty and their blackness in a not so politicised way. Queen Latifa calling herself a Queen and demanding respect for her black body and stature, all whilst getting leading roles with diverse narratives. Films like Daughters of the Dust controlling the Deep South narrative of former slaves, adding a softness, a beauty

and an elegance, transforming the way we see black matriarchs and the black woman community as seen by numerous photoshoots and even in the visual works of Beyonce. Art direction has a direct affect on pop culture and can change popular narratives and perceptions of what is and should be popular, making even the most political of statements accessible to wider society. How can Visual Art continue to contribute to Culture? Without visual culture, in all its forms, our perceptions of our culture, post and pre colonial, would be warped and used to make us complicit in our subjugation and perpetuation of stereotypes. Visual culture has created pride and given life to black people, either through film, fine art, photography, advertisements and design. The research work of West African influencers, such as Amy Sall, have also contributed in giving our history richer depth by showing the historical diversity in Black African artistry particularly film and photography. For me personally coming across the work of artists such as Elizabeth Catlett and Ibrahim El Salahi has been not only affirming in my perspective of Black art but a catalyst in my individuality, especially when it deviates from the ‘Black norm’. Does Art direction aid Authenticity? The same way Art direction can aid superficiality it can also aid authenticity by giving diverse narratives and concepts; by making plurality an option we now truly have a variety of characteristics to identify with and to represent us. Afterall, no race of people are a monolith. The plurality available also means boundaries and boxes cease to be a controlling factor in people’s lives but we now have the opportunity to further push conceptions of identity by being uniquely ourselves, which is more revolutionary than we realise. AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 127



Too often black women are marginalized in society, especially when it comes to the narrow beauty standards and the limited and negative portrayals of black women in the media. The use of the comic art/ pop art allows me to traverse a world of melodramatic vulnerability that black women are stripped from exploring. I love the graphic and eye catching elements of comic books and wanted to use similar techniques to address issues I face as a black woman; lack of representation, silencing of black female narratives and the appropriation of the black female image. These images became a way to “appropriate” the same privilege that allows white individuals and more advantageous groups in society to wear black identity as an absurd costume. The juxtaposition of light, peachy flesh tones against different hues of brown skin highlights the absurdity of wearing a culture as a mask in addition to highlighting the tragedy that such a privilege cannot be reciprocated by black individuals. Images: Experiment 2A- “Black Girl, Listen To Yourself” Experiment 3A- “Black Girl, You Will Find Love In Yourself” Experiment 4A- “Black Girl, Your Anger Is Valid” Experiment 5-3- “Me Gritaron Negra” Experiment A- “Black Girl, Its Okay To Cry










On the 1st of November we all took our seats in the lecture theatre at (LCC) the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, to watch the journey of students who had just finished the Nylon programme and who are from a widening participation background at UAL. They had worked on a collaborative brief with some students from New York at the Shawn Carter foundation. This programme is quite close to my heart as I took part a few years ago and met some amazing people who I still keep in touch with today. The programme is built around informing, educating and getting students out of a bubble. It gives students glimpses of the different opportunities that are out there for us. In New York The Shawn Carter Foundation which was founded as a public charity in 2003 by Gloria Carter and son Shawn Carter aka Jay Z, aims to do the same with the collaboration in this Nylon program.

scholarship student in collaboration with volt 49 to carry on working on the fast live brief. This year the students came up with “my first time” using screen printing, graphics design and their personal experiences to tell a story through text. It’s not just an exchange, the programme teaches and equips students with the skills needed to be able to tackle different tasks, gain experience, collaborate with students from all types of backgrounds i.e science. Bringing a different perspective to the table and connections for their future. “We want students to learn new skills and come up with new ideas in and out of their fields. It gives students the opportunity to get out of their comfort zones and explore new territory t”

Many of their other programs: Scholarship Fund, College Prep and Exposure, International Exposure, Professional Development, Scholar Support and Community & Goodwill Programs help young people to see their future and point them towards their own individual direction.

John Glasgow (LCC) a former student travelled in from New York to introduce the film. He told us all a lovely story about meeting his business partner at the screen printing room at Lcc whilst admiring each other’s work to later starting a company together that’s standing strong today. A company of 35 people with 25 of them being creatives, working and growing together as Volt 49.

NYLON involves students from any course at UALl who signed up for the programme and were chosen for their dedication and hard work after the first week in London. They then get the opportunity to travel across to New York with Shawn Carter foundation

Glasgow said ‘Screen printing and craft is the heart of their company and when Lawrence Lartey founder of the program came to him with the idea of working and educating students with volt 49 he saw this as an opportunity to give AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 135


back to students from a working class background and to say thank you.’

Participating students Responses: Stacy: 2nd year Textile student

“Giving back to these students it’s something that I’ve wanted to do for years, knowing that a lot of hard work and determination can get you there. So for these young students here and I’ve been speaking to a lot of them, for them to hear my journey, hear the story and see someone that looked just like them. It motivates them.”

“A great opportunity for me to learn how to market myself and my work.” Hannah: 3rd year Branding and Identity student “We were able to collaborate well and produced something beautiful in such a short amount of time.” Celine: 3rd year Graphics Design student “I learnt to develop my skills and work with people from different backgrounds.” Kiano: 3rd year Public Curation student “We had a really short time span to come up with the idea and fully present it, I’m really proud of what we’ve done.” Moniqua: 3rd year Media Communication student “Through participating with Nylon I can now say I have an international professional network.” Hannah: Graphics Branding and Identity “Projects like Nylon is really important for widening participation students, it give us the chance to grow our network and develop skills which we might not have otherwise.”





Tutor: you’re a Pedantic inventor

All works oil on canvas- 30 x 40cm-20172018 (NFS for educational purposes only)

Me: How am I supposed to take that Tutor: It is meant in a positive way. My paintings of the Karo a Nilotic pastoralist Tribe of Ethiopia were part of a way of thinking and a translation of ideas around music; thinking of the adornments and accoutrements of flora , fauna and found objects; the rhythmic and spatial configurations in relation to creating such beautiful daily visual and sonorous compositions on the body or face of the Karo tribe were the site for an exchange of sound/colour, rhythm/gesture composition/mark-making take place.

L to R: Juan Atkins Whiz Khalifa Derrick May Future

The Tribes use of rudimentary actions in this daily process of Cultural Symbolism, for me is painting but over and above that the finished expression is now a Graphic score a visual notion or translation for a song or markers for rhythmic patterns. The body and face contains: through my ideas on music/rhythm and sound are new ways (that are built on a ritual that has no time date but is at least 100’s of years old and could be thousands of years old) to create new models or ideas on non-rules in music. Tribe Ritual Mark Rhythm Pattern Composition Song Beats Graphic Score AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 139





What does creating legacy sound like? How do you describe a phenomenon? What can I possible say about Shades of Noir that hasn’t already been said? I like to start off with, thank you. I can honestly say I have been through a transformation of sorts that couldn’t have been predicted. Seeing myself in the eyes of so many who look just like me and being able to contribute to such an important conversation, one that not only pushes forward the empowerment of underrepresented peoples but supports, educates and nurtures the creative within will be such a treasured moment in my hopefully long prosperous life, but one that will forever influence the rest. I began unaware of what it truly meant to be a part of a community, what it truly meant to create change, and how many different ways we as individuals can serve justice. All throughout my higher education experience I was looking at the very words that would become almost like mantras leaving my mouth; words like justice, society, inequality, diversity, representation, race, marginalisation and only until I joined Shades of Noir did it forced me to look inside myself did I find out their true definitions and in turn my own truth. I was able to define my goals, ambitions, and most importantly my potential. I’d like to give a humble and warm thank you to the founder Aisha Richards and my editor Melodie Holliday, whose counsel, support, and inspiration were invaluable to me and for bringing together such a space that I know will continue to be a light in the dark for so many. 142 // AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION.

Though leaving Shades was always going to feel too soon, and I will miss my team dearly. It was an honour to serve my community as Junior Editor and I know I will continue to do so wherever life takes me. Here’s to many more reasons to Salute, Bee Smith


For Us, By Us: Bee Smith & Julie Wright.


KEY TERMS. Art Activism

Artistic practice that addresses political and social issues.


The policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.

Art Director

Art director is the title for a variety of similar job functions in theater, advertising, marketing, publishing, fashion, film and television, the Internet, and video games. It is the charge of a sole art director to supervise and unify the vision

Art Direction

"The Processes incvolved with being a creative director; such as project management, curation etc. An individual who versees the entire look a particular project, facillitating creative intent which aids the projects visual identiy on both macro and micro levels. It is often felt that the role of the Art Director is to implement set design. Art Direction: the visceral resonance of how a piece of work feels. In other words, what you feel in your gut when you look at a website, app, or any piece of design work.�

Artistic Labour

Arendt posits that artistic labour is the only form of true work, which she defines as the ability to produce a totality without being reduced to slaves, namely, works that are completely useless to the capitalist system.


Having or showing the ability to speak fluently and coherently.


The processing of adapting to or falling in line with the culture of a nation.


the right or condition of self-government; complete freedom from external control or influence; independence.


An economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.


A person who uses their wealth to invest in trade and industry for profit in accordance with the principles of capitalism.


The control or governing influence of a nation over another country, territory, or people. The process manifests through different forms of violence.


Share or exchange information, news, or ideas



Groups of people who live in the same area, or that have particular characteristics and attributes in common.


The holistic safeguarding of cultural heritage through preventative measures and interventive action such as environmental monitoring and remedial repair.

Creative Direction

Creative Direction is championing the intersection where Art Direction & Design meet Strategy

Critical Race Theory A theoretical framework in the social sciences focused upon the application of critical theory, a critical examination of society and culture, to the intersection of race, law, and power. CRT proposes that white supremacy and racial power are maintained over time, and that the law may play a role in this process and investigated the possibility of transforming the relationship between law and racial power. Culture

The ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society

Cultural Products (Goods)

Cultural products are goods and services that include the arts (performing arts, visual arts, architecture), heritage conservation (museums, galleries, libraries), the cultural industries. (written media, broadcasting, film, recording), and festivals.

Decentralised Curation

When curatorial responsibilities are shared between archivists and the participants in an archive, who as a collective have the most indepth subject knowledge on the records, their contexts and uses


A system of government where leaders and representatives are selected by the people; rule of the majority.


A form of government, tied strongly to Ancient Greek political systems, wherein citizens of a state elect representatives to govern them and potentially have the power to remove such representatives from their position.


Factors and statistical data of a population.

Double standard

Unequal expectations, moral standards, or rules that allow one group to have more privileges than another group within a society. A sexual double standard, for example, usually places more restrictions on women than on men.


A state in which all individuals or social groups are treated fairly, equally and no less favourably; be it by virtue of their race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation or age. Equality stands for inclusion and is against discrimination.


The study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history.


Freedom of association

The right to band together to form groups, whether they be societies or clubs, for a common cause without interference from the government.

Freedom of expression

The right to express to one’s opinion without restraint.


Not excluding any section of society or any party involved in something.

Institutional racism

Racial discrimination that has become established as normal behaviour within an institution or organization. Institutional racism leads to inequality


Is a concept often used in critical theories to describe the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another. The concept first came from legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 and is largely used in critical theories, especially Feminist theory, when discussing systematic oppression. When possible, credit Kimberlé Crenshaw for coining the term "intersectionality" and bringing the concept to wider attention

Intersectional Feminism

A perspective within feminism that doesn't exclude people from the movement based on their Gender, Race and Class.


A term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw which examines how social identities are used as a way to discriminate against marginalised groups who experience multiple forms of oppression simultaneously. Specifically women of colour who suffer from both gender and racial discrimination.

Knowledge Production

Trends, not singly but in their interaction and combination, to a transformation in the mode of knowledge production

Liberatory Archives

A concept invented by Michele Caswell which imagines archives as community-based institutions that focus on the process of imagining futures rather than collecting things. This challenges the idea of ‘belonging’ that has lead to xenophobic, queerphobic, ethnocentric and racist practices.


"A group of people seeking to influence legislators on a particular issue "


A spoken or written account of connected events; a story.


Member of a dominated out-roup, whose identit is considered lackinf and who may be subject to discrimination by the 'in-group'


The method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.


Post Colonial

A theory or academic discipline exploring concepts and themes relating to the cultural legacy of colonialism. Critics of this discipline often consider the prefix ‘post’ to be inaccurate as it suggests ‘a moving beyond’ the colonial moment and its impact.


A theoretical approach in various disciplines that is concerned with the lasting impact of colonization in former colonies.

Poststructural feminism

Poststructural feminism is a branch of feminism that engages with insights from post-structuralist thought. Poststructural feminism emphasizes "the contingent and discursive nature of all identities", and in particular the social construction of gendered subjectivities


Ensuring the continued life of a collection of cultural material through best proper and storage practice as well as public access.


the description or portrayal of someone or something in a particular way; the action of speaking or acting on behalf of someone or the state of being so represented.

Social Construct

A concept or perception of something based on the collective views developed and maintained within a society or social group; a social phenomenon or convention originating within and cultivated by society or a particular social group, as opposed to existing inherently or naturally

Social Justice

justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society

Structural Racism

In comparison to institutional racism, structural racism speaks of a broader spaces made by group of people, from dozens, hundreds, or thousands that all have the same biases and personal prejudices joining together to make up one organisation and acting accordingly.

Systemic Racism

Systemic racism accounts for individual, institutional, and structural forms of racism.


The practice of making only a symbolic effort to practice inclusivity by accepting a small number of people from an under-represented group in order to give the appearance of equality within an institution or space.

Visual Representation Representation is the use of signs that stand in for and take the place of something else; Viewing representation in such a way focuses on understanding how language and systems of knowledge production work to create and circulate meanings.


BIBLIOGRAPHY. Adorno, T. (1990) ‘On Popular Music’, in Frith, S. And Godwin, A. (eds.) On Record, Routledge, London. Adorno, T. (1991) The Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture, Routledge, London. Arts Council England (2015). Equality, Diversity & the Creative Case A Data Report, 2012-2015. London. pp.12-15. Available from: and_the_Creative_Case_A_data_report_2012-2015.pdf [Acessed 15 Nov 2018] Autonomy Work Collage. (n.d.). [image] Available at: http://50shadesoffederalism. com/theory/non-territorial-cultural-autonomy/ [Accessed 14 Oct. 2018]. Banks, M. (2010) Autonomy Guaranteed? Cultural Work and the ‘ArtCommerce Relation’: A Synthesis and Review Brown, M. (2018). Number of BAME arts workers must improve, says Arts Council report. [online] the Guardian. Claire Bishop, “Participation and Spectacle: Where Are We Now?” in Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991–2001, ed. Nato Thompson (New York and Cambridge: Creative Time and MIT Press, 2012), 34–46. Creative Industries Federation (2017). Creative Diversity. London. pp.1-12. Available from: Access%20&%20Diversity%20Booklet_A4_Web%20(1)(1).pdf [Acessed 15 Nov 2018] Department for Media Culture & Sport (2016). Creative Industries: Focus on Employment. London. pp.21-23. Available from: attachment_data/file/534305/Focus_on_Employment_revised_040716.pdf [Acessed 15 Nov 2018] Department for Media Culture & Sport (2016). Creative Industries: Focus on Employment. London. pp.21-23. Available from: data/file/439714/Annex_C_-_Creative_Industries_Focus_on_Employment_2015.pdf [Acessed 15 Nov 2018] e-Flux (2010). Untitled (a Fist for the Famine Food project). [image] Available at: https:// [Accessed 14 Oct. 2018].

Emmelhainz, I. (2013). Art and the Cultural Turn: Farewell to Committed, Autonomous Art?. e-Flux, [online] (Journal #42). Available at: AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 149

art-and-the-cultural-turn-farewell-to-committed-autonomous-art/ [Accessed 14 Oct. 2018]. (n.d.). Autonomy. [online] Available at: https:// [Accessed 14 Oct. 2018]. Hamilton, A. (n.d.). Adorno and the Autonomy of Art. [online] Research Gate. Available at: https://www. [Accessed 14 Oct. 2018]. Hito Steyerl, “Politics of Art: Contemporary Art and the Transition to Post-Democracy,” The Wretched of the Screen (Berlin: e-flux journal and Sternberg Press, 2012). (n.d.). Authority, Autocracy, Autonomy - What is it? Definition, Examples and More. [online] Available at: concept/authority-autocracy-autonomy [Accessed 14 Oct. 2018]. Lattner, H. (2016). On Art Terms between Autonomy and Functionalization. [ebook] Berlin, p.1. Available at: [Accessed 14 Oct. 2018]. Rush, F. (2004). The Cambridge companion to critical theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p.146.See Benjamin Buchloh, et. al, “1971,” in Art Since 1900 (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2006), 545–549. Slater, D and Tonkiss, F (2001) Market Society, Polity Press, Cambridge. Slavoj Zizek, “Cynicism as a Form of Ideology” from The Sublime Object of Ideology (London; New York: Verso, 1989) Turl, A. (2014). In Defense of Artistic Autonomy. [online] Red Wedge. Available at: http:// [Accessed 14 Oct. 2018]. UAL News. (2012). Interview Lawrence Lartey - UAL News. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Dec. 2018]. Zepke, S. (2011). From Aesthetic Autonomy to Autonomist Aesthetics: Art and Life in Guattari. [ebook] New York: Bloomsbury Academic. Available at: From_Aesthetic_Autonomy_to_Autonomist_Aesthetics-libre.pdf [Accessed 14 Oct. 2018].


FURTHER READING. Books: Ahmed, S., 2013. The cultural politics of emotion. Routledge. Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G. and Tiffin, H., 2003. The empire writes back: Theory and practice in post-colonial literatures. Routledge. Benjamin, W (1978) “Author as Producer,” Reflections, trans. Edmund Jephcott, (New York: Helen and kurt Wolff, 1978). Burrell, T., 2010. Brainwashed: Challenging the myth of Black inferiority. ReadHowYouWant. com. Vancouver Bürger, P (1984). Theory of the Avant-Garde (Minneapolis: 1984). Burn, I “The ʻSixties: Crisis and Aftermath (Or The Memories of an Ex-Conceptual Artist),” Art & Text (Fall 1981), pp. 49-65. Also see Lucy R. Lippard, Six Years: the Disappearance of the Art Object (Praeger, 1973). Chin-tao Wu, Privatising Culture: Corporate Art Intervention Since the 1980s. London: Verso. Cockroft, E (1974) “Abstract Expressionism, Weapon of the Cold War,” Artforum (June 1974), pp. 39-41, and Serge Guilbaut, How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art: Abstract Expressionism, Freedom, and the Cold War (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983). Collins, P.H., 2002. Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. Routledge. Cotta, M. and Best, H. eds., 2007. Democratic representation in Europe: diversity, change, and convergence. Oxford University Press. Eagleton,T (1990) The Ideology of the Aesthetic. Basel Blackwell Publishing: Oxford. p. 368. Eagleton,T (1986) “Capitalism, Modernism and Postmodernism” in Against The Grain, (London: Verso, 1986). Fraser, A (1997) “Whatʼs Intangible, Transitory, Mediating, Participatory, and Rendered in the Public Sphere?” in October #80 (Spring 1997), pp. 11-116. Gill, R. and Gill, R.M., 2007. Gender and the Media. Polity. Gilroy, P., 2013. There ain’t no black in the Union Jack. Routledge. AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 151

Gray, H., 1995. Watching race: Television and the struggle for” blackness”. U of Minnesota Press. Greenberg, C (1960) “Modernist Painting” first published as a pamphlet for the Voice Of America, 1960, and reprinted in Gregory Batttcok ʻs anthology The New Art (New York: Dutton, 1966). Halter, M., 2007. Shopping for identity: The marketing of ethnicity. Schocken. Vancouver Hinkel, J (2000) “How Art is Helping Activism” F Newsmagazine (October 2000), pp. 14-15. Hirsch, M., 2012. The generation of postmemory: writing and visual culture after the Holocaust. Columbia University Press. Kant, I (1952) “The Critique of Aesthetic Judgement,” collected works, (Chi- cago: William Benton, 1952). Lury, C., 2004. Brands: The logos of the global economy. Routledge. Vancouver McClintock, A. and Robertson, G., 1994. Soft-soaping empire: Commodity racism and imperial advertising (pp. pp-131). London: Routledge. Vancouver McClintock, A., 2013. Imperial leather: Race, gender, and sexuality in the colonial contest. Routledge. Negri. A and Hardt. M, Empire, Cambridge: Harvard 2000), p.337. Negri. A and Hardt. M, op. cite., pp. 400-401. See also Sholette, “Counting On Your Collective Silence: Notes on Ac- tivist Art as Collaborative Practice,” Afterimage (November, 1999), pp.18-20. Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, trans. Richard Nice (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1984), p. 228. Puar, J.K., 2017. Terrorist assemblages: Homonationalism in queer times. Duke University Press. Sassen, S (1991) The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1991), pp. 335-337. Sholette, G (2000) “How To Best Serve the New Global Art Matrix,” Seiteneingänge: Museumsidee & Ausstellungsweisn, Roswitha Muttenthaler, Herbert Po- sch, Eva S. Sturm ed.. (Wein: Turia & Kant, 2000), pp.146-168. Skeggs, B., 1997. Formations of class & gender: Becoming respectable (Vol. 51). Sage. Slavoj Zizek, The Sublime Object of Ideology (London: Verso, 1989), p. 33. Taylor, B (1995) Avant-Garde and After: Rethinking Art Now (New York: Abrams,1995), p. 153.


Articles, Essays & Journals: Agathangelou, A.M., 2013. Neoliberal geopolitical order and value: Queerness as a speculative economy and anti-blackness as terror. International Feminist Journal of Politics, 15(4), pp.453-476. Banks, Mark (2010). Autonomy guaranteed: cultural work and the ’art-commerce’ relation. Journal for Cultural Research, 14(3) pp. 251–269. Available: https:// [Accessed on 7 Nov 2018] Bell, J.S.C. and Jackson II, R.L., 2013. Tyler Perry and the Mantan Manifesto Critical Race Theory and the Permanence of Cinematic Anti-Blackness. In Interpreting Tyler Perry (pp. 44-58). Routledge. Bishin, B.G., Dow, J.K. and Adams, J., 2006. Does democracy “suffer” from diversity? Issue representation and diversity in senate elections. Public Choice, 129(1-2), pp.201-215. Cummings, K.M., Giovino, G. and Mendicino, A.J., 1987. Cigarette advertising and black-white differences in brand preference. Public health reports, 102(6), p.698 Davis, J.F., 2018. Selling whiteness?–A critical review of the literature on marketing and racism. Journal of Marketing Management, 34(1-2), pp.134-177. Degand, D., 2015. A phenomenological multi-case study about social success skills, aspirations, and related media experiences. The Qualitative Report, 20(6), pp.872-900 Elsaesser. T (2017). Art, Avant Garde and Autonomy: Why Art and Life May Have to Change Places. Kunsten92. Available from: Tekst-Thomas-Elsaesser-Art-Avantgarde-and-Autonomy.pdf [Accessed on 7 Nov 2018] Fischer, L (2015). Art Direction and Production Design. Rutgers University Press: New Jersey. Frisina, A. and Hawthorne, C., 2018. Italians with veils and Afros: gender, beauty, and the everyday antiracism of the daughters of immigrants in Italy. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 44(5), pp.718-735. Gill, R., 2008. Empowerment/sexism: Figuring female sexual agency in contemporary advertising. Feminism & psychology, 18(1), pp.35-60. Grier, S.A. and Brumbaugh, A.M., 1999. Noticing cultural differences: Ad meanings created by target and non-target markets. Journal of Advertising, 28(1), pp.79-93. Henwood, D (1996). “How Jobless the Future?,” Left Business Observer #75 (Dec. 1996). Available from: [Accessed on 7 Nov 2018] Henwood, D (1996). “Work and its future” Left Business Observer #75 (Dec. 1996). Available from: [Accessed on 7 Nov 2018] Jack Rotfeld, H., 2003. Misplaced marketing: Who do you hire when the advertising audience isn’t you?. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 20(2), pp.87-89. Jackson, P., 1994. Black male: Advertising and the cultural politics of masculinity. AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 153

Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 1(1), pp.49-59. James, J., 2010. ‘Campaigns against “Blackness”’: Criminality, Incivility, and Election to Executive Office. Critical Sociology, 36(1), pp.25-44. Lamont, M. and Molnár, V., 2001. How blacks use consumption to shape their collective identity: Evidence from marketing specialists. Journal of Consumer Culture, 1(1), pp.31-45. Landrine, H., Klonoff, E. A., Fernandez, S., Hickman, N., Kashima, K., Parekh, B., & Weslowski, Z. 2005. Cigarette advertising in Black, Latino, and White magazines, 1998-2002: an exploratory investigation. Ethnicity & disease, 15(1), p.63-67. Njee, N., 2016. Share Cropping Blackness: White Supremacy and the Hyper-Consumption of Black Popular Cultureu. McNair Scholars Research Journal, 9(1), p.10. Osborne, P (2012) Theorem 4: Autonomy. Can it be true Art and Politics at the same Time?. Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy. Available from: https:// [Accessed on 7 Nov 2018] Quick, R.K., 2011. The cultural commodification of identity: hip-hop authenticity (Doctoral dissertation, University of Missouri--Columbia). Ramamurthy, A. 2017. Imperial persuaders: Images of Africa and Asia in British advertising. Rollig. S and Stürm. E (2002) Duerfen Die Das?: Kunst als sozialer Raum: Art/Education/Cultural Work/Communities (Verlag Turia & Kant, Wein, Austria, 2002). Pages 161 to 184. In addition, the short version is available on the website of the European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies EIPCP. Available from: http://www. [Accessed on 7 Nov 2018] Sholette, G (2011) SOME CALL IT ART: From Imaginary Autonomy to Autonomous Collectivity. Available from: \] [Accessed on 7 Nov 2018] Sudbury, L. and Wilberforce, F., 2006. The portrayal of black people in UK television advertising: Perception and reality. Journal of Consumer Behaviour: An International Research Review, 5(5), pp.465-476. Wheatley, J.J., 1971. The use of black models in advertising. Journal of Marketing Research, 8(3), pp.390-392. Wilcox, Emily, “An Investigation of the Intersection between Art and Activism” (2009). Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects. Paper 275. Available from: [Accessed on 7 Nov 2018]


DIGITAL RESOURCES. Websites: The Creative Director Track www.thedeependdesign. com/podcast/how-to-bea-creative-director/

Sam Cox (a bona fide creative director himself) offer his insights and personal experience on the subject.

Giant Thinkers podcast category/podcast/

Expert advice for emerging designers to be employed.

Design Details design-details

A weekly conversation about design process and culture

Adventures in Design www.

A daily talk show for creatives just like you, exploring how others design happiness into their professional lives

NTMY the Show

Tobias shares his personal thoughts on design and productivity in his personal newsletter and on DESK, a blog reaching millions of designers and creators each month. He also hosts The NTMY Show, a conversation-based podcast made for designers and makers.

The Deeply Graphic Design Cast www. podcast/podcasts-the-deep-enddesign/id494747654?mt=2

The Deeply Graphic Design-Cast is hosted by three successful, working designers with a wealth of real world experience to draw upon,

Creative Honey

Creative Honey is a podcast and journal for the creative professional, that include but are not limited to the topics of design, art, creativity, branding, user experience, and photography.

The Unmistakable Creative The Unmistakable Creative Podcast features candid www. conversations with experts in business, technology, creativity, personal development, and neuroscience.


The Fresh Rag Show www. podcast/the-fresh-rag-showcreative-business-insight-andexpertise/id923237407?mt=2

The mission of the Fresh Rag Show is to promote awesomeness in all creative ventures. Whether you’re an artist, designer, photographer, handmade crafter or any other creative entrepreneur, your business has room to grow and the Fresh Rag Show is here to help. We discuss issues on business, marketing, media strategy, as well as fighting the limiting beliefs many creatives suffer. The Fresh Rag Show strives to kill the starving artist mentality, and instead, provide a sense of abundance and financial prosperity. We talk with expert artists, designer, photographers, crafters, marketers, social media gurus, and other business owners to find out how they run their business, what are the secrets of their success and how others can emulate them

A sit down with great minds in the game industry to discuss topics Bright Black Associates: such as Narrative Design, Monetization, and Creative Direction The Playmakers Podcast www. The RA Podcast team Podcast: Black art and activism www. royalacademy/blackart-and-activism

Artists Sonia Boyce RA, Dr Kimathi Donkor and Jacob V Joyce join arts practitioner and academic Dr Michael McMillan to discuss whether black artists today are expected to challenge global and national issues of race and representation.

Creative Resistance Creative Resistance is a special edition podcast mini-series www. in affiliation with the Center for Artistic Activism and is hosted by Research Fellow, Sarah J Halford. Tactics & Strategies In this episode, we hear from art activists The Atlantic user-154380542

Soundcloud podcast to the Atlantic. The Atlantic covers news and coverage on politics, business, culture, technology, national, international and life on the Official site of The Atlantic Magazine

The Spin www.soundcloud. com/thespin1

The Spin is a weekly one hour podcast featuring women of color talking policy, social justice, race, sex, gender, power, love. It's a pioneering podcast led by award winning international journalist Esther Armah. The Spin rostrum mixes the brilliance of activists, organizers, academics, journalists and artists to create engaging, dynamic, powerful podcasts.

Two Brown Girls www.soundcloud. com/twobrowngirls

Two Brown Girls is a pop culture, film, and television podcast hosted by writers and critics Fariha Roisin and Zeba Blay.



Mong Kok shoemaker hopes to bring back creative autonomy to Hong Kong watch?v=4tx2Tic2Wbg

South China Morning Post - Jeff Wan runs a workshop in Mong Kok producing hand-made leather shoes for men and women. He works with a group of retired shoemakers across the city to harness their skills, and believes that bringing production back to Hong Kong is good for the future of the city. Step inside his workshop with our Hong Kong craft series.

Autonomy and creativity - Historians on Teaching watch?v=MuYtaxAy7uY

Dr Michelle Arrow, Macquarie University, Australia, explains how good history teaching enables students to find their own voice and develop a sense of personal agency.

The role of autonomous trains in global mobility, Amine Arezki - TEDxStuttgart watch?v=B6HUaqGORe0

A designing innovator or an innovative designer? Having lived and worked in four different countries over the globe (Algeria, France, USA and Germany), Amine Arezki is a highly creative and open-minded PhD in Robotics and Smart System who naturally likes combining art design and technology. He started his international career when designing competitive autonomous mobile robots as a student and participating in several European com- petitions. Inspired by this experience, he continued applying the playful use of robotics for a greater good when working at Rutgers University New Jersey and combining robotics with video games for rehabilitation of people who suffered from a Stroke. After his time abroad, Amine joined worldwide group leader in transportation sector and is currently leading the autonomy strategy. A designing innovator or an innovative designer? Having lived and worked in four different countries over the globe (Algeria, France, USA and Germany), Amine is a highly creative and open-minded PhD in Robotics and Smart System who naturally likes combining art design and technology. He started his international career when designing competitive autonomous mobile robots as a student and participating in several European competitions. Inspired by this experience, he continued applying the playful use of robotics for a greater good when working at Rutgers University New Jersey and combining robotics with video games for rehabilitation of people who suffered from a Stroke. After his time abroad, Amine joined worldwide group leader in transportation sector and is currently leading the autonomy strategy. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Black Autonomy watch?v=AvXLL_8vIa8

Lorenzo & JoNina Ervin speak on B.A.F. the prison system, & Lorenzo's book "The Anarchism & The Black Revolution..The Idea Of Black Autonomy"...


Afrofuturism: Imagining the Future of Black Identity, New America watch?v=DEwxTzt33kM

A Future Tense Event Afrofuturism emphasizes the intersection of black cultures and imagination, liberation, and technology. Rooted in works like those of science fiction author Octavia Butler, avantgarde jazz legend Sun Ra, and George Clinton, Afrofuturism explores concepts of race, space and time and asks the existential question posed by critic Mark Dery: "Can a community whose past has been deliberately erased imagine possible futures?" Will the alternative futures and realities Afrofuturism describes transform and reshape the concept of black identity? JoinFuture Tense for a discussion on Afrofuturism and its unique vantage on the challenges faced by African-Americans and others throughout the African diaspora. During the event, enjoy an Afrofuturist inspired drink from 67 Orange Street. Follow the discussion online using #Afrofuturism and by following @NewAmericaNYC and@FutureTenseNow.

Who do you think you are? Autonomy, Authenticity and the Emergence of Identity Politics, Battle Ideas watch?v=4Rb12hW9Cqw

Lecture by Dr Tim Black at The Academy 2017, a residential summer school organised by the Institute of Ideas.

Margaret Boden, “Humanity and Creativity” www.

Autonomy, Singularity, Creativity 2007 - National Humanities Center

Artists Roundtable: Art, Activism, and the Black Body - Brooklyn Museum watch?v=tY8zCC4GkQg

For many years, the Brooklyn Museum has exhibited works by contemporary artists who have examined how the black body is placed, in social, political, and historical terms. What are activist artists saying now, in light of the recent fatalities of black men and women and subsequent civil unrest? What role do museums have in addressing these issues? Join us for a conversation on the artist’s role in social protest with dissident artist Dread Scott, multimedia artist Rashaad Newsome, Brooklyn-based street artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and Ferguson, Missouri, activist artist Damon Davis.


Black America - Art & Activism with Faith Ringgold - CunyTV75 watch?v=d4e_IyToFEs

Artist, Author and Activist, Faith Ringgold joins Carol Jenkins to explore pieces of her work, movement and inspirations. Faith Ringgold is the recipient of over 75 awards, including 22 honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degrees and a Lifetime Achievement honor from the College Art Association. She is also known for many of her children's books such as "Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad In The Sky", "The Invisible Princess and "If a Bus Could Talk; The Story of Ms. Rosa Parks" (which won the NAACP's Image Award in 2000). (Taped: 01/18/17) Black America is an in-depth conversation that explores what it means to be Black in America. The show profiles Black activists, academics, business leaders, sports figures, elected officials, artists and writers to gauge this experience in a time of both turbulence and breakthroughs. Black America is hosted by Carol Jenkins, Emmy award winning New York City journalist, and founding president of The Women's Media Center

Faith Ringgold: Artist & Activist - Makers watch?v=Comf9SetjRA

Faith Ringgold on fighting to get women and African-American artists into museums and the power of art. Faith Ringgold is one of America's most gifted and generous visual storytellers. Ringgold is best known for the painted story quilts in which she draws on African American folklore tradition, often to dramatize—to humanize—institutional and national histories. Ringgold was born in New York City during the Harlem Renaissance and became a leader in the Black Arts movement and women's arts movement, organizing protests against major museums for excluding works of black and women artists. In 1971, Ringgold co-founded Where We At, a black women artists group. In 1991 Ringgold became an author, with the publication of Tar Beach, the winner of multiple awards and the first of more than a dozen books. A Professor Emerita of the University of California, San Diego, Faith Ringgold lives and works in Englewood, New Jersey.

Black Art in the Age of White Supremacy GoingUndergroundRT watch?v=AVC5QqGPr5k

Senior Producer Pete Bennett speaks to the fine artists turning London Design Festival into a carnival of activism to reconnect the African Diaspora in Brixton and beyond. National Gallery Statement: “The National Gallery houses one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world, which comprises of over 2,300 works in the Western European tradition from late medieval times to the early 20th century and is free for all to visit.. The Gallery is also a world centre of excellence for the scientific study, art historical research, and care of paintings from this period. One of the founding principles of the National Gallery was to provide a source of inspiration and study for contemporary artists. The National Gallery continues to show work by contemporary artists who are inspired by the collection – in recent years this has included exhibitions by Chris Ofili and Yinka Shonibare, amongst many others.”


Art as activism, Marcus Ellsworth TEDxUTChattanooga - TEDx Talks watch?v=KLg8LMK_Ct4

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Marcus Ellsworth will be taking a look at how art can become a road map for progress as we ask the question "What Now?" Citing examples from world history as well as Chattanooga's present, Marcus will pose the idea that one of the best ways to answer that question is by looking at the creative output of Chattanooga’s citizens. The answers can be found in the music, writing, and even the graffiti of Chattanooga’s most under-served populations. We can use art to engage in meaningful discussions and purposeful action to make Chattanooga better for everyone. Marcus Ellsworth is a spoken word artist and emcee working in the Chattanooga area. He hosts and organizes Wide Open Floor, a monthly open mic performance art showcase at Barking Legs Theater. He is also the president of Tennessee Valley Pride and co-chair for Tennessee Equality Project’s Hamilton and Bradley County Committee. Marcus has spent much of the past eight years honing his skills as an artist and working to help build community around art and issues of social justice. About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Complexity and Contradiction: Black Artists, The New York Times watch?v=9mg2_yHz4K4

The painter Sam Gilliam talks to Rashid Johnson, who is known for his installation art.

QTPOC Art Activism Panel at NAES (Magnoliah Black) watch?v=cd6tDNX3emM

Burlesque performer Magnoliah Black introduces herself and explains her theory of ungrateful fat bitch-itude. Videography by Jessica Glennon-Zukoff. Captioning by Askari Gonzalez.


Black America - The Impact of Art/Activism with Jamal Joseph - CunyTV75 watch?v=QgrA0MS2RHM

Carol sits down with Professor, Academy Award nominated filmmaker and activist Jamal Joseph. Joseph is the author of 'Panther Baby' and the Executive Artistic Director of the Impact Repertory Company. In this episode he discusses his life's work including his past as a member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, his film 'Chapter and Verse' and his commitment to the arts and youth activism. Taped: 04/26/17) Black America is an in-depth conversation that explores what it means to be Black in America. The show profiles Black activists, academics, business leaders, sports figures, elected officials, artists and writers to gauge this experience in a time of both turbulence and breakthroughs. Black America is hosted by Carol Jenkins, Emmy award winning New York City journalist, and founding president of The Women's Media Center

Black Voices, Black Art Upending Convention with Kellie Jones and Kimberly Drew, Brooklyn Historical Society watch?v=VHYr43yVzO0

Art historian, curator, and 2016 MacArthur Genius Award-winner Kellie Jones has rewritten and rectified the narrative of American art history by shepherding a multitude of overlooked black artists into a canon that was narrowly white. With her focus on contemporary art of the African Diaspora, Jones has literally curated change. She discusses her career, activism, and vision for the future with trailblazing social media maven and blogger, Kimberly Drew, a.k.a. @museummammy.

Art as Activism: Kate DeCiccio, Community Artist, Adobe Creative Cloud watch?v=HyNX1bX-6dU

Artist, activist, and educator Kate DeCiccio believes that art can be a powerful tool for self-reflection, for resistance, and for building community. One of her poster creations was highly visible at the Women’s March on Washington, to which she also brought a large artwork in her continuing series addressing the effects of police brutality. Learn more about DeCiccio in our video profile.

Closing Plenary: The Spirit of Art and Activism, Yara Shahidi, Points of Light - watch?v=7HceyJdOeH8

Hear how a series of renowned changemakers define the central mission of their lives around the passion and purpose of social justice, change and artistic activism, bringing insights into how we can revitalize and focus our mission with renewed purpose and commitment.

Celebrating Black activism with Angela Rye - Google Arts & Culture watch?v=QRqUoZpKkxA

Activist Angela Rye pays homage to her father and the long tradition of Black activists who have fought and continue to fight for equality.

Civil / Rights / Act: Art and Activism in the 1960s - Dartmouth watch?v=xadg-PzngmU

The Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth presents: Civil / Rights / Act: Art and Activism in the 1960s" Kellie Jones, Associate Professor in Art History and Archaeology and the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS) at Columbia University and cocurator of Witness, offers a look at how artists engage in changing the world in which we live, in ways both subtle and overt. AUTONOMY, ACTIVISM & ART DIRECTION. // 161

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Entertainment Company - Anonymous Content is a production and management company where talent comes first.

Soul Labels

Soul Labels is a polymath group that explores subculture creativity and ways to widen access within art and design.


Join The–Dots, a diverse community of creators, freelancers & teams

Amusemet Park www.amusementparkent. com/#page1

Amusement Park Entertainment is in the business of creating 360º brand experiences through storytelling and compelling interactive technology.


We are a global marketing, advertising and design company. A spirit of collaboration defines our culture and people.

One Club for Creativity

The One Club for Creativity exists to support and celebrate the success of the global creative community.


D&AD represents global creative, design and advertising communities and celebrates brilliance in commercial creativity.

Creative Equals

Creative Equals is an award winning organisation championing diversity and inclusion in the creative inductries

The Drum

News for the marketing and media industries, with stories, job search resources, events listing, and features.


Adweek is a weekly American advertising trade publication that was first published in 1978. Adweek covers creativity, client–agency relationships, global advertising, accounts in review, and new campaigns.

Twitter Users:


Chidera Eggerue

@theslumflower - Author of 'Scribble Yourself a Feminist', and the bestselling 'What a Time to be Alone'

Jayanta Jenkis

@Jayanta - Executive Creative Director, Twitter

Keith Cartwright

@kmcartwright - Executive Creative Director at 72 and Sunny

Campbell Addy

@CampbellAddy - Founder of Nii Agency & Niijournal Photographer & Filmmaker

Nijel Taylor

@nijeltaylor - NYC-Based Designer

Asifa Lahore

@AsifaLahore - Britain's First Out Muslim Drag Queen. Trans Woman.

Sophia Tassew

@SophiaTassew - Curve ASOS Insider

Daniel Oduntan

@DanielOduntan - Editorial Photographer/Visual Strategist

Jimmy Smith

Amusement Park Entertainment's Chairman, CEO and CCO.

Magnus Djaba

Global President - Saatchi & Saatchi

Geoff Edwards VP, Executive Creative Director at R/GA In Los Angele Mekale Jackson

@MekaleJackson - Sports creative design leader

Sophia Chang

@esymai - New York born and bred illustrator and designer Sophia Chang. Hailing from Queens with an avid spirit for the arts, Sophia is a true product of her environment finding everyday excellence quite comfortable

Oliver Rousteng

@ORousteing Creative Director at Balmain

The Dots

@The_Dots_UK - Join The–Dots, a diverse community of creators, freelancers & teams

Instagram Users:


Jo Arscott

@msarscott - Britain's first black female Creative Director

Dian Holton

@dianholton - An Art Director // Fashion Enthusiast // Pop Culture + Style Junkie

Jayanta Jenkins

@jayanta - Executive Creative Director, Twitter

Chidera Eggerue

@theslumflower - Award-winning Blogger & Author of 'What A Time To Be Alone'

Sophia Chang

@esymai - New York born and bred illustrator and designer Sophia Chang. Hailing from Queens with an avid spirit for the arts, Sophia is a true product of her environment finding everyday excellence quite comfortable

Adrienne Raquel

@adrienneraquel - Adrienne Raquel is an NYC-based creative –– specializing in photography + art direction. Inspired by femininity, Summer vibes, and tropical motifs –– Adrienne’s work is playful, vibrant, and nostalgic. Her eye-catching imagery and distinct use of color + composition have led to many exciting brand collaborations. Notable publications such as TIME, Refinery29, and Elle have esteemed Adrienne as an influencer + one of the top female creatives to follow.

Campbell Addy

@campbelladdy - Campbell Addy - Founder & Editor of @niijournal, Founder of @niiagency

Ella Ezeike

@ellaezeike - Image maker

Shingi Rice

@spitblue - photo + styling

Ib Kamara

"@ibkamara - Fashion editor at large at ID.

Kristin-Lee Moolman

@kristinleemoolman - Photographer & Filmmaker

Tyler Mitchell

@tylersphotos - Photographer and fFilmmaker based in Brooklyn

Blood Orange

"@devhynes - British singer, songwriter, and record produce

Theo White

@theowhitewine - Art Director & Stylist, Founder & Editor @theowhitezine


Virgil Abloh

@virgilabloh - American fashion designer, DJ, and music producer who has been the artistic director of Louis Vuitton's men's wear collection since March 2018. Apart from his work at Louis Vuitton, Abloh serves as the chief executive officer of the Milanbased label Off-White, a fashion house he founded in 2013.

Babak Radboy

@babakradboy - Creative Direction

Toni Hollowood

@tonihol - Art Director

Daniel Oduntan

@danieloduntan - Editorial Photographer/Visual Strategist

The Other Williams Sisters

@kuvitbeauty - Kuvit Beauty is a company with a central focus on inclusion and a main goal of celebrating and highlighting a diverse range of beauty. We are two African-American sisters with a passion for this community and a desire to see it develop into something that celebrates and reflects our world. Our goal with Kuvit is to fill that void by being inclusive to everyone interested in the beauty industry regardless of gender, color, or sexual orientation.

Sandra Falase

@sandras_archive - Artist, Writer and Scenic Set Builder

Ellen Jones

@ellen__jones - Award winning campaigner & content creator • Writes & Talks on activism, LGBTQ+ issues, mental health, autism

Kate Moross

@katemoross - British illustrator, art director and designer

Hunter Schafer

@hunterschafer - he/they, trans fem/4ever navigating gender, artist, model

Stephen Wilson

@stephenisaacwilson - Director


We salute you!

Autonomy, Activism and Art Direction. © Shades Of Noir 2019

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Articles inside

Digital Resources

pages 155-166

Further Reading

pages 151-154


pages 149-150

Key Terms

pages 144-145, 147-148

It's Never East to Say Goodbye by Bee Smith

pages 142-143

The Pedantic Inventor 1 by Andrew Hart

pages 138-141

NY-LON by Favour Jonathan

pages 134-137

Black Girl Series by Ryann L. Oakley

pages 128-133

An Interview with Gold Maria Akanbi

pages 124-127

Introspection Illusion by Bunmi Agusto

pages 122-123

Diversity Reports by Kourtney Paul Stuart-Mason

pages 114-121

Black Female Bodies by Shannon Bono

pages 112-113

Retweet by Lois Majek-odunmi

pages 108-111

Akwaaba. The Balancing Act: Being Both Black and British by Rose Ofori-Darkwah

pages 106-107

Mercedes Lewis

pages 104-105

The Modern Day Black Woman

pages 100-103


pages 96-99

Cherry by In\u00EAs Mour\u00E3o

pages 92-95

I Don't See in Colour by Mercedes Lewis

pages 84-91

2 Moons by Jonathan Fernandez

pages 82-83

The 'Cool Black' by Gold Maria Akanbi

pages 80-81

Motherhood (Series) by Sharon Foster

pages 74-79

Base Head Jazz by Alaa Kassim

pages 70-73

Arts 'Double Character' Rayvenn Shaleigha D'Clark

pages 64-69

Blk. by Inës Mourão

pages 58-63

Sam Nairobi (2017) by Awuor Onyango

pages 56-57

House Party by Favour Jonathan

pages 52-55

Tesifa (2019) by Mikael Calandra Achode

pages 50-51

Agbogho II by Chizitalu "Chiizii" Uwechia

pages 44-49

The Extraordinary Qualities of the Gaderene Swine by Tam Joseph

pages 40-43

Body by Shannon Bono

pages 38-39

Jason Sam (Antony)

page 37

Inés Mourão

page 36

Sankara (2018) by Ethel-Ruth Tawe

pages 34-35

Key Term Video: Art Activism

pages 32-33

Donald Rodney - 20 Year Anniversary (1961-1998)

pages 30-31

For Us, By Us

pages 24-29

Key Data

pages 20-23

A Note from Richie Manu

pages 17-19

A Note from Lawrence Lartey

pages 14-16

Peer Review: Lawrence Lartey and Richie Manu

pages 12-13

A Note From the Leads

pages 8-11


pages 1-3, 6-7
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