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. This includes, but is not limited to graphic visualisations, explicit descriptions and an extensive discussion of racial abuse, offensive language or the detailing of behaviours of assault, abuse, harassment, racism, sexism, homophobia or transphobia directly related to the experiences of marginalised communities.
Special Thanks. Shades of Noir would like to extend a special thank to the ToR Support Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark and Angie Illman as well as Editors Melodie Holliday and Aisha Richards for their contributions to this Terms of Reference Journal.
Mission Statement. Shades of Noir undertake practice-based social justice within the creative sector context in partnership with international educational and cultural institutions, as well as creative practitioners and a broad spectrum of organisations. Our aim is to evolve behaviour, practice and cultural value to support a variety of audiences through a broad range of discursive and proactive interventions. We seek to engage and support individuals who make up the sectors through a combination of activities, commissions and resources. We centre the histories, voices and experiences of marginalised communities as a catalyst for transformation of people, processes and policies. This is all in support of our mission to: • Centre the voices, experience and perspectives of marginalised communities to evolve thinking • Create platforms to engage with intersectional experience, understanding and perspectives • Support knowledge exchange within a social justice pedagogical context • Transform behaviours through proactive interventions within a creative educational cannon • Build social justice communities of change-makers across sectors and countries
WITH THANKS TO. Contributors: Phase 5 Shades of Noir Team Peer Reviewers: Dr. Julie Botticello Olivia King Aisha Richards Angie Illman BlackManWhiteBaby Book Geek Brenda Emmanus Charisse Chikwiri Dr. Gurnam Singh Dr. John Sealey Ella Devi Dabysing Favour Jonathan Fiona Koh Li Ping Florence Low George Padmore Institute Hafiiz Karim Hilary Wan Hope Cunningham Jessica Anoche Jorge Aguilar Rojo Kain Shaka Kana Higashino Meera Mandhu Melanie Keen Melodie Holliday INFO: W: shadesofnoir.org.uk E: email@example.com Tw: @shadesofnoir Fb: shadesofnoir
Miriam Syowia Kyambi Noor Effendy Ibrahim Rayvenn Shaleigha Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Clark Samia Malik Sandra Poulson Stan Squirewell Tamara James-Dickson Tam Joseph Tarika Sabherwal Tiffany Webster Tschabalala Self Yuwen Hsieh
Cover Design by Samia Malik Designed by Safiya Ahmed
A Note From The Leads
Peer Review Olivia King and Dr Julie Botticello
Expanding The Conversation
Further Resources Further Reading, Digital Resources, Image Captions
TRIGGER WARNING Please note that some of the articles within this document moving forward 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. This includes, but is not limited to graphic visualisations, explicit descriptions and an extensive discussion of racial abuse, offensive language or the detailing of behaviours of assault, abuse, harassment, racism, sexism, homophobia or transphobia directly related to the experiences of marginalised communities.
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WELCOME. Stan Squirewell Untitled (u.d.) Mixed Media collage and carved scorched frame Size Unknown
Never doubt that race has severe material consequences argues David Roediger; ‘deeply embedded in both the economic and constitutional foundations of society’ (ibid. 2002). The ‘Arrangement of Politics of People Relations’ under the system of White Supremacy (Racism) is specifically designed and intended to create and maintain destabilising interactions between White and Non-White people(s) and cultures. This power dynamic is distinctly present within all nine areas of activity which include; Economics (Wealth & Income), Education, Entertainment, Labor (Occupation), Law, Politics, Religion, Sex (Gender), and War. In its influence on the totality of people’s lives of experiences - in spite of vehement attempts to decolonise such (social) structures - it is no longer a tenable position to say that these three factors are not concomitant; manifesting themselves even more particularly in the duality of the experiences that minority cultures suffer throughout their lifetimes. Rooted within a long history of colonialism that binds all cultures into a single territory of conflict and reinforced by the pursuits of capitalist and imperialist forces, in this, we need to be more cognizant about the role of class - or classism - in the ongoing discussion. To consider classism is to explore the role of prejudice (or stereotyping) against individuals belonging to a particular social class; a bias which plays a significant role in economic considerations of these groups, with specific gender-based distinctions also. In this respect, classism can similarly be broken down into three separate categories existing on a ‘personal’, ‘institutional’ (academic) and ‘cultural’ level. Under this current framework - which devalues non-White and non-European cultures, questions of identity become problematic when considering the dynamics of interracial relationships within the prevailing culture; often maintaining biases, as well as distorted racial and sexual stereotypes perpetuated by the dominant non-inclusive system. With this in mind, the politicised reflections on couples who do not hail from the same culture can similarly come into question under the banner of identity politics and skewed peer relations. These nuances similarly perpetuate ingrained prejudice against women which especially with the intersectionality of religion - remains largely a gendered, power-based relationship which remains active in today’s modern societies. Similarly, men must also navigate the many complex and unrealistic models of behaviours of (toxic) masculinity. Societal expectations engendering many disruptive manifestations that impact - consciously or unconsciously - within relationships. Thus, it is clear that such an imbalanced dynamic exists within all areas of this nuanced social strata. From this perspective then, the discussion of race-based distinctions takes on a durable ascriptive quality in the present. Whilst the race, gender and class debates have been centralised within public
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debate for more than a century, we often see a conscious separation made between each consideration, often pitting the forces against each other. On this topic, Hatt-Echeverria and Urrieta in Racialising Class (2003) noted the oppression of individuals from a certain class and race tend to intersect, creating a grey area of overlapping categorisations. ‘It excludes rather than oppresses. It is stealthy and gentle in appearance, but brutal and steadfast in its mission [...as we reveal] its rancid [imperialist] core. The rot is clearly evident – it is like a cancerous cell which, left unchecked, can spread and become cumulatively destructive’ (Soni and Hay, 2015). Its many reverberations are being captured from …”intelligentsia, [to] radicals and political activists, its refugees and exiles” (Sivanandan, u.d.), discussions surrounding race & class were highly responsive to some of the major events that shaped the 1970s; specifically the ‘widespread and rapid socio-political changes and liberation struggles, from the phenomenon of Black Power to the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and the installation of popular governments in newly independent (decolonised) countries. In this vein, there is a strange contradiction that has arisen in the discussion of race; in what Bonilla-Silva (2008) describes as a new racial ideology commonly referred to as ‘colour-blind racism’. She postulates that racial inequality in the present is the outcome of non-racial practices and subtle, institutional manoeuvres which are inclusive of class-based prejudices as a contributing factor. Hence, all things suffer at the hands of ongoing tension, division and exclusion - the carving out of designated zones that separate certain categories of individuals maintain the current state of race relations that appears to be on the verge of destruction. Akala on the subject very recently made the declaration that ‘people just have to own their class interests’ (Akala, 2018). In this vein, we must also consider the variance of the differences of gendered experiences in the discussion of the relationship between race and class, considering the socio-political mechanisms of exclusion and disenfranchisement in this context and the havoc it continues to wreak on the issue of identity politics. ‘The rule of law, you see, buckles, bends and sometimes crumbles under the weight of racism, sexism, and classism’ (Goldie Taylor, 2014). This Terms of Reference will engage in a discussion about race, sex (gender) and class as fundamentally overlapping elements within a singular system of social power rooted in colonialism - how they manifested and are/can be framed in the everyday, as well as how they affect our personal, professional, private and social relations relationship within our lives - as a collection of experiences and identification in response to the systems of obligations and social dynamics in the discussion.
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The work will include – but it is not limited to – the following topics: • ‘Racial-Patriarchy’ • Interracial coupling and experience • Mixed-raced heritage reflections • Historical reflection on race interactions • Social stigmas on interracial dating • Contemporary Discussion around Race, Class and Genderbased distinctions, including racial social structures • Racial, gender, and class segregation on the Internet • Social (race or gender based) identity online • Experiential, Physical, Emotional and Material manifestations in the everyday • Gender, Social Class, Race, and Ethnic group and its influence on behavior • Hierarchical conversations around Race, Gender, and Class • Gendered perspectives in discussion on race and class • Myths surrounding Race and Sex • Gendered perception/expectation of difference • Fetishisation of male bodies and hyper-masculinity of female bodies
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1. How has Race, Sex and Class manifested in your experience? 2. How has this structure informed your everyday life, socially, economically, mentally and physically? 3. How has the system benefited you? 4. How can one experience internalised self-inflicted racism, sexism and classism? 5. W hat would you define as the mechanism of white supremacy and how does it work? 6. How does / can this cause conflict whilst simultaneously being a gateway to acceptance and union based around something other than difference? 7. What does / can difference mean within a ‘post-racial’ epoch? 8. How then does this similarly manifest itself when we begin discussion close personal interracial relationships or navigating spaces of dual-heritage? 9. W hat are the different identification(s) in relation to the various systems of obligations that thrive under the system of White Supremacy (Racism) 10. W hat are the social dynamics and experiences within this discussion and how are they manifested (framed) in the everyday? 11. How can we explore the The ‘Anatomy of Difference’ in gendered and racial bodies? 12. W hat is the relationship between Gender and Ethnicity? Gender and Class? Class and Ethnicity? 13. W hat are the ways in which cultural construct affects our social realities, bolster racial inequality (racism) and affect individuals’ biology? 14. Are there any solutions to racial inequalities and the problems of race relations in the present that can be identified?
THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 11
KEY TERMS. Ablesplain
To explain any aspect of disability from someone who does not have the lived experience of being disabled, usually in a patronising manner.
Showing discrimination against Black people
The policy or practice of opposing racism and promoting racial equality.
Inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair.
A term used in certain countries, often in socially based systems of racial classification or of ethnicity to name people, especially one of African, Australian Aboriginal and/or Melanisian ancestry.
A characterisation of the idea that most White people do not understand the African American experience. Related to issues of white prvillage, Black experience pertins to the many layers of pain, mistrust, and taboos keep people divided along racial lines.
The act of explaining concepts which in Black culture while assuming the non-black members of the group do not understand.
Often felt to be a outcome of thelink between racism and PTSD; A psychologist explains race-based stress and trauma in Black Americans in which acial microaggressions are subtle, yet pervasive acts of racism; these can be brief remarks, vague insults, or even non-verbal exchanges,
A term that black individual use to metaphorically describe the socio-political, econmic and emotional collective characterisation of identity, pertaining to only black individuals that is association with a modern society.
The people of a nation, state, or society considered collectively as an organized group of citizens.
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The term refers to the practices and policies through which powers of society regulate the human body, as well as the struggle over the degree of individual and social control of the body. The powers at play in body politics include institutional power expressed in government and laws, disciplinary power exacted in economic production, discretionary power exercised in consumption, and personal power negotiated in intimate relations.
The control or governing influence of a nation over another country, territory, or people. The process manifests through different forms of violence.
Colonialist Narratives Colonial discourse (narratives) is the collection of narratives, statements, and opinions that deals with colonised peoples — told from the perspective of European colonizers. 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. Diaspora
Scattered population whose origin lies within a different geographic locale. Diaspora can also refer to the movement of the population from its original homeland.
The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex
Double consciousness is a concept that Du Bois first explores in 1903 publication, “The Souls of Black Folk”. Double consciousness describes the individual sensation of feeling as though your identity is divided into several parts, making it difficult or impossible to have one unified identity.
A group of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared historical, social, cultural experiences, ancestry which distinguish them from other groups.
The propoensity of a group (in-group) to consider its members and values as superior to the members and values of the other groups (out-groups) THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 13
The qualities of belonging to a faraway, foreign country or civilisation and thus demarcated from the norms established in and by the West
Characteristics of exotic things/places and people
To explain feminist concepts or a feminine perspective, especially when done in a condescending manner.
The extension of a nation's imperial government authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political dominance over other nations.
Racial discrimination that has become established as normal behaviour within an institution or organization. Institutional racism leads to inequality
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.
The action of setting someone free from imprisonment, slavery, or oppression; release.
The explanation of something by a man, typically to a woman, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronising.
An element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means often spread in the form of an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.
A subtle but offensive comment or action directed at a minority or other nondominant group that is often unintentional or unconsciously reinforces a stereotype
A community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristics of something much larger.
Denoting or relating to a person whose origin is not predominantly European
When a person or a group of people are subjected to unjust, and usually violent treatment by those in position of power.
The view or treatment (a person or group of people) as intrinsically different from and alien to oneself.
The quality or fact of being different. The idea of ‘otherness’ is central to sociological analyses of how majority and minority identities are constructed.
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A social system in which cis-men hold primary power, predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property at the specific exclusion of women and non gender conforming people, at least to a large degree.
The method and practice of teaching, especially as an academic subject or theoretical concept.
Hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs; oppression
Person/People of colour, has been used and taken up at different points in history in different places to describe non-white, European people.
An allegorical termed used to characterise the people of a nation, state, or society considered collectively as an organised group of citizens
Political blackness is the idea that all non-white people can define themselves under one term: black
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.
Post Racial (Society) Denoting or relating to a period or society in which racial prejudice and discrimination no longer exist. Post Colonialism
A theoretical approach in various disciplines that is concerned with the lasting impact of colonization in former colonies.
Hatred towards someone based on their identity. Example: An oppressed person of colour can be prejudiced against privileged races but cannot be racist.
A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a individuals in particular groups by institutions.
to comment on or explain queerness to an LGBTQ person, especially in an inaccurate, uninformed, or condescending manner:
A socially constructed system of classification of the human population into groups based on physical features and ancestry from the 17th century onwards, Though the concept existed long before this time, it was during this period that it began to widely be used used by European scholars + scientists (among others) in order to legitimise and justify their genocide and dispossession of the peoples of America and enslavement of Sub-Saharan Africans.
THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 15
Acts of prejudice, bigotry, and/or discrimination of individuals of one race against members of other races. These acts do not count as racism if they are coming from members of a marginalised race, i.e. black people, as they do not have the social, political or economic power to make their actions opressive and effective. Racism also refers to institutional, systemic, linguistic and economic structures that perpetuate the idea of racial superiority and inferiority, allowing for a wide range of effects, e.g. skin-bleaching, overrepresentation of PoC in prisons, underrepsentation of PoC in media, the poverty of Africa and its Diaspora community.
A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
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 accounts for individual, institutional, and structural forms of racism
The term “white fragility,” was coined by Dr. Robin DiAngelo, a multicutural education professor at Westfield State University, who described the term as, “-a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves.”
White privilege (or white skin privilege) is a term for societal privileges that benefit people identified as white in some countries, beyond what is commonly experienced by non-white people under the same social, political, or economic circumstances.
The act of a white person explaining topics to people of color, often in an condescending manner, and especially regarding race- or injustice-related issues.
White supremacy is an ideology centered upon the promotion of the belief, that white people are superior. It is argued by critical race theorist that all white people have a level of white supremacy values because of the media, education and politics have embedded whiteness as superior in society.
Defined as a set of characteristics and experiences that are attached to the white race and white skin. In the U.S. and European contexts, whiteness marks ones as normal and the default. While people in other racial categories are perceived as and treated as 'other'. whiteness comes with a wide variety of privileges. In defining "others," whiteness defines itself.
The explanation of something by a woman to a man, in a manner regarded as condescending or patronising.
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A NOTE FROM THE LEAD.
THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 17
What is racism, sexism and classism? Can (and should) we examine race, sex and class respectively whilst discussing political, social and cultural issues? When discussing Race, Sex (Gender) and Class, people often consider them respectively, rather than as overlapping territories. As a third culture kid (or TCK), growing up in Japan, Singapore, California and now London, I have always felt the impact of these overlapping territories in my experiences. Growing up as a TCK also meant that I understood what it felt like to be a foreigner to my own heritages and histories, and being both Chinese-Singaporean and Japanese, I am constantly negotiating my dual-heritage in respect to my femininity. This has impacted upon and consumed a lot of my life - so much so that I continued to challenge and discuss them in my practice as an artist. Not only are race, sex and class commonly discussed as separate territories, they are often pitted against each other, perpetuating questions like, ‘Is this a race issue or a class issue?’ or as recurring statements such as ‘this isn’t a gender issue, it is an economic issue’. It is important to understand that social structures are more complex than that. We have to keep in mind that there are economic and political structures put in place to ensure and actively maintain racial, gendered and class imbalances. This is often felt to be perpetuated within 9 specific categories: Economics (Wealth & Income), Education, Entertainment, Labor (Occupation), Law (Policy), Politics (Government) , Religion, Sex (Gender), and War. There is indeed a dominant and non-inclusive system that surrounds. So whilst we continue to endure a global landscape that distorts racial and sexual stereotypes - and the histories or experiences of people of colour - within this unwavering and unjust system, there have been many attempts to decolonise these structures - many of those initiatives have been engaged with through art. This publication is particularly personal to me, and with this issue I aim to showcase a variety of artists from different social and cultural backgrounds that explore and challenge the intersections of race, gender and class. How do contemporary artists examine, discuss and negotiate these issues within their individual practice? So now I must ask the question: how do you - as the reader of this publication - experience and navigate race, sex and class within your daily lives? With my experiences in putting together this issue, I must say that I have spent many hours reflecting on the questions that I pose. However, through building this document, I now have a more complex perspective on how people from all walks of life deal with the many facets of their identities and histories. I hope this issue similarly informs its readers. Kana Higashino
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PEER REVIEW. Shades of Noir was delighted to invite Olivia King and Dr Julie Botticello to peer review this Terms of Reference.
Olivia King (she/her) A writer, researcher and equality adviser. They have grown up in Canada, India, Malaysia, Zimbabwe and the UK. A lifelong learner, their academic background is economics, politics, psychology and law. They have experience in the public, private and third sectors, having worked for organisations such as The Open University, the NHS and various LGBTQ+ voluntary groups. They also design and deliver awareness of human rights to prompt people to interrogate their beliefs, practices, systems, choices and behaviours. Their training content, methods and research have been used by small and large employers. Olivia has set up networks for queer people of colour, running workshops and events aimed at addressing isolation, trauma and building community resilience. Justice (socio-economic and political) is at the heart of everything that Olivia does in recognition of its centrality to respecting the dignity and human rights of all. Olivia is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine, the British Psychological Society and the Society of Legal Scholars.
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Dr Julie Botticello Currently works at the National Maritime Museum in the Learning and Interpretation team. She is responsible for the provision for adult learning across the Museum. Prior to her work at the Museum, Julie worked in UK higher education, as lecturer and researcher, for over 10 years. Starting her academic journey at Camberwell College of the Arts, Julie went on to gain her PhD at UCL, undertaking research with YorubaNigerians in London on the challenges posed by migration and the barriers to fulfilment movement to the centre of former Empire was meant to overcome. Prior to coming to the Museum, she worked at the University of East London, teaching Public Health at BSc, MSc and PhD levels. Her critical practice as an academic and educator, whether in the Museum or in Higher Education institutions, is devoted to widening participation, the decolonial agenda, and overcoming inequalities in access and opportunity. To this end, she gained Fellowship to the Higher Education Academy in 2016 and won a place on WISH – Widening Success in Higher Education – a partner programme between the UK and South Africa, on widening access, participation, success, and employability of diverse students. She has authored and co-authored several academic publications on themes relating to culture and belonging; knowledge, work and skill; health care access and acceptability; and critical pedagogy in education.
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A NOTE FROM OLIVIA KING. ‘… nothing neutralises creativity quicker than tokenism, that false sense of security fed by a myth of individual solutions.’ Audre Lorde in The Masters Tools Will Never Dismantle the Masters Houses, Penguin Modern, 2017 pp.47 The articles in this inspirational and accomplished issue of Shades of Noir reveal how academics and artists are challenging, distorting and disrupting systems and institutions that were built and are being built on to support white hegemony, white interests, the white gaze, and white power. All of our global and national institutions have been constructed for just these interests which is why institutional racism, sexism, and classism is a daily lived reality for the majority regardless of where we live in the world. This is the lasting consequence of the single unifying language of global capital which relies on psychological and physically violent exploitation of the majority to enable the privileges afforded to the few. The meditative paintings of Fiona Koh Li Ping (Fishmonger’s Daughter) bring this to view by juxtapositioning working-class lives against the communication medium of print, highlighting for me the interrelation between class oppression, race oppression, sex oppression and access to education and viable economic employment prospects. Education and the process of access to it is a tool used to perpetuate systems of oppression. In the US cultural context, Tschabalala Self engages in a similar discussion by deconstructing the black female body against the backdrop of the most familiar manifestation of capital shopping. Here she develops images that seek to overturn mainstream narratives about the relationship of the economy to the oppression of people based on race, sex and class. Similarly, BlackBabyWhiteMan deconstructs and thus reconstructs conventional racist imagery through a black lens in single frames which reveals how innovative contemporary black artists are in exploring identity without losing any of the aesthetics of their work. The other artists in this issue are equally ingenious in their messaging on the overarching topic of this publication. As a whole, the contributors within this issue demonstrate through art, poetry and the stage, that the three ‘isms’ are complex, related and intertwined - they feed off each other, replicate and mutate across systems, institutions and processes, entangling communities, histories, cultures and lives within, which is why single individuals cannot successfully challenge them using one medium alone. In essence, you cannot separate one form of oppression from another, because one wouldn’t exist without the other - it simply couldn’t. Racist institutional structures THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 21
would not exist if sexist structures were dismantled because both rely on the creation of myths and narratives that divide people based on arbitrary distinctions and characteristics which have no justifiable validity; they remain offensive, painful and antagonistic to the formation of healthy individual identities and continue to fracture and destroy our communities. This very fact exemplifies why white supremacy and supporters there-in use the tried and tested method of ‘divide and conquer’ on an institutional, collective and individual level. If all energies were focussed on one ‘ism’ - bringing down one, would this cause the others to collapse? And so we have the well-known example of the US Black Panther Party (1966) managing to unite the white working-class alongside, women of colour, queer communities, black people and academics within the single framework of liberation through self-sufficiency which led to their state-sponsored destruction as a viable force for positive social change and justice. Here in the UK we have the work of Doreen Lawrence, following the murder of her son Stephen Lawrence (1993), being limited by white privileged structures, which continue to halt the progress towards equity in our public services and wider (for example implementation of the public sector equality duty and hate crime reporting/prosecution as clearly documented in the Macpherson Report (1999). This is significant as it has wider implications on how people of colour are expected to police ourselves, not just in terms of our bodies, where we locate ourselves and what we say, but also our art, where we are published, who we can reach through our attempts to disrupt the negative impact of white supremacist narratives. The authors and artists in this issue have also interrogated and sought to understand how white structures support areas for its beneficiaries to release some of their anxieties, shame, guilt, paranoia and fears (conscious or otherwise) about benefitting for centuries from the violence perpetrated on the ‘other’. Tamara James-Dickson in her article ‘Race in Classic Horror’ points out how white fear of black ascendancy is given a psychological outlet, a ‘release point’ if you will to subconsciously get through the anxieties of being white privileged. This is a crucial thesis to reflect on given that this too has been denied to the ‘other’. For example, black people have very few ways of using different mediums to release anxieties. In fact, when we use film, art, literature or music to do so, we are often heavily edited, ignored, sidelined or criticised. Sometimes only one of us is let through so it is not ‘read’ by wider society as a common experience of all, but rather a solitary individual making a particular statement about their experience or perspective. Hence the power of the message to unite us is limited again. Worse, our efforts are recolonised and repackaged using white narratives so we can no longer use them and 22 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
have to try and find ourselves and our voices again. The 2017 film by Jordan Peele ‘Get Out’ is a case in point. While people of colour were drawn by the film, and rightly felt and recognised their need for emotional release, it catered to underlying frustrations around trying to disengage with the colonisation of the mind with some white critics actively detracting attention away from this, instead focussing on the genre itself and the superficial narrative. Thus, herein lies one of the central issues to navigating through all the structures, institutions and daily interactions that privilege white supremacy - our dignity is under attack 24/7. Dignity is central to every persons sense of self. It is the core of our being and it is interwoven in how we see ourselves, how we (re)build our self-esteem, (re)connect with our peers and how we learn to love ourselves after years of negative reinforcement (see interview with artist Stan Squirewell in this issue where ‘education’ is discussed). This is the crux of entrenched oppressive behaviours, actions, and structures - to attack the dignity and the very heart and minds of those who are considered the ‘other’. This is where the true psychological, emotional and physical cost of discrimination in all its ‘isms’ reveals itself - the trauma of generations, the loss of lives, the time wasted building and rebuilding our sense of self-worth (see interview with Charisse Chikwiri on ‘women and health’) so we can only just function ‘one-day-at-a-time’, while others use that time to ‘progress’, build cities, walk to the top of business/academia/media/arts, accumulate generational wealth, construct new empires and develop and preserve selective narratives and histories across academic institutions and museums. At the same time, we, the majority, with our dignity under attack daily regardless of where we are, shut down and as such we have begun to retract into our own private spaces to properly heal and breathe. Some of us develop exteriors that are so tough, we barely recognise ourselves, we too have to block out our natural inclination to empathy just to survive, help our loved ones survive and invariably we lash out at those closest and dearest to us, something that has been written about extensively by our scholars - Audre Lorde, Stuart Hall and James Baldwin just to name a few. And how long before others, unable to take much more, bite back, just to protect the last vestiges of dignity that are left? Thus they enact far-reaching consequences to their own mental health and wellbeing. And so, we know how white supremacist structures, supported by all the ‘isms’ manifested in behaviours, choices, and actions, see us. We do. THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 23
As James Baldwin said in 1968 ‘ I don’t know what most white people in this country feel, but I can only conclude what they feel from the state of their institutions’. We know through these actions what white power structures believe (consciously or otherwise) of what we, as black people can achieve. Because people of colour have never stopped achieving. And, the contributors to this publication have demonstrated that even with the relentless attempts to erode our dignity and exclusionary narratives that deny the humanity of our people, they have risen to generate positive, diverse, inclusive, life-affirming work that can benefit those in the present, and those yet to come. I hope you find this issue as inspiring, empowering and moving as I did. I would like to thank Shades of Noir for the opportunity to peer review this issue. It has been a privilege. Olivia King, www.oliviaking.org Further reading and resources: • Berger, John, and Dibb, Michael (1972) Ways of Seeing. London: BBC Enterprises. • Lorde, Audre (2017) Your Silence Will Not Protect You, UK: Silver Press. • The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry: report by Sir William Macpherson, February 1999, Presented to Parliament. • Hall, Stuart (1994) “Cultural identity and diaspora” from Williams, Patrick and Laura Chrisman, Colonial discourse and post-colonial theory: a reader pp.227-237, London: Harvester Wheatsheaf. • Baldwin on Dick Caveet (1968) www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fZQQ7o16yQ • Toni Morrison interview on Charlie Rose (1998) www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Kgq3F8wbYA • Angela Koine Flynn ‘The science of skin colour’ Ted Ed www.ted.com/ talks/angela_koine_flynn_the_science_of_skin_color?language=en
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A NOTE FROM DR JULIE BOTTICELLO. In 2017, Shades of Noir launched Inside the Ivory Tower, an edited collection documenting the experiences of women of colour working in UK academia. My then head of department, Prof Marcia Wilson, had contributed a chapter and invited me to come. She and I had been in active conversation about creating supportive and inspirational learning environments for students of colour within our university and so to hear from her and other contributors was a great opportunity. The book and the event emphasised the challenges faced when working within institutional structures not designed for the success of black women. Framing the experiences, one author asked how women of colour can exist and persist in an environment characterized by white, masculine values and behavioural norms, hidden within an ideology of meritocracy’.1 The contributors underscored the intersection of gender, race and class as compounding barriers to progress. My recognition of racism, classism and sexism, as a cis female Irish/Italian American, who moved to Britain in the late 1980s, began consciously while teaching in universities. I had some sense of the discriminations surrounding race, class, and sex previously, but it wasn’t until I was teaching that I was confronted with the truth of these terms and their material realities head-on. This was particularly evident, when I, a white female, was learning about the world and its workings from my BME (Black and minority ethnic) students, who had fewer degrees, but whose life-education in global history and politics far surpassed my own. This brought me into a long period of self-reflection, looking at my education and its intentions to obscure anything that did not speak to white power. I have since been undertaking a process of unlearning and relearning, and of using my position, working in public institutions, to create spaces for these ‘hidden’ histories and experiences to be heard, amplified and concretised. This Terms of Reference publication, on ‘The Three ism’s: Negotiating Race, Sex and Class’, brings to the forefront the ongoing injustices grounded in whiteness and white supremacy. At the same time, it also foregrounds core work being undertaken toward building a different conceptualisation of people and culture/s that embrace the intersections of race, class and gender and moves toward liberation from arbitrary discriminations, concomitant inequalities and institutionalised disparities of power. This issue begins with data on undergraduate students and male and female BME professors in the UK. The data reveals that white students and white academics are disproportionately represented in the sector, with BME female professors constituting just 1.3% of the total professorship pool of over 20,000 individuals.2 The Equality Challenge Unit underlines the need for change, stating that ‘UK higher education cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 25
population and until individuals from all ethnic backgrounds can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords’3. Within the issue, contributor Kourtney StuartMason responds to UAL’s annual Equality, Diversity and Inclusion reports which show that just 54% of BME students were awarded a 1st or 2.1, compared to 74% of white students attaining these results. He suggests that institutional culture change in student support and more black academic staff could make success more equitable. Humanising these statistics through art, he overlays tables outlining the inequalities with representations of those most affected. This enables viewers to read this information as about real people, not disembodied abstractions. Contributor Kain Shaka returned to education at 49, he expected to be the oldest student and only black man on his course, only to find there was an older black man in his classes, for whom his life and experiences would make sense. This connects to Stuart-Mason’s observations that student success relies on support, here as shared understandings from outside the classroom. When receiving disheartening comments from others about doing a film course at his age and as a person of colour, he replies that this is exactly why he needs to do this now. Dr John Sealey further underscores the need for films driven by Black narrative. Mainstream media defaults to a white narrative, in particular when addressing certain histories. For cultural identity, he says, it is important not only about how we see ourselves, but also about how we are seen. As Bim Adewuni states, if audiences cannot ‘imagine us as real, rounded individuals with feelings equal to your own on screen, how does that affect your ability to do so when you encounter us on the street, at your workplace, in your bed, in your life?’4. In reference to popular culture’s power to persuade, Hope Cunningham admits that, as a child, she didn’t question racist tropes due to their being mainstreamed in European folklore and children’s stories; something I too did not question until much later. The popularisation of these Black caricatures was no accident, as these ‘construe[d] the colonised as a population of degenerate types on the basis of racial origin, in order to justify conquest’5. This miseducation has been to maintain white supremacy. I did not learn about my history in school. I learned about George Washington. And Christopher Columbus. Nothing about my people or my tribe. I thought I was from America. Thus states Blackmanwhitebaby multi-media concept artist as he reflects on the purposeful omission of his history from America’s grand narrative. His art makes discomfiting juxtapositions of mainstream images, such as referencing the ‘Uncle Sam wants you’ poster, 26 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
with the pointed finger belonging to an executioner, and the hangman’s rope draped over his shoulder, in readiness. As Black and Queer, he feels doors did not open toward him as he hoped, but his intersectional identity, like the academics from Inside the Ivory Tower, has reinforced barriers against his admission. However, Hafiz Karim feels identities are always founded on unpredictable grounds, which opens up new possibilities. Karim celebrates Queerness by recrafting conventional images of bodies to disrupt the false binaries of sex and gender and reveal the beauty that arises when liberated from these imposed dichotomies. Other engagements with bodies arise in Meera Madhu’s, skinned alive, where she questions flesh and what it signifies for understanding race and gender and how bodily modifications, such as plastic surgery, confound these. Sandra Poulson also interacts performatively with the body, through collages and hyper-notations. She focuses on body shaming and the control externally imposed toward achieving a docile body, one that is constructed in accordance with social rules of race, gender and obeisance. Tarika Sabherwal challenges these norms, while also taking on caste-based hierarchies, with depictions of empowered, sexual, spiritual women from lower castes, who claim the right to space and influence. Fiona Koh Liping’s art as a fishmonger’s daughter foregrounds her working class background in Singapore. Bringing out imagery of the mundane – fish presented on Chinese newsprint – she affirms these essential aspects to the everyday and proposes fresh engagements with what’s often overlooked. Tschabalala Self considers food deserts that materially mark the ethnic and economic distinctions in New York City. Her series of images about Black women and corner stores emphasise the unequal access to healthy provisioning. She reminds us also that bodies themselves are political. Miriam Syowia Kyambi speaks to the politicization of the female body through performance and specifically engages with themes of violence, colonialism, history, family and sexuality. She explores female social positioning, through representing women’s shrunken lives in contrast to masculine violence that represses, subdues and literally shatters individual selfhood to reproduce obediant female homogeneity. Noor Effendy Ibrahim, in his play, Cerita Cinta, similarly foregrounds violence, in the domestic realm, to explore gender, sexuality, ethnic and identity politics. His play, presented in Malay language, speaks viscerally to the audience, through silence, through violence, through raw response and unscripted engagements. The play, originally produced in the mid-90s, has been revisited, revised and recreated for production in 2018, reminding us that in the reuse of resources we can relearn, and as he states, unlearn. Tiffany Webster’s contribution begins with her reflections on unlearning, offering an alternative understanding of this process: We are always unlearning, but actually it’s remembering, because we were taught the wrong things.
THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 27
She discusses the support she received from being part of the Shades of Noir team, who helped her remember who she was, fostered her courage to embrace her truth and complete her degree. Her expansive vision of art school and its infinite possibilities were dashed by the realities of racism, classism and heteronormativity. The support she received through Shades of Noir affirms Kourtney Stuart-Mason’s statement on the positive influence of support and relatable role models. Melanie Keen and Brenda Emmanus complete the volume with a discussion on mentors, role models, fear, confidence and the power of no. They also discuss taking responsibility for ourselves and for mentoring in turn, to facilitate the progress of those who come after. In terms of her own unlearning and remembering, Emmanus has come to recognise her power and influence, with Keen reminding all to create opportunities to enact this leadership. At her talk for International Women’s Day in March 2019, Angela Davis reminded us that leadership does not have to follow the masculine model of charismatic individuals. Rather, leadership can be a collective of allies, working toward shared goals. Stan Squirewell comments in his conversation with Rayvenn Shaleigh D’Clark that ‘everybody has their own path and everybody has their own reality’. The contributors within this issue all reveal these different paths and realities, yet at the same time, converge on expressions of resistance and resilience, power and influence, collectively contributing to much needed change. Bibliopgraphy: Carlone, HB and Johnson, A. 2007. cited in Opara, E (2017) ‘The transformation of my science identity’ in D Gabriel and S Tate (eds.). Inside the Ivory Tower, London: UCL Press, p. 214. 2 www.hesa.ac.uk/news/24-01-2019/sb253-higher-education-staff-statistics 3 www.ecu.ac.uk/equality-charters/race-equality-charter/about-race-equality-charter/ 4 Adewunmi, B, 2016. ‘What we talk about when we talk about tokenism’, in N. Shukla (ed.). The Good Immigrant. London: Unbound. p 212 5 Bhabha, H, 1993. The Location of Culture, London: Routledge. p. 70 1
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were marked differences in respondents’ answers to this question, depending on their ethnicity. A higher proportion of respondents from a BME background12 (76%) strongly agreed with the statement than white respondents (53%).13
by Penguin Random House, including initiatives such as Write Now and the Spare Room scheme. Respondents felt Penguin had an important role to play in improving diversity due to their position as the largest publisher in the UK.
20% of survey respondents said that they promoted diversity through recruitment or training. This was most frequently achieved through community outreach or engagement (57%), but also via the tailoring of advertising materials (39%), targeted programmes or initiatives (35%), targeted apprenticeships or internships (33%), targeted advertising of roles (33%), and recruitment panel training on equality and diversity (31%).
They have [an employee whose role is] social responsibility […] so they put the time in and really think about it, and they should because they are the biggest publisher.
There were mixed responses to the statement: ‘My organisation is doing well at addressing underrepresentation’ with 40% saying that they neither agreed nor disagreed/didn’t know. Nonetheless, 45% of respondents agreed and only 15% disagreed.
Interviewee 21, Author/Freelance Agent
Interviewees provided evidence of changes to processes within their own organisations, which aimed to promote inclusivity and accessibility to the sector. For example, some publishers have scrapped unpaid internships, making the sector more accessible for those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and from outside of London.
Figure 1: More needs to be done to address unconscious bias in the sector
12 Due to the relatively lower numbers of respondents from non-white ethnic backgrounds we were not able to analyse and compare responses of each different ethnic group. The term BME refers to participants who identified their ethnicity as Arab, Asian/ Asian British, Black/Black British, or mixed ethnic background. 13 White respondents were generally more likely to respond ‘neither agree nor disagree/don’t know’ to agree/disagree questions on the survey, perhaps suggesting a lack of awareness or experience, or not feeling well-placed to comment on particular questions.
Time for Change 2009 report https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/download-file/04-11-19%20Time%20for%20 Change%20-%20Research%20Report%20FINAL_0.pdf Description: Black and minority ethnic representation in the children’s literature sector. THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 29
Irish Prefer White – not to say other
White – other
Prefer not to say
Ethnicity of staff – 2017/18 White – British or Irish
White – British or Irish
Unknown Prefer not to White – say other
43% Prefer White – not to other say Unknown
White – British or Irish
Prefer White – not to say other
White – British or Irish
57% Prefer not to White – say other
Equality, Diversity and the Creative Case (2017 - 2018) www.artscouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/download-file/Diversity_report_1718.pdf Description: Arts Council, Data report. 30 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
Equality Challange Unit http://www.ecu.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Staff-20170420.pdf Description: Percentage of Black and Minority Ethnic UK professors. THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 31
Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, via Mashable (statistics) http://seejane.org/wp-content/uploads/gender-bias-without-borders-executive-summary.pdf Description: Women are vastly underrepresented in on-screen workforce. 32 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
EXPANDING THE CONVERSATION. THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 33
BLACK ROSIE THE RIVETER.
FAVOUR JONATHAN, CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS, UK.
We May all be familiar with the image of ‘Rosie the Riveter’ the young, white woman with the a red bandana tied around her hair, flexing her Muscles with the statement ‘we can do it!’ I have very much associated that image with women standing together to highlight issues in society and make changes. I’ve seen it used in women’s marches, rallies, various female empowerment movements and I knew it was an image used to get women to work during the war along with various propaganda images but knew very little else about it. On Friday night whilst I was doing some artist research I stumbled across an image of a black woman wearing her welding suit and her mask above her head, the image titled ‘Mis Gladys Theus, welder in Kaiser Richmond shipyard’ I searched her name on Pinterest and a number of images popped up titled ‘Black Rosie the Riveter’’ Images of black women working during the war… why have I never seen this images before? And why didn’t I question what black women were doing during the world war? Why wasn’t it told that Rosie the Riveter was a much more diverse figure than the painting suggested? Women of all ages, races, backgrounds, and ethnicities were the driving force in the Allies’ success during WWII, so why were the black hands that worked never recognised?
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The women who worked were offered better paying employment; although they were still at the bottom of the unspoken racial hierarchy which called white men who were not in the military first, then single white women, married white women, black men and finally black women at the bottom of the pyramid. All women were welcomed to work after President Franklin D. Roosevelt had forbidden racial discrimination in war plants, but racially motivated strikes still took place. However without those extra hands the tanks wouldn’t have rolled across Europe and planes wouldn’t have taken off from aircraft carriers in the Pacific. They laid the foundation for war efforts at home, the aircraft industry workers alone comprised of 65 percent female workforce. Women working didn’t only allow the economy to stay afloat, but it also gave them the chance to earn something for themselves, buy the things they wanted and be seen as more than just a housewife. A factory job for many was their first fulltime position held outside of their homes. During my search I found an interview of Lou Annie Charles left and her aunt Josie Dunn who worked during WWII Lou Annie Charles was working 10 hours a day and making 60 cents an hour (that was a lot of money at the time she said). She carried on working for 38 years and retired in 1988 when she was 65. She spoke about how hard they had to work, but the beauty and life it brought to her,
‘It gave me everything i’ve got— a car everything. Things I never had before. My own things. Not my husbands. Mine.’’ (Projects.seattletimes.com, n.d.) Her aunts Josie Dunn on the right age 97, was 18 years old when she travelled to work, earning 62.5 cents per hour, when she started at Boeing, working with two older white men. ‘At one time, we were doing 30 airplanes a month’, she says.
At the end of WWII, Rosie’s was encouraged (and sometimes pushed) to leave the workforce so the men coming home would have jobs but some remained, they found the credit which working added to their lives and carried on where they could, however most of these women especially black women were not recognised for what they did.
THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 35
BRITISH BLACK PANTHER (BBP) NEWSLETTERS.
SHADES OF NOIR ARCHIVE.
Shades of Noir and the George Padmore Institute are pleased to announce a dynamic collaboration which will enable researchers to access rare artefacts, such as the British Black Panther (BBP) newspapers online. The George Padmore Institute (GPI) is an archive, educational research and information centre housing materials relating mainly to the black community of Caribbean, African and Asian descent in Britain and continental Europe. This collaboration has allowed Shades of Noir to present and archive digitised copies of the British Black Panther newspapers. The British Black Panther newspapers are testimony to a time when social injustices were unravelling beyond control. This documentation aims to share the history of such events and is a necessary reference to the development of social justices as well as highly relevant in today’s society in regards to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement (Garza, Patrisse, Tometi, 2013), the Windrush scandal (UK, 2018) and the rise of the far right in Europe ( in which the results of the European Elections of 2014 confirmed the rise of right and far right ‘populist’ parties across the EU, more information: www. bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36130006 ) This work provides online open access to some of the collections held within the archives at the George Padmore Institute and the British Black Panther images will be available to view for non-commercial research and educational purposes via the Shades of Noir website. 36 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
Tabitha Austin - Shades of Noir archivist “2016-18 were critical years in my understanding of the importance of memory work in the advancement of causes of social justice. At the time I was studying art conservation and leading on the Shades of Noir Digital Archives project, and through this work I was often confronted with the importance of cultural and heritage material and the power of preservation. Fortunately, I had the community of Shades of Noir to support not only my personal growth and approach to memory work, but (more importantly) to develop strategies and platforms to manifest these ideals into practice and real community resources. I contacted Sarah Garrod, the archivist at the George Padmore Institute (GPI) to better understand the Institutes holdings and their condition. It seemed that one of the most vulnerable collections was the British Black Panther Newsletters as they are heavily accessed by visitors and printed on quickly deteriorating material. It was decided that SoN would digitise the collection and host the newsletters on its online platform. This serves the spirit of the newsletters — to make visible the experiences of those resistors and survivors of cultural annihilation; and it serves the mission of kindred collaborators GPI and SoN to activate cultural presence and give community access to its history.“
Message Image 4 to the Black People of Britain: Black Panthers Pamphlet showing support for President Kwame Nkrumah.
THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 37
Alt text: We Are on the Move: Image of the front page of the newspaper (Black People News Service) showing demonstrations against Image 5 the racist immigration bill in June 1971
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THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 39
Image 7 Message to the Black People of Britain: Black Panthers Pamphlet
40 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. showing support for President Kwame Nkrumah.
Sarah Garrod - GPI archivist “When Tabitha at Shades of Noir got in touch about digitising the British Black Panther newspapers, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to broaden the access to this valuable resource and to ensure its preservation, as this is a frequently handled collection. Many researchers come from across London and all over the world to analyse and research the archive collections held at the George Padmore Institute. With regular viewing and handling, the condition of the material, in this case the British Black Panther newspapers, becomes progressively more fragile. With Shade of Noir’s support in digitising the newspapers, this not only improves their preservation but will also provide remote access, assisting researchers who are unable to travel to view the collection on site.”
narratives that informs the generations after. The collaboration between Shades of Noir (SoN) and George Padmore will hopefully be the beginning of many more occasions where SoN can digitise and house more of their collection” In addition, Shades of Noir will also now be independently providing access to the BBP newspapers through the Education Site (found on shadesofnoir.org.uk/) If you would like to know more about this partnership, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Please the following link to see more of the archive: www.shadesofnoir.org. uk/artefacts/black-panther-newsletters
Aisha Richards - the founder of Shades of Noir: “We are very excited to share our networks and apply our expertise to support the George Padmore Institute. The digitisation of historical artefacts such as the British Black Panther newsletters is of real significance in supporting the marginalised
THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 41
DRACULA AND THE FEAR OF REVERSE COLONIALISM.
TAMARA JAMES-DICKSON, CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS, UK.
Race in Classic Horror: Novels such as Dracula, Frankenstein and Nosferatu today are considered horror classics. Praised for their uniqueness and literary brilliance, these novels however reflected dark social issues and cultural anxieties. Horror has been used for years to reflect moral panics over colonial issues. The late victorian era saw a growing uneasiness over the morality of imperialism. Take for example Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker which is regarded as a horror classic. 42 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
The historical context for which this story was written presents a series of cultural issues reflecting the late victorian era, one being attitudes around race. During this time in Britain there was a growing uneasiness over the morality of Imperialism - Imperialism refers to a policy extending colonial power and influence through use of military force and by other hostile means. Stephen D. Arata suggests that Dracula presented a narrative of reverse colonisation by which the ‘primitive’ forces from outside the ‘civilised’ world are able to rise and conquer. In many instances the protagonist in late victorian horror finds themselves in the position of the colonised
in a reversal of roles and has become the victim. Arata suggests this is in response to cultural guilt. Britain sees its own imperial practice in monstrous form. These narratives serve as an opportunity for atonement over the iniquity of imperialism. Reverse colonialism is a much deserved punishment. Similarly, ‘Invasion’ literature fiction flourished during this period. The invasion of England as portrayed by sir W.F Butler’s novel describes the potential threat of England being overthrown by outsiders. Invasion scare novels differs to reverse colonisation as it largely focuses on industrial nations such as Germany and the United states. Reversed colonisation narratives focus on the spectacle of the primitive. This both repels and captivates their proximity to elemental instincts and energy dissipated by modern life which makes them dangerous, but also attractive. Patrick Brantlinger has linked this infatuation in the primitive to the late victorian fascination with the ‘Occult’,
Similar to Dracula Stoker’s other novels The Jewel Of Seven Stars (1903), The Lady Of The Stroud (1909) and The Liar Of the White Worm (1911) all placed emphasis on ‘Atavism’ (a tendency to revert to something ancient or ancestral; In biology, an atavism is a modification of a biological structure whereby an ancestral trait reappears after having been lost through evolutionary change in previous generations), ‘Demonism’ (belief in the power of demons) and ‘The Supernatural’ (a concept that encompasses anything that is inexplicable by scientific understanding of the laws of nature but nevertheless argued by believers to exist. Stoker also incorporates political undertones in his work. Each of these gothic novels intersects with narratives of the Imperial decline and fall. Stokers work, despite being critically acclaimed today, was not received very well by late victorian readers. Dracula is just one example of novels that feed into anxiety around race.
‘The Paranormal’ and the ‘Gothic’. The primitive and the occultist rationale both go beyond the threshold of the civilized, rational mind. Giving into primal instinct and unconscious resources, as well as deep rooted anxiety and fear. Brantilinger coins the term ‘Imperial Gothic’ in which Imperialist Ideology, Primitivism and Occultism work together to produce narratives that are symptomatic of the anxieties that attended the climax of the british empire (Arata, 1990)
THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 43
IN CONVERSATION WITH STAN SQUIREWELL.
SHADES OF NOIR, UK.
Fashioning the Body Shades of Noir sat down with Stan Squirewell at GalleryEight London to discuss his newest body of work that explores discourse surrounding race and memory through mythology, sacred geometry, science and indigenous storytelling. Firstly, how does it feel to be embarking on a solo show at Gallery 8, London? Well, I’m gonna put it for you this way. I’m looking at my ancestors, particularly artists from the Harlem Renaissance, and I seem to be following in their footsteps of leaving the United States and coming to the West and I seem to be following in the same track; the reception here has been amazing. It’s almost like it’s been a trajectory and I never planned it to be that way as it’s the first time I’ve ever been to London. Can you tell us a bit more about your work with FACTION Art Project? We were introduced in Harlem about a year and a half ago in one of the earlier days when they first opened the space and I was involved in one of their shows called Harlem Perspectives and it was just a kindred thing that happened.
Following the exhibition of your body of work at FACTION’s Harlem space, in what ways - if any - do you see this show as a continuation of this previous collaboration? And this body of work in the space, is it a new body of work or is it still evolving? The new body of work, but it’s been within me for the last decade and it’s been a process. I didn’t necessarily know how I was going to process the kind of research I have been doing for the past decade, and then suddenly had a eureka moment about 2 years ago. But it is relative to the bodies of work I have done in the past. As a Harlem-based artist, was there a different dimension in terms of repurposing the work for British audiences? Smooth! Stan exclaims, then laughs. Amazingly smooth. The culture of London is surrounded by culture and art in comparison to where I’m from where it’s a very politically-based city, and here people really enjoy the art so I don’t really even have to explain the work; people are already knowledgeable about the context which the work emerges from and are able to read into it for themselves which is a dream. How would you define your practice? I am an image maker. I do whatever I need to do to make the image in my mind come to fruition. My reasoning for thinking like that it’s because I think that as an artist you have to have many tools in your toolbox and be able to make what you envision in your head and although none
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of my work ever looks like what I see in my head, the trials and errors have given me a large arsenal of visual language to use. So can you speak a bit more about your tutelage under many of DC’s legends including artists Michael Platt and Lou Stovall and how this has impacted upon your current working practice? If it wasn’t for Michael Platt I probably never would have picked up a camera. I met Michael Platt when I was at mentorship programme at 15 Y-O and I considered myself to be a painter at the time, and alongside his close friend Harley Little they changed my life - forcing me to think outside the box with a camera and then forcing me to use a camera. So how long did it take you to learn the visual language of photography? Luckily I had Platt as a segway into photography so initially I saw photography as a static art form, but I like to use it more than a conceptual way. What made me fall in love with photography is that I was able to ‘create’ quicker and it became the only medium that I felt allowed me to keep up with the images that I had in my mind (weeks compared to days), and I can get a broader range of pieces and subject matter done, and now it informs all of my projects. The collages are mixed media, but the basis of them all are photography. I read that: ‘each artwork is complete only after he (Squirewell) ceremoniously burns both the collage and its hand carved frames which include motifs and markings from ancient indigenous American and African cultures’: what motivates this ritual? War and conquest were the things that I thought about the most. History idolises non people of colour, and histories that I grew up with were not the stories that my ancestors have. And most of what my ancestors have given to
me have come from deep research and the burning and sacrifice of it all. The lives that were lost; the beautiful history of the negro in America. So for me it’s a reclamation. My work is challenging that history whilst acknowledging in it at the same time. And so the burning is symbolic as I grew up in the church and symbolises the trinity. And so those elements have been pervasive throughout my work since I began drawing and making. In your work demonstrating the misrepresentations of history’: in what ways can audiences question narratives related to ‘shared history’ and how would you urge them to continue this investigation? I would challenge every person to do more research on their individual family. Especially those who consider themselves to be the descendants of slaves because you may find out that you never were a descendant of a slave and then how does that change your narrative? Your reality? So just accepting blindly a narrative that may not be true to you is detrimental. I think that we should study ourselves. So, these collages are said to have ‘evolved over two or three years of archival study and exploration [...] heavily influenced by a recent revelation of [your] paternal ancestry’: when and where did you begin your research and what motivated this research focus and are there plans to continue on this narrative investigation? With Genealogy. Find the records of your family - but that’s not what happened for me. In my case it was an elder; a great aunt who led me to it on the eve of her passing. I felt that I was the only person in the room who was actually listening to what she said, and she was very explicit in saying ‘hey, we were are not descended from slaves’. So when I did my research I was able to find that in the South (America) in the early 1900s alone there were over 250,000 farms owned by
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black people. How could that be if we were talking about just getting out of slavery only a couple years prior? Then there is the issue of the classification error. My ancestors were originally classified as Indigenous Indians Then around the late-1800’s and early-1900s around the time of the census, they were re-classified as Mulatto or Negro and that’s a huge change. The thing that I began to ask myself is ‘who gives the right to define them?’ I found that terms such as ‘negro’ and ‘black’ were not acceptable to my great aunt and her generation. I found out that we are the only people(s) in the world who have been reclassified more than a dozen times. So to me that alone says that there is some sort of hidden history. So I wanted to go to the archives and find out what people from this era looked like because those photos are available. And so all I’m saying is that history is curated like most other things in society and I just began to question everything. I’m thankful for my ancestors for putting me on this track. How far back did your research go? I was able to track my family all the way back to the mid 1700s and it took years. And was there anything that you uncovered? Oh yeah! I was very shocked to learn that on my mother’s paternal side they owned slaves. We are a global people and all related; we are not a monolithic people and it’s all by some way of mixing. So to me, we are a genetic variety of what the Earth produces. And so ‘to collage ‘real historical figures and fictitious characters that are in some way related to you personally’: to what degree are they symbolic of real life people you have encountered in your research? Well, some of them are created and some of them are historical figures. But where my focus really was was placing them back into that historical context of the world. We existed everywhere and there wasn’t a part of the globe where we weren’t. And it 48 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
feels crazy to me that people really believe that we came from one place with no conscionable thought about that history. To just allow that to be stated. Archaeology is still a very new form of study, and so until they dig up the whole of the Earth then they have no right to dig up one specimen and say this is genesis (for black peoples). I respect science but also challenge it at the same time. There are certain fundamental things - just from a very childish perspective - that I have to question. People just blindly accept it, when in reality everything is in a constant state of flux. That’s just the reality of things and I’m enlightened by new information everyday that blows my mind and I’m still researching everyday. Creating ‘portraits that have a 16th-18th century aesthetic with a contemporary awareness’, how did you reconcile these aesthetic modes of existences? Again, it’s the act of placing ourselves in narratives where we are deemed we weren’t supposed to be. In my research I found images of the negro taken in classical Rome that I have never seen in the museum before. So why not, if we were there? So often white people put themselves in our history, so why can we not do the same? Rightfully so, because it remains unspoken. So, the systemic racism that exists within the United States is crippling to a young man; it could be devastating to a person of colour who was already struggling to survive and that unspoken history further exacerbates the situation; because when you don’t see yourself as useful in history... I’m not about that kind of life. Did you not find the research daunting? Initially I found it very challenging because it is not a comfortable subject for people to talk about. We have fallen in love with the slave narrative and have embodied it within the United States - I’m sure of it. And so when you’re saying that there is another history, the acrimony that I often
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get is from black people that have a hard time digesting the conversation that I’m trying to have with them. That’s an issue. That’s a problem. That if you think yourself only in terms of the lesser, when in actual fact that’s not your position. So for me I struggled also because I often wondered why I was not told this as a child. Maybe you weren’t ready... It seems to be a very loaded thing to say to a child especially if you don’t have the tools to investigate at that age? But see, therein is the problem…We conceive that children are incapable of handling the truth; and that is furthest from the truth and I can now say this as a father. It feels to be the most pertinent time to put in that sort of information. As Malcolm X once stated ’only a fool would let the enemy teach children…’ and that is exactly what the education system is doing In my opinion considering my 17 years and education as a teacher; It is the killing field, no doubt about it. When the agenda from the moment you step into the building is to teach you everything about someone else and not yourself - and then they grant you only one month where you’re supposedly supposed to explore that sense of self - I find it to be very interesting on the psyche. (Black History Month) It comes around in a very short month, a cold month, the weather signalling to me death (February in the U.S) if you want to look at it from an esoteric perspective. So when you speak of programming, when you speak of education, if you’re not going to teach children properly then don’t teach them at all. Don’t do them a disservice as they have enough already in prolonging or promoting them as being lesser. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s the most important job that a person can take on because you’re actually training people to thrive and survive in society so they are entrusting that you give the children truth. So when you’re not doing that and instead giving them a curated story then it’s not the job for you.
In your challenge to ‘shared’ histories to present a more empowering narrative for black identity’’: what do you hope audiences will feel when they view your work and how can this repurpose the term ‘black’? I personally don’t use the term black; I am an indigenous American. So what is that does that mean people often ask me. it means that I am a pre-columbian American. It was a regional thing, and even the term Indian became passeé and ridiculed even within groups of people of colour in the early 1900s. And you’ll be surprised about how many historical figures knew about their indigenous heritage; Malcolm Luther King and Sammy Davis Jr for example… James Baldwin once said ’what do you do when your whole life you been rooting for the cowboy, and find out your the Indian…’ Google books has a wealth of resources upon which to begin your research and in my opinion we have lost our complete identity in terms of who we are as a people. So often I find that when you get into a space of existentialism it feels like a rabbit hole that never has a floor… You have to ask yourself ‘how in the hell did we find ourselves here?’ I think it has a lot to do with the omnipresent slave narrative which provides - in a strange way - a sense of comfort; that if that’s our history than any action against it is a form of empowerment and reactionary… but there is also power in saying that’s not my history... Yes! yes there is! I think it becomes scary to lot of people because they realise that if they are an agreement it means a lot of research and they often don’t have the time to do that research. Oftentimes it’s probably an issue of economics as well... Yes I completely agree with you.
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So how then do you introduce that conversation when economically you do not have the power to put your time and effort into doing the research? All I can say is that the internet has become the great equaliser… But there are always people you can go to who will impart information upon you and you can begin to build a picture… if you want it you will get it. For me it was down to an issue of personal investment. You see for me, it was my priority to find out. But in my mind then I’m wondering that if your great aunt had not said anything would you have gone down this trend of research? Again, that’s another example of existential questioning... what if, what if? Honestly I’m just thankful that she did because it changed everything in my life. It gave me a value that I cannot explain in words. It made me appreciate my family and my ancestors on a level that I wish more people could understand. You know everybody has their own path and everybody has their own reality, and we’re not all on the same journey; so my reality is one of awareness of self and for whatever reason I became the vehicle upon which to begin that conversation amongst a lot of my peers. You make art that ‘attempts to rewrite these assumed ‘shared’ histories. The beauty of the works capture the viewer, but it’s the ugly [stories behind them] that intrigues and leads [audiences] to look deeper. [To] rediscovering your ancestry has prompted Squirewell to question his identity against the battle with the omnipresent slavery narrative. Similarly, your work is so multilayered. A great example of ways of ‘fashioning the body’ particularly through portraiture. Within this how did you choose to situate discourse related to race and memory, mythology, sacred geometry and science and how is this comminicated 52 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
to contemporary audiences?’ Similarly, how did you reconcile some of the personal revelations of your research within this body of work and what do you hope the audience will take from it? You know, I’m of the opinion that once you make the work it no longer belongs to you. So, do I have hope that they’re (audiences) going to find something tangible and relevant within it, of course I do. Absolutely. But that same relevance may not resonate with me, and I’m ok with that. I believe that there’s more than one truth. And everybody has their own truth. I’m here as a creator to just create and I’ve been given a gift to both illustrate and communicate this because there’s no such thing as a society without art. To me, living in each day seems quite normal because nature can be unpredictable. We all tend to cling to security but in reality we have no idea about anything; And art by its definition is more about your brain then any sort of tangible fact or truth. I think being creative goes back to what you were saying before about maintaining that sort of childlike inquisitive nature and in many ways than 9-5 does not give you that kind of space... No it doesn’t! The 9-5 is artificial. It is curated. It’s crazy how back in the day people fought for that right to work from 9 till 5 ... But that touches on the idea of security... But security in what form… Monetary, economic of course... The thing is though being an artist, the more you print something, the more value it loses... Money is nothing more than a fancy piece of art and the value attached to it is mental in nature…. but we buy into it….
Which seems really sad, but I understand those economic constraints as well in terms of people’s emphasis on making money and having that sense of security...
Shades of Noir would like to thank Stan Squirewell for taking the time to speak with us on the eve of his solo show at GalleryEight London.
...A curated existence… but nobody wants to live out in the bush no more, and the bushes free. *laughs* But here’s the thing, we as people don’t mind being pawns in society just through the sheer convenience of it all...
More information: About FACTION Art Projects: FACTION is a flexible collective, from the team behind the hugely successful Gallery 8 and Coates & Scarry in London, who have created a unique model for artists and gallerists to work together. FACTION addresses the changing marketplace and the erosion of the traditional art market, where galleries were gatekeepers for artists. FACTION provides artists with promotion and opportunity to access collectors and a wider audience, with all the support of a gallery but without the constraints of the traditional model. They aim to deliver a programme of artists that is diverse and inclusive. FACTION launched in February 2018 at Gallery 8 in Harlem, New York and since then has become strongly imbedded in the Striver’s Row community and a highlight of Harlem’s cultural scene.
I think though, this sense of questioning just doesn’t emerge naturally within a lot of people which is fine, but they just need someone to ask them or to allow them to question that mode of existence... We are not at the top of the chain... Did you know that in times of war the people that are killed first are the artists? It’s a common practice in the war. Do you know why? It is because they are the people who question things. Of course, because they create work that often presents a very different version of reality than people want it to be... You just basically summed up what my work is about! You summed it up beautifully! Did I? Why do you not see black Europeans in the Western canon? Because it’s not the narrative they want you to see... Because it’s not the narrative they want you to see… It’s why I do what I do. We must also remember that whiteness is a relatively new invention. We’re living in a caste system right now...
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KEY TERM VIDEO: ANTI-RACISM.
JORGE AGUILAR ROJO, CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS, UK.
Shades of Noir ‘Key Terms’ video exploring the concept of Anti-Racism’ Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organisational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably Link: youtu.be/R25no7gpAGc
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BLACK PETE AND THE COMMODIFICATION OF RACIST STEREOTYPES TARGETED AT CHILDREN.
HOPE CUNNINGHAM, LONDON COLLEGE OF COMMUNICATION, UK.
I spent the 10th Christmas of my life on the Island of Curaçao. Located in the Caribbean, it is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and as such is deeply rooted in Dutch tradition. My Year 5 class was told to bring in a shoe, which we lined up in the classroom and was filled with kruidnoten - traditional small round cookies - by our teachers. This was in line with the celebration of Sinterklaas who is celebrated on the 5th of December, also known as St. Nicholas’ Day. Tradition says that Sinterklaas lives in Madrid, Spain and visits Holland every year in his steam boat. In the evening he arrives in the Netherlands and children leave a shoe out by the fireplace or a windowsill and sing songs in the hope that Sinterklaas will come during the night with some presents. Sinterklaas travels with his servants called Zwarte Pieten, who keep a record of everything children have done in the past year in a big book. Good children will get presents while bad children will be put in a sack and the Zwarte Pieten will take them back to Spain. Zwarte Pieten translates to Black Pete, and when compared to the snowy complexion of Saint Nick, their bold features and snatching of children would clearly be frightening and sinister in the minds of children.
Partaking in these traditions was an exciting new way to celebrate Christmas, in contrast to the English Father Christmas I was used to. It was only years later that I realised how hughley racist the character of Black Pete was. The always smiling cartoon character with dark skin, bright red lips and bushy hair grew sinister in my mind as I realised the implications of what I was made to take part in. Black Pete’s similarity to the minstrel figures that were popularised in America for the entertainment of white people is extremely troubling when I realised it was targeted specifically at children. What makes things worse is that hundreds of white Dutch men and women darken their skin and dress up as Black Pete in order to march in parades around the country during the festive season. For years, they have defended the character as fun and harmless, while Dutch people of colour are targeted by racists called Black Pete in the streets, at schools and at their jobs as a form of verbal abuse. The Black Pete that people dress up as was popularised in a mid-19th century children’s book by Jan Schenkman in 1850. Joke Hermes, a professor at Inholland University notes that Schenkman was very interested in the Dutch royal family members, “one of whom bought a slave in a slave market in Cairo in the mid-19th century” (2018). Furthermore, Black Pete’s clothing bears
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similarities to the black Moorish people of Spain. Similarly, the creation of the Golliwog - a character with similar jet black skin, large white-rimmed eyes, red or white clown lips, and wild, frizzy hair - was also created for the enjoyment of children, but this was popularised in England.
white extremists go to such lengths to defend the tradition of Black Pete in the Netherlands. I look back on my year in Curaçao as one of the happiest of my life, but the thought of other little black children partaking in the celebration of Black Pete unsettles me deeply as I remember how easily I viewed and accepted his image.
In her book The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls, Kate Upton describes the character as “a horrid sight, the blackest gnome” (1985). The creation of the Golliwog was based on a black minstrel doll Upton played with during her childhood in New York, and became widely popular 12-part book series. These black caricatures gained global popularity despite their obvious roots in slavery, racism and the effects of the slave trade that saw black men and women sold and traded like golliwog dolls Upton created. It’s disheartening to think that this was kept alive in the imagination of children to the point that blackface is still prominent today and
Jan Schenkman: Sint Nikolaas en zijn Knecht (Saint Nicholas and his Servant) 1850. The first time that a servant character is introduced in a printed version of the Saint Nicholas narrative. The servant is depicted as a page who appears as a dark person wearing clothes associated with Moors.
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Kate Upton: The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls, 1895. Upton drew the illustrations, and her mother, Bertha Upton, wrote the accompanying verse. The book’s main characters were two Dutch dolls, Peg and Sarah Jane, and the Golliwogg.
MY, WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT BEING QUEER? HAFIIZ KARIM, LASALLE COLLEGE, SINGAPORE.
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Identities are always on unpredictable grounds. There is no such thing as fixed categories of sex and gender, and identity in general. In this series of digital paintings, the queerness of identity is celebrated by recrafting the bodies that we have all been accustomed to. These individuals might look odd and unnatural at a glance, but they exist in each of us. They are comfortable in their own skin. The spirit of being free challenges the binary notions of man/woman and masculine/feminine. Just like these queer beings, we are indeed hybrids of fragmented identities that makes us sexy. 58 // THE THREE â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ISMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
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IN CONVERSATION WITH BRENDA EMMANUS & MELANIE KEEN.
SHADES OF NOIR, UK.
Image 18 Power women in the arts: Truth, Risk & The Burden of Responsibility.
Power Women in the Arts.
How can we define the act of resilience in changing the culture? Shades of Noir sat down with arts powerhouses Brenda Emmanus and Melanie Keen to discuss representation in the arts, the importance of (free) education and fear. Please use the following link to access the Shades of Noir Podcast and hear more of this interview - anchor.fm/shades-of-noir 60 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
What do you think has changed the most today versus when you were beginning in your career? MK: A world without Instagram or Twitter opportunities for people to broadcast themselves authenticity - then not much has changed. The opportunity to look into the activity, the drive that exist out there with the younger generation shows me that a lot has changed. But actually when I look around me within in the visual arts, very little has change. There aren’t particularly many black females in senior roles in the arts. Also, that really depressing statistic about black academics shows me that very little has changed and although this
sounds quite pessimistic, what has shifted is that people are convening and recognising that the world has got to change. That it is more than a tick box exercise; But there’s so much more work to do in regards to who is sitting around the table, who is making the decisions? So on one hand whilst there has been a lot of change which I am really heartened by, on the flip side there is so much more work that needs to be done and more allies to be found. BE: I think that’s true. It’s not pessimistic but it’s the reality of what’s going on. The further up you go, the more lonely the road is. But I agree with Melanie that the climate is changing and people are beginning to recognise that diversity is necessary. I’m also finding that people are collaborating a lot more and realising that together we can make those changes. So somehow we need to put ourselves in positions of leadership and start demanding these opportunities That is the only way things are going to change. When you were beginning your career, what were the possibilities for mentoring, collaboration and cross-generational engagement among women? MK: I reflect on this a lot and in hindsight I don’t think I realised that I was even being mentored. Doing my art degree in the 80s it was my tutors who will all white males who introduced me to Sonia Boyce. Our work was fairly similar and I think they probably only put us together because we’re both black females but that was one of the most valuable things that anyone could have done for me, and Sonya went on to help me with my portfolio. So when I decided later my career not to pursue an art practice and began working as an intern at a gallery it was there that my elders introduced me to the course at the Royal College and were incredibly supportive. Then as I went on to work at INIVA I found that I was almost having silent mentors from members of the board including Stuart Hall who I look up to and acknowledge the work that they have done to really change the trajectory
of opportunities, not only for black curators but for black artists as well. On reflection I can absolutely see that there were people who guided me. Coming back to the discussion of creating opportunities, when I was in my final year of my MA I had to organise my own panel discussion and internship, and in the course of organising this I met Thelma Golden and several other people and I knew that they were powerful women who I had a lot of respect for and I really wanted to meet them. So being at the Royal College of Art Helped me to meet them, and then from that I was given the opportunity to work on the ‘Recording’ book as a research assistant and later as a assistant curator and I don’t know anyone else in the art world who would have given me the opportunity. It was incredible. BE: I think that it is vital and it’s not always a case of going up to someone and asking them to be your mentor; but I could just be asking to spare a few minutes to have a conversation with you and they my in turn point out someone else that could be of benefit to you. But ask! People are quite willing to help, and if not can pass you onto someone that can help you. But I have learnt that that first asked can be quite terrifying. You put up all these barriers about how you shouldn’t ask them for anything or approach them because you were assuming that they haven’t got time for you. Just do it and know that it isn’t going to kill you, but it could do - as Melanie was saying - lead to some amazing doors opening for you. MK: And Brenda just made a comment about being mentored and you can never stop needing; realising that it can be a valuable two-way street. I think that INIVA as an organisation cannot maintain itself if I do not make myself available whilst continuing to learn. BE: And so part of stepping up is the art of learning which is crucial.
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You spoke a lot about confidence, but how much is fear a Factor? BE: Fear has always been central for me and I wear the Imposter Syndrome like a uniform. I have always been someone who was underconfident about my ability and I have tried to process why that is and oftentimes I feel that I had made excuses; feeling like I am not good enough, but that feeling has made me work twice as hard (and if not sometimes too hard). I grew up in that generation where my mum would tell me that I’m black and I’m a woman so I have to work twice as hard and so in my mind that translated into ‘I am not good enough so I have to work twice as hard’. And I think you can interpret that very differently based on your experiences, but I think I absorbed it in the negative way within my career to the point of burnout where two or three times I made myself incredibly ill. And even now I haven’t yet quite learnt the power of ‘no’. I am learning the power of ‘no’ though. I think I learnt from listening to Alicia Keys who spoke about her career and how the hardest thing for her was always saying no. And it is hard. And it is only now where I am beginning to feel like I am developing a sense of self: A confidence that I have a lot more to give and learning also that self-care is really important (hopefully) not too late. Also I’m learning to accept that I have a power and influence, but it has taken me decades to understand that. So the fear is always there, and I spent a year of reading Shonda Rhimes’ book ‘Year of Yes’ (2015, How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person) and of her speaking about being scared to do anything outside of her comfort zone and I think I’ve done the same considering that I stayed at the BBC London for so long. This was because it was a space where I knew that I had authority and I knew what I was doing and so I was very comfortable in that space, whilst relishing the unpredictability of every day been very different. But for a long time I knew in my heart that it was time to step out but I never knew what I wanted to do. And
so in her book she challenged herself by doing everything that terrified her and I decided that I was going to do the same. But even coming to that decision was terrifying. So before I knew it I was getting all these amazing opportunities and just saying yes to all of them and before I knew it I found myself in Milan chairing a massive conference of Museum curators from around the world. Similarly, I went to the United Nations and began mentoring; in hindsight thinking about all the things that I have done and things that I never thought that I would have liked to do. So now I embrace the fear and just say yes. It hasn’t killed me yet, but it has opened up a wealth of opportunities. And sometimes I think it’s always good to say when your scared there’s a strength in vulnerability. People respect you for your openness and honest about who you are and how you’re feeling. Now I play more to my strengths than my weaknesses although I know they’re there. MK: Massive question. Its an interesting question because I think that the idea of the Imposter Syndrome is definitely haunted me in the early part of my career. I think becoming the director of INIVA there are definitely moments when I felt fearful. Also, it can be a double-edged sword in that trying to combat the fear of tokenism, which is the realisation that you are being invited to do things and realising that you deserve a seat at the table. Not because I’m black, but because I have been in the visual arts for over 20 + years now and sometimes it feel like it is undermining the motivation for the invitation, thus recognising that you deserve to be in that space. So for me it becomes a constant act of reminding myself of that very fact. Much like Brenda, I also had my parents tell me that I was going to have to work harder than my counterparts. Going to school in Essex where myself and my brother were the only black children in school until about year 9, I was very bolshy as a child. And I wouldn’t care what anyone thought because I had this armour on that my dad gave me and I think that some of that perpetuates when I’m feeling vulnerable
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or nervous and you do carry that around with you within your psyche even though in some respects at can bolster you. But the idea of being honest about your fears is very important also. If we are to look beyond the canon, what conditions (institutional/social/ political) must we have to facilitate this evolution of powerful women in the arts? BE: Accepting the fact that is going to be up and down in terms of your career trajectory, but there is a need to stay focused. I think that more of us have to step up and seek opportunities to be in leadership roles. Unless we can change the dialogue and unless we can make decisions about who gets the roles of particular opportunities then nothing is going to change. I think it is also important to give 100-percent of ourselves and to do good work. Don’t overcompensate and do not apologise. But I definitely think it has to be a change in a decision making and the broadening of leadership for a more inclusive approach to success and succession planning. I think we need to take responsibility for ourselves but also take the responsibility of opening doors for others when we can. Within that though we can be quite hard on each other and judge each other also. I think it’s difficult because when you’re in a position of leadership people feel like you can change the world and change them when actually you’re just about surviving for yourself. So our own people in our communities can underestimate that pressure. So the act of being present sometimes becomes a pressure itself and so I encourage that communities do not make assumptions about the few who make it. MK: It’s another massive question. You could just say that racism needs to end, for example. Then there’s the whole body of theory and practice that sits behind that in terms of dismantling power structures. I think that’s a question that deserves a several day conference and workshopping.
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BE: And therapy... MK: That thing about the weight of responsibility is critical; who takes responsibility, who cares? There are a few people who do, and then there are a few people who feel like they don’t have to and this becomes part of the Challenge in terms of people who need to be at the centre of the conversation. In my opinion, the possibilities of change that you are asking for will take a generation and perhaps in the next generation there will be some sort of significant seismic shift. But in my own generation, the pace of change can seem quite glacial, but the push must continue and it has to come through collaborative asserted efforts and it can be a solitary pursuit. BE: No I completely agree. It is a psychological journey that is really hard to do on your own and navigating that space can have psychological scars that can leave you battered and exhausted from the journey. I think that one of the reasons that we remain resilient is because you keep your eyes on the prize, and because you know that there’s a difference you can make and how important it is that we are there and we are present. But it can be really hard. Within this I have to go back to the idea of self-care because I’ve met so many people that are burnt out and destroyed by the experience of just trying to succeed. So the kinder we are to ourselves and to others armed with the recognition that it won’t happen overnight and that the space is changing; that each new generation is doing things very differently and that we can’t do it all on our own. Shades of Noir would like to thanks Brenda Emmanus & Melanie Keen for the expertise, knowledge and for taking to time to speak with us. Interveiwed by Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark. Melodie Holliday and Aisha Richards.
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KANA HIGASHINO, CHELSEA COLLEGE OF ARTS, UK.
Discussing issues around race, sex and class is never simple. ‘Ripples’ (2019) attempts to illustrate that everyone has their own unique intersections regarding this topic. Our personal experiences can have a big impact on the people around us, and at times, we find that our experiences can overlap with one another - like ripples on water.
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WHAT’S WRONG DEAR JANE?
MIRIAM SYOWIA KYAMBI, ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO, USA.
Miriam Syowia Kyambi, in “What’s wrong, Dear Jane?” you addressed issues about the female body being owned by society. Miriam Syowia Kyambi is a multimedia artist. She is of Kenyan and German heritage and based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her work combines the use of performance along with mediums such as clay, sisal, paint and photography. Most of her work analyzes perception and memory. Kyambi examines how modern human experience is influenced by constructed history, past and present violence, colonialism, family and sexuality. What’s Wrong, Dear Jane incorporates mixed media and sound which explores several emotions and relationships that are central to Syowia’s practice: the female body, social perception and specific questions about gender issues and the role of women in society. At the centre of the work, a strong female presence symbolised by an anonymous terracotta figure stands on a platform covered by a brightly coloured and patterned cloth. Referencing African and Latin American imagery and perception of female fertility goddesses, the figure’s voluptuous lines are interrupted by several openings, which emanate light from a source placed inside the work. Using strips of braided, highly coloured fabrics, the artist slowly connects the openings on the central figure to hooks fixed to mirrors at either side of the platform. The quiet repetition of braiding, stretching the cords out from the central figure and weaving them in and out creates 68 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
tension by slowly building up a physical and emotional web that occupies the space around the figure, stretching out into the audience and delineating a compressed, trapped, almost claustrophobic space. In the second phase of the work, the artist takes on another persona by wearing a stocking over her head, masking her identity. This moment is about defining space, being territorial, the stocking over her head referencing ideas of being a mugger, an attacker, and of being suffocated. This energy creates feelings of domination and makes connections to violence – emotional, physical, psychological - creating fear and tension within the installation. The performer ultimately breaks down the ceramic figure with a baton, and replaces the large figure with 100 small ceramic figures, initially contained in a suitcase, which are placed on the same platform, with a mechanical, repetitive action. This anonymous, homogeneous mass of figures assembled in a grid format represents pre-conceived perceptions of how women should be, what women are conforming to and are expected to do, referencing the idea that the female body belongs to the community, or rather the female body becomes part of other peoples’ norms and ideas of what should be.
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BLACK FEMALE BODY.
TSCHABALALA SELF, YALE SCHOOL OF ART, USA.
“My current body of work is concerned with the iconographic significance of the Black female body in contemporary culture. My work explores the emotional, physical and psychological impact of the Black female body as icon, and is primarily devoted to examining the intersectionality of race, gender and sexualty. Collective fantasies surround the Black body, and have created a cultural niche in which exists our contemporary understanding of Black femininity. My practice is dedicated to naming this phenomenon.’ - Tschabalala Self
Her paintings often depict portraits, confronting image of the ‘Black Female Body’. She aims to depict an alternative, even fictional, experience of contemporary Black femininity. Bodega Run (2018) is a series of paintings inspired by the New York corner stores she grew up around; it reflects the economic disparities of both class and race in America. When exhibited, the series is aided with an installation - mass produced images of cans and jars are plastered on the walls to mimic the setting of the corner store and placed in the gallery space are items such as crates, commonly used for transporting perishable goods. More information can be found here: tschabalalaself.com/about tschabalalaself.com/work/yuzmuseum-bodega-run-no-4
“The work is political because it’s politicized; politicized bodies are featured in the work. I’m a political person because if I wasn’t a political person. That would affect my safety and my well-being in the country. But that’s not why I’m making the work. I’m making the work to leave a document of my experience, leave a document of the experience of people who are like me.” - Tschabalala Self THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 71
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TARIKA SABHERWAL, CHELSEA COLLEGE OF ARTS, UK.
My work is heavily influenced by Hindu mythology. I reimagine and repaint classical myths into my own versions, to spark a conversation around Brahminical patriarchy. Caste and gender hierarchy are the organising principles of the Brahmanical social order and are closely interrelated. I want my work to raise questions about the depiction of women in religious imagery, as well as celebrate identity, spirituality and sexuality.
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CREATIVE HEALTH AND MENTAL WELLBEING FOR CREATIVES OF COLOUR. SHADES OF NOIR, UK.
WOMEN, WE MATTER:
‘Knowledge of ‘self’ is understanding how both the mind and body function… Shades of Noir sat down with Charisse Chikwiri to discuss the importance of Creative Health and Mental Wellbeing in the lead up to the Black Sister Network - Empowering women of colour & promoting intersectionality in gender equality practice - Lifestyle/Challenge Health and Wellbeing Event hosted by Dr Deborah Gabriel (Black British Academics) at UEL (Stratford) in April 2019. Writer, Creative Consultant & DJ, Chikwiri was the lead on two internationally recognised journals that explored Mental Health and Creative Wellbeing and FemTech: The Evolution of Sexual Health for Women. Within the discussion of Creative Mental Health and your work with SoN did you initially start building those ToR’s and what was your motivation for exploring those topics specifically? Stigmatisation of women’s health: At that time, I was very interested in sexual health for women specifically - it is also what I discussed in my dissertation - because I was using the Clue App which was great for me in terms of learning a lot about my body in a depth that I had never gone into. Within that studying journalism and realising that it wasn’t doing justice for issues of sexual health and there weren’t many websites (excl. NHS)
where you could get factually sound research and information on sexual health and when it was discussed in print media (magazine) it pandered to the male gaze and also make women feel very ashamed about our bodies and how you should behave and look - which was problematic considering the multiple ways you present yourself as a woman - and it isn’t always as black and white as it is made to seem as you can take ownership of your body. So it was a lot of personal discovery about why the journalism industry did not have (industry standard regulations) detailed frameworks regarding women’s sexual health - whilst regulations surrounding violence (both physical and sexual) and how to report were present - basic frameworks around issues to do with sex/women’s sexual health and the female body or even how to talk about it were not present at all in the same level of detail; and as a result a lot of it is written incorrectly and I wanted to explore how these conversations can be addressed, and how journalism can do a better job for women, so that’s where the journal came about; I felt that technology gave me a lot of agency to be able to learn these things for myself and explore those conversations. How then did you tie together the two topics? I guess everything goes hand in hand, so I think the body and the mind is all connected and so one affects the other. If your mind is not well, then your body will respond to that. Just around the discussion of shame and the body and how that can affect your
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mental health, self-confidence and I think that a lot of it has to do with self-care and taking care of yourself and understanding how to take care of yourself. For example, I am anaemic, so during my period I get very exhausted and I didn’t know how to manage that. But by using tracking apps I could see specifically where and when I needed to eat more foods or be more mindful of doing certain things throughout the whole month - so you need to start to notice these patterns. So tying these topics together: when you work in a creative field you work a lot and so I found myself burning out a lot - whilst beating yourself up about all the things you can’t do - which becomes a cycle and then to have the discussion of how to break out from that cycle. Within that I also wanted to include the conversation about mental health and working in different styles and how it all ties together and the ToR allowed me to bring them together What does wellbeing look like for young ethnic minorities (in the creative world)? Growing conversation: Intersectional mental health issues, selfcare and well-being: I think it definitely does differ. The disparities with these issues and that people from minorities have layers of oppression that others do not have. In my experience, being a minority within the institution as a black African Women - as a minority - you are always fighting to be heard and that’s an extra layer that all the things you are trying to do and they’re not evenly distributed unfortunately. In the discussion of the importance of language: Normalising the language associated with mental health and topics such as ‘Accessible Information’, did your understanding of this change whilst building the ToR’s. Yes, because part of what I was looking at in my dissertation in terms of how issues of women sexual health are talked about and 78 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
reported, is that a lot of scientific terms we don’t use and that language is more based on euphemisms/slang words which creates shame within having those conversations. It insinuates that there is shame around a certain thing, and also means that the education about what the actual thing is is affected. For example, Clue became a large part of my research and found out that there was a huge campaign around the period and all the different words we use the time when we are on our period - for example code red. Why are we so ashamed to say that we are bleeding? It’s something that all women go through, but there is such shame around it, and so there is a need to normalise that kind of language and encourage it within conversation. It then demystifies it for young women growing up now who often go online to find information about certain things which isn’t always reliable. Even in FemTech (developments) some apps are headed by men and a man has never been in a woman’s body and so isn’t able to understand the layers of what happens/what we experience. So, it is very important for women to take ownership of the language around our bodies and to be confident and to be shameless in the way we approach these conversations. And what about the accessibility of information? I think that what we learn about in school in sex education in this country is not great and there is a better job that needs to be done - for example the need to talk about that there is a lot of different kinds of sex (for reproduction or pleasure, for example). Or in relation to sexuality and what kind of partner you have. Or how you choose to have sex or how you feel about sex and it’s also very basic. There is no nuance or diversity in the way that sex is spoken about; the layers of what you experience when you start having sex so many often find themselves fumbling through these experiences and learn on the go from making mistakes.
So, sex education as the first point of access to this information we have as young adults needs to do a better job. Also, speaking with friends or at home this is also another opportunity to learn; however not a lot of people can speak about sex with their parents so that is why I stress that anyone is writing about women’s sexual health to make sure that it is factually sound and well research, nuances and understand that there is diversity of experience as it does have a large impact on women’s life is this - sexual education - becomes the main source of information that they are getting. FemTech: Technology, Bodily Autonomy and Dating Apps: This is also why technology can be such a great thing; because it gives us agency and the access to this information that we wouldn’t normally have otherwise. Accessibility has definitely improved. How did you place emphasis on accumulative/shared knowledge in seeking help and/or empathy? I think we need to facilitate more conversation between women about these topics. With my friendship group we are very shameless within these conversations which is important because you don’t feel like you’re alone or in a vacuum within these experiences you are having. For example, things such as thrush and how common it is. To be open and honest; I feel that intergenerational conversations are important also. As young people there is the benefit of speaking to those who have a different experience.
What are/can be the socio economic/ monetary considerations in reproductive health/self-care? Yes. Well there definitely are things that have proven to help: Therapy, going to the gym, getting a massage or going out for a meal but they all require money. Some of the inexpensive ways that I personally have found to encourage acts of self-care is going to the park to exercise and not the gym, go for a run, a cycle, exercise in your home using YouTube for Yoga tutorials. Meditation - and the ability to be still when you do have to juggle a lot of things and your mind is constantly racing, then it becomes hard to gain that mental clarity- is really important to reflect, to pause, to breathe. For this, there is an app called Calm- Meditation Techniques for Sleep and Stress Reduction- helps with guided meditation, and is also good for anxiety or if your struggling to sleep/or awakening more slowly. Both free and more advanced levels for a small premium. For me creativity/ writing - non profession as ‘journaling’ - is important for me in practicing self care. Shades of Noir would like to thank Charisse Chikwiri for the expertise of her knowledge and for taking the time to speak with us on the topic of women’s sexual health and mental wellbeing. Interview by Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark Filmed by Jessica Anoche. Watch part 1 of the interview here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lx9k6MiJR3c
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社會觀察： 英國社會中的階級制度. YUWEN HSIEH, LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION, UK. 在倫敦生活有一年多了，大多數時候我 很享受這個城市帶來的生活經驗以及 對藝術創作的刺激，然而我也看到英 國社會中的階級現象（Classism)。 從英國脫歐事件開始就能看出社會中的 貧富、階級問題，而幾個月前和室友一 起看了英國喜劇演員Jack Whitehall 與製片人父親Michael Whitehall的旅 遊節目(Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father)，也讓我思考階級制度的 意義。儘管節目中以父子兩人的隔代差 距，以及Michael古板、時而鑽牛角尖 的態度作為笑點，在觀看的同時我也理 解到階級制度在現代社會的影響。 居住在倫敦其實能很輕易地感受到 社會中的階級差異，好比走到South Kensington，街上林立的名牌，或是人 們的衣著，不用太費心思就能觀察到這 是不是一個富裕的社區。記得剛搬到倫 敦時聽到的一個說法：從一個人的口音 就能聽出這個人的家庭背景和經濟狀 況。而前陣子在做語言及身份研究時也 在BBC上看到一篇相關文章，說明David Beckham刻意改變原本的Cockney 口音，換成被認為較「高尚（posh）」 的RP(Received Pronouciation， 像是英國BBC新聞報導，或是演員 Benedict Cumberbatch的口音）。 不過這些觀察都來不及親身經驗。最近 因為要搬離原本租賃的房子，而在找新 房客。我們找到了兩個來自Kent的英國 人，因工作關係要搬到倫敦。在與房東溝 通時，房東不時地問我們新房客的談吐 文雅嗎（Are they well-spoken?）？我 一時之間不知道怎麼應答（因為我覺得 以說話方式、口音來評判一個人的背景 並不是一個好事），就老實地回答說兩位 新房客都是英國人，因工作要搬到倫敦。 80 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
沒想到房東居然回說：British doesn’t mean anything. There are a lot of Gypsies in Kent （有英國國籍不代表 什麼，有很多吉普賽人都居住在Kent） 。聽到了這句話我和室友真的都傻了， 也不知道怎麼和房東繼續對話下去。 我想倫敦沒有我想像中的多元化及開放。 階級制度、刻板印象、種族歧視，這些我 在短短15個月中都觀察、經歷到了。在 Shades of Noir執筆的期間也讓我對 相關議題更加敏感，以及訓練出獨立的 思考邏輯。我想這些經驗會伴隨這我， 時時刻刻提醒著我打破階級印象、種族 歧視，不帶有有色鏡片的去和他人互動。 身為地球上的一個居民，我不因為我的 背景、膚色、口音而優於或低於他人。
A SOCIAL OBSERVATION OF CLASSISM IN THE UK SOCIETY.
YUWEN HSIEH, LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION, UK.
I have lived in London for more than a year. Most of the time I enjoy the life experience brought by this city and the stimulation of artistic creation. However, I also see the classism in British society. From the beginning of the Brexit event, we can see the rich and the poor in society. Me and my classmates watched the British comedian Jack Whitehall and the producer Michael Whitehall’s travel show with a roommate a few months ago (Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father) which also makes me think about the meaning of the class system. Although the programme uses the gap between father and son, and Michael’s old-fashioned and sometimes arrogant attitude as a type of comedy, it helped me to also understand the influence of the class system in modern society while watching. Living in London you can easily feel the class differences in society, such as walking to South Kensington, the famous brands on the street, or people’s expensive clothing, without too much effort to observe whether this is a wealthy community. I remember one of the words I heard when I moved to London: I can hear the family background and economic situation of a person from their accent. A while ago, when doing language and identity research, I also saw a related article on the BBC, indicating that David Beckham deliberately changed his original Cockney accent and replaced it with a RP (Received Pronunciation) that is considered to be more “posh”. He apparently wanted to sound more like a reporter on the BBC News or like the actor Benedict Cumberbatch).
Recently, I was looking for a new tenant because I had to move out of the house that I rented originally. We found two Brits from Kent who moved to London because of their working relationship. When communicating with the landlord he enquires about our new tenants from time to time asking “Are they well-spoken?” I don’t know how to respond for a while because I think it’s not a good thing to judge a person’s background by the way they speak and their accents. I replied honestly that the two new tenants are British and moved to London because of work. I didn’t expect the landlord to actually say “ British doesn’t mean anything. There are a lot of Gypsies in Kent!”. I didn’t know how to continue the dialogue with my landlord. I think London is not as diverse and openminded as I imagined. Because of the class system, stereotypes, racial discrimination that I have observed and experienced in just 15 months. As a content developer for Shades of Noir, I was also more sensitive to relevant topics and became skilled in independent thinking logic. I think these experiences will stay with me, always, reminding me to challenge class impression, racial discrimination, and interact with others without coloured lenses. As a human being, I am no better or lower than others because of my background, skin color, and accent.
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TRIGGER WARNING Please note that some of the articles within this document moving forward 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. This includes, but is not limited to graphic visualisations, explicit descriptions and an extensive discussion of racial abuse, offensive language or the detailing of behaviours of assault, abuse, harassment, racism, sexism, homophobia or transphobia directly related to the experiences of marginalised communities.
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MULTIMEDIA ARTIST AND ACTIVIST, CALIFORNIA, USA.
‘A photographic exploration of race, gender identity, and American culture’ “Walking through the leaves, falling from the trees Feeling like a stranger nobody sees So many things that we never will undo I know you’re sorry, I’m sorry too.” - Mississippi, Bob Dylan (Image 29)
I thought being Black and Queer was a gift and would help open doors for me. In American culture, Intersectionality is the door’s deadbolt that supports the spring lock. I was purchased by America a long time ago. My birth records have been erased. I am reclaiming my history piece by piece. If this truly is MAGA country, how does one make a country “great again”? We must first identify the period in which it was great... and that scares me the most.
I did not learn about my history in school. I learned about George Washington and Christopher Columbus. Nothing about my people or my tribe. I thought I was from America. (Image 30) “American Dream: An American social ideal that stresses egalitarianism and especially material prosperity” as defined by Merriam-Webster. As an American, I believed I was entitled to the American Dream if I played by the rules. (Image 31)
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FISHMONGER’S DAUGHTER. FIONA KOH LI PING, GOLDSMITHS, UK.
My personal life is among the facets that inspired my practice, which is deeply influenced by the community and relationship that surrounds my life. As a fishmonger’s daughter, it is also my aim to project in the artworks something that all working and lower middle class citizens can relate to and examine food items reflecting on the everyday in Singapore, a multi-cultured and multi-raced society, on a social and cultural level.
I’d also chosen Chinese newspaper’s job search section for my paintings as reading the Chinese newspaper is always seen as less prestigious than the English newspaper in my country. By painting the mundane and overlooked subject matter on a strong communication platform like newsprints, I seek to instil new meaning through the process and form. Meaningful art objects that viewers are familiar with, can engage and enjoy.
The use of newspapers was a cheap yet effective and convenient method to preserve the freshness of the fish and serve as tablemats when we have our dinner together at home. Singapore’s multi-cultural food scene is incredible and people are choosing to eat out. New cuisines are born; others become forgotten to the abyss. This breakfast painting is a traditional local Chinese delicacy food, known as Teochew porridge. No secret or exotic ingredient, just the soothing and comforting taste of home cooked plain porridge with simple accompanying dishes that you’ll find in local Chinese-Teochew homes.
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MIXED RACED HERITAGE & REFLECTIONS.
ELLA DEVI DABYSING, MANCHESTER SCHOOL OF ART, UK.
my face tells two stories my face tells two stories, of two colours, brown and white of how they come to meet and merge seamlessly together to mix a face like mine.
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IN CONVERSATION WITH NOOR EFFENDY IBRAHIM.
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Cerita Cinta [Love Story] (1995): Noor Effendy Ibrahim Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Huddersfield University, West Yorkshire. It has been 23 years since the first production of Cerita Cinta (1995). Why have you decided to reproduce it again in 2018? I’ve always wanted to restage all my early Malay language plays written between 1991-2009 because they never received the sufficient production support when they were each first staged due to funds, venue and logistic scales, social-political context, and my own maturity and consciousness as a practitioner. Just as important is the readiness of the audience to engage the work at a critical level to ensure discourse, one of the key objectives of my practice. Cerita Cinta is one of my early works that I have a strong attachment towards due to the universality of the content and that it is the only (hyper)realistic play I have written, where the rest are much more abstract-experimental-conceptual in style and concept. It also was incomplete in terms of the writing. I was never and still am not seeking any form of closure or end to the play, but the characters and their individual narratives and experiences were still not articulated enough. The first staging in 1995 was also very raw and minimal, unlike the grand staging design that I was able to produce for the 2018 version. When The Esplanade approached me to present a work in late 2017, the first play that automatically came to mind was Cerita Cinta. It deserved the commission from The Esplanade, and especially with the greater awareness on issues of domestic violence and politics, as well as discourse on gender and identity politics, Cerita Cinta I felt would receive a much more ready audience.
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What are some differences, tweaks and changes that you have made to Cerita Cinta (2018)and why were those changes important? The key change was the lengthening of each scene in the original 1995 play. In many ways, the 2018 script can be seen as a totally rewritten new play. The 1995 version saw scenes which were dedicated to each character, whereas the 2018 script is more fluid, porous, and organic, where every character was present in every scene and where silence or non-speaking parts were written to be more audible than the characters that were speaking in each scene. Silence is greatly personified and made more threatening than the spoken words. Repetition – or habit – is made more conscious in the 2018 script, where characters repeat habits and actions as either a coping mechanism to the despair in their respective lives or as an affirmation to their individual existence. This is very much a tool brought over from my performance art practice into theatre where repetition and duration induces the banality in suffering and tragedy that is necessary to inject the hyper realism I needed to project in the performance space and to confront the false sense of safety in the audience. Not only is this work timeless, intimate and raw, it is deeply personal to many. How has your identity as a Malay male performance artist and director inspired the creation of Cerita Cinta? I really do not know how to identify myself anymore. I have been languishing definitely since the late 90’s in the areas of queerness and otherness. These are spaces where I learn and continue to learn of empathy, which I value most in my practice. And definitely what triggers the creation of Cerita Cinta in 1995, and the revision in 2018. Malay male performance artist is possible how I would be categorized as, or one of the many, but I definitely am
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not able to fully associate myself to that. It is so fluid and organic, especially now since I don’t fit in most if any spaces in the increasingly industrialization of the arts in Singapore, and many parts of the world. I can’t create for the audience. I definitely refuse to create for the market. I wish I have the money and resources though. But I don’t. I may have time, lots of it at the moment, but it somehow does not translate into a coherent sustainable practice. It is frustrating, and definitely this frustration contributes greatly to the creation of Cerita Cinta in 2018. Art-making in the 90’s in Singapore was about play. Playing was very much encouraged and mistakes were embraced. That allowed for the Malay works written in the 90’s. They were playful, including Cerita Cinta. Much more were at stake in the creation of Cerita Cinta in 2018. Firstly, it was a commission which of course brought along with it much terms and conditions that limits if not paralyzes play in creation. Censorship of course was never far away throughout the whole process of the production. It was definitely a mix of these and more that propelled Cerita Cinta forward, forcing a more mature, critical, and at times even academic approach and methodology into the 2018 process, which actually was not a bad thing. It actually challenges the acts, strategies, and designs of subversion and provocation for the contemporary space. Cerita Cinta 2018 wasn’t so much about the content and issues for me, these remained the same only more contemporary and immediate, but it was more about redefining my own personal practice in a more rigid, discriminating, and unforgiving art-making landscape. Instead of using the Malay word “sayang” or “kasih”, which both translate to “love”, you chose “cinta”, which expresses romantic love. Why is that? It is that very reason that “cinta” was used, the need to (re)examine the grander love, the romantic love in the banality of the domestic, where love has been
demoted to “sayang” and “kasih”. Your work has been criticised for using real physical contact in scenes with domestic violence. In a review by Myle Yan Tay, “Home is where the hurt is”, he states that, “A show can still be immersive and safe without replicating what it attempts to critique. This production could have managed this same sense of terror without harmful physical contact”. What is your stance on violence in stage direction and why was it important to stay away from stage combat? No it couldn’t and wouldn’t. Violence on stage is necessary when it is necessary. Similar to the spoken text. The character speaks when it needs to vocalize the specific thought and action where simply being is insufficient. So is violence, it is one of the ways of communication that is used on stage, and definitely comes in various forms other than the physical. I don’t subscribe to acting, and stage combat is acting. It is pretense. Not on my stage. The actors do not pretend. They are to become. To be. And when and where other forms of communication fails, the characters resort to violence – especially physical violence – where the pain is real, visceral. But there must be trust. The task and challenge is not to maim – permanently or otherwise - but to understand and empathize with the character and the situation. This helps greatly with the issues and concerns of safety amongst the actors. There is injury, but only enough to enable the actor to empathise and transform or become. But also crucial in determining the boundaries and parameters of the violence. It must only be as necessary to the understanding of the play, and not more. The violence must be rehearsed, but only enough to loathe it. It must not be choreographed, lest you beautify violence to the extent of advocating and normalizing it. As the hollywood film, Crazy Rich Asians reflected, there are not a lot of spaces for Malay and queer voices to occupy in the Singapore art scene. Additionally, the nature of the work is sensitive and
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controversial, due to the references to domestic and sexual violence that take place within a typical Malay home. Why was it important to showcase the work in the Singapore art context? It’s not a Singapore context. There was no reference to Singapore at all, and this is conscious on my part. I am not here to promote Singapore. I am here to share the experiences and stories of the minority or the queer or the other, often within the domestic setting. The play, as with all my works, are consciously designed to be universal. What are specific are gender, skin colour, ethnicity, traditions, and habits, often contextualized by geography and not political land demarcations. The script for the performance was in Malay. I understand there were English subtitles, but actions speak louder than words. How does this performance stay relevant to an audience outside of Malay culture or Singapore for that matter? I feel here, it is the responsibility of the audience to work to understand to recognize and to embrace or reject, and no more that of the artist or the artwork to offer or provide. The English surtitles can only assist and complement so much, but it is never adequate. It is not to replace the actors and the spoken and performed (and even not spoken or performed – the silences and pauses) texts. It merely guides and helps to frame for the audience. What is important is the event on stage. As I’ve suggested earlier, the spoken text is secondary. The theatre is a total experience. Too often now we forget the sight and the tactile and the olfactory in the live theatre experience for the audience and how these work as a unit together with the aural and oral to complete the theatre work. Hence there is actual cooking onstage, the staging is close to the audience where they can actually reach out and touch the set and actors, and violence is never staged. What is crucial is for the audience to recognize the humanity in the performance first 100 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
and foremost. The context is secondary. Would you consider showcasing this work outside of Singapore? What about outside a Southeast Asian context? Most definitely. It’s all about money and resources to prepare and to present internationally. Of course, there will be adjustments to the scale of the production pending available resources. Gender, race, sexuality and class are commonly discussed separately, rather than as intersecting boundaries. Why do you think it is important to talk about them unanimously? I can’t separate any of them. I cannot talk about gender without talking about race, sexuality, and class, and vice versa or the reverse. We are talking about the complex person that is very much informed primarily by time – the journey of growing up within varying and changing (relative) environments and landscape informed, intervened, sculpted, and disrupted by opposing and contradicting factors and elements, rather than a cardboard cutout of a person from a plain single piece of cardboard. And it is more exciting too, that process of constant unlearning. I don’t want to learn Gender, for instance. I need to unlearn Gender. Please use the following link to access the full trailer: www.esplanade.com/festivalsand-series/pentas/2018/cerita-cinta?fbclid=I wAR3jwkDK5JWUWXFTpG_8pxrvqkT1 4H0HFh0fxk9HtYebj1uGTHSj5rYcdZM
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GEORGE ORWELL’S ESSAY ‘A HANGING’. BOOK GEEK, SHE/HER.
Book Geek is a black female who lives in London and is currently 13 years of age. She is an avid reader of all types of books, articles and fanfiction. She is a freelance contributor to Shades of Noir during the periods when secondary school work has subsided. Shades of Noir continues to support the dissemination of Book Geek works through our mediums with the agreement of her parent(s). This essay is an argument based on George Orwell’s essay ‘A Hanging’. It will show how he uses emotive language to put his views on hanging in the reader’s mind. George Orwell’s essay ‘A Hanging’ goes through the motions of a hanging, including detailing the atmosphere before and how people were after the act itself. Orwell uses language devices to show how, as an observer, he saw how tension-full and atmospheric the time leading up to the hanging could be. We see this in ‘they crowded very close to him, with their hands always on him careful, caressing grip, as though all the while feeling him to make sure he was there. It was like men handling a fish which is still alive and may jump back into the water’. This quote has two language features: ‘caressing grip’ which is an oxymoron due to its opposing words. The writer also employs a simile in the form of ‘it was like men handling
a fish which is still alive and may still jump back into the water’. This simile not only describes the prisoner as a fish which is dehumanizing - by referring to him as a fish that had been caught, but was being watched to make sure the ‘convict’ doesn’t get lost or do the wrong thing. The use of this terminology is harsh and I personally think it is heartless as they are completely dismissing that fact that the man is of the same genetics as them, human. Overall this whole quote shows how truly cruel these people are towards their fellow human beings. We see in paragraph ten Orwell’s use of emotive language to create empathy for the man being hanged. He does this by saying: ‘I never realized what it meant to destroy a healthy conscious man. When I saw the prisoner step aside to avoid the puddle I saw the mystery, the unspoken wrongness of cutting a life short when it’s in full tide. This man wasn’t dying he was alive just as we were alive’. This quote shows how Orwell is realising how the prisoner is a human just like him, as shown by the fact he avoided the puddle so his feet didn’t get wet. I think that even though Orwell didn’t believe in hanging up until that moment, he thought the prisoners were just mindless zombies who just did what they were told. But when he realised that the prisoner wasn’t like that, the use of the phrase ‘he is alive just like we were alive’ shows that Orwell is now associating the prisoner as being ‘made of the same things he was made out of’.
The use of making the hangman a convict really adds fuel to the fire about how very often the people in charge are heartless, as they themselves don’t want to ‘dirty’ their hands with spilling the blood of a black/brown man - therefore making a fellow convict be ‘the hangman, a greyhaired convict in the white uniform of the prison’ - reveals their fear of dirtying their hands, instead they decide to use someone whose hands are already ‘dirty’ to do their dirty work. This shows how truly uncaring they are because they can’t even kill the man themselves, but gave the task to someone else forcing them to carry the burden of taking a man’s life to be weighing down on someone else’s shoulders. The use of time words make it seem like it’s taken place over many hours, but in reality it was all finished ‘flick – like that!’ which shows how quickly they took a man’s life away and even jokingly talked about how quickly it was gone, which was said by Francis to the superintendent. Overall, we see how heartless and uncaring humans can be. We also see how racism can takeover someone’s mind causing them to not have any compassion. Book_Geek
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IN CONVERSATION WITH DR. JOHN SEALEY.
SHADES OF NOIR, UK.
“People don’t suddenly wake up one morning and say, ‘we need more Black cinema today’” Shades of Noir sat down with Dr. John Sealey, a filmmaker and academic who specialises in the narratives and representation of Black identities and diaspora communities and ways of challenging traditional mainstream filmmaking techniques, about his upcoming film project Escape, about the escape of a Senegalese prisoner of war from a German camp in the Second World War. How did your film project Escape come about? The idea came when I was doing an MA in film studies in 2002, and I came across a documentary film, Hitler’s Forgotten Victims which looked at soldiers from the French colonies who fought for France in the Second World War and I made a short film about that. Through that film I was asking questions about if you were a prisoner of war and you escaped, how would you travel through enemy territory if your racial identity was on your skin? I was doing research into the history of African Germans and Africans who were living in Germany, and that transnational history of Germany and Africa. I then completed my PhD about the Black subject and identity in narrative film and then I wanted to explore it in a feature length version. It’s been a 10 year journey and I am fundraising at the moment. We have tried the traditional routes in funding but the idea is so different - about the African colonial contribution to European wars - but
also looking at the identity of being both African and German. The story is about a French colonial soldier who escapes from a prisoner of war camp and then meets a circus of African Germans, a diaspora group of Jewish, Muslim and African people. Why is it important to you to make this film? I’m really interested in films that are driven by Black narrative. I’m influenced by European cinema, classical narrative film and how it can be manipulated, how you can subvert the genre film and explore ideas through that. Black narrative film has a specific Black aesthetic - how can you push ideas through that? It’s all about identity, what it means to be African and German, that’s driving the narrative; what happens when you’re caught up in a war and you don’t understand why you are there or what you are doing? The main character is shell-shocked and is trying to figure out their identity and how he fits into the war. I wanted to use generic tropes to speak about what it is like to have a different ethnicity. A lot of my influences are classical Hollywood cinema. I’m interested in how gender and race plays within those mainstream grand narratives, with war being one of them. People mainly see that war as being fought by white Europeans when in reality it was colonial. Why is it such a challenge to fundraise? Films cost a lot of money to make. I could write it in a novel, I could self-publish it, but films cost money and this film will cost £150,000 to make. There is discrimination, but the main thing is that when people are funding projects they want to see and
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understand stuff they haven’t seen before and they haven’t seen black characters portrayed in this kind of genre film before. When one film has broken the ceiling like Black Panther, they can see a superhero film with black characters, they can understand it. What does the Black aesthetic look like, what does that mean to you? It starts with character; how does that character feel in that relationship between their identity and their Blackness and how it relates to the world they are in? Stuart Hall talks about levels of cultural identity, how we see ourselves, how we are seen. The Black aesthetic is something that tries to recognise how that exists. It’s the thinking around that that then registers in the story and plot and dialogue and shots. It’s a dialogue with the films that have come before it, like Where Eagles Dare, The Colditz Story, and The Great Escape. Genre films are for me a way to speak about identities; the hegemonic culture and its narratives in terms of film, how can I use those narratives to talk about identity? In terms of identity and black cinema, I draw from films like Melvin Van Peebles’ Sweet Sweetback, that was the first independent Black film made back in 1971. What advice would you give to your younger self? Be more intuitive and follow your intuition; with film people always have a lot of advice to give you but if it doesn’t fit the idea you want to do then don’t follow them. It’s very difficult to find your own identity in the sea of film. You can always find literature, poetry that fits in with your idea of the world, but with film it’s hard to seek that out. 106 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
How would you want the future of film to look? One of the major obstacles that stands in the way of films like this getting made is the way that the decisions get made - who makes those decisions. Lenny Henry has been talking about this for a few years now. People don’t suddenly wake up one morning and say, we need more Black cinema today. From the audience, I say I would like to see someone who looks like me up there - I watch classical cinema, but no-one looks like me. Interview by Florence Low
FACE YOUR FEAR. HILARY WAN, LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION, UK.
There is that one person I wish I don’t need to lay my eyes on him ever again. There is nothing more scary than the ones lurking in the shadow. I live in fear and terror, day and night. I bumped into my stalker.
You have your friends around you, your family supporting you, and a space to feel safe. Maybe just a little, believe in yourself. there are so much more fight to give from where it came from.
While my blood racing, brain panicking, hand shaking. 999. But they won’t listen to me. 999. But I’m not physically in trauma. 999. But I have no physical proof. 999. But no one would understand.
His shadows. Defeated. His words. Meaningless. Nightmares. Be gone when you face your fear.
No one would understand. The buddy system. The sleepless nights. The anonymous phone calls. The aggressive texts. Someone is watching you. Run. He glared towards my direction. Hide. This is public space I should be safe. No. Stop. It’s all in my head. It’s closing the Box a bit too late. It’s living in your worst nightmare. And realize you are awake. Wait. Take a deep breath. You are not the old you anymore. You have fire in your eyes and steel in your bones. You have fought back once and you can do it again. And again. And again. Until the day you die.
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WHEN A PANJABI SISTER SET FIRE TO HER HUSBAND.
DR. GURNAM SINGH, UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS LONDON, UK.
“The biggest tragedy of Kiranjit’s case, and many others like this of domestic violence, is that our religious organisations either turn a blind eye or protect the offenders, especially so if they have an outwardly ‘religious’ appearance “ (Singh, 2019, as cited in When a Panjabi sister set fire to her husband, Samachar, A. 2019, p.1) Exactly 30 years ago a Panjabi Sister decided to do what we Panjabis take pride in, and that was to fight back against tyranny and oppression.
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On April 1989, following more than 10 years of physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her cruel tyrant husband, and fearing for her death after a incident when he pressed a hot iron to her face, Kiranjit decided to set fire to him. For her ‘crime’ she was given life imprisonment, but following a massive campaign, she was eventually released and the law was changed. The biggest tragedy of Kiranjit’s case, and many others like this of domestic violence, is that our religious organisations either turn a blind eye or protect the offenders, especially so if they have an outwardly ‘religious’ appearance.
Without the wonderful work of organisations like Southall Black Sisters (SBS), who have been fighting both British state racism and oppressive myogenic attitudes and practices within the South Asian community for decades, I fear that freedom fighters like Kiranjit would either have not lived to tell their story or languished in prisons. And perhaps for me the biggest sense of shame is with my own, especially those who claim to be ‘true Khalsa Sikhs’ for their indifference to the rampant patriarchy and mysogeny that exists within the community and its institutions. I have no hesitation is saying that it is groups like the Southall Black Sisters that have done most in putting into practice the teachings of Guru Nanak who confronted the oppression of women in times where even ISIS would have been deemed to be a moderate organisation. Whilst feminist and anti-racist activists have been working in the community and corridors of power to get justice, we have become imprisoned in caste based temples where women are treated as second class, and perverted Baba’s (God men) are free to abuse all and sundry. Gurnam Singh is an academic activist dedicated to human rights, liberty, equality, social and environmental justice. He is a Visiting Fellow in Race and Education at University of Arts London and a Visiting Professor of Social Work at University of Chester as well as a presenter at UK-based Akaal channel. This views were shared on his Facebook page]
THE VIEWS ABOVE WERE SHARED IN RESPONSE TO A BBC STORY ‘Kiranjit Ahluwalia: The woman who set her husband on fire‘ on 4 April 2019. Some excerpts from the BBC story: On a spring evening in 1989, Deepak Ahluwalia pressed a hot iron to his wife’s face, her hair gripped tightly in his fist. The iron burned her skin as she struggled in his grasp, leaving a mark on her face. Kiranjit Ahluwalia said the incident – after what she says was a decade of abuse at her husband’s hands – tipped her over the edge. “I couldn’t sleep, I was crying so badly. I was in pain, physically and emotionally,” she told the BBC, 30 years on. “I wanted to hit him. I wanted to hit him the way he hit me. I wanted to hit him so he could feel the same pain I was feeling. I never thought further. My brain had totally stopped.” That night, while he slept in bed, she doused her husband’s feet in petrol and set him alight. She grabbed her son and ran out of the house. “I thought, I’m going to burn his feet, so he won’t be able to run after me. I will give him a scar so he will always remember in the end what his wife did to him. So every time he sees his feet with a scar, he will remember me.” Kiranjit maintains she did not mean to kill her husband. But 10 days later, Deepak died from his injuries. In December that year, Kiranjit was convicted of his murder and sentenced to life in prison. Her case was taken up by Southall Black Sisters (SBS), an advocacy service for black and Asian women. Her release set a historic precedent – the court accepted that women who are victims of abuse may have more of a “slow-burn” reaction when provoked, rather than an immediate response.
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Kiranjit’s appeal remains SBS’s most notable case since it was established 40 years ago. As the group celebrates its anniversary, it screened the film made about the case, called Provoked, over the weekend as part of the UK Asian Film Festival, which will run across the country until May. Capturing Kiranjit’s story, SBS says that it was the outfit’s first case where it supported and campaigned on behalf of a battered woman who had killed her husband. Kiranjit won her appeal on the grounds of diminished responsibility based on new psychiatric evidence of her long-standing depression due to her experiences of violence and abuse. A retrial was ordered. However, at her new trial at the Old Bailey in London, in September 1992, the Crown accepted her plea of manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility and she was sentenced to three years and four months imprisonment, exactly the time she had already served. Kiranjit, therefore, walked out of Court a free woman to scenes of jubilation from the large number of supporters who had gathered outside the court. See the full BBC story here: www.bbc.com/news/uk-47724697 Find out more about SBS’s account here: southallblacksisters.org.uk/campaigns/ domestic-violence/kiranjit-ahluwalia/
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At her appeal hearing in July 1992 which was presided over by the then Lord Chief Justice, Taylor, Kiranjit’s barristers put forward new defences of provocation and diminished responsibility. Although the Court of Appeal rejected the grounds of provocation as a basis of her appeal, nevertheless it accepted that the defence of provocation, and in particular the requirement of a ‘sudden and temporary loss of self-control’ had been traditionally interpreted in ways which excluded the experiences of battered women. It recognised the notion of cumulative provocation and also accepted that as a matter of law, the time lapse between an act of provocation and the fatal act need not be construed as a cooling-off period. Instead, the Court accepted that the time lapse could be seen as a ‘boiling over’ period and as a factual matter that could be left to the jury to determine.
A GREAT WAY TO FLY. KANA HIGASHINO, CHELSEA COLLEGE OF ARTS, UK.
My practice is mainly based in video and performance. I am intrigued by notions of perfection and the idealization of Asian women within a western and global context. In my recent works, I discuss these ideas within the cultural and historical context of the Singapore Airline Stewardess. Also known as the ‘Singapore Girl’, her existence is a manifestation of our desires the exotification and fetishization of Asian women. I reimagine her identity in my work—she serves a different purpose for the viewer and those around her. By focusing on the romanticised object of desire, I aim to underline the tension between who she may be and who she is meant to be. I portray her as isolated, uncomfortable and, at times, vulnerable when put in situations that do not require her role. It is in these moments that the effort to maintain her perfect image is revealed.
Show me half the world and more, Show me all those places, Singapore Girl, you’re a great way to fly. Take me with you (do do do do do), Take me with you, to a world so far away. Let me share your gentle smile, Give me all your caring. Singapore girl, you’re a great way to fly. Singapore girl, you’re a great way to fly. See the full film here: youtu.be/jQA6N8SBjQQ
A Great Way to Fly (2018) is the most recent film featuring the Singapore Girl. The work is influenced by the genre of Slow Cinema with a minimalist approach— utilizing mundane, ambient and subtle visuals and sounds. I use repetition as a form of visual rhythm, bringing a sense of anticipation and suspense. The film is not only inspired by Chantal Akerman’s Jeanne Dielman. 23 Commerce Quay, 1080 Brussels (1975), it is an homage to its feminist connotations and approach.
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RACIST LUXURY DESIGNER BRAND CAMPAIGNS.
SAMIA MALIK, CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS, UK.
The fashion industry is racist and would not exist without imperial racism. The fashion industry runs on racism; from the slave labour of Black and Asian men, women and children, that starts in cotton-fields to garment making factories throughout a high density in Africa and Asia. In my earlier years I had the insight into the background world of fashion by working in the fashion industry as a: sales assistant, design assistant and then a fashion designer. There is no area of the fashion industry that I have known that withstands to be anti racist to the fullest degree. Around ten years ago, was a time when conversations of ethics were spoken for superficial cultural approval and claim, which hasn’t changed. If you were in the fashion industry and 114 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
you wanted to undo the racist slave chain, then you’d be told by the gatekeepers of the industry to find another vocation. In 2013, Naomi Campbell said the fashion industry is more racist than it was when she started modelling in the late 70’s: “there was a great balance of models of colour” Naomi Campbell on Channel 4 News 2013. In 2018, luxury designer brands such as: Burberry, Prada, Gucci, Christian Dior, Dolce and Gabbana, etc... use conspicuous, clear-cut, brash racist and classist campaigns that are obnoxious but not jolting because these are the basic standards of the fashion industry and with the years, the industry has become callously confident in being more racist. In 2019, without debate we can say the fashion industry stands shamelessly
racist, meanwhile providing images of artificial and stilted tokens of diversity. Arabs are the biggest spenders of luxury designer fashion lead by European designer labels. In April 2019, Vogue Arabia has a front cover of black hijabi models, apparently one of the first Vogue covers of the kind. To have an effective discussion about fashion industries: racism, representation, diversity, decolonisation - it is imperative to look, examine, understand and learn about the foundations of the colonial disease of racism in the fashion industry. Advance Publication is a subsidiary (controller) of Conde Nast; an American mass media company and Vogue is one of its brands. Vogue marketing and business manifesto is to focus on ‘social groups’. Hence the reason black hijabi’s are not on and never have been on the front cover of British Vogue, British Vogue is essentially a magazine for British white women. The current chief editor of British Vogue is a black man: Edward Enninful and in more recent issues of British Vogue the ‘diversity’ of black models has increased, but yet again the representation of Black and Asian models entails conformity to westernised standards, modelling European designer clothes made by the slave labour of Black and Asian people. Conde Nast is an American mass media company. Western, white supremacist mass media companies are the organisers and distributors of imperial propaganda. The staged representation of Black and Asian people in mass media for example, in Vogue magazine, for a moment (a few seasons), can blur, perplex the lines of racism and inequality. Meanwhile designer fashion brand campaigns such as: Prada, Gucci, Christian Dior and Dolce Gabbana are being racist through ‘conceptual contemporary’ design stories, ideas and marketing. With all these hybrids, layers of confusion and contradictions can infuse an artificial thrilling sensation, making the brainwashing propaganda
machine of mass media expansively and outwardly forceful. Ideologically Advance Publication, is an American mass media company created to serve westernised imperial propaganda, consequently the commercial celebration of the hijabi’s on the front cover of Vogue Arabia is the delusion of propaganda. When the same imperial mass media propaganda machine daily spins hateful lies about Muslims, and then to convolute a false image of advocation of Muslim’s with hijabi models on Vogue Arabia, is to protract enticement for the Arab big spenders for the growth of capitalism, imperialism and to spread more disinformation. Mass media’s existence is paramount for the imperialist cycle of racism. Through the psychological disease of mass media, imperialist and capitalist propaganda is sustained, developed and heightened. Making mass media a central powerful force alongside and in competition with God fearing religion. The remorseless, in-the-face presence of adverts on: billboards, magazines, TV, internet and social media with fixated images of ‘nice white people’ advertising all the latest products that commodified and mediocre humans want to obtain. Luxury designer fashion brand campaigns want to be the ringleaders of mass media, and the use of racist campaigns is not a careless accident. Racist designer fashion brand campaigns ridicule blackness to reignite whiteness, with the goal to put whiteness and to keep white supremacy at the forefront. Currently, Malik’s role at Shades of Noir is as an Associate Lecturer on the Safe Space Crits, staff development training and the Trigger Warning programme. All of these activities utilise Malik’s extensive research interest, expertise and commitment to social justice practice as a creative activist academic. To sign up to an upcoming session, please use the following link: shadesofnoir.org.uk/safe-space-crits/
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SKINNED ALIVE. MEERA MADHU, CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS, UK.
Exhibiting artists from the Nothing in the Papers Window Gallery Exhibition which took place a Central Saint Martins (UAL). Coming from a culture that invented the Kama Sutra and worshipped beautiful nude sculptures of Goddesses, it was ironic the looks of disgust and shame the society placed on females who confidently flaunted their body or exposed a little “too much” of their skin. This question of appropriateness, made me consider the flesh merely as a raw material and the body as an object, avoiding the humane aspect of the being. This piece was a cast of a modified male mannequin, so would the sexualised and objectified views that are associated with the depictions of the female body still remain? Through experimentation with various materials and objects, I was able to unlock different connotations addressing issues of gender, race, plastic surgery etc, but while these subtexts become associated with the artwork, space is left for the viewer’s interpretation.
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SECOND CHANCE STUDENT.
KAIN SHAKA, SAE INSTITUTE, UK.
As a mature student studying film at the SAE Institute in East London on a Digital Studies degree course, on enrolment day I was keen to meet my new classmates for the next two years and not get involved, as a 49 year old ‘Second Chance’ student, in the ‘Cool Old Man’ stereotype. I’d been told man times that I was “OK for an old guy” by many of my daughters’ friends, but I wanted to treat this differently; I saw university as a meritocracy, and I’d earned the right to be there, and I was going to enjoy the experience of learning with as much zest as I would have all those years ago when I dropped out to be a good father, husband and provider. An added element was my ethnicity; would my blackness be an issue? My age was one thing, the dreadlocks, allied to my natural youthful exuberance is something I believed was an asset. I was going to enjoy this, really enjoy this, although I was gonna be the eldest in the class I told myself repeatedly as wise counsel. I got to my first lecture and then discovered that I wasn’t the eldest student in the room, let alone the most aged Black man. I’d been outdone by 10 years! As I introduced myself to my fellow dinosaur, I felt a sense of relief that there would be at least one other person in class that would directly have knowledge of what I meant (all those old parables that had been passed on through generations like “Who can’t hear must feel”) and how I felt (he wouldn’t look at me as if I was something from outer space when I started talking about a TV series about a barber working out of his shop and his adventures with ‘The Peckham Prince’ and ‘Matthew’, with his classic “There’s an old African saying” line). 118 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
Relief. Although over time that relationship has had its fair share of challenges, I still remain an older learner on the course. My aspirations are similar to those when I first entered further education nearly 3 decades ago, and I am taking my course exceptionally seriously, but what has changed is how I am perceived by some outside of my classmates and family. The ‘hip father figure’ caricature that I so desperately tried to avoid has been almost impossible to shake when I explain what I am doing to people outside the learning facilities, but I’ve been accepted wholeheartedly by my classmates. Why? Because at least in terms of my age, my institute seems to be accepting of older figures, and although I have to deal with the occasional quip from classmates about being around at the time of the TV test card, my experiences have been nearly all positive. I’d like to think that my age adds some perspective at different times and is wisdom in a difficult one. Even though it is strange being older than all of my lecturers. And, when I am dealing with the “Why would you put yourself through that at your age?” “I have a degree and, if I could back, I wouldn’t bother.” “It’s a useless degree as there are no opportunities for POC in the film industry. Especially at your age!” comments I inevitably hear every week, I no longer get upset. I explain that it’s precisely the reason why I should do it now.
With age, many of us see the missed opportunity and also have a chance to do now what we maybe should have attempted earlier because we are older, we are wiser, we have fewer responsibilities, and we have more time. We also want to give back. To the community, to society, to the world; my story is that I am a fierce believer in justice, in helping those who the nation seem to have tossed aside like the homeless, those fleeing oppression, victims of the standardised discrimination that exists and the mentally ill as examples. I want to help tell their story, and I am now brave enough to do so. I also, with a deep sense of vanity and I do
not want to be the only person in my house without a degree (I have managed to rear two children who have multiple degrees, and my wife had one even before we met). Maybe it’s true that age ain’t nothin’ but a number. Find out more about Kain’s work exploring Social Activism in this latest publish by SAE Institute: www.sae.edu/gbr/kainshaka-speaks-sae-about-his-social-activismand-his-latest-short-film-love-and-football
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IN CONVERSATION WITH TIFFANY WEBSTER.
SHADES OF NOIR, UK.
“We are always unlearning, but actually it’s remembering because we were taught the wrong things” SoN caught up with Tiffany Webster, community worker, creative practitioner and Shades of Noir graduate, to talk about her journey of falling in and out of love with art. Can you tell me your origin story? How did you get to where you are today? I grew up in North West London, but moved to Spain at 10 years old. At 16 I decided to leave to come back to the UK, and I attended sixth form in fine art and design in Kent, which opened up different ways of creating that I never knew about before. My desire to continue learning different ways of practising art led me to discover UAL, and I attended the Progression Centre. I learned so much there, I met so many people from around the world; I discovered different ways of understanding my practice, what I wanted to get out of it, how to find a voice through making things with my hands. It’s something I can’t explain, it just felt right. My BA at Camberwell was a strange experience, and a strange environment. I really felt the differences of class and race. There were definitely nuanced moments in my interactions with students from middle and upper class backgrounds. The fetishisation of the working class, especially POC working class, really stood out. I had interactions with students who weren’t from those communities that were eye-opening, I would see middle and upper class white students who would change they way they 120 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
spoke when they approached me, make holes in their clothes; they were trying to adopt a certain cultural capital. It’s really subtle things, but when I looked back in my second year at the accumulation of those subtleties, the nature of art school, the space of art school, the politics of it, the institution, I started to notice those dynamics. You go into art school with this understanding or expectation of freely making work, of expanding your world, learning about things, sharing what you’re passionate about, then you come into the realities of that space, one where you are navigating really subtle (or sometimes in-your-face) forms of classism, forms of racism. I feel like I’m at the intersection of all these different things coming from a mixed background, identifying as a black queer woman of mixed heritage and working-class. All my identities come together and inform each other, in so many different ways. Stuff happens so quickly, so there are moments that you internalise. You’re not aware of them until after the moment, when other people share their experiences with you and you talk about it together. This type of sharing took place in spaces such as Shades of Noir. I was a content creator for Shades of Noir, phase three into phase four. With Shades I would run events, ToRs, interviews. It was an experimental phase, we were trying out things like podcasts, shortdocumentaries, collaborations, numerous conferences, working with artists, schools and establishments. We documented the renovation of the New Beacon Book Shop, the UK’s first black publisher, specialist bookshop and international book distributor.
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It was a time of expansion, it was exciting. I networked heavily and met a lot of people. Shades is what made me finish my degree, otherwise I would have dropped out in second year. I had this feeling like I really didn’t belong in Camberwell or in the uni, there was this otherness, I was making work I wasn’t happy with, crits with cis-white male tutors, in particular, felt unpredictable and filled me with anxiety. As crits were unpredictable in how your work was going to be received (or understood), but it was more than that, so much more. There were so many things that made me feel like I didn’t want to be in this space, I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do. I got funding for my final show through Shades so that I was able to pay the actors; Shades taught me that it was important to constantly pay artists, to demand that our time be respected. I am in a continuous state of immense gratitude for the work they do, it’s so important and urgent. It’s a community, you feel welcomed, like you could be your true self at all times, and it was also expected of you. Along with meeting the people that I did along the way, Shades of Noir really encourages and challenges you to really come into and outside of yourself. Shades exists to remind you of who you are, it’s a remembering process. We talk about unlearning a lot, we use that term a lot, but I have an issue with that, let’s dig deeper into what that means. We are always unlearning, but actually it’s remembering because we were taught the wrong things, we were taught the status quo, we were taught the institutionalised way, we have to unlearn these toxic ways. I feel like Shades is the pedagogy of that process, reminding us of the truth, and giving us the courage to walk and speak in that truth. Yes, it is a safe space, but within that safe space, we challenged each other all the time whilst having each others’ backs. We made each other feel that we could push each other, we could do more and be more than this.
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My practice evolved from being less about materiality and making with my hands, to writing. I was working with and within collectives, assisting in projects created by collectives such as the Black House, a collective that was creating spaces that directly engaged with their local community, such as Peckham. I wrote about a lot of my experiences, speaking to others, talking and writing about their about their work; I found myself doing that more than making anything. I found myself also wanting to share my writings, thoughts and experiences with people outside of the academic arts bubble, I wanted my own friends, family and community to read the things I was talking about and learning about. I was sharing my work and my practice, but it felt like there was an invisible barrier. I felt as though academic language and how I was writing about things was forming part of that barrier. We talk about creating accessible spaces, bridging gaps; yet academic language is quite isolating and inaccessible on its own. Writing about radical visibility, blackness, navigating IRL and URL, the surveillance of bodies, being working class, being of Spanish nationality but born here, what do all these things mean outside the academic analytical context? It felt isolating in a sense, when I wanted to speak about these things outside of uni, outside of where I had to present my work in crits, my degree show, an art gallery or another gentrified space in South East London. What does it mean to take my work and put it in a youth centre, in my nan’s living room, take my work and put it in my local community centre, take it out of one context and put it in another. When you do that, what does it mean in that space, what am I trying to say in that space? I was grappling with that a lot and still do. When I speak to my family and friends, or younger people from the youth centres, they ask me what I’m doing, I’m not sure how to answer, I was trying to explore all these different things, but does it even exist outside of me
talking about blackness in the academic sense? It does, but perhaps not in the analysed narrative presented and performed on the top floor of Camberwell College of Arts. My time at university was a time of a lot of growth, there was a lot of learning, but I guess in a way at the same time it was a bubble, it was very isolating from the outside world. I graduated, I completed internships with Iniva and with the ICA, I got first-hand experience with two completely different organisations. Iniva do incredibly important work for artists, in terms of representation and development, and I really respect the work they do in supporting artists as individuals and as a collective. At the same time, I was working with the amazing Farzana Khan, a writer, director, arts educator and award- winning cultural producer and I ended up taking grassroot projects, such as ‘Surviving The State’ with Voices That Shake, making short documentaries on gentrification and its
relationship to forms of violence on youth and communities. I was working both within institutions and grassroot organisations, both very different spaces to navigate and occupy. I began to question my own role as an ‘artist’ in my own community, what are our roles as ‘artists’, what does it mean to talk about gentrification but to also be a gentrifier? I’m from North West London but I’m studying in South East London as an arts student. Art students contribute to gentrification in south east London, it’s present, it’s prevalent, no matter what your intention may be; what does it mean to be a gentrifier who also suffers from the effects of gentrification in your own area? It’s like a catch-22, the upside down, it’s a strange place to occupy. My local area lacks youth centres, the working class are getting pushed out and relocated, we don’t have any resources, our homes burn down and we just get relocated. The devastating fire of Grenfell happened the summer of 2017, and I felt even more
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frustrated working within academic spaces and institutions, and gradually began to move away from these spaces, alongside arts spaces, to work in grassroot community centres. It felt rewarding and meaningful to work on documentaries, asking questions about surveillance, talking to the youth, asking what it means to be policed, being othered and not feeling like they belonged. Prior to this, I did a project with my dad where he set up a team with his community to renovate the first Black-owned Caribbean bookshop in Finsbury Park. He put out a call-out to the community when it was going to close, and now they are doing great, getting involved in different things. I was on a constant roll of wanting to do things within my own community and outside of that. I was always thinking about the work I was doing at uni, what happens after the talk, the crit, the exhibition, after we put up the work, we have the show then we take the work down,
then the pause. I was always wondering what happens in that space compared to the work I was doing in communities, like the short documentaries, the New Beacon Books renovation, all these things I was doing afterwards. I’m not saying that crafting isn’t meaningful, I made work that was really expansive for myself as an artist and what type of work I want to make. But I’m not comfortable calling myself an artist, I create things so I’m a creative practitioner. I was making this work after graduating, and I was constantly finding that I was bridging the gap of access and inaccess, and just constantly asking what it meant to be making that work? I remember Molly Palmer visiting Camberwell and we had a tutorial with her; I remember asking her what she did after graduating, since I was in a space of not enjoying my course - the only thing I
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had was Shades. She grinned and said, you know when I graduated, I didn’t do art for a year, I fell out of love with it. She messaged me a few months ago to be in a video piece she was making, but I told her that I had left London, my current circumstances ironically resembled exactly what she had told me done, I too had fallen out of love, I wasn’t making anything or wanting to, I had to go to just take care of myself. I’m just surviving at this stage of my life, I hadn’t been taking care of myself for a long time. I would be having conversations with Farzana Khan, and I would tell her that I would never see myself growing old. She nodded, and told me that it was typical of the working class, constantly being in survival mode, fight or flight, the constant hustle. I’ve only just started thinking about pensions and saving money for my future. I’ve never thought about it, I grew up never having enough of anything and living day to day. I saw a meme the other day that read, “you’re still an artist even if you aren’t making work right now or sharing work and just making personal pieces”. Another read, “self-care also sometimes looks like disappearing completely for a while”, and I read both around the same time and thought, I’m still a creative, even if I’m not doing anything right now. I left everything and disappeared, but it doesn’t mean to say I’m not a creative. When you [Florence] emailed me about being in the Creative Database, initially, I looked at the Database and the creatives on there, and told myself that I didn’t belong there, as I wasn’t making work. I had a studio space for a few months after I graduated with the intention to make work, but I wasn’t making work to sell, so I couldn’t afford to pay the rent. But I was so scared that I wouldn’t practice anymore, eventually I had to give the studio space up as I couldn’t afford to rent it anymore.
It was a hard decision to leave my community. Young people leave the community a lot because you find out there is nothing there for you, everything gets taken away, you go to hubs and communities where you feel you will thrive. I felt I should stay in North West London because I wanted to stay and fight for communities and our centres, to give a voice to the people. It was a hard decision but I had to do it. I will be returning, but it will be when I am ready. I’m currently doing illustration work for a written piece called ‘Revolutionary Mothering’ by Farzana Khan. What advice would you give your younger self? The advice would be to make all those mistakes, because you have to make those mistakes and it’s ok to make those mistakes, because they’re all really necessary to get to where you need to be. At the same time, you are always where you meant to be, where you find yourself now, is in the right place. You are enough. Interview by Florence Low
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HAIR SHAME, NOT ANYMORE.
SANDRA PAULSON, CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS, UK.
This work encapsulates some of the stages of my visual and academic discussions about women’s bodies and the social and cultural pressure that have influence on shaping it. Having as a starting point the gendered bodily practices that allow us to construct gender (as well as letting it construct us) and make meaning out of the body, here I discuss how controlling our natural features, and maintaining a docile body, shapes individuals and influences how we evolve as a society. This work encapsulates some of the stages of my visual and academic discussions about women’s bodies and the social and cultural pressure that have an influence on shaping it. Having as a starting point the gendered bodily practices that allow us to construct gender (as well as letting it construct us) and make meaning out of the body, here I discuss how controlling our natural features, and maintaining a docile body, shapes individuals and influences how we evolve as a society. In my body of work the ‘body’ appears as a liminal space for discussion, which in this series is used to explore ideas around the desire of wildly grown hair on the head, and the fear of ‘monster-like’ grown plants on the armpits, pubic area and legs, through drawings and annotation on a
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self-body documentation photograph. Growing up in Luanda, my parent’s house was the only one in that building that had plants at the entrance of the flat. There were 17 apartments in the building. Ours was the only one that had plants at all. In our street, me and my sister were called ‘The plant girls’ which I never understood until recently when I realized that no one else had plants as people’s concerns with basic needs such as water supply, food to get by and security were above any need for decoration or spiritual purposes for having plants. Were those same plants an indication of cultural or class unevenness? Is the monster like plant hair on my body another establishment that indicates where I would be categorized in regards to gender? In this series, hands can be seen touching, exploring and shaping the body according to the wishes of bodies (people) that we cannot see. Those same hands could operate as a metaphor for how we are shaped by society, letting the values, beliefs and pressure from others dictate the way we present our bodies and direct our lives. Alongside the way those hands, as a collective, shape our existence as individuals, they also censor and limit our willingness to express our bodies and ideals. In this work, an individual with their arms up is surrendering to how society is handling their sexuality, raising questions around the direction in which we are collectively progressing, or regressing?
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TAM JOSEPH, CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS, UK.
My formal state education came to an end in the summer 1967 and I entered the Foundation Course at the Central school of Art in London for one year I have fond memories of that period in my life because I had space and access to materials and equipment that I had previously only read about in text books, Lithographic presses, Silk screen equipment, Clay, Easels, Plaster of Paris By the time the course had come to and end, I had already been accepted into the BA course at the Slade school of Art, but unfortunately, through a combination of personal factors and my dissatisfaction with the quality of the Tutors my residence at the Slade was short lived. 130 // THE THREE â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;ISMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
Within 3 months I had decided to quit the Slade and do other things, by chance a friend informed me that work was available as a painter and tracer on the Yellow Submarine an animated film using The Beetles as characters, this was true serendipity, because I have always had a strong interest in the moving image and animated film was the epitome of that interest; as matter of fact, I only went to Art school because I wanted to be an animator, but somehow Fine art seemed to take over, possibly because I had the ability to do more that just draw, I could also sculpt in wood and clay although I had no formal education in sculpture whatsoever.
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Before the Film had ended I had decided that I wanted to move on (moving on seems to be one of the traits of my character) I don’t quite remember how it all came about, but I decided that I wanted to travel and went on to Sweden at first and then began to hitchhike throughout Europe, I was about twenty years old. Through a series of events I ended up at a Youth Hostel in Munich, where I stumbled upon two young men of French origin who were intent on Hitchhiking to India, they invited me to join them and typically of me I accepted their offer despite the fact that none of us had any idea of where were going to nor why we were doing it but “Turn on, Tune in Drop out” was the Hippy anthem of the time and it seemed to be the right thing to do. My entry into India was by an overland route that took me through Iran (The Shah of Iran was in rule at the time) Afghanistan, Pakistan and finally India, where I remained for a few months before deciding to retrace my steps back to the UK. I returned to my Parents home in London and after taking on various jobs including a builders labourer and Postman, I decided to enrol into the Diploma Course at the London College of printing to study Typographic design. The reasoning behind this was because I had realised that making financial a success out of Fine Art was near to impossible and further my independent nature would probably not be conducive when dealing with the moneymen.
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Somewhere at the end of the eighties after painting The Dogons, Tale, Spirit of the carnival and UK school report, all of which had been done on my bedroom wall at my home in North London, I bumped into the legendary, now sadly deceased, Alan Hayden who seemed to be very keen on getting me on the panel of the Greater London Arts Committee and sweetened the whole proposal by introducing me to the Space studios Organisation who were based at the Air Gallery in Roseberry Avenue, London, I had a studio in Bethnal Green until 1997, Timespan, The Flying Doctor, Under the sea , Under the sea were among he the many works, some of which had to be destroyed, much to my regret when my family and I removed to Nimes France. I quickly found a large studio space in the Centre of Nimes, and during the period of 1998 -2000 produced sculpture using paper mash coloured with iron filings, Ma Pettit Mico, Cocoons, Fish, and Kitab are work produced within this short, very productive and very satisfactory period. I continue to visit Nimes regularly, the walls of this small Roman town has been the source of many ideas for me. We removed back to the UK. In the 2000 and my present studio is in Walthamstow North London, where I continue to explore worlds Outer and Inner. To find out more about Tam’s work, please visit www.tamjosephartlive.com
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FINDING INTERSECTIONAL CREATIVES IS EASY.
This database aims to bring together our growing community of creatives and acknowledge the expertise of global communities of visionary practitioners. The aim of this database is to support work in the following areas: • Decolonising creative curriculums • Acknowledging cultural currency. • Affirmation of diverse communities contribution to the creative sector. • By making this resource accessible we hope to challenge any assumptions which seek to suggest that marginalised communities have made no significant contribution to the creative sector.
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IMAGE CAPTIONS Image 1
Stan Squirewell Untitled (u.d.) Mixed Media collage and carved scorched frame Size Unknown
Image of Mis Gladys Theus (circa, 1934) One of the fastest and most efficient welders at the Kaiser Company Permanente Metals Corporation, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Image of Lou Annie Charles And Josie Dunn (2016) Josie Dunn, right, photographed last year with her niece, Lou Annie Charles. Both women were among the original “Rosie the Riveters,” working for Boeing during World War II. Courtesy of Bettina Hansen/The Seattle Times.
Shades of Noir and the George Padmore Institute are pleased to announce a dynamic collaboration which will enable researchers to access rare artefacts, such as the British Black Panther (BBP) newspapers online. The George Padmore Institute (GPI) is an archive, educational research and information centre housing materials relating mainly to the black community of Caribbean, African and Asian descent in Britain and continental Europe. This collaboration has allowed Shades of Noir to present and archive digitised copies of the British Black Panther newspapers. The British Black Panther newspapers are testimony to a time when social injustices were unravelling beyond control. This documentation aims to share the history of such events and is a necessary reference to the development of social justices and is highly relevant in today’s society in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement. More information and artefacts are available via www.shadesofnoir.org.uk/artefacts/black-panther-newsletters/ Message to the Black People of Britain, July 1968 - West London Offset Co. S.W.6 President Kwame Nkrumah, Black Panther Pamphlets (17/1)
We Are on the Move, May – June 1971 Black Panther Movement (17/7)
Angela Davis Victory Day, June 1972 Published: Black Panther Movement Freedom News (17/12)
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Support Freedom Fighters in the West Indies, June 1973 Black Panther Movement Freedom News: North and East London voice community (17/21)
Bela Lugosi in Tod Browning’s 1931 movie classic Dracula Image courtesy of Universal Pictures
Stan Squirewell St Augustine (2019) Mixed Media collage and carved scorched frame 26.25 x 25.50 inches
Stan Squirewell Afrosaxon III (2019) Mixed Media collage and carved scorched frame 30 x 50 inches
Stan Squirewell Ameri (2019) Mixed Media collage and carved scorched frame 26 x 27 inches
Stan Squirewell Louisiana Mixed Media collage and carved scorched frame Size unknown
Non-discrimination, Human Rights Banner, courtesy of (@HumnRitesReview) Human Rights For All
Black Pete, Zwarte Piet: The Documentary, courtesy of Kickstarter: The Black Dutchman, ZWARTE PIET: A DUTCH TRADITION. More information available via www.blackpetethedocumentary.com
Hafiiz Karim Werq. Vogue. Pose (u.d.) As seen in My, what’s so good about being queer? Courtesy of the artist
Hafiiz Karim Feeling his Fantasy (u.d.) As seen in My, what’s so good about being queer? Courtesy of the artist
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Hafiiz Karim The work that goes behind being his true self (u.d.) As seen in My, what’s so good about being queer? Courtesy of the artist
Brenda Emmanus and Melanie Keen in conversation with Shades of Noir (Nov 2018) Still from Video recording, approx 60 minutes Full Audio available here: bit.ly/PowerWomenintheArts
Brenda Emmanus, courtesy of Getty Images BBC Broadcaster and Journalist To find out more, please visit www.brendaemmanus.com
Melanie Keen, courtesy of The Association of Women in the Arts (AWITA, December 2017) Director of Wellcome Collection, formerly INIVA To find out more, please visit wellcome.ac.uk/press-release/ melanie-keen-appointed-director-wellcome-collection
Kana Higashino Ripples (2019) A3 Digital Illustration
Image 22 - 23
Miriam Syowia Kyambi Stills from Syowia Kyambi What’s Wrong Dear Jane?, Performance, performed on 24 November 2016, exhibited at Kenya Art Fair and Kuona Trust Art Center Mixed media Installation, photography, sound and video More information available at www.syowiakyambi.com/whats-wrong-dear-jane.html
Tschabalala Self Blunt (2018) Fabric, packing material, painted and dyed canvas, oil, acrylic, flashe, colored pencil on canvas 213.4 x 182.9 cm Courtesy of the artist and Pilar Corrias, London
Tschabalala Self Bayo (2017) Acrylic, watercolour, flashe, crayon, coloured pencil, hand-coloured photocopy, coloured photocopy, hand-coloured canvas on canvas 8’(H) x 7’(W) / 243.8 x 213.3 cm
THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 139
Tschabalala Self Shelved Food (2018) Colored pencil, gouache, acrylic, and silkscreen on paper 35’ x 26’ / 88.9 x 66 cm
Tarika Sabherwal India’s daughter (2019) Oil on canvas 1670mm x 1150mm
Image of Charisse Chikwiri, courtesy of Shades of Noir To find out more, please visit www.instagram.com/charisseec/?hl=en
Blackmanwhitebaby We Are One (u.d) Size and Materials unknown From the ‘We Are One’ series
Blackmanwhitebaby Candombe (u.d.) Size and Materials unknown From the ‘instagram-uncensored’ series To see more of their work, please visit www.blackmanwhitebaby.com
Blackmanwhitebaby Jiggaboo (2017) Los Angeles, Ca. Archival Pigment Print 11 x 14 inches Edition of 6
Fiona Koh Li Ping Red Snapper (2018) The Fishmonger’s Dream Series Oil on Treated Newsprint 100cm x 75cm
Fiona Koh Li Ping Mouse Grouper (2018) The Fishmonger’s Dream Series Acrylic and Oil on Treated Newsprint 100cm x 75cm
Fiona Koh Li Ping Breakfast (2017) Acrylic and Oil on Treated Newsprint 90cm x 90cm
140 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
Ella Devi Dabysing Untitled (2019) Digital Illustration To see more of her work, please visit www.instagram.com/elladabysing_art/?hl=en
Image 36 - 42
Stills from Noor Effendy Ibrahim’s Cerita Cinta [Love Story] (1995) To find out more about Cerita Cinta, please visit www. esplanade.com/festivals-and-series/pentas/2018/cerita-cinta
Book Geek Illustration inspired by George Orwell’s Essay ‘A Hanging’.
Image of Dr. John Sealey, courtesy of the filmmaker. To find out more, please visit www.plymouthart. ac.uk/studying/staff-profiles/dr-john-sealey
Kiranjit Ahluwalia (second from left) holding hands with Pragna Patel (second from right) as she walked free from prison, courtesy of BBC News: (2019) via The woman who set her husband on fire by Kiranjit Ahluwalia
Kana Higashino Still 4 The Call A Great Way to Fly (2018) 20-minute film
Still 16 The Tube A Great Way to Fly (2018) 20-minute film To see more of their work, please visit kanahigashino.weebly.com
Image of Samia Malik, courtesy of Shades of Noir. To see more of their work, please visit www.notjustalabel.com/samia-malik
Meera Madhu Skinned Alive (2019) as seen in Nothing in the Papers Window Gallery Exhibition 2019 at Central Saint Martins (UAL) Courtesy of the artist
Image of Kain Shaka, courtesy of the filmmaker. To see more of their work, please visit ksdigifilm.com/
Tiffany Webster Venn ‘Radical Visibility (2016) Diagram VII
THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 141
Tiffany Webster (4) Stills from Untitled-1 (2019) Available via The Radical Visibility Archive, found radicalvisibility.tumblr.com/
Tiffany Webster RD #3 (2017) Available via The Radical Visibility Archive, found radicalvisibility.tumblr.com/
Sandra Paulson Social Conventions Handling Body (2017) Mixed Media Collage Size Unknown
Sandra Paulson Sexual Intercourse With Body Hair (2017) Mixed Media Collage Size Unknown
Sandra Paulson Plant Monster Girl (2017) Drawing And Hyper-annotation On Self-documentation Mixed Media Collage Size Unknown
Image of Tam Joseph, courtesy of the artist. To see more of their work, visit www.tamjosephartlive.com/
Tam Joseph The Extraordinary Qualities of the Gaderene Swine (u.d.) Oil paints on canvas 76x192cm
Tam Joseph The Handmade Map of the World (u.d) Acrylic paints on canvas 75x157cm
Fiona Koh Li Ping Kampong (2018) The Fishmonger’s Dream Series Acrylic & Oil on Treated Newsprint 35cm by 28cm
142 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
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FURTHER READING. Books: Afshar, H. and Maynard, M. eds., 1994. The dynamics of” race” and gender: some feminist interventions. Taylor & Francis. Akala (2018) Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire. London: Hodder & Stoughton General Division Alaimo, S., Hekman, S. and Hekman, S.J. eds., 2008. Material feminisms. Indiana University Press. Andrews, K. (2004). Post-Independence Disillusionment In Contemporary African Fiction: The Example Of Meja Mwangi’s. Nordic Journal of African Studies, [online] 13(2), pp.228–241 Andrews, K. (2018) Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century (Blackness in Britain). London: Zed Books Lee, Eunjung, and Rupaleem Bhuyan. “Negotiating within Whiteness in Cross-Cultural Clinical Encounters.” Social Service Review, vol. 87, no. 1, 2013, pp. 98–130. Baldwin, J. (1955) Stranger In A Village. Notes of a Native Son. USA: Beacon Press (pp.119). Baldwin, J (1993) Down At The Cross. The Fire Next Time. A Division of Random House, Inc.:New York. (pp.69). Baldwin, J. (2017) Culture, Prejudice, Racism, and Discrimination. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. Basu, A., 2018. The challenge of local feminisms: Women’s movements in global perspective. Routledge. Bevelander, P. and Otterbeck, J., 2010. Young people’s attitudes towards Muslims in Sweden. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 33(3), pp.404-425. Black british feminism: A Reader (1999), Feminist Review. Edited by Heidi. S. Mirza. Routledge: London and New York, 1997, ISBN 0 415 15289, 61(1), pp. 151–163. doi: 10.1080/014177899339351. Body, H. (2004) When Shall We Overcome. Napierville, IL: Sourcebooks Bonilla-Silva, E., 2006. Racism without racists: Color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in the United States. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 148 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
Bonilla-Silva, E. 1996. Rethinking Racism: Toward a Structural Interpretation. American Sociological Review, 62, 465-480. Bonilla-Silva, E. 2006. Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States. Rowman & Littleﬁeld Publishers, Inc. Brown, E. (1994) A Taste of Power: A Black Women’s Story. New York: Anchor Books Bulbeck, C., 1998. Re-orienting Western feminisms: Women’s diversity in a postcolonial world. Cambridge University Press. Caws, M.A. ed., 2001. Manifesto: A Century of isms. U of Nebraska Press. Charisse C. Levchak. 2018. Microaggressions, Macroaggressions, and Modern Racism. Microaggressions and Modern Racism, pages 13-69. Coghlan, D., & Brydon-Miller, M. (2014). The SAGE encyclopedia of action research (Vols. 1-2). London, : SAGE Publications Ltd doi: 10.4135/9781446294406 Cornish, P. and Saunders, N. (2014). Bodies in Conflict: Corporeality, Materiality, and Transformation. Routledge: London, UK Crenshaw, K. (1991) Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Violence and Violence against Women of Color. Stanford LAw Review, 43(6):1241-1279 Davis, A. (1982) Women, Race and Class, London: Women’s Press Davis. K, (2002) Feminist Body/Politics as World Traveller: Translating Our Bodies, Ourselves. The European Journal of Women’s Studies. SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks and New Delhi), Vol. 9(3): 223–247 DiAngelo, R. (2011). White fragility. 1st ed. Greensboro NC,: International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, Vol 3 (3) (2011), pp.pp 54-70. Domínguez Ruvalcaba, H. (2016). Translating the Queer: BODY POLITICS AND TRANSNATIONAL CONVERSATIONS. Chicago: ZED Books. Donaldson, L.E., 1992. Decolonizing feminisms: race, gender & empire building. UNC Press Books. Du Bois, W. E. B (1903) The Souls of Black Folk. A. C. McClurg & Co. Chicago Press THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 149
Ebenstein, W. and Fogelman, E., 1967. Today’s isms: communism, fascism, capitalism, socialism. Prentice-Hall. Essed, P., 1991. Understanding everyday racism: An interdisciplinary theory (Vol. 2). Sage. Fanon, F (1952) Black Skin, White Masks. France: Éditions du Seuil Fanon. F, The Wretched of the Earth (Les Damnés de la Terre, 1961). New York: Grove Press Frankenburg, R., 1993. White women, race matters: The social construction of whiteness. Routledge. Vancouver Friere, P. (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. London: Continuum. Gabriel, J., 2012. Racism, culture, markets. Routledge. Gangoli, G., 2016. Indian feminisms: Law, patriarchies and violence in India. Routledge. Gedalof, I., 2005. Against purity: Rethinking identity with Indian and Western feminisms. Routledge. Gillborn, D., 2008. Racism and education: Coincidence or conspiracy?. Routledge. Gillborn, D. (2015). Intersectionality, Critical Race Theory, and the Primacy of Racism: Race, Class, Gender, and Disability in Education. Qualitative Inquiry, 21(3), 277–287. Grewal, I., 2005. Transnational America: feminisms, diasporas, neoliberalisms. Duke University Press. Vancouver Hall, S. (1990) Cultural Identity and Diaspora’ Identity: Community, Culture, Difference. J, Rutherford, London,: Lawrence & Wishart Publishing Hall, S. (1991) Old and New Identities, Old and New Ethnicities Culture, Globalisation and the World System. A. King, Basingstoke: Macmillan Publishing. Hall, S. (1992) ‘New Ethnicities’ ‘Race’, Culture and Difference. J. Donald A. Rattansi. London: Sage Publishing (Originally published in 1988.) Hall. S, (1994) Cultural Identity and Diaspora from Williams, Patrick and Laura Chrisman, Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial theory: A Reader pp.227-237, London: Harvester Wheatsheaf Hall. S, (1996). Questions of Cultural Identity. Sage Publications Ltd; 1 edition (12 May 1996). London: Harvester Wheatsheaf Hall S. (2009). What is this “black” in black popular culture? in Popular culture and cultural theory: A reader. 4th ed. by Storey, J. Essex: Pearson. 150 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
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Kamali, M., 2010. Racial discrimination: institutional patterns and politics. Routledge. Kaplan, C., Alarcón, N. and Moallem, M. eds., 1999. Between woman and nation: Nationalisms, transnational feminisms, and the state. Duke University Press. Karam, A., 1997. Women, Islamisms and the State: contemporary feminisms in Egypt. Springer. Leicester, M., 1993. Race for a Change in Continuing and Higher Education. The Cutting Edge Series. Open University Press, c/o Taylor and Francis, 1900 Frost Road, Suite 101, Bristol, PA 19007. Lennon, Kathleen, “Feminist Perspectives on the Body”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2014 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.) Leonardo, Z., 2009. Race, whiteness, and education. Routledge. Lester, N.A., 1999. Roots that go beyond big hair and a bad hair day: Nappy hair pieces. Children’s Literature in Education, 30(3), pp.171-183. Lipsitz, G., 2006. The possessive investment in whiteness: How white people profit from identity politics. Temple University Press. Luke, C. and Gore, J., 2014. Feminisms and critical pedagogy. Routledge. Luke, C. ed., 1996. Feminisms and pedagogies of everyday life. SUNY Press. Marx, S., 2006. Revealing the invisible: Confronting passive racism in teacher education. Routledge. McIntyre, A., 1997. Making meaning of whiteness: Exploring racial identity with white teachers. Suny Press. Mincy, R.B. ed., 2006. Black males left behind. The Urban Insitute. Minoo Alinia (2015) On Black Feminist Thought: thinking oppression and resistance through intersectional paradigm, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38:13, 2334-2340 Mirza, H.S. and Joseph, C. eds., 2013. Black and postcolonial feminisms in new times: Researching educational inequalities. Routledge. Mirza, H.S. ed., 1997. Black British feminism: A reader. Taylor & Francis. Morley, L., 1999. Organising feminisms: The micropolitics of the academy. Springer. Nagar, R., 2014. Muddying the waters: Coauthoring feminisms across scholarship and activism. University of Illinois Press. 152 // THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS.
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DIGITAL RESOURCES. Websites:
The Afropean is an online multimedia, multidisciplinary journal exploring the social, cultural and aesthetic interplay of black and European cultures, and the synergy of styles and ideas brought about because of this union; with the aim to shed light on art, music, literature, news and events from the Afro-European diaspora, as well as produce and commission original essays and projects.
Black Cultural Archives (BCA) blackculturalarchives.org
Established in 1981 and situated in its iconic building in Brixton’s Windrush Square since 2014, Black Cultural Archives (BCA) is the only national repository of Black history, heritage and culture in the UK. Dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain.
Equality Challenge Unit www.ecu.ac.uk
Equality Challenge Unit works to further and support equality and diversity for staff and students in higher education across the UK and in colleges in Scotland.
Higher Education Statistics Agency www.hesa.ac.uk
The Higher Education Statistics Agency is the official agency for the collection, analysis and dissemination of quantitative information about higher education in the United Kingdom.
Resounded heritage site, Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) is an evolving, radical visual arts organisation dedicated to developing an artistic programme that reflects on the social and political impact of globalisation. Founded in 1994, under the leadership of renowned academic Professor Stuart Hall, Iniva is a non-profit organisation based in East London. It has established itself as a pioneering arts organisation in the artistic environment in the UK and beyond.
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Joseph Rowntree Foundation www.jrf.org.uk
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is a British social policy research and development charity, that funds a UK-wide research and development programme. It seeks to understand the root causes of social problems, to identify ways of overcoming them, and to show how social needs can be met in practice.
Runnymede Trust www.runnymedetrust.org
The Runnymede Trust is a race equality think tank founded in 1968 by Jim Rose and Anthony Lester, with aim of acting as an independent source for generating intelligence for a multiethnic Britain through research, network building, leading debate and policy engagement
The Racial Imaginary Institute An Interdisciplinary Cultural Laboratory, TRII is collaborative project run and curated organised by (TRII) poet Claudia Rankine; committed to the activation www.theracialimaginary.org of interdisciplinary work and a democratised exploration of race. The Institute takes the form of a moving collaboration with other collectives, spaces, artists, and organizations towards art exhibitions, readings, dialogues, lectures, performances, and screenings that engage the subject of race. The Racial Imaginary website will function as an online portal to the activities of the Institute, forming an extension of the original project where artists will present talks, read essays, host podcasts, and exhibit work focussed on race and the creative imagination
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AFROPUNK Solution Sessions www.afropunk.com/ solution-sessions/
A podcast dedicated to discussing the issues that need to be addressed, celebrate individuals in our local communities that are getting the work done, and encourage each other to be the change. AFROPUNK Solution Sessions uses the spirit and power of community to tackle the most important conversations about how culture, activism, and politics impact young folks of color in a way that achieves positive results.
Blacticulate Ltd is a platform that focuses and elevates, via podcasts and workshops, positive Black* stories.
Black Media Minute soundcloud.com/ blackmediaminute
The black media minute is a podcast that explores the ins and outs of the media business with black creatives and industry professionals.
(NPR) Code Switch www.npr.org/podcasts/510312/ codeswitch
Ever find yourself in a conversation about race and identity where you just get stuck? Code Switch can help. We're all journalists of color, and this isn't just the work we do. It's the lives we lead. Sometimes, we'll make you laugh. Other times, you'll get uncomfortable. But we'll always be unflinchingly honest and empathetic. Come mix it up with us.
Divided States of Women www.dividedstatesofwomen. com/podcast
Divided States of Women, hosted by Liz Plank, is a community that aims to disrupt the idea that there is a uni-dimensional female perspective.
Femm www.stitcher.com/podcast/ femm?refid=stpr
Conversations about art, design, technology, queer things, and feminism between Hannah Patellis (@hannahpatellis) and Dany Gonzalez (@ohlookitsdany). The .femm podcast is a feminist cyberqueer nerd palooza where design, technology, and intersectional feminism collide.
In Black America www.npr.org/ podcasts/381443555/ in-black-america
Produced at KUT, In Black America is a long-running, nationally syndicated podcast program dedicated to all facets of the African American experience.
Intersection: Jamil Smith m.soundcloud.com/ intersection-tnr
New Republic editor Jamil Smith explores how race, gender, and all the ways we identify ourselves and one another intersect. He brings in journalists, activists, politicians, and everyday folks like you to fuel the conversation.
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Our National Conversation About Race www.showaboutrace.com/
Co-discussants Anna Holmes, Baratunde Thurston, Raquel Cepeda and Tanner Colby host a lively multiracial, interracial conversation about the ways we can’t talk, don’t talk, would rather not talk, but intermittently, fitfully, embarrassingly do talk about culture, identity, politics, power, and privilege in our pre-post-yet-still-veryracial America. This show is "About Race.
Politically Reactive www.politicallyreactive.com/
How do we survive in the age of Trump? Kamau and Hari navigate the dumpster fire that is the US political landscape as every week they discuss how to move forward, how to be an active part of the resistance, and how to stay joyful in the face of the unknown.
Popaganda www.google.co.uk/amp/s/ www.listennotes.com/podcasts/ popaganda-bitch-mediaaUpGCvWwEqr/amp/
Bitch Media is a feminist response to pop culture, home to whip-smart writers, artists, and activists who analyze popular media with an eye on gender, race, class, and sexuality. Popaganda is a 45-minute in-depth exploration of themes ranging from standup comedy to sex work and Backtalk is our quick, fun conversation about the week in pop culture.
Racist Sandwich www.racistsandwich. com/episodes
Racist Sandwich is an American food podcast hosted by chef and food writer Soleil Ho and journalist Zahir Janmohamed. The podcast focuses on race, gender and class within the food industry in the United States and abroad
The Atlantic Soundcloud podcast to the Atlantic. The Atlantic soundcloud.com/user-154380542 covers news and coverage on politics, business, culture, technology, national, international and life on the Official site of The Atlantic Magazine The Extraordinary Negros www.theextraordinarynegroes. com/episodes-1
Each week on "The Extraordinary Negroes", writers Jay Connor and Alex Hardy delve into humorous explorations of pop culture, current events, and relevant issues with some of your favorite media personalities.
The Soul Glo Project www.soundcloud.com/ the-soul-glo-project
"The Soul Glo Project" is a podcast (and a live show!) that celebrates diversity in comedy through inclusion. All are welcomed and all are celebrated
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Allegories on Race and Racism (2014) | Camara Jones | TEDxEmory. [video] Available at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GN hcY6fTyBM&list=PLAKxlcSVo4 T5R8PlF_u-QUf Wu0gd-rqKF
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Dr. Camara Jones shares four allegories on “race” and racism. She hopes that these "telling stories" empower you to do something different, and that you will remember them and pass them on. Dr. Jones is a family physician and epidemiologist whose work focuses on the impacts of racism on the health and well-being of the nation. She seeks to broaden the national health debate to include not only universal access to high quality health care, but also attention to the social determinants of health (including poverty) and the social determinants of equity (including racism).
CNB Africa (2018). Talking Books Ep 38: Devan Moonsamy author of Racism, Classism, Sexism and other ism’s [video] Available at: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=1rMVCJXKAM4
In the world of business, diversity is highly advantageous. Not only does it meet policy requirements, but it has been shown to increase efficiency and appeals to more customers. On the other side, there is still a lot of discrimination. Why do people discriminate and on what basis, and how can this tendency to discriminate be overcome. Joining CNBC Africa’s Jill de Villiers is Devan Moonsamy, CEO of the ICHAF Training Institute, the author of the book Racism, Classism, Sexism and the other ism’s that divide us.
C-SPAN - Race and Class Issues: www.c-span.org/ video/?104410-1/race-class-issues
Following a two-day bus tour of Appalachia, Rev. Jackson talked about race and class issues in rural America and talked about his views on affirmative action. He also made the distinction between race and class in discussing rural poor and the economic factors that prevent many from making a contribution. Rev. Jackson said that we would be judged by how we treat the least fortunate among us.
Challenging Media Representation and the Media: Featuring Stuart Hall www.youtube.com/ watch?v=aTzMsPqssOY
In this accessible introductory lecture, Hall focuses on the concept of ‘representation’ - one of the key ideas of cultural studies, and shows how reality is never experienced directly, but always through the symbolic categories made available by society.
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Negro: The Intersection of Sexism, Racism, Colorism and Classism (2014) [video] Available at: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=0oHnVjbCONs
How color, class, race, gender, sexuality and class intersect in Latin America. Clip from 2-hour documentary.
Highline College - White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ktVaZVVgJyc
Presented during MLK Week, 2016. Dr. Robin DiAngelo discusses White Fragility and provide the perspectives needed for more constructive crossracial interactions. While the focus is on patterns of whiteness, the framework may also be useful to people of color in their navigation of these patterns.
Kanal, V. (2017). Overlapping Oppressions: Sexism, Classism, Racism And More – Lisa Kemmerer [IARC2017] [video] Available at: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Y-mtq3PtcF4.
No matter how dedicated activists are to a cause, it seems we inevitably and unwittingly work against our own hopes for change by failing to see the bigger picture. This talk explores power, hierarchy, othering in relation to channels of oppression such as sexism, classism, and racism in order to explore less obvious forms of exploitation that marginalize and silence, blocking total liberation for all people alike.
Renegade Cut (2017). Moonlight - Intersectionality | Renegade Cut . [video] Available at: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ZIu0Ms2tE2I
An analysis of the theory of intersectionality as it relates to the 2016 Academy Award winning Barry - Jenkins film Moonlight. Support Renegade Cut Media through Patreon: www.patreon.com/renegadecut. Moonlight is both intimate and far-reaching in its implications. A film of grace and beauty but without the saccharine sugar-coating and other problematic elements that plague lesser contemporaries. Among some viewers, there was a question of whether this is a black film or a gay film, and the fact that this was a question says a lot about the general public's misunderstanding or even complete ignorance of intersectionality. The theory of intersectionality explains that racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and other forms of prejudice and discrimination interrelate with one another to create social systems of oppression. For example, the experiences of black women are different from the experiences of black men and white women. Black women experience gender discrimination and racial discrimination, but they also carry the burden of stereotypes specific to black women.
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Sims, M. (2010). Racism & Classism [video] Available at: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=ROLBRMBT6Cg
David Stovall, PhD David Stovall received his PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2001. Presently he is an Assistant Professor of Policy Studies in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His scholarship investigates four areas: 1) Critical Race Theory, 2) concepts of social justice in education, 3) the relationship between housing and education, and 4) the relationship between schools and community stakeholders
Verso Books - Mistaken Identity: Race & Class in the Age of Trump www.youtube.com/ watch?v=4DZdkAzAdIQ
Asad Haider in conversation with Katie Halper, Robyn Marasco, Wendell Hassan Marsh, and Briahna Gray at Verso Books in Brooklyn on May 15, 2018. Whether class or race is the more important factor in modern politics is a question right at the heart of recent history’s most contentious debates. Among groups who should readily find common ground, there is little agreement. To escape this deadlock, Asad Haider turns to the rich legacies of the black freedom struggle. Drawing on the words and deeds of black revolutionary theorists, he argues that identity politics is not synonymous with anti-racism, but instead amounts to the neutralization of its movements. It marks a retreat from the crucial passage of identity to solidarity, and from individual recognition to the collective struggle against an oppressive social structure. Weaving together autobiographical reflection, historical analysis, theoretical exegesis, and protest reportage, “Mistaken Identity” is a passionate call for a new practice of politics beyond colorblind chauvinism and ‘the ideology of race.’
Villanova University Mistaken Identity: Race & Class in the Age of Obama www.youtube.com/ watch?v=iF6ruCDHxuU
Villanova University, Philosophy Colloquium: 11/6 - Dr. Adolph L. Reed, Jr., Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, will present a talk, “Race and Class in the Age of Obama,” on Friday, Nov. 6, 3 p.m., in Garey Hall, room 101. This event was co-sponsored by Africana Studies and the Department of Political Science.
WMHT - A Discussion of Race and Class covered by the Media: The Future of Truth (Clip) www.youtube.com/ watch?v=j9nnhte5mfE
Panelists Carol Anderson, Jose Cruz, Juan Gonzalez, and Adrian Nicole LeBlanc discuss topics around racial tensions and the effect that the current media coverage is having on race and class. Following the in-depth conversation, two students of journalism (Clair Liu and Elise Coombs) sit down with Carol Anderson and the Moderator Gilbert King to ask deeper looming questions.
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Key Organisations, Contacts, Services & Support Groups
Act For Change (@ChangeAct) www.actforchange.org.uk/
Act for Change is a thought leader UK charity, improving the lives of more than 1,000 children, youth and their families who have experiences of trauma, abuse and deprivation.
Arts Emergency (@artsemergancy) arts-emergency.org/charity/
Arts Emergency is a British charity working with 16- to 19-year-olds in further education from diverse backgrounds.
Autograph Gallery, Association of Black Photographers (ABP) autograph.org.uk/
Autograph shares the work of artists who use photography and film to highlight issues of identity, representation, human rights and social justice. Autograph’s mission is to enable the public to explore identity, representation, human rights and social justice through work produced by artists who use photography and film. Aim: to connect audiences with our mission through the presentation of artistic programmes in the UK and internationally.
Beats Org (@BeatsOrg) wearebeats.org.uk/
B E A T S is a not-for-profit organisation founded by British East Asians working in Theatre and across the Screen industry who seek to: 1. Humanise British East Asians, 2. Increase the visibility of British East Asians on stage and screen and 3. Advocate for the use of the term British East AsianOne of our means of achieving change is by directing the spotlight and mobilising the public to generate critical en masse support to key cultural events that act as catalysts for equality and representation for British East Asians.
Black British History (@BlackBritHist) blackbritishhistory.co.uk/
BBH aims to foster a creative dialogue between researchers, educationalists (mainstream and supplementary), archivists and curators, and policy makers. They seek to identify and promote innovative new research into the history of people of African origin or descent in the UK through its Black British History Experts Database of researchers and archivists, both academic and independent, providing an introduction to the ever-growing body of Black British History resources and information available.
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(BCA) Black Cultural Archives Established in 1981 and situated in its iconic building www.blackculturalarchives.org in Brixton’s Windrush Square since 2014, Black Cultural Archives (BCA) is the only national repository of Black history, heritage and culture in the UK. Dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean people in Britain. Black Feminists (@blackfems) blackfeminists.org/
Feminist based, grassroutes blog.
CLASS (@CLASSthinktank) classonline.org.uk/
The Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS) is leading left think tank working to ensure policy is on the side of everyday people. Originating in the trade union movement, CLASS has an authentic connection to working people and a unique insight into the challenges society faces. We combine grassroots voices with intellectually compelling analysis to show an alternative way forward.
Colorlines.com (@Colorlines) www.colorlines.com/
Colourlines is a daly news site where race matters, featuring award-winning in-depth reporting, news analysis, opinion and curation. Published by Race Forward, a national organization that advances racial justice through research, media and practice.
Creative Conscience (@ccchangemakers) www.creative-conscience.org.uk/
Creative Conscience is a global movement that aims to improve the communities we live and work in, helping to transform the wider world, promoting socially valuable, human centred design that enables and inspires people to change their lives and the lives of those around them for the better.
Engage (@engagevisualart) www.engage.org/
Engage is the lead advocacy and training network for gallery education, supporting arts educators, organisations and artists to work together with communities in dynamic, open exchanges that give everyone the opportunity to learn and benefit from the arts.
Fearless Futures (@fearlessfutures) www.fearlessfutures.org/
Fearless Futures engages people in critical thought to understand and challenge the root causes of inequalities and grow powerful new ways of leading and designing transformative change through equality and leadership programmes for young people in schools and leaders in the workplace.
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Feministing (@feministing) feministing.com/
"Feministing is an online community run by and for young feminist, offering sharp, uncompromising feminist analysis of everything from pop culture to politics and inspiring young people to make real-world feminist change, online and off. Their diverse collective of writers cover a broad range of intersectional feminist issues–from campus sexual violence to transgender rights to reproductive justice, serving as a gateway to the feminist movement for young people, giving our readers ways to take concrete action, as well as connecting them with feminist organizations and grassroots activists.
For Harriet (@ForHarriet) www.forharriet.com/?m=1
Personal blog centred around black feminist topics.
Hope Not Hate (@hopenothate) donate.hopenothate.org.uk/page/ content/HOPE-action-fund
The Hope not hate campaign was founded in 2004 to provide a positive antidote to the politics of hate. HOPE not hate was established to offer a more positive and engaged way of doing anti-fascism. Prioritising working in communities to town centre demonstrations, HNH taps into a wider mood of alienation and hardship.
Inclusive Mosque Initiative (@inclusivemosque) inclusivemosque.org/
Launched in 2012, the Inclusive Mosque Initiative is dedicated to creating places of worship marginalised communities, spiritual practice and the promotion of inclusive Islamic principles. Founded by Tamsila Tauqir and Dervla Zaynab Shannahan, IMI was created with their experiences of exclusion and those of many others in mind. They aim to create a familyfriendly place of worship that welcomes people regardless of their religious belief, their race, gender, impairments, sexuality or immigration status.
INIVA www.iniva.org Rivington Place, London EC2A 3BA
Resounded heritage site, Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) is an evolving, radical visual arts organisation dedicated to developing an artistic programme that reflects on the social and political impact of globalisation. Founded in 1994, under the leadership of renowned academic Professor Stuart Hall, Iniva is a non-profit organisation based in East London. It has established itself as a pioneering arts organisation in the artistic environment in the UK and beyond.
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MAIA (@MAIA_Group) www.maiagroup.co/
MAIA run artist-led interventions, exploring the relationship between creative professionals, culture, place, economics and society, developing modules for universities, producing projects, commissioning creatives and designing communications strategies for creative industry organisations. Wider focus on support a sustainable creative ecosystem.
NEON (@NEONHE) www.educationopportunities. co.uk/
NEON is the professional organisation supporting those involved in widening access to higher education (HE). NEON enables those working to widen access to HE at all levels and in all sectors to affect change in their own organisations and communities
perfectly normal magazine a writing and arts zine Perfectly Normal focusing on the voices of marginalized creators. (@PerfectlyNormal) perfectlynormalmag.tumblr.com/ Poor People's Campaign (@UniteThePoor) www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/
The following moral agenda is drawn from this deep engagement and commitment to these struggles of the poor and dispossessed. It is also grounded in an empirical assessment of how we have come to this point today. The Souls of Poor Folk: Auditing America report reveals how the evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the war economy and militarism are persistent, pervasive, and perpetuated by a distorted moral narrative that must be challenged; They aim to stop the attention violence that refuses to see these injustices and acknowledge the human and economic costs of inequality.
Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign (@ PPEHRCorg) economichumanrights.org/
The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign is building a movement that unites the poor across color lines. Poverty afflicts Americans of all colors. Daily more and more of us are downsized and impoverished. They share a common interest in uniting against the prevailing conditions and around our vision of a society where we all have the right to health care, housing, living wage jobs, and access to quality primary, secondary, and higher education. Committed to uniting the poor as the leadership base for a broad movement to abolish poverty everywhere and forever.
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Royal Female School of Art Foundation (@RFSAFoundation) www.rfsafoundation.org/
The Royal Female School of Art Foundation (RFSA) is a small grant-giving charity based in central London who provide grants to educational and charitable organisations. Their mission is to widen access to the arts, design and associated professions by supporting those who might otherwise be unable to start or stay in further and higher education, in Greater London. They may be suffering disadvantage because of financial hardship, cultural barriers, physical or mental disability, or caring responsibilities
Runnymede Trust (@RunnymedeTrust) www.runnymedetrust.org/
The Runnymede Trust is a race equality think tank founded in 1968 by Jim Rose and Anthony Lester, with aim of acting as an independent source for generating intelligence for a multiethnic Britain through research, network building, leading debate and policy engagement
Sins Invalid (@sinsinvalid) www.sinsinvalid.org/
Sins Invalid is a performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized. Their performance work explores the themes of sexuality, embodiment and the disabled body. Conceived and led by disabled people of color, we develop and present cutting-edge work where normative paradigms of "normal" and "sexy" are challenged, offering instead a vision of beauty and sexuality inclusive of all individuals and communities.
Screening Our Unseen Lives S.O.U.L. (@SOULFILMUK) www.soulfilm.co.uk
S.O.U.L. (Screening Our Unseen Lives) S.O.U.L's primary focus is improving the connections between black and ethnic minority film and TV professionals, celebrating their work and connecting them with industry executives from broadcasting and film. S.O.U.L.’s work will be to discover what will really help the ethnic communities to build and maintain careers in the British film and TV industries and make those things happen. S.O.U.L. is working to improve the representation of our communities both in front of and behind the camera and will focus on practical, measurable change.
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South Asian Canadian Histories Association (@Sacha_Canada) www.sachacanada.ca/
The South Asian Canadian Histories Association (SACHA) was established in 2016 to bring together art, history, and research. Their aim is to create, facilitate, support, and exhibit arts and research-driven initiatives rooted in South Asian Canadian history, culture, and identity.
The Conversation (@ConversationUK) theconversation.com/uk
Academic rigour and journalistic flair based publication site. The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public. Combining a team of professional editors work with university and research institute experts to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider public to access to independent, high quality, authenticated, explanatory journalism underpins a functioning democracy. Their aim is to allow for better understanding of current affairs and complex issues and allow for a better quality of public discourse and conversations.
The Root (@TheRoot) www.theroot.com/
The Root is an Afrocentric progressive online magazine
Wahala Film Fund (@WahalaFilm) wahalafilmfund.com/
Wahala Film Fund is a short film (max 40mins) completion fund for Queer, Transgender and Intersex People of Colour filmmakers based in UK, Europe and the Global South. Wahala’s aim is to challenge the pervasiveness of the marginalisation of Queer People of Color within films and film industries and also empower the many talented QTIPOC filmmakers who struggle to make work, or who stop continuing to make work because of the systemic pressures we face in actualising work which prioritises QTIPOC people in front of and behind the camera. We understand the daily labour that goes into affirming that one is a filmmaker or artist especially if one is a QTIPOC filmmaker.
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Organisation/Community/Archive: UK's first national Black heritage centre, located in Brixton, South London
Organisation/Community: Collective of academics committed to tackling racial inequality in higher education.
Organisation: Exhibitions, Conferences & Film Screenings centering black womanhood.
Black British History: Organisation: Beyond Slavery, Colonisation & Immigration on the history of Africans in Britain and its presentation to students & the public.
Events/Organisation/Educational Resource BAME history events (exhibitions, conferences, festivals, film screening) & job opps.
Diverse History Research & Learning Resource
Organisation/Community: Promoting Diversity/ Race Matters in the work and Education Spaces
Organisation/Community: Award-winning magazine written by women of colour and nonbinary people of colour for all to explore
Organisation/Education: Iniva creates exhibitions, events & research exploring the diversity of contemporary art & society.
Community: platform created to explore the various ways race is expressed and defined with the goal of creating a world without all of its intersecting oppressions.
Community/Opinion: Race on the Agenda (ROTA) - A social policy research organisation that focuses on issues impacting on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities
Author of the award winning ‘Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race’ (2017)
Exhibition/Comunity: An exhibition channeling the Black British Female experience through creatives focusing on Black Mental Health that took place in Sep 2016. THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 171
Worldwide Festival and organisation / Online outlet discussing issues related to black people(s)
A print magazine that acts as a positive space for creatives
A student-led organization at @artcenteredu focused on counteracting racism and white supremacy in design education and practice.
An independent print magazine exploring Women within the MENA region, diaspora and Women of Colour
Collective of Black British Female Artists.
Organisation/curatorial space prioritising the experiences of QTIBPOC
Black Ballad UK
Online curatorial space, made in the UK and firm believers of #BlackGirlMagic.
Showcasing contemporary black women & non binary artists
Black British Art
Celebrating the visual representation & art of the african diaspora in britain - past & present, established & emergent, existing & persisting.
Black History Studies
Black History Studies online, curatorial space Educating the community to educate themselves
Curatorial space and blog/news outlet for black people(s) & creative issues
Historical doses of South Asian stories and narratives
Annual D.I.Y fest in London celebrating Punx of Colour
Events & Media platform showcasing artists
Diversity Matters UK
Promoting diversity in the arts and media, work and education environment.
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Online, Academic Journal
Femmes Of Colour
A space to celebrate Queer Black People & Queer People of Colour of all genders who are also femme.
Award winning online mag written by women of colour & non-binary people of colour for all to explore
GIRLFORUM is a response to (gendered) abuses of power in the art world. An open platform for discussion and action focussing on emerging artists & art workers
New Beacon Books
Specialist book store in African & Caribbean literature. Est 1966.
A magazine with the aim of promoting work by creative black women
Magazine on grassroots resistance, antioppression politics and the philosophies and expressions surrounding these movements
The Black Magic Network
Number #1 Platform For Black Entertainment News Daily.
The WOC Diary
Open Submission platform to encourage & publish creative writing expressed in all formats by womxn of colour internationally
Writers Of Colour (Media Diversified)
Stories. Analysis. Aesthetics, by and from the diaspora.
Magazine centralising the work of contemporary minority ethnic visual artists in the U.K.
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A theme that follows the idea of building a brighter, shared future that we want to live in, in the year 2030.
To promote activism.
To promote advocacy.
To highlight news around this topic.
To bring awareness to aid efforts.
To promote a campaign.
To promote a cause.
Create discussion about how to make changes in the world.
Point out who the changemakers are.
Highlight a charity.
Encourage people to donate to a charity of their choice on Tuesdays.
To highlight and create discussion around this topic
Create discussion around climate in different regions as well as climate changes.
Indicate that you are raising funds and awareness through crowdfunding.
Corporate Social Responsibility.
Bring attention to relief efforts taking place before, during and after catastrophic events.
A call to action for people to do good.
A call to action for people to donate.
Point out who the donors are.
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A call to action that DoSomething.org uses to mobilize people — particularly during campaigns and to raise money and awareness.
To promote education or news about this topic.
To promote a foundation.
To promote fundraising or news about this topic.
A call to action for people to give back to the community.
An established UN holiday; a call to action for people to give back to the community.
To promote grants or news about this topic.
To promote eco-friendly living or news about this topic.
To promote humanity or news about this topic.
To promote human rights or news about this topic.
Create a discussion on the topic of human trafficking or highlight news
Create discussion on the topic of hunger or highlight news about this topic.
To promote how an effort is creating impact.
United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Non-governmental organization; promote NGO efforts or news on this topic.
Nonprofit; promote or create a discussion around a specific organization or the nonprofit sector as a whole
Non-governmental organization (acronym used in Romance languages); promote NGO efforts or news on this topic.
A call to action for people to promote peace.
To promote philanthropy or news around this topic. THE THREE ‘ISM’S: NEGOTIATING RACE, SEX & CLASS. // 175
Create a discussion on the topic of poverty or highlight news about this topic.
Social media for nonprofits; offer tips to others or engage in discussion about this topic.
To highlight news around this topic.
To highlight and create discussion around prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.
To promote social entrepreneurship or news about this topic.
To promote social good or news about this topic.
An event held by the UN and Mashable to talk about #2030NOW and what people can do to have a positive impact on the world.
A major goal for most nonprofits and NGOs that aren’t already sustainable; promote sustainability or news about this topic.
Promote women or news about this topic
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WITH THANKS TO OUR SUPPORTER:
We salute you! © Shades Of Noir 2020
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