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SHADES OF NOIR: THE EVENTS ANNUAL 2015-2016

WE SALUTE YOU!

shadesofnoir.org.uk


CONTENTS. Who Are Shades of Noir? 4 Guide: Terms of Reference 5 Key Terms 6

FUNDING FOR THE ARTS 15 Welcome 17 Our Panelists 18 Key Questions 20 Brown Kids Need Art Too 22 Helpful Organisations 25 Further Reading 26

RACE, RELIGION & FREE SPEECH 29 Welcome 30 Our Panelists 31 Key Questions 34 Key Hashtags 35 #Traditionally Submissive 38 Further Reading 42 Useful websites 43

BEYOND GENDER: THE IDENTITY OF FASHION

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Welcome 48 Our Panelists 49 Key Questions 53 Beyond the Binary 56 Helpful Organisations 60 Further Reading 63

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Feminisms: Arts of a Woman

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Welcome 68 Key Questions 69 Our Panelists 70 An Interview with Zarina Muhammad 74 An Interview with Caroline Derveaux 76 An Interview with Neena Percy 78 An Interview with Seema Mattu 80 Intersectional Feminisms. 82 Further Reading 88 An Interview with Liberty Sadlers 90 With Thanks To 92

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WHO ARE SHADES OF NOIR? In 2009 Shades of Noir (SoN) was created by Aisha Richards. SoN is an independent program that supports: • • • •

Curriculum design Pedagogies of social justice through representation Cultural currency Accessible knowledge

Additionally, it has created physical safe spaces that offer opportunities to have critical and interdisciplinary discussions that confront some of the items that we see and do that can sometimes be challenging. This is a program that creates opportunities for marginalised groups and their need for safe spaces to articulate self-determination and liberate the struggles from oppressive structures both in education and society. In the first instance Richards designed, developed and supported the implementation of SoN across UAL. Under Richards direction of Shades of Noir the University of the Arts London (UAL) hosted in its first phase (2011/2012): • • •

First all black led exhibition with over 2,000 visitors in 6 weeks Open discussions at 3 different colleges race Staff only discussions on race

Over the years Shades of Noir continues to contribute to the universities work around race equality lead by Richards. SoN and its creative student and recent graduate team begun working with other Higher Education institution such as Ravensbourne and Kingston. 
Additionally, it has been recently featured in Higher Education Academy publications ‘Embedding Equality and Diversity in the Creative Curriculum: An Art and Design Practitioner’s Guide’[1], Richards, Finnigan 2015, and ‘Attainment and Retention in the Discipline: Art and Design’[2], Finnigan, Richards 2016. 1 2

www.heacademy.ac.uk/system/files/resources/eedc_art_and_design_online.pdf www.heacademy.ac.uk/system/files/ug_retention_and_attainment_in_art_and_design2.pdf

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GUIDE: TERMS OF REFERENCE. This publication is a summary of events run by Shades of Noir over the academic year of 2015 -2016. For each event we produce a Terms of Reference (ToR) Zine that serves as an additional learning aid for students and staff who attend the event. This document has always been produced since the delivery of the very first event in 2011. The purpose of this document is to offer attendees additional information, context and a learning aid both within the event and beyond. As these Zines continue to develop we now offer the opportunity to showcase current students and recent graduate work.

Additional Resources. In addition to the resources we have listed in the Further Reading sections, you can find even more on our website; shadesofnoir.org.uk. This includes event recordings, interviews with leading professionals, academics and students, think pieces and much more.

Get involved. SoN is always looking for enthusiastic helpers. If you would be interested in getting involved then please get in touch. All skills welcome!

Contact us.
 If you would like to contact anyone on the team please e-mail us at info@shadesofnoir.org.uk.

Our Safe Space Policy. Shades of Noir is committed to providing an inclusive and supportive space for all attendees at our events. SoN believes all guests should be free from intimidation or harassment, resulting from prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, marital or maternity/paternity status, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, trans status, socioeconomic status, or ideology or culture, or any other form of distinction. // 5


KEY TERMS. Ally

A person of one social identity group who stands up in support of members of another group; typically a member of a dominant group standing beside member(s) of a group being discriminated against or treated unjustly.

Anti-Blackness

When non-black people of colour have a dislike and discriminate against those in black community. AntiBlackness is also described as the fulcrum of white supremacy

Bigotry

Complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own

Binary

The classification of sex and gender into two distinct, opposite and disconnected forms of masculine and feminine.

Black

A member of a dark-skinned people, especially one of African, Australian and Caribbean Aboriginal ancestry. A term used in certain countries, often in socially based systems of racial classification or of ethnicity.

Black Feminism

The belief that sexism, class oppression, gender identity and racism are impossible to separate. These concepts relate to each other through intersectionality

Black Panthers

Originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, was a revolutionary black nationalist and socialist organization active in the United States from 1966 until 1982. The Panthers practiced militant self-defense of minority communities against the U.S. government, and fought to establish revolutionary socialism through mass organizing and community based programs.

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Body politics

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

Capitalism

An economic system characterised by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market

Cisgender

A person who identifies with the gender that was assigned for them at birth

Colourism

Unlike racism which only white people can be the perpetrators, people of colour can aide colourism in their communities by favouring lighter skinned black and brown skin tones. This is a trickle down effect of white racism. Also known as Shadism.

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.

Cultural Appreciation

Cultural Appreciation is learning about another culture with respect and courtesy. It is appreciating a certain culture enough to take time to learn about it, interact with people among the culture, and actually understand the culture

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Cultural Appropriation

When a person of the dominate culture borrows something of cultural significance from minority groups, whilst lacking a contextual understanding of what makes the cultural symbols, art forms and modes of expression significant.

Desi

A Person of the Indian subcontinent or South Asian diaspora. Desi countries include; Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Diversity

Diversity is recognising, respecting and understanding the value of people’s differences, and allowing their full potential by promoting an inclusive culture.

Dual Systems Theory

According to Sylvia Walby (1990), dual systems theory represents the coming together of Marxist and radical feminism, in the belief that the oppression of women results from a complex articulation of patriarchy and capitalism. Other feminist perspectives have been Formulated.

East-Asian

in general terms, consists of China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Japan,South Korea and North Korea; sometimes, Mongolia and Vietnam are included in the definition.

Equality

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

Female genital mutilation (FGM)

Female genital mutilation (sometimes referred to as female circumcision) refers to procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for nonmedical Reasons

Femininity Â

Repeated performances of the female gender; these performances reproduce and define the traditional categories.

Feminism

Fight for equality of genders.

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Feminisms

Accounts for the intersectionality of the feminist movements and histories culturally and globally.

Femme

Femme is a feminine gender role which is sometimes used as a gender identity. The term femme originated in communities of lesbian and bi women. Those who identify as femme may have the gender identity of woman and have a strongly feminine gender expression, or they may use femme as a non-binary gender identity aligned with femininity.

Gender

Gender is a an expression of the reenactment of certain roles. it may differ from time to time.

Heteronormative

The belief that people can only fall into distinct and complementary genders (man and woman) with fixed traditional gender roles. It assumes that heterosexuality is the only sexual orientation or the only norm.

Homophobia

Prejudice against the queer community

Intersectional Feminism

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

Intersectionality

A term coined by KimberlĂŠ 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.

Islamophobia

The prejudice, hatred, or bigotry directed towards Islam or Muslims.

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Liberal Feminism

The idea that justice involves the assurance of equal rights for all individuals. Liberal feminists say that women have been oppressed as a group and that they have not had equal rights with men, that on average women make less money, that women are excluded from centres of power, and so on. In short, liberal feminism deals primarily with the public image and the rights of women.

Marxist feminism

Marxist feminists focus on capitalism as the source of oppression. They argue that the domination of women by men is a consequence of capital's domination over labour.

Masculinity

The combination of socially-defined and biological factors, distinct from the definition of the male biological sex

Masculinity Bias

Bias toward the observation of/interviews with males in a culture.

Matriarchy

A social system in which females hold primary power, predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property at the specific exclusion of men i(at least to a large degree.

Misogynoir

A term referring to misogyny directed towards Black women, where race and gender both play roles in bias.

Muted-Group Theory

According to Sylvia Walby (1990), dual systems theory represents the coming together of Marxist and radical feminism--in the belief that the oppression of women results from a complex articulation of patriarchy and capitalism. Other feminist perspectives have been formulated. For example, Rosemary Tong (1992) outlines seven feminist perspectives: liberal, radical, Marxist, psychoanalytic, socialist, existentialist, and post modern. Below, we consider two prominent feminist theories of communication.

Non-Binary

A form of gender identity which reject the gender binary.

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Oppression

When a person or a group of people are subjected to unfair treatment by those in position of power.

Patriarchy

A system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from

POC

Person of colour

Prejudice

Hatred towards someone based on their identity. Example: An oppressed person of colour can be prejudice against privileged races but cannot be racist.

Privilege

A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.

Pronouns

A word that can function as a noun phrase used by itself and that refers either to the participants in the discourse. People with various gender identities choose pronouns they feel comfortable with; some people may have more than one pronoun.

QTIPOC

Queer, Trans and Intersex People of Colour

Queer

An umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual and/or cisgender

Racism

The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

Radical feminism

The term radical suggests the demand for basic redefinitions of all facets of society. Radical feminism suggests that the answer to social problems can be a complete restructuring of how society defines human experience.

Representation

Refers to equality in opportunity and visibility. For example, representative media is media that is reflective of the variety of races, cultures, genders or religions that its entire readership belongs to. // 11


Reverse Racism

A belief that ethnic minority groups and people of colour are capable of being racist towards white folk, which is a politically incorrect term since the societies function under white supremacy.

Self Defining women A person who identifies as a woman, regardless of what gender was assigned for them at birth Sex

Denotation of human females and males depending on biological features (chromosomes, sex organs, hormones and other physical features)

Sexual Orientations A person’s sexual identity in relation to the gender to which they are attracted Sexuality

Refers to a person’s sexual orientation/preferences in terms of sexual activities

Trans Feminine

A term used to describe transgender people who were assigned male at birth, but identify with femininity to a greater extent than with masculinity.

Trans Man

Trans man (Or FtM/MtM) is a term which describes someone who is both a man and transgender/transsexual. Trans men were assigned female at birth, but their gender identity is male. They also may be referred to as transmasculine. Trans men can have any sexual orientation.

Trans Masculine

A term used to describe transgender people who were assigned male at birth, but identify with masculinity to a greater extent than with femininity.

Trans Sexual

The term transsexual predates the term transgender, but has become less popular as it may imply that sex characteristics are more important than gender identity.

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Trans Woman

A term which describes someone who is both a woman and transgender/transsexual. Trans women were assigned male at birth but their gender identity is female. They may also be referred to as transfeminine. Trans women can have any sexual orientation.

Transgender

The term transgender is an umbrella term for anyone whose internal experience of gender does not match the gender they were assigned at birth .

Transphobia

Prejudice against the Trans community

White Feminism

A type of feminism that ignores the fight for equality of anyone who don't identify as white, cisgender and heterosexual

White Supremacy

White supremacy is an ideology centered upon the belief, and 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.

White Washing

A term used to describe white actors or actress playing non-fictional and historical non-white character roles. Therefore writing and disconnecting historical events and achievements to the non-white community.

Womanism

Because mainstream feminism goals and ideologies differed to that of the needs of Black women, Alice Walker coined the term womanism where Black Women were at the center of the ideology without the need to racialise how gender plays an important role in the life of Black Women.

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FUNDING FOR THE ARTS.

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WELCOME. The Art and Creative Industry sector is under extreme pressure as the government prepares to cut up 40% of funding in the November spending review. Many of the institutions that will suffer rely heavily on public funding and may never recover from the impending cuts. These publicly funded art organisations are vital as they connect the wider society to the creative arts and also help many young people by offering schemes that serve as a gateway into the industry. Come and join the debate and find what can be done to stop the cuts-- and how you can fund your own artistry.

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OUR PANELISTS. Althea Efunshile. Deputy Chief Executive – Arts Council England.

Althea Efunshile was appointed Deputy Chief Executive of the Arts Council in 2012, after joining the Arts Council in January 2007 as Chief Operating Officer. Althea has responsibility for ‘operational delivery’ and ‘corporate planning & governance’ across the organisation, as well as for developing and implementing the national Arts Council Investment Strategy. She also holds the Arts Council brief for children and young people. Althea spent six years from 2000 to 2006 as a senior civil servant in various director level roles in the Department for Education and Skills. Prior to this, the greater part of Althea’s career was in local government. From 1996 to 2001 she was a chief officer with the London Borough of Lewisham, first as Director of Education and Community Services, and then as Executive Director for Education and Culture. She had previously worked in London Borough of Merton as Assistant Director for Education, in London Borough of Harrow as Education Officer (Youth Services), and in Buckinghamshire County Council as an Area Youth Officer. She has also worked in the voluntary sector as the head of a Community Education Centre in Westminster. Althea started her career as a secondary school teacher in the London Borough of Brent. Othello De’Souza Hartley. Academic, Photographer & Visual Artist.

Othello De’Souza-Hartley is a London-based visual artist working with photography and film. Inspired by the mood and psychological themes of classical painting, his unique approach to composition, light and gaze combines to unveil the inner workings of his subject. The artist has received commissions from a range of institutions including the National Portrait 18 //


Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum. He has had solo shows at the Camden Arts Centre and The Underground Gallery, and featured in group shows at the Gasworks Gallery and the APT gallery London. De’Souza-Hartley was awarded an MA in Fine Art from Camberwell College of Art and previously studied photography at Central St Martins. And in 2011, he received an Arts Award from the University of Arts London. Anastazja Oppenheim. SUARTS Campaigns Officer.

Anastazja is the first ever elected Campaigns Officer for University of the Arts London Student Union. This year, Anastazja will be lobbying the university to decrease the cost of studying and make financial information more transparent to students. On a wider societal level, Anastazja will be protesting against cuts to maintenance grants and the unfair treatment of international students. Bolanle (Bee) Tajudeen. Education Officer at SUARTS & Content Developer at Shades Of Noir.

Bolanle (Bee) graduated in 2015 from London College Of Communication with a degree in Public Relations. She is defines her ethnicity as Nigerian and Black European. She is currently the 2015/2016 elected education officer for SUARTS and will be focusing on the attainment gap and the institutional racism.

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KEY QUESTIONS. Funding Creative Practices: Things to think about? Have you begun to think about your future and the possibilities and opportunities to gain support to develop your practice and or projects?

Consider your headline and you subheadings: What is it you need funding for? What are the subheadings for your work? As well as your creative practice what does your work or project touch upon e.g. education, partnerships, culture…?

Look at your options: Once you have your subheadings you could review foundations, and or charities that may be able to fund you? Do your research utilising your library reference only books on funding such as ‘The Directory of Grant Making Trusts 2003/2004 (Directory of Social Change)’ Smythe et al (2003) or ‘The Guide to Educational Grants 2015/16’ Lillya, Zagnojute (2014). Theses resources not only provide a list, but also highlight the organization’s criteria and focus for providing funding. Consider if you want funding and or support, as many companies may not want to part with money, but would be happy to donate materials such as samples and or end of runs.

Utilise contacts and networks: Talk to your lectures, visitors and student services about opportunities for funding that might be specific to your particular college and or practice. Don’t wait to develop and test out your funding skills, being a student for some organisations is a plus!

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Broaden your scope: Research your local area and affiliations such as age, religion, race, gender, as there is funding specific to location and affiliations such as where you live. Additionally consider if a MA or PHD research funding may fit and support in depth with support? Be prepared to send out MANY letters and applications

Build partnerships: Many of the larger organisations as listed below section ‘Funding organisations of the creative practice – where to go? These larger organisations may have workshops on filling out the applications and or writing letters requesting funding. Attending these events may build your network, both with those in the organisation as well as others seeking funding. This scenario may offer learning and insight as to the structures and systems of the given organisation that may be of some use. These types of situations are opportunities to develop transferable knowledge and skills for other applications.

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BROWN KIDS NEED ART TOO.

“How can you say to a young person “this is a world open to you” when they don’t see anyone that looks like them?” The last Shades of Noir event was concerning Funding and the Arts Council. Where issues such as effects of cuts on arts council on minority students and people in general was discussed. Arts council is a place where you can propose your creative idea to a group of fellow creative and academics, where they give you a high budget to make your creative idea happen. It sounds like a magical happy place, except it’s not anymore. As the government doesn’t have much heart for the arts, it has been cutting funds given to the council. This limits the types of creativity that will get funded. 22 //


Art is a big part of our education. After being bombarded by science and mathematics in class, students have some time to express their feelings and enter a world of imagination. Most exciting thing is when school takes students to gallery visits. Seeing how galleries and their visitors appreciate art gives art students the confidence to follow their dreams of becoming artists. However, in schools art is not highly advertised. I attended an art college where our principle thought art subjects were not as important as other academic subjects and was against students only focusing on art subjects. This only gave us an overview of how we were going to be treated in the future. When we first learned about arts council in university, we had to learn about all the different criteria our work had to fit into to get a budget. This personally made me feel suffocated. I don’t see my work fitting into any of those categories, but I still can’t create it without help form a funding institute. I also attended a high school where 80% of the pupil was from ethnical minority backgrounds and we didn’t know back then how many less opportunities we were likely to have based on our background. If these cuts continue, wouldn’t there be even less ethnically minority art shown to public? “How can you say to a young person this is a word open to you when they don’t see anyone that looks like them?” One great point from the event brought up by artist Othello Hartley. Art in Western Europe is highly suffering from whitewashing. Galleries in London seem to only offer their space to mainly pale/male artists, and a few female artists a year. And only once a year around black history month they become overly excited about black artists, to show their “diversity”. If there’s a war in a certain area of the world then they become extremely interested in artists from that country. It’s very rare to see art that’s not a clean cut western design, and comes from a completely different area of the world and is not so much about ‘what sells’ and the ‘big names’. And this makes is difficult for art to be accessible/relevant to the people from a minority and working class backgrounds in a place like England. The effects of this could be that those young people will be made to feel that // 23


there’s no place for them in the art world specially when it would be even harder for them to get any budget for their art. It is hard enough affording university with further grant cuts being applied. The cost of university and the position held for art in society nearly stopped me from applying to an art university, which would have been a big mistake. But I know it will stop a lot of students from going to Art universities. The cuts government is making for education and the Arts Council will destroy art slowly. And we have been advised many times by the prime minister about how studying art doesn’t create a great financial stability. However, one great point I personally learned was that as artists we create new positions for creative roles. We have the ability to come up with new jobs which can be very aspirational to people starting out as students. Art creates culture and without culture we don’t have much left in a society. People in charge need to understand the depth of the importance of art before it’s too late. Before we lose creative minds just because we made them feel like there’s no place for them in the art world, when actually we are in extreme need of new talents to develop cultures. Words by Katy Jalili. Content Developer, Shades of Noir. Watch the Pre Event Interviews and Event Footage at: shadesofnoir.org.uk/funding-for-the-arts

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HELPFUL ORGANISATIONS. Arts Council. Grants for all creative practices, individuals and organisations www.artscouncil.org.uk

Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. Grants for arts for social change, individuals and organisations esmeefairbairn.org.uk/what-we-fund/arts

Princes Trust. Grants for individuals for all practices and new businesses www.princes-trust.org.uk/need_help/grants.aspx

The National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS). Grants for Internships, apprentices, students, organisation www.nadfas.org.uk/what-we-do/grants-legacies-bequests/other-organisations

Sir John Cass Foundation. Grants for arts and education for students, individuals and organisations sirjohncassfoundation.com

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FURTHER READING. Arts council pleads for end to cuts – but should taxes fund art? (2015) Available at: http://www.theweek.co.uk/63819/arts-council-pleads-for-end-to-cuts-butshould-taxes-fund-art (Accessed: 31 August 2016). Battersby, M. (2015) What will happen to the arts under another Tory government? Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/ art/features/what-will-happen-to-the-arts-under-another-torygovernment-10237076.html (Accessed: 31 August 2016). Brown, M. (2015) Funding cuts could spell end of free museums and galleries. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/jul/23/york-artgallery-reopen-ceramics-entrance-fee (Accessed: 31 August 2016). Brown, M. (2016) Jeremy Corbyn promises to reverse arts spending cuts. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/aug/25/jeremy-corbynarts-pupil-premium-primary-schools-reverse-spending-cuts (Accessed: 31 August 2016). Brown, M. (2016) Government pilot schemes to offer children free access to arts. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/aug/09/governmentpilot-schemes-to-offer-children-free-access-to-arts (Accessed: 31 August 2016). Hutchison, D. (2016) Half a Sixpence announces west end transfer. Available at: https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2016/local-authority-arts-funding-cut-bymore-than-56m/ (Accessed: 31 August 2016). JMorganTHE (2016) Hefce reveals £150m cut. Available at: https://www. timeshighereducation.com/news/hefce-reveals-%C2%A3150m-cut (Accessed: 31 August 2016).

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RACE RELIGION & FREE SPEECH.

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WELCOME. A Directors UK (2015) report titled ‘UK Television - Adjusting The Colour Balance. BAME Directors Working in UK Television Production’ is the result of research into the current employment rate of BAME directors across all programme genres in UK television. The research found that only 1.5% of programmes were made by a BAME director, while BAME directors make up just 3.5% of the directing community. Does the lack of BAME directors have an affect on the way stories are told in the media? Trevor Phillips, former equality chief officer stated: ‘the media have become “terrified” of discussing race issues and multiculturalism has become a “racket”. Social media was subsequently set ablaze with a visible division of opinions after his show, Things We Say About Race. This year has been a catalyst for issues around race and religion. It is now time to reflect on how the Media narrates stories on race, religion and free speech by exploring the most debated, popular, even contentious hashtags this year.

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OUR PANELISTS. Aaqil Ahmedaaquil Ahmed. Commissioning Editor and Head Religion & Ethics.

Aaqil has been in post for over six years. He joined from Channel 4 where he was the Commissioning Editor for Religion and the Head of Multicultural Programming. His role involves being the overall ‘Head of Religion’ for the BBC across TV, Radio, News and Online. Over the past six years he has commissioned projects as diverse as The Life of Muhammad, The Preston Passion, Sacred Rivers with Simon Reeve and Quitting the EDL: When Tommy met Mo. He also led the in-house team’s coverage of the Papal visit and the award winning 50th anniversary of Songs of Praise. At Channel 4 he commissioned award-winning and genre-defining projects such as Inside The Mind of the Suicide Bomber, Saving Africa’s Witch Children, Priest Idol and The Qur’an. Prior to joining Channel 4 in 2003, he spent over ten years in production at the BBC working on a rich mix of programming from Panorama to Everyman. He is a Professor at The School of Media and Performing Arts, Middlesex University; a regular speaker and writer on the Media and Cultural Diversity and has contributed as a group member or chair to various educational and work related groups from formerly being a trustee of the Runnymede trust to being a steering group member of the religion and society programme. Aaqil is currently a board member of Mosaic (mentoring organisation set up by Prince Charles), Chair of the Creative Diversity Network Commissioning Group, a patron of the Curriculum For Cohesion, a Trustee of the London Rugby League Foundation and the President of the BBC Black and Asian Workers Forum.

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Rimsha Ahmed. London College of Communication Students and Islamic Society Committee Member University of the Arts London

Rimsha Ahmed is a final year Illustration student at London College of Communication. She has helped organised events as part of the committee for the Islamic Society, and Rimsha ran joint events with the African and Caribbean Society. Last year, Rimsha created a debatestyle event to examine ‘Free Speech and Charlie Hebdo’

Lawrence Lartey. Academic and Media Specialist

London College of Communication (LCC) Senior Lecturer Lawrence Lartey has more than 15 years industry experience as a producer and creative strategist. He has worked for the BBC, ITV and Viacom International Networks. Lawrence recently directed a project between LCC and Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation, which resulted in four students from LCC working at Roc Nation in New York on a cultural exchange programme. Formerly a Contributing Editor for Touch Magazine, Lawrence has also written for Music Week, Now, The Daily Record, Time Out and The Guardian. Lawrence authored and coproduced Usher The Ultimate Entertainer (Radio documentary) for BBC Radio 1. Other notable credits include An Afternoon With Al Green for the Arts Council, which he produced, and the global trending How Hip Hop Changed The World for Channel 4, which he produced alongside Idris Elba. 32 //


Lawrence is the Creative Director for Question Media Group, (a boutique engagement agency). Question Media Group recently produced an award winning 12-part radio drama for Unicef around the education and prevention of HIV. Lawrence also executive produced five short films for Channel 4’s ‘Random Acts’ strand. He was recently named as ‘One of the most influential black people under 40 in the UK’ by the Power List in 2013.

Bolanle (Bee) Tajudeen. Education Officer at SUARTS & Content Developer at Shades Of Noir

Bolanle (Bee) graduated in 2015 from the London College Of Communication with a degree in Public Relations. She is defines her ethnicity as Nigerian and Black European. She is currently the 2015/2016 elected education officer for SUARTS and will be focusing on the attainment gap and the institutional racism.

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KEY QUESTIONS. Does the broadcast media highlight fears and concerns of immigrant and migrant minorities living in the UK? How is social media shaping the news with regards to those that could be described as being on the margins of society? Does social media have a tendency to create echo chambers? Empowering for those within the chambers but not creating allies outside of the movement? It is important to recognise the cultural currency that the broadcast media presents, so how does this impact the societal psyche? What could the broadcast teams do to even this out? Where and who has the dominant voices in both social media and broadcast media, and is there an agenda?

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KEY HASHTAGS. #BritishValues. As Kieran Yates said: “What the fuck are ‘British Values?’”, mocking David Cameron and Theresa May’s Islamophobic rhetoric. With the rise of both Islamic and British Extremism, is it time the media grasp the huge difference of non-white and white communities in Britain? Should the media also hold the government to account for not placing an emphasis on white British citizens who don’t have so called ‘British Values’?

#JeSuisCharlie. On the 7th January 2015, twelve French Journalists were tragically killed in a terror attack after cartoon images depicting Allah were used in popular satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The media, and many members of the public, saw this as a direct attack on free speech. In the hours that followed the hashtag, J‘ e Suis Charlie’, was trending and is now one of the most popular hashtags in twitter history. Charlie Hebdo’s satirical take on issues around race and religion continues to be a talking point in debating free speech censorship and the incitement of racial hatred.

#BlackLivesMatter. In the same week as the aforementioned terror attack, over 2000 Nigerians were killed in a terrorist attack in, Baga, Nigeria. However, the attack in Nigeria was given significantly less focus. The Western media was widely criticised, with social media commentators admitting that they had failed to report the gravity of the incident. The question was left to ask: was it was racism that valued the lives of 19 Charlie Hebdo victims above 2000 Nigerian lives? Akinola Davis Junior, inspired by #blacklivesmatter activism happening in America, decided to organise a public rally #nigerianlivesmatter. By promoting the rally on Facebook, the event amassed over 4000 Facebook users who were ‘attending’. The focus of the rally was to put Nigerian lives into public consciousness. Akinola // 35


stated: “the solidarity the world showed for Charlie Hebdo massacre was not matched by the news of decimation of Baga in Northern Nigeria, where 2000 people were violently murdered by the tyrants Boko Haram.” It was evident to see that the power of social media helped Akinola put Black lives onto the public agenda. He was asked to speak about the impact of terrorism in the African continent in the House of Lords and in Parliament, which resulted in further press coverage around Black and Nigerian Lives.

#iStandWithBaharMustfa. Bahar Mustfa, Equality and Diversity officer, at Goldsmiths Student Union, tweeted, #killallwhitemen a term she argues is widely used in queer and lesbians circles because of the complex relationship between white men, power and privilege. In order to create a safe space, Bahar organised a BME women’s only event, asking for no white people or men to attend. She faced harsh public scrutiny, a petition to remove her from her student union post and was heavily berated in the media. Months later, she was summoned to appear in court to answer charges of sending a threatening message and sending a menacing or offensive message via a public network. Feminist and student activist groups all around the country promptly decided to post statuses with #IstandwithBaharMustafa and called out the hypocrisy of the CPS who fail to prosecute men who troll women with rape and murder messages on a day to day basis. The case was finally dropped, but does society stand with Bahar Mustfa?

#WhyisMyCurriculumWhite. The Why Is My Curriculum White campaign has over 7,500 people in the Facebook group. The group is echoing genuine concerns that academia in the UK does not represent all nationalities who have contributed in society. University officers up and down the UK are challenging their institutions to adopt a more inclusive curriculum. In the UK, the white-heteronormative curriculum begins in primary school. The UK also has one of the highest percentages of international students. The heteronormative glaze on the curriculum is extremely worrying, particularly in light of predictions made by Danny Dorling, professor of human geography at the University of Sheffield. Dorling predicts that by 2020, a number of UK cities will be ‘super diverse’. How will a white curriculum explore the experiences of those who do not define as white. 36 //


#Alllivesmatter response to #Blacklivesmatter. Met with widespread backlash, for many the All Lives Matter hashtag implied that all people are in equal danger all the time, undermining the focus of the Black Lives Matter movement which placed focus on the ways in which black lives are in ‘immediate danger and need immediate attention’. Akin to one house in a neighbourhood being on fire, or a broken bone in the body, that needs special focus and attention. As explained by Judith Butler: “if we jump too quickly to the universal formulation, ‘all lives matter,’ then we miss the fact that black people have not yet been included in the idea of ‘all lives.’”

#Oscarssowhite. At the 2016 Oscars, only white actors and actresses were nominated for the 20 Academy Awards in the top four categories. For the second year in a row. Reports showed that in 2014, only 2% of Academy voters were black while 94% were white. Beyond the Academy, the hashtag focused attention on the lack of diversity in the film industry at large. Over the last 100 years, for example, only 15% of ‘top film roles’ have been given to minority actors.

#burkiniban. At the end of August in 2016, the French Council of State overturned the right of the resort town of Villeneuve-Loubet (near Nice) to ban burkinis (a swimsuit that typically covers the entire body aside from from the face, feet, and hands). Focus on the burkinis ban swelled amidst mounting terror concerns and Islamophobia in France (given that they are primarily worn by Muslim women). Outrage was sparked around the world when photographs were taken of three policemen, on patrol at a beach in Nice, ordering a woman to remove part of her burkini. The court ruling does not yet prevent a burkini ban in other resort towns in France. The ban has highlighted the continued hypocritical, and patriarchal, policing of women’s bodies.

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#TRADITIONALLY SUBMISSIVE.

In the pre-panel interview, panelist Aaqil Ahmed expressed his ideas on how the media portrays Muslim folk and people of colour. Issues such as linking brown people to terrorism hits home for most of us who have immigrated from Muslim countries. It is a very harmful attitude to link a religion directly to the extremists and consequently create stereotypes based on what is seen in the media—in large part run by people who might not directly relate to issues that minorities face: including non-white ethnicities, LGBTQA folk and women. If you’re a person who fits into those categories, then you may have experienced firsthand a lack of relevant coverage in the media. Working Harder Ethnic minorities in the UK have to work harder, only to receive a minimum level of support from institutions such as universities. Research shows students of colour have lower grades and become tokens on lists of successful alumni. Working harder as a person of colour seems to be the reality when you look around in

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your class and only discern three POCs out of a group of 40. Did we work harder to get here because of our background which we had no choice over? What happened to those other people of colour who didn’t get the chance of having a place in our art class? What are the reasons they failed to be accepted on the course? It’s hard to believe that only three students of colour applied for an art course. Why would such low amount of students of colour dare to apply? Fear of rejection and differences? As students, we are not told much regarding the university’s acceptance process, but why is it that when I go around my university I see certain amounts of ethnicities? And those numbers seem to stay the same each new academic year! Religious Literacy Brown skin is advertised as linked to terrorism, largely due to Western media. Not only our skin, but our names and culture which we are very proud of have become points of worry and hatred for people who live so far away from the issue. Fear of terrorism created by broadcast media has built a wall between people, making the lives of both sides harder. Muslim folk are frequently linked to Daesh without the realisation that they are as frightened as anyone else. What the media fails to acknowledge is the dichotomy between British and non-British created due to the incorrect representation of our people. It fails to realise its responsibility for children being bullied in school because they “look Muslim”. The lives of rising students are at risk, as they are seen as dangerous or not worthy of the chance to achieve a degree. There are also ways of making student’s lives more difficult on campus such as the government’s Prevent strategy, which was created to prevent students from being drawn towards extremism. It has not been effective, instead claiming pupils as suspects and specifically targeting brown youth with Muslim-sounding names. This has diminished trust between students and their universities. Representation Lawrence Lartey made an excellent point on representation, specifically on the lack of diversity in broadcast media. When the people who write and tell the news stories come from similar backgrounds—possibly drawing on stereotypes to create attention that sells their story—the true image of people in those stories will be distorted. Social Media Mainstream media can be biased towards stories projected onto society. However, “Social media has helped certain movements that have just started with a hashtag,” // 39


Rimsha Ahmed pointed out. Social media is a vehicle for us to create attention towards our community’s issues in an honest form which broadcast media fails to adhere to. This past year, via social media, we have learned so much more about problems black communities face in America—information which was not available via broadcast media. The #BlackLivesMatter and #SayHerName campaigns have garnered significant attention, highlighting police brutality in America. Brown Women vs. Patriarchy Women of colour are, and have been, under attack from many different vantage points. They battle with racism, sexism and with hatred against their religions. Recently, David Cameron directly attacked Muslim women by threatening deportation to immigrants who are not fluent in English, lest they complete an ESOL test—which has recently faced budget cuts. This statement has generated controversy. Migrant spouses who fail English test may have to leave UK, says Cameron How do you define a Muslim woman? We know being Muslim means being a follower of Islam. However, this is not the definition everyone goes by when identifying a Muslim woman. If you’re a brown Middle-Eastern woman you’d know what this means from all the times you have been confused with Islam, simply because of owning black hair and brown skin. So how is David Cameron attempting to identify these Muslim women and deport them back to a country they may have escaped from for various reasons? #TraditionallySubmissive Cameron has called these women “traditionally submissive” which has opened up a large dialogue. This demographic has fought back with power and provided input on the topic. Cameron’s comments stem from prejudice, misogyny, and disrespect to an entire culture. Ironically, the sentiment does not line up with hijab culture, which is often seen in a similar light. Making the decision to wear a hijab is typically one that arrives out of freedom of choice and strength in faith, qualities which are not submissive in any regard. Relating Islam to Extremist Religions David Cameron’s fear is that because of these women’s lack of English, as mothers they fail to lead their children away from following extremist groups. This solution is a long shot to a problem without a solution as precedent. What Cameron again fails to understand is that the connection of Muslim families to extremist groups creates a harmful perception for the people of the UK.

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Who is he worried about? At first glance, it seems although Cameron wants to “help out” these families, however, his Twitter feed suggests that Middle-Easterners are unwanted in the country. Fear of the unknown is possibly a vehicle for getting rid of unwanted immigrants in the country. But perhaps Cameron is also tired of British people being linked to Muslim extremist groups. It simply doesn’t look good for a future EU-independent and Westernised country. We need to find a way to end discrimination against our own people, but how can we achieve that when the majority are not given the chance to have the job roles that allow these changes? Is media - which has created most of these problems - also the solution? Words by Katy Jalili. Content Developer, Shades of Noir. Watch the Pre Event Interviews and Event Footage at: shadesofnoir.org.uk/race-religion-and-the-influence-of-media/ // 41


FURTHER READING. Martin, T. (1986) Race first: The ideological and organizational struggles of Marcus Garvey and the universal Negro improvement association. United States: Majority Press, US. Gibran, K. (2007) The collected works: With eighty-four illustrations by the author. New York: Three Rivers Press. Newsinger, J. (2000) The blood never dried: A people’s history of the British empire. London: Bookmarks. Hallward, P. (2010) Damming the flood: Haiti, Aristide and the politics of containment. London: Verso Books. Davis, A.Y. (1982) Women, race and class. London: The Women’s Press. Hooks, B. (1992) Black looks: Race and representation. Boston, MA: South End Press. Scott, J.C. (2009) The art of not being governed: An anarchist history of upland southeast Asia (Yale agrarian .. New Haven: Yale University Press. Conrad, J. (2011) Under western eyes. New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Juneja, M, Global Art History and the “Burden of Representation in: Global Studies. Mapping Contemporary Art and Culture, Hans Belting (édit.) [Et al.], Hatje Cantz, Osterfiledern 2011, p. 275- 97. Said, E.W. (1985) Covering Islam: How the media and the experts determine how we see the rest of the world. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

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USEFUL WEBSITES. www.patreon.com/mediadiversified Media Diversified is a non-profit independent publishing platform, campaign group and advocacy organisation that aims to advance the discourse around race, identity, politics and popular culture. Our BAME-run and staffed organisation publishes articles by writers of colour that present fresh perspectives and insightful commentary on contemporary issues -- from pop culture to business, international conflict to personal identity, gender, history and much more.

www.vox.com Vox explains the news and the world around you. Making complex topics easier to understand, Vox candidly shepherds audiences through politics and policy, business and pop culture, food, science and everything else that matters. At its 2014 launch, the site amassed more than 5MM unique visitors in just over one month. Today it reaches more than ten times that audience through Vox.com, its award-winning videos, and on its top-ranked podcasts.

www.huffingtonpost.com/section/black-voices A voice for black people in the news.

www.centerformediajustice.org Media Justice is a long-term vision to democratize the economy, government, and society through policies and practices that ensure: democratic media ownership, fundamental communication rights; universal media and technology access, and meaningful, accurate representation within news and popular culture for everyone. Media Justice has been achieved when the media and cultural environment results in connected communities, fair economies, racial justice and human rights for all people, and lifts up the voices of communities of color, low-income families, low-wage workers, LGBT communities, women, and all those whose voices are raised, but remain unheard. // 43


www.colorofchange.org “We design campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward. Until justice is real.”

www.colorlines.com A News and Current Events website run by Race Forward.

www.voice-online.co.uk “Keep up to date with news stories, unique features, sports, entertainment, events in your area, exclusive interviews, special offers and much more from Britain’s leading black newspaper.”

www.truth-out.org People of color, women and trans people are encouraged to submit.

www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-36443113 The BBC has pledged to have 15% of its workforce from a BAME background by 2020

www.huckmagazine.com/art-and-culture/black-british-podcastsmaking-waves-2 Huck Magazine: “Black British podcasts are challenging the lack of diversity in UK media: Podcasting so white no longer”

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BEYOND GENDER: THE IDENTITY OF FASHION.

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WELCOME. “We also use dress, consciously or unconsciously, as one of the ways in which we project ourselves, the self we wish to present to the world, the group with which we desire to be associated. It is a strong and visible part of our need to assert identity […] and thus forms part of our individuation” Unzipping Gender. C. Suthrell

Fashion is an ever growing and important form of our self expression. It is both a global phenomenon and a personal relationship. It is informed by our faiths, our orientations, our histories and our communities. It gives you the power to express yourself like nothing else, to break down social stereotypes, to stick to those who told you ‘No!’, and to be your beautiful self. With voices from the fashion, LGBTQ and creative industries, we will be discussing the use and impact of fashion as a construct and or a tool to share, support, include and or exclude.

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OUR PANELISTS. Travis Alabanza. Travis is a Black queer femme performance artist living, studying and creating in London, and is currently the LGBT+ president at king’s college London. Their work has featured in The UK anthology Black & Gay in the UK, as well as Manon, Queer Contemporary, Black girl Dangerous and Beyond the Binary. They have performed in venues across the UK including RVT, Hackney Attic, Oxford Queer Week & their one person show in Bristol Stories of a Queer Brown Muddy Kid. They feel their art is a way to talk unapologetically about the love queer black bodies outside of binaries deserve. soundcloud.com/travisalabanza

SA Smythe. SA is a current Visiting Fellow at the University of London’s Institute of Modern Languages Research. Their scholarship focusses on the aesthetics of Black and queer liberation, the politics of citizenship and place-making, and narratives of migration and postcoloniality in the Mediterranean. SA also does translation work and organises in queer of colour feminist writing collectives in the US, Italy, and Berlin. A new collection of multilingual prose poems and critical essays on pleasure, absence, and aberrance is forthcoming in 2016. SA is a part of the soft anonymous, a transnational QTPOC literary collective and is the publishing editor of THEM: Trans Literary Journal. // 49


Raju Rage. Raju is an interdisciplinary artist who uses art and activism to forge creative survival. They are interested in the role of art in social change, transformative healing justice and in collectivity. They are focused on knowledge and creative production both inside but mostly outside of academia and institutions, within pro/active creative and activist communities. Their work interrogates the ways in which contemporary diasporan identities are constructed and read/misread through history and memory, in/visibility and the effect of politics, space, symbolism, stereotypes, ethnic codes, ideology and gazes on the body. They use sculpture, collage and ritual mediums and work in live art, performance and moving image, focusing on de-con-structive techniques of resistance such as interruption, confusion, disturbance. They primarily use their non-conforming body as a vehicle of assemblage and embodiment.

Montana Williamson. Knitwear Designer and European Visual Management (Kate Spade)

Montana is a graduate of Central St. Martins. She studied BA Textiles knitwear. She is best known for her collaborative work with designers such as Jasper Garvida and Bryce Aice Qime. Her work is a combination of hand knitting and crochet, she creates three dimensional pieces, she has also won the UK Hand knitting Association Award 2011 for her innovation in knitwear. Her award winning work marries elements of sustainability and fashion, her work questions the social issues of waste within the fashion industry. 50 //


Katy Jalili. Katy Jalili (Katayoun Jalilipour) is an artist and writer, Currently studying Performance Design and Practice at Central Saint Martins. She is focusing her research on women’s and QPOCS’ place in contemporary performing arts, and the meaning of Feminist Art in activism. She is very interested in discovering borderlines between Fine Arts and Performing arts. Her ambitions include leading an independent Arts Collective which allows a more diverse and accessible environment for developing artists. katyjalili.tumblr.com

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Bend it Like Babes. IMAGE CREDITS: Stylist: Natasha Lall // Photographer: Scarlett Shaney Langdon Make-up: Umber Chauri // Models: Krishna Istha, Katy Jalili, Raju Rage, Natasha Lall 52 //


KEY QUESTIONS. What is femininity? How does fashion help and encourage people to express their identity? How can fashion help break down social constructions of Identity? How do the representations of fashion in media impact our own relationship with fashion? What are the constraints of fashion to express yourself? How can fashion be used to empower? How can fashion industries support the ever growing diverse communities? Will androgynous fashion replace men’s and women’s wear?

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Blossom. IMAGE CREDITS: Stylist & designer: Sicgmone www.sicgmone.com Photographer: Kings- art www.kings-art.com Art Direction: D.Tuffour

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BEYOND THE BINARY.

Seeking answers to the question “What is beyond gender?” Our panellists referred to their own experiences. “It’s my existence,” says Travis Alabanza, a spoken word artist, activist, and current student at Kings College, London. But what is gender? How do we define it? Many people see gender as something associated with physicality. However, the politically correct way of explaining gender is a set of attributes assigned to us by society. Gender is a social construct and the fashion industry has a big impact on what genders are perceived to be within society’s framework. The mainstream fashion industry tells us that pink skirts are for girls and black suits and ties are for men, and if someone chooses to challenge these gender stereotypes they might be faced with a lot of weird looks. Our society is obsessed with what is considered to be “manly” and what it looks like to be a “woman.” How, then, do we define these terms? We may think we know what the general meaning of these terms are, but when considered more closely, the definitions hurt radical and queer folk who simply don’t define themselves by those terms. This is where fashion plays a big part. 56 //


What we wear defines who we are to an extent; clothes are a way of wearing your beliefs on your body. However, not all people want to see those beliefs, nor are all people comfortable with a radical challenge or war against social stereotypes. It is important, therefore, to start a conversation about how aggression against the queer people of colour is related to and understood by society.

Femininity Everyone’s relationship to femininity is different. Femininity should not be the opposite of masculinity. Many of us grow up to believe femininity is a weakness and masculinity is power. Femininity is a set of attributes that should not fit into a gender binary. “Femininity is something few people are allowed to safely access” Privilege is a conversation that should be brought up when we talk about terms such as “femininity” and “masculinity,” as femininity is expected from people with a female cisgender body. Therefore, it is safer to be feminine in a female cisgender body, in a similar way that masculinity is only expected from cisgender male bodies. These terminologies have a big link to culture and race. In each culture women and men are expected to behave in certain roles, however most patriarchal societies deny power to feminine folk.

Androgynous Zara has just announced a unisex/androgynous line. However, those who model for the new line were on the whole skinny and white and certainly not representing a variety of races or body shapes. The problem is that these are images people are faced with when searching for “androgynous” online. They are educated that androgyny is only for slim white folk. Androgyny needs to be diverse and represent all different styles of androgyny.

“…If [the fashion world] centres ‘androgyny’ it also has to be fat, it has to be femme, and it has to be Black or brown” SA Smythe Safety outfit It is sad to think there are only certain spaces as certain times where people can feel safe enough to dress as they please. Why is it that we can’t dress as we like, wherever we’d like? Only certain folk with certain preferences are allowed to feel safe on the streets: who is to blame? Is it the mainstream fashion industry? // 57


Race and industry LGBTQ culture is also starting to become a fashion trend. However (and as usual), this trend is still very white and cis. The same issues that surround the mainstream film industry are affecting the mainstream fashion industry. All people who are meant to represent minorities particularly in androgynous fashion are very thin, white, and western beauties. Queer and trans people of colour are not represented in this trend and this effects how they are viewed in society. Black and brown nations subjected to colonisation are viewed as behind on trends, and people with roots or hailing from those countries are viewed in the same manner. According to white or westernised thinking, it is unexpected for a BAME folk to be Queer or Trans, and this increases the risk of hate crime and lack of freedom for such folks to express themselves. As soon as we see the slightest representation of ourselves we shout “THAT’S US THAT’S US THAT’S US” but soon after we realise that we are still represented by people who lack the most important element to represent us. Genuine-ity.

Industry Fashion doesn’t have to be influenced by multimillion-dollar industries; sometimes it is simply influenced by cultures of people who are not represented on billboards. It is important to not forget that this industry is growing from the appropriation of cultures of BAME folk as well as the hard underpaid labour of people from exploited countries that create the textiles for us to consume.

Not for you! Narratives of cultures are highly undermined when represented. The mainstream industry loves “exotic” cultures, but they only like them on people who are not from those countries, e.g. representing India’s rich culture of style using white models. This is because the industry has such a strong link to colonisation; they try to own culture that does not belong to them, and do so without any appreciation of its roots. Do we need New York fashion week to represent our culture? Why aren’t our own cultural celebrations as appreciated as Fashion Week?

Feminism The last question addressed to the panellists was “What does Feminism mean to you?” If feminism is intersectional it will have a strong link to gender and queer 58 //


culture. Feminism is about freedom of choice, freedom that folk with more privilege than the minority take for granted, sometimes without even realising so. Therefore, it has a strong link with fashion, as we should be able to make a free choice to dress in what we find comfort in. “It means all the strong black women who paved the way before me,” Alabanza stated. Feminism does not mean white women who erase voices of people of colour. We must lift the women of colour who gave us the power to have a voice. “Sharing recipes and learning how to sew together in the houses of experienced women in Jamaica, feminism is about being in spaces of education and in kinship with femme and female-identified people,” according to Smythe. Most of the time domestic works such as housework or artwork like embroidery/ textiles are underestimated because of their link to femininity, however in feminism there is a place for empowerment of these elements of domestic work. Feminism is a link to Black British culture for Montana, as a knitwear designer crouching was a craft brought through all the women of Montana’s family, a symbolism of who she is and it embodies strength and empowerment, these skills are also what she uses in her designs. For Raju, feminism is about women who raised them. They are the women who taught them about both femininity and masculinity but also share stories of migration–and these are usually narratives that are left out of dominate. Words by Katy Jalili. Content Developer, Shades of Noir. Watch the Pre Event Interviews and Event Footage at: shadesofnoir.org.uk/beyond-gender-the-identity-of-fashion/

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HELPFUL ORGANISATIONS. UAL LGBTQ. A student network which aims to brings together lesbians, gays, bisexuals, members of the trans community, queers, asexuals, intersexuals, curious people, all those without a label and everyone in between across UAL! www.suarts.org/groups/lgbtq-society

The UAL Diversity Team. A service that provides advice and guidance to LGBTQ+ students and staff. www.arts.ac.uk/about-ual/diversity

Supporting Trans Students at UAL. The University’s ‘Supporting Trans Students’ guide sets out how we support students through gender reassignment. Students can contact the Diversity Team for more information diversity@arts.ac.uk or search ‘supporting trans students’ on the UAL intranet. myintranet.arts.ac.uk/staffandstudents/diversity/gender-identity/supporting-trans-students

The Albert Kennedy Trust. A service that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans homeless young people in crisis. www.akt.org.uk

Galop. Galop is London’s LGBT anti-violence & abuse charity. Providing advice and support to people who have experienced biphobia, homophobia, transphobia, sexual violence or domestic abuse. www.galop.org.uk

Gendered Intelligence. An organisation that aims to raise awareness of the needs of young trans* people 60 //


through training initiatives, creative workshops and the provision of advice and guidance to young people. www.genderedintelligence.co.uk

Gender Trust. An organisation that aims to help adults throughout the United Kingdom who areTranssexual, Gender Dysphoric, Transgender or those whose lives are affected by gender identity issues. www.gendertrust.org.uk

Gender Identity Research and Education Society. An organisation that provides information on research relating to gender variance and gender identity. www.gires.org.uk

International lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex association. An international organisation which campaigns for equality in relation to gender identity and sexual orientation. www.ilga.org

Imaan. A social support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Muslims, their families, friends and supporters, and those questioning their sexuality or gender identity. www.imaan.org.uk

Press for Change. A political lobbying and educational organisation that campaigns to achieve equal right for trans* people in the UK through legislation and social change. www.pfc.org.uk

Stonewall. An organisation that is the UK’s largest LGBTQ+ rights charity, providing information and support to individuals and organisations, and lobbying government on equality in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity. www.stonewall.org.uk

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LGBT+ switchboard An organisation that provides an information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men and bisexual and trans* people – and anyone considering issues around their sexuality and/or gender identity. switchboard.lgbt

Buisnesses We Love: Open Barbers Queer friendly hairdressing for any length, welcoming all genders and sexualities openbarbers.tumblr.com

Nails Transphobia Nail Transphobia tackles transphobia through nail art; it is fabulous activism! Charlie Craggs travels around with her pop up nail salon and strangers can come and get their nails done for free. nailtransphobia.com

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FURTHER READING. All resources are avalible in the UAL Libary system or online

E-Books Arnold, R. (2011) Fashion, Desire and Anxiety. London: I.B. Tauris. Available at: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/arts/detail.action?docID=10445306# Barnard, M. (2014) Fashion Theory : An Introduction. Available at: http://UAL.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=1659188 Bradley, H. (2013) Polity Key Concepts in the Social Sciences Series : Gender (2nd Edition). Somerset, NJ, USA: John Wiley & Sons. Available at: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/arts/detail.action?docID=10687835 Gauntlet, D (2002) Gender, Media, and Identity: An Introduction. London: Routledge. Available at: http://lib.myilibrary.com/Open.aspx?id=6901&src=0

Books Butler, J. (2002) Gender trouble. London: routledge. Beauvoir,S. (1949) Second Sex. Paris Craik, J. (1994) The face of fashion: Cultural studies in fashion. London: Routledge. Griggs, C. (1998) S/he: Changing sex and changing clothes. Oxford: Berg Publishers. Jackson S and Scott S. (ed.) (2002) Gender A Sociological Reader. London: Routledge. Spakre, P. (1995) As long as it’s pink : the sexual politics of taste. London: Pandora.

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Suthrell, C.A. (2004) Unzipping gender: sex, cross-dressing and culture. Oxford: Berg Publishers. Wolf, N. (1991) The Beauty Myth, How images of beauty are used against Women. London: Chatto & Windus Ltd.

Video Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2013) TEDx Talks: We should all be feminists. TEDxEuston. Available at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg3umXU_qWc. Scott Turner Schofield (2013). TED Talk: Ending Gender by Scott Turner Schofield. Available at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWubtUnSfA0. TEDx Talks (2013). Understanding the Complexities of Gender: Sam Killermann at TEDxUofIChicago. Available at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRcPXtqdKjE. TEDX Sabah Choudrey, Faith and Gender Transition. Available at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6hxrZW6I9I The Power Suit & the Fashion of Authority. Available at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEchfeS6W28

YouTubers Broadly. Available at: www.youtube.com/channel/UCfQDD-pbllOCXHYwiXxjJxA Kat Blaque. Available at: www.youtube.com/user/TransDIYer Laci Green. Available at: www.youtube.com/user/lacigreen

Web Feminist Perspectives on Sex and Gender Available at: plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-gender/#GenTerWhat is masculinity?

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IMAGE CREDITS: Photographer: Shingi Rice // (L-R) Model: Vimbai Jacqueline // Model: Mimi pixie, Stylist & Designer: Nikki Ranger // Models: Ramario Chevoy & Ola J Adyemi, Designer: Kamara Appleton & Mua Mimi Pixie // Model: Moses Quiquine styled by himself and Mua Mimi Pixie // 65


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FEMINISMS: ARTS OF A WOMAN.

shadesofnoir.org.uk // 67


WELCOME. How does creative practice and education value the narratives of the nuances of feminisms? ‘Much contemporary debate has posed the question of the relation between race and gender, in terms that attempt to parallel race and gender divisions. It can be argued that as processes, racism and sexism are similar. Ideologically for example, they both con- struct common sense through reference to “natural” and “biological” differences.’ Carby, H., 1996. White woman listen! Black feminism and the boundaries of sisterhood. Black British cultural studies: A reader, pp.61-86.

Interviews. We are very grateful for the number of individuals who have contributed to this zine. Unfortunately we haven’t had the space to feature the whole interviews or work, we would therefore encourage you to visit shadesofnoir.org.uk for further materials.

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KEY QUESTIONS. What is femininity to you? What does womanhood mean to you? What are the Feminisms you feel are common within the UK arts context? How do your experiences as a woman influence your art? How do your experience as a woman defines your career in the arts? How can your art be an expression of Women’s liberation? Is there differences between equality and justice within the intersections of womanhood? What has been your experience as a woman at university/creative industries? What piece of advice would you give to women planning on entering the creative industries?

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OUR PANELISTS.

Michelle Williams-Gamaker. Williams-Gamaker is an international moving image artist and researcher. Her works integrate performance through documentary and fiction modes to focus on the experience of individuals who forcibly or voluntarily become exiled or marginalised. Her current projects are The Fruit is There to be Eaten, a post-colonial, post-romantic exploration of British directors Powell & Pressburger’s female protagonists from Black Narcissus (1947) and the docu-fiction Brown Queers, which explores the multiplicities of identity for Queer people of colour. Her feature film,Violet Culbo, in development with Film London (FLAMIN) is a magic realist road movie through Britain. The film reflects on the culture of suspicion around group practice in the wake of extremism, ideas of belonging and migrant experience in the UK.

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michellewilliamsgamaker.com


Liberty Sadlers. Salders works with mediums of illustration and moving image to explore issues of 21st century body politics, with a focus on the experience of living in a female body in a ‘photo-shopped’ world; the new visual rhetoric of perfection through digital manipulation. Working within a socio-political context, her work uses character and playfulness to discuss themes of food, ‘femininity’ and sexuality. Sadlers’s work aims to open discussion about vulnerability, imperfection and inequality, with characters’ bordering between a ‘parody of’ and ‘pride in’ being a woman [exploring Gender Performativity and female stereotypes]. The use of humour as a technique of critique is the basis of Liberty Antonia’s practice, aiming to use it as a device to answer the unspoken dogma of one’s body being one’s collateral. In homage to the traditions of political satire, often included within her pen & digital colour illustrations and performance video pieces, are slogans & text, to combine word & image in the creation of ‘Fine Art comedy’. Liberty Antonia was the Winner of 2015 Lowe Nova Awards, her work has featured in NYLON & Grazia and she currently illustrates for Metro. libertyantoniasadler.com

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Dana J Mohammed. Mohammed was born on the island of Trinidad, spent her teenage summers in New York, then moved to London Town to pursue her rock & roll ambitions. This unique blend of influences is evident in her music. Her solo project Ms. Mohammed sees her tie in her ancestral roots in India to her upbringing in Trinidad. Beats and pervasive bass lines provided the soundtrack to her childhood, before being thrust in to the culture shock of NYC as a teenager, where the lure of the electric guitar would prove to be too much to resist. PJ Harvey would be one of the first and strongest influences on her dark, bluesy, guitar sound, spiked with punk attitude. Today, Ms. Mohammed effortlessly fuses blues with bhangra, punk with soca and rock with reggae. Lyrical themes explore systemic oppression and poetic retribution in the percussive drive of Alibi, to the inevitable drama of polyamorous relationships, in the indie disco anthem She Or I Go. She is also the founder of Clit Rock: music events created to celebrate the feminine and raise awareness and funds for the prevention of FGM. danajade.com

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Chardine Taylor Stone. Stone is a cultural producer, musician, DJ and activist. She was the program coordinator for the Black British Feminism: Past, Present and Futures 2015 conference, is one of the founder members of Reclaim Brixton and was recently featured in The Voice newspaper as one of the Women Who Rocked the World in 2015. She also plays drums in Black feminist punk band Big Joanie. As a writer and feminist activist her interests include art, Afrofuturism and music with a particular focus on the history of subcultures, Black women’s activism, working class feminism, Black queer identities and Black involvement in the esoteric, weird and downright bizarre! chardinetaylorstone.com

Cai Zhang. Zhang is primarily interested the presence of the digital human online, and its relationship with the physical corporeality as both an individual and social artefact. She employs performances, text and sculptures to attempt to locate the origin of shame and desire within both the corporeal and the digital body. In hope to answer the question: what makes us who we are in the digital age. Recent work focus on online dating, with outcome of her own experience conveyed through stand-up comedy and participatory performances. cai.gallery // 73


ZARINA MUHAMMAD.

BA Fine Art-Central Saint Martins. Moving image and still image. Current Student

is not very inclusive of brown women, trans women and people outside of the binary. If feminism that is acknowledged by most people is the girl gang of all white and all hot women then i’m not up for it.

What is your work about currently? I‘m Interested in work as social object and how it is activated by the relationship between it and the audience viewing it. What does womanhood mean to you? The distinction between femininity and womanhood is important. Womanhood doesn’t particularly mean anything in to me, I do F**k with gender but use female pronouns, however I don’t identify with womanliness. What are your view on Feminisms? I’m more intrigued by womanism than feminism. I have felt that feminism 74 //

How do your experiences as a woman influence your art? I have a strange relationship with the way my identity affects my art. I used to paint naked white women , and one day in a crit someone standing next to my work raised the question; “you’re a brown woman, why are you painting white women?” I had never considered the way I exist in relationship to my work before. It was a fair point of course, my identity affects the work i make as it is engaged with critical theory surrounding race, cultural policy and racial politics. I probably wouldn’t be making this work if I was a white man, even though it would have been way easier to do so! Just because I’m a half muslim and a brown woman doesn’t mean that’s the only focus of my work. I do want my identity to inform my work but I wish my work could be viewed in the same subjective vacuum as white male artists. If you’re only being represented because of a specific aspect of your identity that’s a problem in itself.


What piece of advice would you give to women planning on entering the creative industries? When I decided to go to art school my parents were not too happy. Making art is exhausting, however if you really want it do it, even if your parents don’t want you to do it. Asian artists make so much more work than diaspora, people just want to reduce the work dilute it so it’s easier to explain. Really push the work so it is multifaceted.

What has been your experience as a woman in university? My experience as a brown woman in university has been alright, but I have heard some horror stories from other brown girls. Maybe art school is quite liberal in those terms. However, sometimes I see white girls wearing bindies and I think to myself “it’s 2016 I thought we were over that”. But then I feel too tired from sustaining that much anger, I’m too tired to call it out.

zarinamuhammad.com // 75


CAROLINE DERVEAUX.

MA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design 2013-14

What is your work currently about? My work consists mainly of geometric shapes and pastel colours, and focuses on childhood memories. I have an obsession with the distant past and use certain colours which to me are childhood distilled.

“Put your hand in your pants. a) Do you have a vagina? and b) Do you want to be in charge of it? If you said ‘yes’ to both, then congratulations! You’re a feminist.”

Feminism is nothing more, nothing less: it is just about being in charge of What does womanhood mean to you? yourself and not letting people telling Womanhood is baring the world. you who you should be. What are your view on Feminisms? Caitlin Moran’s feminist test in How How do your experiences as a woman influence your art? to be a woman, 2011 is: My own experiences influence my art, not the fact that I’m a woman.

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What piece of advice would you give to women planning on entering the creative industries? Work as hard as you can, be the woman you want to be. Don’t hope for someone to believe in you first, it’s your job to lead the way. Us (2015) is a series of three combining painting and digital illustration. Us is a political piece made shortly after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, January 2015. Although the intentions of the artists were similar - the need of expelling political and societal issues - the subjects are proper to each artist; terrorism for Sonya and feminism for Caroline. A collaboration with Sonya Korshenboym. carolinederveaux.com

What has been your experience as a woman in university? During my masters, I was working on a long series of sculptures representing my stomach, The Belly Project, and it shocked me how much people would interpret the sculpture as an ode to sensuality, beauty; where the work considered the female physicality of pre-motherhood, birth and women’s power and weaknesses. It made me think of how much we’ve been conditioned to look at the female form though a male gaze - even in museums.

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NEENA PERCY.

MA Painting, Royal College of Art, London. Chelsea College Alumni. Multi-media artist

What is your work about currently? I intend to express my experiences and observations as a woman today. “Ultimately, seeing alters the thing that is seen and transforms the seer”. Art historian James Elkin’s statement encapsulates my current artistic drive; to examine how visual culture and history alter our personal perception of our inner and outer ‘self’ or selves. The idealised versions of women presented at different times is a reflection upon societal projections of how women should look and behave. I wish to tap into these portraits and distort or present them anew through my own gaze. I look at current and past representations of femininity in contemporary culture and art history; drawing upon them, negating the obvious and allowing openness for interpretation. Through re-presenting and distorting elements of our current reality, paintings can create images that are at once removed from the every-day yet subtly allude to it. Representing stereotypes in artworks but with an absurd twist can be a way to highlight the absurdity that we in fact experience on a day-to-day basis.

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What does womanhood mean to you? For me womanhood is about feeling confident and comfortable with yourself. I strive to always push myself intellectually and personally, working on aspects of myself that I wish to be stronger and braver. This includes putting myself forward for things that I might not feel entirely comfortable doing but, having done it, gives me the satisfaction of pushing myself beyond my limits. I wish to continue in this vein my entire life.

also admiration and desire that stem from what I see or am driven by as a woman all fuel my artwork in different ways. Without always having a predetermined answer to some of my questions or concerns, through making an artwork I discover more about how I feel or what position it puts me in. In this way the artwork is a test for the results that a particular inquisitive urge can give rise to. At the same time as questioning ideals, I also want my work

How do your experiences as a woman influence your art? For me art is at its best when it can combine a material fascination, as with qualities of paint or colour, with a personal experience that comes from beyond the confines of the studio. I strive to make work that people can relate to on two levels and so my experiences as a woman have fed into and inspired me to make work. Feelings of anger and frustration but

to be bold and celebratory as I feel this is an element of femininity we should not forget to highlight. What piece of advice would you give to women planning on entering the creative industries? Have confidence in your artistic drives and desires, and to greedily indulge in these creative fantasies. neenapercy.com // 79


SEEMA MATTU.

BA Fine Art, Central Saint Martin’s, Digital Art. Current Student

What is your work about currently? My work focuses very literally on the ethnic woman. In terms of my own experience I use the digital space in as a platform to discuss the ethnic self in regards to four aspects of minority: Caste, Gender, Sexuality and Race. What does womanhood mean to you? For me womanhood is sisterhood, it is the need to be hyper-vigilant and proving yourself. Being Indian, to be a woman is to be suppressed and overlooked. What are your view on Feminisms? I have always been somebody who has tried to move away from Feminism. I believe the ethos of feminism is still very white. When people talk about feminism it’s only including white men and women. For me it’s very difficult

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because if race isn’t an issue it will be caste, if caste wasn’t an issue it will be gender, etc. There are so many levels of oppression that feminism doesn’t address. I hate when people say if you believe men and women should have equal rights then you’re a feminist. I have a problem with labeling yourself as a feminist and not actively supporting the movement. I feel like I am becoming much more of what a feminist is through my work. In the future I hope to own a gallery that only/mainly caters to ethnic women My feminist icons are the Gulaab (Pink) Gang, they are an all Indian women gang who all wear pink saris and take matters of how men treat them into their own hands. This is the type of feminism I can relate to.


How do your experiences as a woman influence your art? The subject matter of my work is enriched with issues I face as a woman of colour. It would be difficult to move away from these facts. Specially when the market is so self aware. Even if it’s quite light hearted there’s still a seeded message in there that shouldn’t be underestimated. I find it very problematic when men make work about women, it’s the same as white artists making work about people of colour. If I could change something about life in UK it would be the feeling of uncomfort. To get rid of what seems like even the littlest of things, like being able to freely listen to music in public that is a different language. I want diversity to be celebrated. I want people to acknowledge my culture. However just because a group of people are from the same country it doesn’t mean we are all the same if you consider issues of caste and colourism.

What has been your experience as a woman in university? There’s such small group of ethnic people in Saint Martin’s so much so that I get excited when I see people of colour. It worries me thinking I might have been accepted into this university out of tokenism. But I’m very lucky to have a really good tutor who accepts the meaning of my work when I open up about it.

What piece of advice would you give to women planning on entering the creative industries? I’m sure many if not all ethnic women go through a situation where their parent(s) don’t support their wish to continue their education in a more artbased field. I have first hand experience of this, and I can honestly say that if I didn’t do what I needed to do for myself I would always love in regret. So my advice to WOC in an Arts university would be to pursue your dreams and keep going with it, I’m certain it’ll be more rewarding than any other path you’re My hope is to raise awareness of forced to go down. Always remember: these issues. you have a choice, and that choice matters. seemamattuworld.com // 81


INTERSECTIONAL FEMINISMS. A look at white feminism and portrayal of WOC in feminism. Should we start using the word Feminisms Instead Feminism? As a middleeastern woman I struggle to understand why people are against feminism, which is usually caused by misunderstanding the meaning and cause of the movement, which is of course fight for equality between genders. However this movement has had a history of exclusion, which is still relevant. Coming from a country in the middle-east such as Iran, where I was born and raised, gave me a different vision of why equality was needed. Iran is a country which highly discriminates against anyone who is not a Muslim cisgender man (meaning a person who identifies with the gender assigned to them at birth). Women are viewed as a second class citizens and denied their human rights such as; ownership over their children, the right to divorce, the right to travel alone, to be a witness in court. I remember as a child watching a TV interview where a woman supported this rule by saying: “women shouldn’t witness in court because they are highly emotional.” This made no sense to me and probably that’s when I became a feminist. Iran is very religious and all rules are made according to the Shia Law, which has created very major issues of inequality for the people since Islam was announced the main religion after the revolution in late 70’s. However, we have been fighting for equality for a long time. Only recently I found out about the first women’s right movement which started in 1910. These women fought for rights to vote, divorce and custody rights, education rights and reduced polygamy (in Islamic countries men are allowed to re-marry without their wives’ acknowledgement). Feminism is sometimes viewed as a western method of rebalance, which excludes its importance for non-western women. The dark side of inequality which feminism is fighting and should be fighting for is people’s lives put physically in danger because of gender inequality, which women of colour whore are erased from history have been fighting for centuries. 82 //


The board of directors of “Jam’iat e nesvan e vatan-khah”, a women’s rights association in Tehran (1923-1933)

My Feminism Having lived in the UK as an ethnical minority has evolved my feminism, recently with all the talk about white feminism I came into the realisation that not all feminism benefits all people. We all need a form of feminism that works for us as individuals and for our community, and some of our identities may change throughout time which affects our needs for the fight of equality, however it’s important not to forget other people’s problems if they seem irrelevant to us based on difference in gender, race and class which is exactly what white feminism does. For example, when I realised I was queer, my need for feminism changed, Conversations concerning heteronormative feminism was not relevant to me anymore. This is also similar to how it feels being a woman of colour in a white feminist environment which seems to be concerned about diversity and equality // 83


of genders but doesn’t always seem to represent us. However, my queerness could be hidden (not that it should be) but the colour of my skin and my ethnicity cannot and should not be ignored. This also shines light on the importance of safe spaces for people of colour and queer folk, a place where our voice is heard and valued provided by our people.

Emma’s Agenda When feminism is called a white woman’s agenda it excludes the fight WOC have fought for equality. Feminism is for everybody but in the mainstream media it’s just seen as the agenda of successful white women. This dismisses the reasons for feminism. White feminists have the privilege of preferred ethnicity which allows their views to matter more than Women of colour. This issue is becoming clear when Emma Watson was attacked for posting Alan Rickman’s quote about feminism on her social media. This raised two issues, feminism was called Emma’s agenda and a man’s support of feminism was ignored. Read More.

Intersectionality In some political movements people who need the movement the most are excluded from them because the movement is not Intersectional enough. Intersectionality is a theory coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989 Feminism can sometimes excludes WOC and LGBTQ folk. Which makes me conclude that women who fight for equality without acknowledgement of oppressed folk, do not want equality but their fight is a fight for further privilege. Read More. Kimberlé Crenshaw sharing her realisation of the lack of intersection: youtu.be/QF43ByWtY7c White feminism simply ignores the issues people of colour and non-cis folk face. An example of this is the fight for equal pay by white female celebrities. aside from how capitalist the industry of movie, some of these celebrities fail to acknowledge how the fight for equal payment of a few millions, is excluding the fight of women of colour for equality with other white-women and men. This is not an issue of women of colour’s silence, because we are not silence. We are just not heard, we are constantly talked over by people more privileged than us and ignored by mainstream media. When a woman of colour expresses an idea she is not heard, and a white woman can repeat her and she becomes an idol. 84 //


An example of this is women of colour erased from the history of suffragettes. When the movie suffragettes came out we were hoping to learn more about the accurate history of the movement, even though it “…was a great movie in terms of showing how hard working those women were and the beauty and power of a woman as both an activist and a mother, so delightfully touching and it’s always great to see women strongly portrayed on screen…” The first thing I learned about the suffragettes was that: “they’re racist” Which might be an over exaggerated term to use. But yes the screen was full of white faces.” The portrayal of this movement has taught us that no women of colour were involved, and only white women have been praised for their courage during those

Photograph of Indian suffragettes on the Women’s Coronation Procession, 17 June 1911. To mark the coronation of King George V., a huge march through London was arranged demanding votes for women in Coronation year. Led by suffragettes dressed as powerful women from the past, the march of 40,000 women was watched by crowds, some on specially erected stands. Indian suffragettes, including Mrs. Roy, Mrs. Mukerjea and Mrs. Bhola Nauth marched in the Empire Pageant section of the procession along with representatives from New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies. // 85


times. Looking at the picture above the only woman who is/might be recognise is Emmeline Pankhurst the only white woman in the picture.

Cis-Germane Germane Greer has been an influential feminist figure for years, and a big inspiration to many other feminist figures such as Caitlin Moran. However, her feminism is very exclusively white and cisgender. She doesn’t believe in self defining women but only women who were physically born female, and the media attention on her views opened room for a lot of debate

“… the notion of blessed womanhood that is accepted by most transsexuals is not one that I agree with, I think it’s profoundly wrong.” Germane Greer The problem with Greer’s feminism is that it only works for women who have privileges of class, race and gender, who are able to make changes for themselves because they are only affected by one aspect of oppression. An example of this was illustrated in TV-show Transparent (Series 2, Episode 9) , where the main character Maura was attacked by feminists in a women only festival and had to leave due to not being a cisgender woman.

“Justice is what love feels like in public.”- Lavern Cox youtu.be/4ROMVPJD5PA

Hillary’s white lies It is so unfortunate when a woman nominated for leadership is letting down other women by not being inclusive enough. The U.S.A. elections are taking place very soon and Hillary Clinton seems to be doing everything in her power to make people vote for her. She may have changed her political views slightly since the 90’s. Her policies have always excluded LGBTQ rights and foreign policies. She believes in interfering in foreign country’s politics to keep America safe. None of her policies shout “feminist”, however she identifies as a proud feminist. Her definition of feminism is: “same rights politically culturally socially economically” between men and women, 86 //


but not mentioning the oppression women of colour face by white women and men. A great example of white feminism. Most mainstream feminist figures seem to be letting down women of colour and queer folk. We rely on our own social media ran by ourselves for comfort and freedom. But how do we raise effective awareness of our need for intersectionality in feminisms? How do we make our feminism as well known and important as white feminism? Words by Katy Jalili. Content Developer, Shades of Noir. Watch the Pre Event Interviews and Event Footage at: shadesofnoir.org.uk/feminisms-arts-of-a-women/ Images sources are credited on shadesofnoir.org.uk

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FURTHER READING. All resources are avalible in the UAL Libary system or online at google scholar.

Baker Jr, H.A. and Diawara, M., 1996. Black British cultural studies: a reader. University of Chicago Press. Bow, L., 2011. Betrayal and Other Acts of Subversion: Feminism, Sexual Politics, Asian American Women’s Literature. Princeton University Press. Bulbeck, C., 1998. Re-orienting western feminisms: Women’s diversity in a postcolonial world. Cambridge University Press. Collins, P.H., 2002. Black feminist thought: Knowledge, consciousness, and the politics of empowerment. Routledge. Collins, P.H., 1986. Learning from the outsider within: The sociological significance of Black feminist thought. Social problems Corwin, A.I., 2009. Language and gender variance: Constructing gender beyond the male/female binary. Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, 12(4). Cixous, H. and Calle-Gruber, M., 1997. Hélène Cixous, rootprints: memory and life writing. Psychology Press. Davis, A.Y., 2011. Women, race, & class. Vintage. Hill, D.B. and Willoughby, B.L., 2005. The development and validation of the genderism and transphobia scale. Sex roles. Hooks, B., 1982. Ain’t I a Woman Black Women and Feminism. Hooks, B., 2000. Feminist theory: From margin to center. Pluto Press. Jackson, S., 1998. Contemporary feminist theories. Edinburgh University Press.

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James, S.M. and Busia, A.P., 1993. Theorizing Black feminisms: The visionary pragmatism of Black women. Psychology Press. Kolawole, M.E.M., 1997. Womanism and African consciousness. Africa World Press. Lorde, A., 2012. Sister outsider: Essays and speeches. Crossing Press. Luke, C. and Gore, J., 2014. Feminisms and critical pedagogy. Routledge. Mock, J., 2014. Redefining realness: My path to womanhood, identity, love & so much more. Simon and Schuster. Ogunyemi, C.O., 1985. Womanism: The dynamics of the contemporary black female novel in English. Signs, 11(1), pp.63-80. Pollock, G., 2003. Vision and Difference: feminism, femininity and the histories of art. Psychology Press. Robinson, H., 2001. Feminism-art-theory: 1968-2000. Wiley-Blackwell. Russell, K., 1996. Divided sisters: Bridging the gap between Black women and White women. Doubleday. Smith, B., 1983. Home girls: A Black feminist anthology. Rutgers University Press. Weed, E. and Schor, N., 1997. Feminism meets queer theory (Vol. 2). Indiana University Press. Weiner, G., 1994. Feminisms in education an introduction. Wolf, N., 2013. The beauty myth: How images of beauty are used against women. Random House.s

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LIBERTY SADLERS.

MA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design 2013-14.

What is your work about currently? I’m currently exploring topics of femininity and sexuality, with a focus on the concept of personal “agency” [bell hooks, Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics, 2000]. I’m interested in the concept of internalized misogyny, and the reinforcement of social stigmas, particularly in reference to body image and personal sensuality. I also work with role play, turning myself into whichever ‘woman’ (persona) I need to be at that thought process conjuncture [Judith Butler, Gender Trouble, 1990]. If ‘DRAG’ means “dressed as girl”, then I ‘DRAW: ‘dress as woman’; I draw with my pen and my body, a DRAW queen!

beyond the dogma of vulnerability within ‘Girlhood’ (female adolescence), and into a more personally secure approach of being connected to one’s body (and accepting ‘flaws’) and trusting & owning one’s decision making. It can also be self identifying, there shouldn’t be a biological requirement I don’t think.

What are your view on Feminisms? I feel the discussion of Feminism is at pivotal moment, because the conversation is going into much more depth in regard to specific topics such as race, class, disability, gender identification & trans persons. The analysis of privilege within the term has now become more widespread, which I think is very positive. It moves What does womanhood mean to you? the conversation away from being I feel that Womanhood is a state solely about heteronormative affluent of understanding. It is about moving

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historical figures/myths and text. What has been your experience as a woman in university? The discussion of Gendering of Art has never been so prevalent in my education as it is on my current course, MA Fine Art. I feel there is a state of flux happening within the Arts in terms of gender equality with women make up the majority of students within art courses, but the actual art world is still majority male (or at least the work sells for higher sums). I was speaking with students on Sotheby’s MA Curation course and they reiterated the same shift within curating: more and more women are entering the field. The binary approach labelling ‘Male Work’ persons and onto why and how such and ‘Female Work’ is something that I a flawed social structure has been find uncomfortable and saturated with formed, and how things can change hierarchy, and discussions of this can for the better. be fiery to say the very least. How do your experiences as a woman influence your art? The exchange of experiences is the basis for use of subjectivity within my practice. I know my more difficult experiences being a woman are shared by many other people, including the spectrum of physical aesthetics, the unspoken dogma of one’s body being one’s collateral & the ongoing acceptance of oneself (in mind, as well as body); these things inform my work everyday. I want to represent personas and bodies that some may brand as imperfect, but to do so in a positive light, using interpretations of stereotypes,

What piece of advice would you give to women planning on entering the creative industries? Ignore statements like “It’s a Man’s World” because the creative arts should be a meritocracy. Encouraging other practitioners, I think, is also an important element. The more each woman succeeds, the better representation there is, meaning young women will be able to see more grown women succeeding, not to the detriment of anyone else or to fill a quota, but because they are best at what they do. libertyantoniasadler.com // 91


WITH THANKS TO. FUNDING FOR THE ARTS.

BEYOND GENDER: THE IDENTITY OF FASHION.

Panelists

Panelists

Althea Efunshile. Anastazja Oppenheim. Bolanle (Bee) Tajudeen. Othello De’Souza Hartley.

RACE, RELIGION & FREE SPEECH. Panelists Aaqil Ahmedaaquil Ahmed. Bolanle (Bee) Tajudeen. Lawrence Lartey. Rimsha Ahmed.

FEMINISMS: ARTS OF A WOMAN. Panelists Cai Zhang. Chardine Taylor Stone. Dana J Mohammed. Michelle Williams-Gamaker. Liberty Sadlers.

Contributors Caroline Derveaux. Neena Percy. Seema Mattu. Zarina Muhammad. 92 //

Katy Jalili. Montana Williamson. Raju Rage. SA Smythe. Travis Alabanza.

Contributors D.Tuffour Kamara Appleton Kings- art Krishna Istha, Mimi pixie Moses Quiquine Natasha Lall Nikki Ranger Ola J Adyemi Ramario Chevoy Scarlett Shaney Langdon Shingi Rice Sicgmone Umber Chauri Vimbai Jacqueline


THE CONTINUED SUPPORT FROM: Mark Crawley Matilda Andoh Tanicia Payne Suzette La Pierre SoN Graduates SUARTS GEMS Event Attendees

THE SHADES OF NOIR TEAM: PHASE THREE - 2015-16 Aisha Richards Eva Wilkinson Bee Tajudeen Andrew Illman Katy Jalili Cai Zhang Andrew Persoff Melodie Holliday Tiffany Webster Charisse Chikwiri Mica Schlosser More information on all of our team and friends can be found at: shadesofnoir.org.uk/category/team/ shadesofnoir.org.uk/friends/

OUR SPONSOR

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WE SALUTE YOU!

© Shades of Noir 2016

Shades of Noir: The Events Annual 2015 2016  

This publication is a summary of events run by Shades of Noir over the academic year of 2015 -2016. For each event we produce a Terms of Ref...

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