Walker, Barbara; I Was There IV; Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/i-was-there-iv-277100

https://artuk.org/discover/stories/forgotten-heroes-when-the-empire-went-to-war

Chloe Austin considers the work of Barbara Walker in her piece on the forgotten heroes of war within the context of Black Lives Matter. – via Art UK

https://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/articles/how-can-the-craft-world-address-its-lack-of-diversity/?fbclid=IwAR25LqKLtAQqDqUnpeAQSffQTIw_MwUw8JkQgQfAdGZs0dYriNtMUZ128sY

 

 

The Crafts Council ask expert commentators what they think the main problems are and how institutions should be addressing them.

Artist spotlight: Pogus Caesar

Jack Arts interviews Pogus Caesar. Born in St Kitts and brought up in Birmingham, Caesar has contributed two images currently displayed on billboards across the UK in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

As part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN), New Art West Midlands is continuing and committed to work with our colleagues across the English regions to address inequalities in the visual arts.

CVAN’s/our statement:

We are a sector support and advocacy network for contemporary visual arts across nine regions in England. Our mission is to support and promote the visibility and the resilience of the nation’s contemporary visual arts ecology by representing artists and independent creative practitioners, small to large scale arts organisations and galleries, and practices that are committed to education, engagement and public art. We believe in an equitable sector and collective action and are committed to embedding our work within civic life.

Black Lives Matter.

We add our voices to the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and join the millions supporting the Black Lives Matter movement around the world. We stand in solidarity with our friends and colleagues in Black communities.

Systemic racism is real within the UK and the visual arts sector. As a national network of organisations, we commit to long-term anti-racist work to contribute to the ongoing fight against white supremacy in the arts sector. We acknowledge that demanding structural change will require time and collective action and therefore we encourage all sector leaders in positions of power to join us to accelerate this journey.

We are outlining tangible long-term commitments and goals in collaboration with our regional organisations to ensure that we are doing everything we can to be part of the change that is long overdue. We will also establish a code of conduct to ensure that we can be held accountable.

We will share the full details of our plan and commitments as we work through them.

In the meantime, we want to foster an open dialogue and we invite anyone who would like to hold us to account, to get involved or to simply comment to contact us at: info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk / info@cvan.art

As part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network (CVAN), New Art West Midlands is continuing and committed to work with our colleagues across the English regions to address inequalities in the visual arts.

We’ll be updating this list of resources and opportunities as we find them.

If there’s something you think should be included, please let us know via – info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk

 

Reading, Watching & Resources

Practical ways to support BLM from the UK – a checklist including who to write to, donate to, resources and reading.

Anti-racism resources – intended to serve as a resource for white people and parents to deepen anti-racism work. 

Great resources from Beatfreaks – reading recommendations; Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) (mainly Black) self care/mental health tips and independent booksellers who are giving free access to e-books relevant to Anti-Blackness at the moment.

Strong and brilliant words from Elizabeth Lawal shared by Culture Central around resources, leadership and talent development, and what we can do to support Black artists and Black lives.

Into Film have launched a Black Lives Matter educational hub. A selection of films and other resources explore racism and anti-blackness, designed to be used by parents and teachers at home or in the classroom.

The documentary ‘Whoever Heard of a Black Artist? Britain’s Hidden Art History‘ will be broadcast on BBC Four on Thursday 2 July and then on iPlayer until 1 August 2020.

This Work isn’t For Us – an ongoing study by Lux, initiated by Jemma Desai. Partly a critical appraisal of historic ‘diversity’ initiatives, partly an alternative policy document, the study is also an embodied ethnography, assembling testimonies from arts workers navigating institutionally initiated gestures at ‘inclusion’. The first session shown here is with Zarina Muhammed of The White Pube whose text ‘The problem with Diaspora Art’ instigated a dialogue between Jemma and Zarina both in real life and through writing. Here they place some of their public and private texts in dialogue to explore the resonance and divergences in their practices, and consider the (im)possibility of writing as praxis.

Brap – Birmingham-based charity who provide Unconscious Bias Training for organisations and companies looking to learn and grow as a team.

 

Black history in the West Midlands

The Blk Art Group Research Project – Formed in Wolverhampton in 1979, The Blk Art Group (1979-1984) was an association of young Black artists who, inspired by the Black arts movement, raised questions about what Black art was, its identity and what it could become in the future. Set up by former members Claudette Johnson, Marlene Smith and Keith Piper in 2011, the research project was a renewed examination of the archives and historical legacies of the Group.

‘Black and White fight unite and fight’ – an extract from This Way to the Revolution, Flatpack Festival’s Ian Francis’ book on late 60s Birmingham.

Birmingham Black heritage sources held by Birmingham Libraries.

Resources relating to Black and Asian history held by Staffordshire Archive and Heritage.

Oral history interviews as part of Wolverhampton City Archives‘ Black and Ethnic Minority Experience (BE-ME) Project

Connecting Histories – shining a light on 20th century Birmingham’s diverse histories.

The Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick’s themed collection features a number of categories relating to Black history including ‘Responses to immigration’ and ‘Enoch Powell, the ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech and immigration.’

The Cadbury Research library hold the archives of the 1990s Birmingham Black Oral History Project.

 

Opportunities (these and more can also be found on our dedicated Opportunities page)

Digital Diaspora: The Midlands Covid-19 project, ReFramed – ReFramed and BCVA are offering two £500 bursaries for emerging artists from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities living within the Midlands. These bursaries will enable two visual artists to document and explore the effects of COVID-19 in their communities / homes (whilst also following government guidelines). Deadline: Sunday 12 July 2020.

#BlackLivesMatter Language Commissions for Black Creatives & People of Colour from Beatfreaks for those aged 16-30 within the UK. No deadline, the opportunity will run until funding runs out.

The Black Artists Grant is £500 given out monthly to a Black artist in the UK. The BAG is no-strings attached financial support to help the selected artist in whatever they want – be that make new work, buy equipment or materials, travel, research, visit exhibitions or conferences, or to even just cover some life expenses. Rolling deadline.

 

We’ll be updating this list of resources and opportunities as we find them.

If there’s something you think should be included, please let us know via – info@newartwestmidlands.co.uk