'a space' arts Anti-Racism Commitment
Anti-Racism Statement – November 2021
Since releasing our first anti-racism statement in December 2020 we have continued to broaden our knowledge and understanding about racism and structural inequality. We have made genuine progress since our ‘becoming an anti-racism organisation’ statement, authentically worked with artists from our city’s global majority communities and felt able to now give a public update.
Across 2021 we have been developing long-term strategies and commitments whilst also creating and delivering immediate activities. We feel this combination can make a real difference to Southampton’s global majority visual artists and we plan to continue working on this dual approach. We plan to make our full list of anti-racism commitments available to the public in early 2022 whilst building on activities initiated in 2021 including the Future Forum, Lucky Dip and Hidden Histories projects.
We recognise the structural inequalities within our city and around the world persist and that they will take time to change. We acknowledge that it is our responsibility to do all we can to contribute to that change and we are committed to diversifying representation within the local visual arts sector.
Our work to develop long-term strategies is informed by considering, discussing and responding to the IncArts Unlock Anti-Racism commitments – www.incartsunlock.co.uk – through which we are forming an Anti-Racism Action Plan (ARAP). Over the coming months we will seek the views of global majority artists so the Action Plan is informed by their lived experiences. We will not ask them to do the work, we recognise we (the privileged) must do the work and that we have the responsibility to get this right.
We aim to begin delivering our ARAP in early 2022 along with growing activities and actions that create opportunities for the work of global majority visual artists to be seen and championed in the city. These include creating new exhibition opportunities, removing barriers to accessing studio space and creating a forum for ongoing discussion.
Our vision to diversify our programming and make visible the work of global majority visual artists remains and we are taking steps to achieve this.
As an organisation, from board to staff team, we continue to listen, learn and grow, as we now enter the next phase of this journey.
Notes on terminology:
- We acknowledge language is fluid and evolving and aim to ensure our use of language remains inclusive and inoffensive.
- As an organisation we have joined the movement to reject the acronym BAME as this state-manufactured term flattens and depoliticises global solidarity between people with a lived experiences of racism.
- We acknowledge the term ‘people of global majority’ as it is factually true with over 80% of the world’s population making up the global majority of non-white peoples.