The issues of racial diversity, inclusion and equality have been moral and legal concerns in the creative and cultural sectors in the UK for the last 40 years. Recently, however, we have seen significant increase in emphasis placed on this issue by government and cultural funders, and creative organisations are now required to implement successful strategies to address these matters in order to comply with equality legislation and to avoid funding cuts. Many organisations also want to be inclusive in order to fulfil their own ethical and creative agendas but are not sure how to act accordingly.
The Art of Representation
While portrayals of People of Colour are becoming increasingly positive, damaging representations in texts, images and editorial continue to have a detrimental impact. These have the power to distort mainstream perceptions of People of Colour and undermine their self-worth, perpetuating mistrust, marginalization and suspicion of cultural differences in others.
Our view is that the most important forum for more precise and sensitive narratives is mainstream culture that reaches all sections of society: television, arts, radio, computer gaming, cinema, news and social media. Excellent examples of People of Colour-sensitivity often stand out as positive and encouraging evidence that programmers see advantages in non-discriminatory work.
We believe that this challenge is much more than a bureaucratic task and is actually a rich creative opportunity for organisations that aim to deliver innovative and compelling cultural productions. Diversity – bringing different people and cultures into interaction with each other – is often the key to the most exciting and highly-acclaimed artistic results.