I have been absent for a rather long time, and there is hardly much excuse given that we have spent the last six weeks in quarantine. In my defence, however, that doesn’t exactly give me much inspiration for things to write about… Nonetheless, I have returned, and am going to try start writing regularly again.
This will be helped by the fact that I am starting a new project, which I shall write a bit about here. There will be a LOT more on this project to come, so stay turned for all of that… The most important thing about it, though, is that it is a project that will be run completely by BAME individuals. Our whole team will be POCs, from all different cultures and countries, and the heart of the project will be diversity.
This has led me, over the last few weeks of quarantine, to reach out to numerous BAME people within the industry. And, I have been completely overwhelmed by the response. I spend so much time writing about diversity, and so much time talking about it in all the work that I do, but there has never been a time where I have felt the amount of support for this kind of initiative before. People have been so willing to help, fellow POCs ready to rally together, to support the project, even if just by offering a half hour of their time.
We have reached out to people who (frankly) have no reason to reply to us or give us the time of day, given that me and my partner are new creatives; but we have, more often than not, been offered support. Even people who have not necessarily felt like they had something instrumental they could offer us have arranged a call or sent an encouraging email.
I think it is easy for people searching for diversity in the arts to feel isolated. We have been faced with immediate negativity, assumptions that we will fail, or just disbelief that we could make such a project work (though, interestingly, no such comments have been made by any POC). One is often faced with a field of white, straight, male voices when talking about diversity in the arts who, even when they seem receptive, aren’t deeply allied to the cause. This can make such initiatives seem futile, or at least make one feel like they are fighting for the cause alone (even though they are, of course, so many POC pioneers out there).
What this project has proven for me, however, is that there are so many creatives of colour who are willing to put their weight behind diverse causes. The fight for diversity, as I so often write, is not one that needs to be made alone. It is not a fight that can be won alone. We often email huge names and, yes, it is futile, and we are often ignored. Nonetheless, we do get so many positive replies that we feel a huge sense of support from those who have already made it in the industry.
The push for diversity is a hard one, and it is going to take much more than our production to make headway in the ways that I write about. However, it is a start, and for us, it has been a start filled with support and encouragement from fellow diverse artists. We’re out there, and it just is going to take a few more pushes to really make that known and appreciated.
So, stay tuned for more about the project!
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King