Friday, 11 January, 2019

2019 kicks off with a hard hitting piece of activist art discussing racism, developed and created by young people on Thursday 11th and Friday 12th January. This is part of the David Raymond Conroy exhibition at Seventeen Gallery and is the culmination of work by a collaboration of young equality champions, supported by The Equality Trust, the national charity.  Young people from Bollo Brook Youth Centre in South Acton, Brighter Futures, who support young people with irregular immigration status in Bethnal Green, Caxton Youth Organisation, who support young people with disabilities in Pimlico and Worth Unlimited in Waltham Forest. These young equality champions recently met the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights (Nov 2018) and spoke to him about their experiences of discrimination and poverty in the UK.

This hard hitting and challenging artistic activism project was entirely devised and developed by participants to encourage discussion on the intersections of race and class in our divided society.  

The following paragraph is a summary of some of the content that has been incorporated into the exhibition.

Sonny, one of the participants, said:

"The interviews tell of young black men feeling they have the responsibility to prove themselves as ‘safe’ when entering white-dominated space, of young Somali women feeling fetishised by the Western gaze, of mixed-race young people like myself feeling excluded by both white and black people alike, and of white young people feeling shut out from conversations about race whilst also suffering racist abuse themselves. These tales of modern day racism will not find easy answers in good intentions or policy changes alone. It is only by asking ourselves difficult questions about our own conditioning and the role of race in ours and others’ experiences, like we have in the project, that we can really start to understand the role of race and racism in our society."

Executive Director of The Equality Trust, Dr Wanda Wyporska, said:

“I’m really proud of our Young Equality Campaigners and their courage in raising such difficult issues around race and inequality. In the space of a few months, they have created an important piece of activist art, spoken to the UN Special Rapporteur and submitted their views on poverty to the Department for Work and Pensions. They are making their voices heard and those in power would do well to listen to them.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

  1. For further information contact Dr Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director, The Equality Trust on 07837 909 418.
  2. Gallery details - The Seventeen, 270-276 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4DG. Opening times 11 - 6pm Thursday 11th and Friday 12th January, with an evening launch 6.30 - 9.30pm on the 11th January. Tickets can be booked here: (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/who-we-are-who-we-arent-tickets-54000346490)