Sun 15 Nov
- Fri 31 Dec
Barbican Theatre is an anti-racist organisation.
We are proud of everyone across the world who is demanding change and are committed to being an active ally for Black people in Plymouth, Devon, the South West, the UK and internationally.
The safety and livelihoods of Black people is not a trend, a passing black square or a distraction from C19. The Barbican Theatre is committed to doing our sustained share of the ongoing work to help make permanent changes worldwide.
Barbican Theatre had been using our closure as an opportunity to ask ourselves hard questions about how we support the growth of new creative voices and stories that might not otherwise be heard, and being an anti-racist organisation is core to that.
We have been working hard as a team since we had to close our doors in April to re-evaluate the Barbican Theatre’s role as an arts organisation that supports talent development for all. All creative exploration and ideas. Across demographics. Across the social-economic divide. Across the representation.
We are working across our collaborators and community to make sure that in all our work and actions moving forward Barbican Theatre is diverse, accessible and an equal and safe space for all.
We all have a right to live, to be seen, to be heard, to be respected and to have a future.
Barbican Theatre has been working across Plymouth for 40 years- but we promise not to become complacent. What does the Barbican staff and board team look like? How do we work? Who are we working with? Does this work benefit all of us?
- not make Black artists carry the labour for us during this time – the onus is on everyone to learn and respond
- continue to programme Black creatives and creatives with protected characteristics – never sidelined in their own strands, but part of our main offer
- create a code of conduct for all of our partners to sign up to before any agreement begins.
- work proactively with the cultural sector of Plymouth and partners nationally and internationally to fight racism in all its forms and build a fair cultural sector for the future
- make sure our work is affordable and accessible for all.
- make sure our buildings are equal and safe spaces for everyone.
- make sure all creative voices are given a chance to be heard, to have a future.
- continue to pay our freelancers decent rates and pay them quickly
- continue our commitment to offer talent development opportunities for free to creatives and groups with protected characteristics
- offer our support by providing access to our resources, equipment and digital skills
- keep going outside of our space to collaborate with under-served communities
- provide unconscious bias training for all staff
- continue to work hard diversifying and developing our board membership
- ensure Black creative professionals are part of our evaluation and review process
- evaluate and publish our performance on an annual basis
We ask you, our friends and community to join with us to keep listening, reading and learning.
We ask you, our friends and community to join with us to keep amplifying, platforming and supporting Black creatives and creatives with protected characteristics.
In solidarity, because we all have a right to live, to be seen, to be heard, to be respected and to have a future.
Laura Kriefman, CEO, Barbican Theatre
(With thanks to Site Gallery, in Sheffield whose own example has helped us find the words to share with you our ongoing commitment to anti-racism)
They have also put together a brilliant set of resources which we’ve added to and would like to share with you:
Your Silence Will Not Protect You, Audre Lorde
Parable series, Octavia Butler
Kindred, Octavia Butler
Octavia’s Brood, edited by adrienne maree brown and Walidah Imarisha
Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism, bell hooks
Me and White Supremacy, Layla F Saad
Black Britain: A Photographic History, Paul Gilroy
Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, Afua Hirsch
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, Reni Eddo-Lodge
How To Be an Anti Racist, Ibram X. Kendi
The Good Immigrant, Edited by Nikesh Shukla
People/publications to follow:
Gal-dem magazine: an online and print publication committed to sharing perspectives from women and non-binary people of colour
Bitchmedia: contemporary feminist magazine highlighting Black Women and Women of Colour
ROOT-ed Zine: Independent zine & social platform for North West BAME creatives
Some great lists:
Funds for Black Artists: