As part of Black History Month we at ECA are pleased to showcase Wezi Mhura’s project the Black Lives Matter Mural Trail. As the Creative Director of the project, Wezi has worked with artists from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds to create murals for sites around Edinburgh and other cities in Scotland. The murals raise important questions, both historical and contemporary, about the politics of race in Scotland as well as the visibility of BAME creative practitioners in the cultural landscape. These are highly significant issues for us at ECA, where we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and acknowledge that action is required to raise awareness and redress racism and discrimination within our own institution and beyond.
We acknowledge that action is required to address racism and discrimination within our own institution and have made this a priority within our remit.
The burden of responsibility to advocate for and enact this change should not fall to BAME communities but to all of us. In order to support self-reflection and further education we list here a starting point for further reading.
Links to support:
- University of Edinburgh Chaplaincy >
- The Advice Place >
- Support and guidance for students who have experienced racial harassment or a hate crime >
- Guidance for students and staff on reporting and dealing with racial harassment hate crime >
- University of Edinburgh EDI Self Directed Learning Resources >
- Black Lives Matter - Toolkits >
- How Stuart Hall Exposed the Racist Agenda Behind ‘Harmless’ British Humour >
A 1979 televisual essay by the cultural theorist offers insight into black politics and representational struggle in the British media
- Peggy McIntosh. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack >
- Art for a Few : Exclusion and Misrecognition in Art and Design Higher Education Admissions >
- Howardena Pindell "Free, White and 21 1980" >
- Cornel West: What It Means to Be Human >
- Remembering Whitney M. Young Jr.'s Landmark Speech (1968) The Journal of American Institute of Architects, May 2018 >
- Sharable Anti-racism Guide collated by @yokoyamateh >
- Race in Britain: the best books to help understand. The Guardian, August 2019 >
Killing of George Floyd
Further to the University of Edinburgh statement on the brutal killing of George Floyd, Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) recognises its responsibility to speak out and address the issues of racism and discrimination that have been highlighted by (but are not limited to) recent events in the US. We need to make it clear that we support the calls made by students to address racism and discrimination within our own institution and recognise the suffering BAME students and staff are currently experiencing.
We also have the responsibility to make sure that the things we say are followed up by actions that are supported by the planning, resources and determination required to make a palpable difference, and that our way forward is informed through listening and active consultation with those most impacted by inequality. There are several examples of such dialogue across ECA and the broader University, but we recognise that at ECA we should be doing much more, and are committed to engaging in meaningful consultation to ensure that BAME students and staff are central to developing objectives and actions which we will embed in our ECA institutional plans and achieve through careful planning and dedicated resources. We will be working through the next weeks and months on a more extensive and detailed declaration of intent.
Professor Juan Cruz, ECA Principal
Statement posted 4 June 2020