We Are Here, a new creative platform supporting and amplifying the voices of Black and other underrepresented minority artists and creatives from Scotland, has just been launched.
Founded by Aberdeen-based Ica Headlam, the Community Interest Company has already been praised for highlighting a number of notable BIPOC artists and creatives including Sarra Wild (OH141), Bemz, Sekai Machache, Our Lovely Goods, Black Scot Pod, Brownbear, Zoe Daniel, Be United World, Courtney Ama Stoddard, Tomiwa Folorunso, and journalist Tasnim Nazeer.
Representation in the arts
One aim of the platform will be to show the importance of representation and equal treatment within the arts including conversations about racism within the UK.
‘We Are Here Scotland came about through my sheer frustration of seeing the constant a lack of consistent BIPOC representation within Scotland’s creative industries whilst also recognising that there needs to be a platform in which we are given the chance to showcase ourselves, connect and seek funding and grant opportunities.
For me, it’s been a number of things being located in Aberdeen that can often mean that the work I’ve done over the years doesn’t come under the radar of interest from other cities in Scotland. I’ve also struggled to get any press within Aberdeen even though I have hosted a podcast for two and half years promoting North East artists and creatives.
I’ve had a lot of conversations with BIPOC artists and creatives and we have all noted that we face constant barriers in terms of funding and employment opportunities within Scotland. There are also hurdles when it comes to the recognition of our work and people not valuing our time.’
We Are Here grant
We Are Here is creating a fund with a recurring monthly application where two BIPOC artists/creatives can apply for a one-off £500 grant each towards their practice and professional development. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to work towards this. Funding can be used for – among other things – new equipment, residencies, individual projects, collaborative projects, exhibitions, and showcases.
The aim is to reach as many people across Scotland as possible and avoid the typical focus on the central belt. They have further plans to create online events to provide people with knowledge, skills, and networking opportunities for the community and, crucially, to pay its panellists fairly.
People are encouraged to contribute or get involved if they have skills and time they feel would be beneficial for the organisation.
The GoFundMe for We Are Here Scotland’s Creators Fund is now live.
To donate, please visit: bit.ly/WeAreHereFund