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To be clear, Black Lives Matter. To be crystal clear, Site Gallery is an actively anti-racist space. 

If that makes you uncomfortable, please stop reading now. Unfollow us across social media – no need to visit us when we reopen. Thank you.

Like the rest of you, we’ve been watching the world demand change. While the process of change can be distressing and difficult, it’s ultimately hopeful and heartening. Something to take solace in. Site Gallery supports the protests – and the learning and the listening that’s been taking place these past weeks. We hope this time that changes are permanent – the safety and livelihoods of Black people is not a trend, a black square on your Instagram feed or a distraction from C19.

Alright, so what do Site Gallery do?

We do the work, to a degree – but we could absolutely do more. We’re not going to tokenistically list all the Black artists, companies and partners we’ve worked with here as a handy checklist that seemingly-absolves us from doing more or doing better. And yes, our Artistic Director Sharna Jackson is one of the few black female directors under 40 in the UK – but this is not her issue – dismantling systemic inequality is a process all of us need to partake in.

How is Site Gallery going to make change?

This is the moment to rebuild and restructure arts organisations – what they look like, how they work, how they benefit all of us. Let’s do that. We welcome the opportunity, and we work with intention.  

Our Plan

Below is a live list of the work we have planned. We’re likely to add new initiatives so check back if you are so inclined. Work will be grouped into things we can offer across short, medium and long-term timelines.

We will:

  • 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 artists and artists with protected characteristics – never sidelined in their own strands, but part of our main offer
  • continue our new Site Salons strand, providing a platform for debate (if you want to work with us on this, reach out we pay £250 for this work)
  • create a code of conduct for all of partners to sign up to before any agreement begins. This will be published here once finalised – feel free to repurpose it
  • work proactively with the cultural sector of Sheffield and partners nationally and internationally to fight racism in all its forms and build a fair cultural sector for the future
  • continue to pay our freelancers decent rates and pay them quickly
  • continue our commitment to offer our spaces for free to artists and groups with protected characteristics
  • offer our support by providing access to our resources, equipment and digital skills
  • keep going outside of our gallery 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 artists and arts professional are part of our evaluation and review process
  • evaluate and publish our performance on an annual basis

We ask you to keep listening. Reading. Learning. Keep amplifying, platforming and supporting Black artists. Donating directly to campaigning organisations is brilliant – if you have the means. But most of all, keep this energy up.

In solidarity,
Site Gallery

Resources
Reading:

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

Decolonising Utopia Resource list: A list of resources highlighting Black, Indigenous and decolonial studies including articles, books, artists and musicians.

 

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

Walidah Imarisha: also listen to her liberated archives talk

Dawn Walton

Eclipse Theatre

Museum Detox

Black Cultural Archives

Chardine Taylor-Stone

UK Black Creatives Database

Black Arts/Creative/Community Organisations

1800+ Black Producers/Artists/Labels for Bandcamp Day

UK Charities / Organisations supporting Black people

 

Some great lists:

Extensive list of donations, petitions and contact links

Skindeep Mag

Crack Magazine

Sheffield Flourish

 

Funds for Black Artists:

Guap

Creative Debuts

Black Ticket Project

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