A new creative platform called We Are Here has been launched to support and amplify the voices of Black and underrepresented minority artists and creatives from Scotland.
Founded by Aberdeen-based creative practitioner Ica Headlam, the Community Interest Company has already been praised widely for highlighting a number of notable BIPOC artists and creatives across its social media platforms 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.
We Are Here also aims to show the importance of representation and equal treatment within the arts including conversations about racism within the UK.
Headlam explains: “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 have also announced the We Are Here Creators Fund, a fund with a recurring monthly application in which two BIPOC artists/creatives can apply for a one-off £500 grant each towards their practice and professional development.
A GoFundMe campaign has been started to work towards this with an aim of providing applicants with funding opportunities that will help them progress in their professional development whether that be funding for: new equipment, residencies, individual projects, collaborative projects, exhibitions and showcases. There is also a goal to reach as many people across Scotland as possible and not for the focus to be placed typically on the country’s central belt.
With further plans to create online events and networking opportunities, we encourage you to get behind this great initiative. You can donate to the GoFundMe campaign HERE.
Visit the official We Are Here website HERE.