life after May 2020

Aug 11, 2022

Recently, someone asked me to complete a survey about my racist experiences in the arts, sigh

Them: I just wanted to flag this survey, which closes on the 28 July. It’s coming from a genuine place. Hopefully you’ve already clocked it.

Me: I did see the survey, I made the decision not to complete it for these reasons: I have too many racist experiences to mention over my years in the arts (and in the world), which are often too painful to recount; and in all honesty I’ve been filling in these kinds of forms for years and I’ve now reached saturation point. What I would find more helpful and progressive is if people completed a survey to recount incidences where they expressed racist attitudes or acted on racist assumptions. I totally understand the survey is coming from a good place and I sincerely hope it helps yield the vital social transformation so many of us are longing to witness and experience.

Them: Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on this survey. Would you be okay if I fed those back anonymously to CVAN – particularly your second point? I suspect a lot of people feel as turned off as you do about another survey like this.

Me: I would say that people are more than turned off, people are exhausted and fragile, and do not want to be re-traumatised. We have, without doubt, moved beyond the point of colourful people recounting our racist experiences. It’s time to have conversations about accountability, we’ve said and done enough. You can share my points with CVAN and I’m happy to be cited – it’ll make things easier for me if people know where I stand on this issue.