All in a few months, Australia has seen bushfires, and the global events of the COVID-19 pandemic (and subsequent lockdown), and now the Black Lives Matter protests.
And while many people may try to argue the Black Lives Matter problem isn't an Australian problem, Australia does have a massive Aboriginal incarceration rate (up around 30 percent) and a racism problem. And unlike the bushfires or pandemic problems, the #BlackLivesMatter movement is an issue we can (and should) all support, both locally and internationally. We will feature local Indigenous/Aboriginal artists separately in a future story, also focusing on the racism issue here in Australia.
Here we've gathered a list of artists (or archives dedicated to preserving the work of those) who identify as Black or people of colour (POC) in varying mediums, all determined activists in their mediums pushing for their voices to be heard. To directly support these artists and more, please buy directly from the artists and avoid corporate produced art. When sharing their work via word of mouth or online, remember to credit and link their work to social media/website where possible. Below there are collectives, magazines and further anti-racism resources in a document compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein.
This is only a short list of talented artists all worth checking out, but please take this as a starting point to also research further on activists, collectives, artists, authors and creators of all fields to support.
Kara Walker (@kara_walker_official) - Fine artist/Filmmaker
Nina Chanel Abney (@ninachanel) - Painter
Lorna Simpson (@lornasimpson) - Photographer/Multimedia artist
Wesley Clark (@wesleyclarkart) - Fine artist
Carrie Mae Weems (@carriemaeweems) - Fine artist
Nick Cave (@nickcaveart) - Wearable art/Sculptor
Toyin Ojih Odutola (@toyinojihodutola) - Mixed Media Artist
Mickalene Thomas (@mickalenethomas) Artist/Photographer/Filmmaker/Curator
Salaam Muhammad (@artistsalaam) - Artist/lllustrator
Jade Pearl (@jadepearl_) - Artist/Illustrator
Michael Armitage (@manairobi) - Fine artist
Nikkolas Smith (@nikkolas_smith) - ConceptArtist/Author/Illustrator
Kevin Williams (@artbywak) - Fine artist
Raheim Milton (@raheim_milton) - Painter
Bisa Butler (@bisabutler) - Fiber artist
Obi Arisukwu (@obiarus) - Illustrator/cartoonist
Black Zines to check out
AfroStyleMagz - African MultiCultural/Racial Fashion magazine exploring diverse complexities and unique styles of the diaspora.
Preme.Magazine - a Independent Black Owned magazine available in print and digital formats with purely creative editorial content.
CrwnMag - telling the world the truth about Black women by showcasing a new standard of beauty and documenting their story in tangible, print form.
Galdem Zine - online and print publication committed to sharing perspectives from women and non binary people of colour.
Resources to find out more
@youngblackartists - a community of young creatives with one thing in common: gaining exposure
@blkgirlculture - for conversations relevant to and curated by Black girls since 2014
@blackcreatorsmatter - an educational and networking platform set up to connect black content creators from all over the world.
@blackartistspace - featuring visual art by Black artists
mauriceberger.com - who’s research is grounded in the racism of the art world.
Anti-Racism Resources - document including resources for parents, books/articeles to read, organisations to follow, films/videos to watch, podcasts, compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein in May 2020.
Amplify their voices and remember that we must keep continuing to long after they slow down the news reports on the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Only with a steady (however slow) progression of understanding and active practices, can we overcome the war on racism and create this much-needed change.