In recognition of the global movement that is challenging police brutality against Black people and in support of the work that needs to be done at every level of society in becoming truly anti-racist, Dance Base Scotland is proud to be part of the Black Lives Matter Scottish Mural Trail, created by Wezi Mhura and collaborators.
For Dance Base, Mhura chose artist Shona Hardie to emblazon the main gates to the Grassmarket venue with a powerful new mural – a response to the quote from American comedian and activist Amanda Seales:
‘You cannot enjoy the rhythm and ignore the blues’
Mhura and Hardie considered what would be appropriate as a mural for Dance Base and chose the quote and theme for the artwork together, in consideration of the idea that everything we love is influenced by other cultures, and that nowhere is that seen more clearly than in dance.
Dance Base Scotland: Anti-Racist Commitments
Dance Base is working to become a truly anti-racist organisation and will announce a series of commitments at the end of June to cement those efforts and to ensure accountability. Those commitments will be a reflection of the shortcomings already identified through discussion with BAME and POC dance artists and through previous training sessions in anti-racism and allyship and will include channels for further feedback to be given safely, along with paid opportunities for Black dance artists to shape the future of the organisation. As with all primarily white arts organisations in the UK, we have not done enough, and we are going to change that.
Black Lives Matter Scottish Mural Trail
In response to the recent international outpouring of support for Black Lives Matter, following the killing of George Floyd in USA, Scotland’s BAME artists are stepping up, supported by leading arts organisations. As part of a Scotland-wide event, murals will be popping up from Monday 15 June, with displays on a dozen arts venues and sites across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness, with many more to follow.
Art is powerful and at a time when all Scotland’s venues are closed for the foreseeable future, they can still have a voice by offering their walls and doors to be used for this dramatic, vital statement of support for Black Lives Matter.
The artworks – colourful, challenging, moving, powerful and diverse – inspired by the themes of I Can’t Breathe and Black Lives Matter, will be created by artists from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, all living in Scotland. Several will be supported by additional exhibitions with local relevance. They will be in a variety of media including paint, photography, video and digital art, in a wide range of styles, including fine art, street art, text, illustrative and abstract.
The artists come from a wide range of backgrounds (including Cape Verde, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan/Harris, USA), some trained, some self-taught, combining youth and experience, individuals and artist collectives – all uniquely talented. All will be large scale and hard to miss! The trail is the brainchild of Edinburgh based creative producer Wezi Mhura (Iron Oxide, Struileag (Commonwealth Games 2014), AfriFest, Edinburgh International Festival) a specialist in large scale events, who pulled the idea together in just over a week, with the support of venues and arts organisations including Edinburgh International Festival, Dance Base Scotland, Queen’s Hall Edinburgh, Eden Court Theatre, Glasgow’s King’s Theatre and Theatre Royal, and many more.
Find out more:
Download the full press release for the Black Lives Matter Scottish Mural Trail below