A statement from Liverpool Arab Arts Festival

We at Liverpool Arab Arts Festival stand firm in solidarity with those protesting against racism, anti-blackness, white supremacy, and state violence against George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rodney King and all those who have been attacked and murdered before and since. Alongside calling for justice abroad, we must do everything within our power to ensure racial justice and equality within our own communities and workplaces as well.

Our remit is to bring the best of traditional and contemporary Arab arts and culture to diverse audiences here in the UK and internationally. We are proud to collaborate with an incredibly diverse range of artists through our work, which includes black artists who are from or have heritage in the Middle East and North Africa*, who face discrimination at home and abroad. We are asking how we can build upon the work we do to actively fight racism and anti-blackness in the UK, the Arab world, and anywhere our work reaches. We have set up a team within our board whose active role is to ensure our festival is continually thinking about and acting on these questions, not just now but into the future.

We are working through the various resources available, and we are compiling a list that we will share with you and add to, including those that have been shared by other brilliant organisations. We are reflecting upon how we can meaningfully engage. We recognise there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach, and that true allyship is a lifelong commitment to learning and continual improvement.

*With knowledge that there are numerous ethnic and racial groups in the region, and that there is a lot of complexity around how people describe themselves