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.
*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
Below is a list of articles that we have found interesting both in articulating our own experiences as well as helping us learn and further our understanding:
Anti-Blackness In The Arab World And The Violence That Doesn’t Get A Hashtag
Putting Afro-Arabs On The Map: The British-Sudanese Artist Reimagining London As An Afrabian Enclave
Palestinian Actress Maryam Abu Khaled Slams Arab Racism In Viral Video
Black Iraqis Say George Floyd’s Death Sheds Light On Their Own Centuries-Long Plight
Bookmark This: Are Acronyms Like Bame A Nonsense?
Black Arab women tackle racist beauty ideals and stereotypes:
Too Black to Be Arab, Too Arab to Be Black:
Black Lives Matter in the Arab World too
How to be an ally
Francesca Leigh, 5 Tips for Being an Ally: https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Evelyn from the Internets, How To Be an Ally: https://www.youtube.com/watch?