Black Lives Matter Statement: 24 July 2020


  • Last updated

BACKLIT supports the Black Lives Matter movement. We stand against racial injustice and police brutality.

As a community-based arts organisation, we realise the importance of building and maintaining a culture that permanently embeds social justice and anti-racism through our words, our actions and our environment. BACKLIT acknowledges that we must take accountability, responsibility and action to continually eradicate racist culture.

We must be held accountable.

BACKLIT is committed to changing art culture. We are committing to addressing overdue conversations, and to increase visibility, programming opportunities, support and collaborations for Black Artists. It is our responsibility to ensure that we reflect the diverse communities of Nottingham. We will continue to collaborate with our local community and community leaders to do this.

Before releasing this statement, we have been actively consulting with our Members, Community Ambassadors and Trustees to form actions that will help to uplift and platform marginalised people. Here are our immediate commitments:

  • We are offering free BACKLIT Associate Membership to Black Artists and Artists of Colour. We recognise that the arts community is diverse and intersectional and that language can be problematic. Artists of Colour who do not fit into a specific ‘grouping’ will not be discriminated against when they apply. We want you to be part of our creative community.
  • We will produce a collaborative exhibition with Black community groups, organisations and creative practitioners to provide a platform for meaningful conversations.
  • We will continue to offer paid opportunities for Black Artists and Artists of Colour to deliver talks and workshops.
  • We will use our platform to share resources both on and offline, and actively incorporate film, literature and audio into our programme to educate and promote anti-racism and uplift Black Artists and Artists of Colour.
  • We will use our platform to elevate Black Artists and Artists of Colour in the East Midlands, the UK and internationally.

We are updating our Equality, Diversity & Inclusivity Policy and Action Plan which will be published on our website in the next few weeks. This will include measurable targets against which we can be held accountable by our Board, our funders and you. We aim to ensure our organisation better reflects the highly diverse city of Nottingham in which we work.

These are just the first steps and this is an ongoing dialogue. We welcome comments, feedback and criticism. Please contact our Director, Matthew Chesney at [email protected]

As individuals and collectively, the BACKLIT community supports the Black Lives Matter movement wholeheartedly.

Matthew Chesney

Director, BACKLIT