To breathe. That word has taken on new meaning in the global wake up call of the last few weeks. A wake up call that was way, way overdue. That should never have had to take place to begin with.
The creation of this agency has been possible in an overwhelmingly large part because of my (Chiara, hello) white privilege. The structures this agency moves in are steeped in systemic white supremacy. And the music that inspired it all is Black. Culture co-opted by white people, like me. It’s an uncomfortable truth.
It’s not my intention to center myself in this conversation because I want Likes, or to be on topic, or pity for my discomfort (gross). But I’ve heard quite a few stories of event industry individuals saying “Yes but I’m not the issue here” as an excuse for doing nothing at this pivotal time. And I want to be clear on this. You ARE the issue.
Every company is made up of individuals, and to change the system we have to take our individual responsibility. Here are the things I am doing to be a better anti-racist. I’m sharing them here because these things will 100% affect the way this agency will work in future. And because maybe one of you will be nudged into action too.
I am: - Educating myself. If you would like me to share my reading list with you, slide into our DMs. If you are based in Amsterdam and financially unable to buy these books, also slide into our DMs. We can share. - Delving deeper into understanding the music and cultures I celebrate in my work and personal life - Celebrating black achievements, black joy, black creativity just as much as I read up on slavery, systemic racism and white fragility. To focus only on black suffering is also unjust - Having difficult conversations with white friends and colleagues, and not getting fired up when facing racism. Rather, focusing on being effective in these conversations. - Sitting with discomfort. The unlearning doesn’t feel good. The only way out is through. - Practising non defensiveness. Examining all the “Yeah but”s that come up in my mind. - Feeling the fear of getting it wrong bubble up as I am about to click “post” on these types of messages, and posting them anyway rather than chickening out. If I fuck up, I will face, embrace and learn from the consequences. - Reaching out to people of colour I’m close to to acknowledge the pain this time must be bringing up for them, and offer them loving support, without expectation of anything in return. Do this. Make your love known. It’s important. - Going to marches and protests. - Going to events, galleries and talks that feature but don’t tokenise POC and their work. - Making events I (co)produce more accessible to marginalised folx. - Working with companies who actively employ anti-racist, inclusive strategies (currently developing a survey to be sent along with booking information requests for this). - NOT working with companies and brands who have engaged in racist practices and not made proper repairs for their actions. - Booking trains over flights, and local gigs over international gigs, and using plastic-free riders. The crossover between racism and global warming is real and huge.
If you have any other ideas you’d like to share with me - hit me up.
Ok and that’s enough from me. And now I'll go back to posting about all the wonderful things our beautiful collective of artists has been up to.
Big love, Chiara