Black folx and people of color are out making culture, like we always have been
since times immemorial. But white supremacist patriarchal capitalism has
upgraded itself and once again our cultural production is capitalised on, while
our bodies, well-being and communities are still expendable. Consumerism,
from the other side of the barbed wired fence, is extractivism. Extractivism -
getting the knowledge without caring for the people who produce it, thus
leaving holes in existence - is what white institutions are almost irredeemably
built to perpetrate, unless they have a strong will, purposeful practice and
vigilant understanding of redistribution and reparation.

From the moment you first contact the artist of color -in its pro-Black, pro-hoe,
femme-centric, anti academic, non-european, decolonial meaning- until our
arrival back to our “home”, there are numerous ways we are subjected to
gendered, racialized, corporative, corrective, institutional, financial, state and
police violence. Too often, white institution’s approach to understanding these
complicated realities takes a universal framework based on vague notions of
diversity, rather than a targeted approach relying on inquiry, analysis, criticality,
and reparation. Arts organizations implied in the holistic well being of the artist
of color and their community play a crucial role in fostering and amplifying our
work. Those who do not engage in extractivist behaviours that leave us
precarious and exhausted.




This guide is non exhaustive compilation of ways cultural institutions, public or
privately funded, where people in places of curatorial responsibility are
overwhelmingly white and/or light skinned, can and should and will have to
redistribute their material and immaterial resources when welcoming Black folx,
people of color and their audiences. It applies to a wide scope of sometimes
seemingly politically disparate settings that may utilise the white cube/black box
as display frame***, .such as museums, galleries, fondations, parties, workshops,
concert halls, theaters, URL platforms, universities, classrooms, community
centers, autonomous and/or self managed spaces etc. It is based on my own
experience and embodiment, so it is fundamentally incomplete. Hit me up if you
have more ideas on how to protect our presence in the white institution.



*Introduce yourself.

*Address what is the story of the institution in terms of supporting artists of color.

*Mention why you thought the artist of color’s work would be appropriate in the frame of a white institution.

*Contact the artist of color with an upfront proposal of how much you can pay them. 



*Always separate from this sum any amount needed for visas, flights, transport from and to the airport both in the departure country and in the arrival country, accommodation as well as a per diem for food and transport.

* If the artist needs a visa or permit to come to the white institution's country, take care of the bureaucracy. 

*Request their backstage needs. see: weed
Chances are your public is really white, middle aged, middle class, able bodied, cis-gendered, and predominantly male.

Ask yourself and your co-workers why this is.

Actively reach out towards audiences of color.
Listen to their needs.
Involve local artists of color in the devising of the event.
Pay them. 



A really effective strategy to dismantle and question the whiteness of the institution is organising a QTIAPOC event only, explicitly mentioning the need for self segregated spaces.

Another strategy is to organise the event outside of the white institution, still backed by the white institution. Invest in a local gathering spot where people of color don’t have to take public transport to the pretty/central neighborhoods.

The artist of color will have gone through the custom lines at the airport/station and will be stressed out.

Make sure to have a person with good vibes present to collect them from the station and take them to the venue, preferably a local person of color. The best option for the artist of color is to take a cab. We don’t want to be hauling our luggage* through the town only to be stopped and questioned by the police. Remember, we come from far. And so did our ancestors.

Organise the arrival so as to give the artist of color a few hours (preferably between 6h and 24h) before the start of their event/performance/workshop/dj set/concert/screening/training.

Let the security personnel know there will be an artist of color and their audience coming to the white institution so they don’t suspiciously follow us.

Have a quiet space ready for the artist of color to gather their thoughts and plug in their phone/computer.

Offer to give them time alone and/or with friends.

Always have water available. We need to stay hydrated.


* emotional and /or physical luggage. 

One
of the important things to think about when welcoming artists of color and they audience is what kind of infrastructure needs to accompany the event. People that can come to cultural events on, say, 4pm on a friday are people that are not at work/caring for children----> white people. Be ready to tackle these issues.

Make sure to make the events on dates and times that people of color working 9 to 5 can attend, like for example 7 to 10 pm, or week end days during the day.

Child care and food should be provided for free.

The events need to be free.

If the events are open 4 all, be in the room. Be present, and be checking white people and their entitlement to the artist of color’s time and energy. Don’t expect the artist of color to be the one to both hold the space and accommodate white fragility.

If the events are mixed, make sure to stay around the site in case of emergency. Gatherings like these can be trauma releasing since white people WILL center themselves.


Always ask the artist of color if they need assistance with documentation. Having a coherent, consensual trace of the artist of color’s passage is the white institution’s responsibility. For many of us, access to HD cameras, sound equipment and/or people available to document/edit is prohibitive. Make sure to support the artist of color’s access to appropriate documentation of their own work by setting up a time to discuss how to do this.

Chances are, if the event was open 4 all, that is was quite a taxing experience for the artist of color.

Make sure to make available a quiet space again for the artist of color to gather their thoughts and plug in their phone/computer.

Offer to give them time alone and/or with friends.

Always have water/snacks available. White fragility and entitlement dry us, drain us, and exhaust us. Soul and body nurture are needed after holding a space.

PAY ARTISTS FOR THEIR WORK. 
REMUNERATE ARTISTS FOR THEIR WORK. 
COMPENSATE (SUBSTANTIALLY) ARTISTS FOR THEIR WORK. 





This is valid even when the artist of color is not coming to the white
institution. If you only want the artist's work, YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY
THEM. 

Artists of color are often precarious, freelance and/or in different
intersectional levels of migration/transit processes. Some us have
accounts in crappy banks that charge us a lot for transactions.

Always ask which currency the artist of color prefer to be paid in. 
Ask if they would prefer to be payed in cash, if so do so right after the
event. 
Eventually you can use paypal, transferwise or bitcoins. 

A percentage of the payment before the event is always welcome.





We know the blueprint for building preeminent white arts institutions, 
   now lets do that for communities of color. Stop pretending its so hard. 
  You know what to do.
***
 


***Even a virtual publishing platform like www.newhive.com, facebook, twitter,
youtube, word, many operating systems, or the very Google Doc page I am
writing on right now are white institutions, because they utilise literal whiteness
as the starting point of creation. Why do you think the background is always
white?

There are countless interfaces we daily interact with, where white is presented as
a blank canvas.


This visual association between whiteness and "infinite potential" is ideological,
because it makes us think of white as default, as the quantum field, the “
everything-nothing”, as the place of creation. The artist of color knows the
quantum field is Black and femme.

It’s also proven that a black background saves untold amounts of energy. The use
of a white background is then not only ideological, but also economic. It creates
the waste and the debt that support capitalism. (petition for a black background
as the beggining point for creativity)