• New web-series delves into prejudice faced by people of colour in the Australian arts industry and encourages ethnically diverse creatives to be loud and proud (NITV News)Source: NITV News
A new web-series is saying “f*** you” to the ‘token black role’ and instead promoting People of Colour in the Australian arts industry.
By
Laura Morelli

1 Nov 2017 - 4:19 PM  UPDATED 1 Nov 2017 - 4:19 PM

These prominent Australian creatives and performers are sick of seeing the People of Colour becoming stereotyped in the arts; the Aboriginal character getting locked up in jail, the Chinese person working at the take-away, the African man living in the slums.

They are sick of seeing non-white always play the side role, never the lead role.

Art in Colour, a new web series, delves into the prejudice faced by People Of Colour and encourages ethnically diverse creatives to claim their space in the mainstream arts landscape. 

Produced by ‘For The Love of Good’ - a newly-found creative collective that instigates positive change through creative projects and works across multi-media platforms to create projects and campaigns designed to spark crucial conversatons about important social issues within society that the nation needs to be aware of.

Founder Anisha Senaratne, says believes art in all its forms, has incredible power to shift people’s perspectives and inspire action.

“We want young POC artists to feel welcome in an industry that too often doesn’t consider them as equal contenders,” the founder Ms Senaratne said.

Multidisciplinary artist, Kat Clarke, a Wotjobaluk woman from Wimmera is a featured artist in the series, who known for her work at The Department of Education, The Wheeler Centre, RISE for Refugees and the Emerging Writers’ Festival.

Kat believes the next generation needs to be able to relate to positive, black role models in order to dream big and achieve even bigger.

“These kids need to see it. They need to know that you’re there, they need to see your face in community, they need to see that you’re out there advocating for them and being a voice with them.”

Performance artist, Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa, a young leader within Australia’s Sikh community says is passionate about representation of diverse faces in the media.

“F*** the system and f*** the spaces that have made us into the taxi driver, the doctor, or the side Indian hairy girl - but never the lead girl,” Ms Khalsa said.

“I feel like that narrative is the only narrative that people are comfortable with.”

Sukhjit believes there are so many more narratives to be told.

“It’s up to us to actually speak our stories before someone else grabs it and does it.”

Sasha Chong, a Musical theatre Performer and co-founder of DisColourNation says people of colour need to be given that platform to become inspiring, positive role models in power.

“If you don’t see someone that looks like you doing something then I suppose there’s no idea in your head that you can do it.”

Writer of fiction and non-fiction, Rajith Savanadasa says certain groups of people who aren’t represented much aren’t valued as much.

“That’s the point the Black Lives Matter movement is trying to get across… I hope this project gives people, especially young people, the confidence to explore their inner lives–to realise that their experiences are worthy and interesting and can be the basis of a successful career in the arts.”

Actor and theatre-maker, Sonya Suares wants to know, "who are the we when we tell our stories? The arts does not have an economic bottom line it has a social bottom line. It is about storytelling,” she said.

The series Art in Colour launches today at For the Love of Good's Facebook page 4pm with a new episode being featured every Wednesday in November. 

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