Welcome Jack Sheppard (Tagalaka Clan) and Bigoa Chuol to the Creatives of Colour team! You can read more about Jack and Bigoa, here.
We launched our research findings from interviewing 60 creatives of colour. You can find the full report, here.
You can watch Creatives of Colour's strategic advisor, Rani Pramesti, speak to this research as part of the Australia Council for the Arts' Creative Connections series, here.
We hold regular events for creative First nations mobs, Black-identifying folx and people of colour to explore new skills, connections and ideas.
About Creatives of Colour
Creatives of Colour* is a shared space and online platform for creative people of colour, by creative people of colour, based on Kulin Country (Melbourne).
Our vision is for supportive, well-resourced, joyous and thriving creative communities of colour.
We prioritise First Nations, Black-identifying people and people of colour in the work that we do.
We create spaces for people to explore new skills, connections and ideas.
We pay people for the work that they do.
We actively prioritise mental health, healing and joy.
We work with partners who respect our self-determination and our values.
We listen and respond to the voiced needs, concerns and call-ins /call-outs of those we work with.
We listen to and acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s voices.
Accessibility: We strive to support every person’s ability to engage with our work.
Community: We trust people. We hold one another accountable.
Compassion: We treat ourselves and each other with care, including practising respectful boundaries. We are aware that people and communities we work with often hold deep trauma. We make sure that our bodies are well fed and well rested, in order to do our work.
Decolonization: We actively support First Nations’ self-determination in “the arts”. Our engagement with “the arts” is aligned with respecting First Nations’ Elders, community, spirituality, and paying respect to country.
Experimentation: We are aware of the problems we face. We trial solutions. We are open to failing.
Transparency: We make time to share our processes with the communities we work with.
We are open to our Vision, Mission and Values statements evolving as we evolve.
Origins of Creatives of Colour
Creatives of Colour was originally conceived by Rani Pramesti and co-facilitated with Komang Rosie Clynes.
Creatives of Colour is our attempt at maintaining hope in the face of white supremacist oppression in the ‘Australian’ arts sector and the dire statistics that mirror these structural inequalities. (See for example, Diversity Arts Australia’s Shifting the Balance report.)
Solidarity vs Erasure
*We intend ‘Creatives of Colour’ to be a term of solidarity across a spectrum of racialized identities, bodies and lived experiences, to unite creative communities of colour in our struggles.
However, Creatives of Colour’ is NOT intended to erase the distinct differences between the experiences of First Nations, Black-identifying folx and people of colour more broadly.
We also want to acknowledge that the struggle of First Nations people for sovereignty is a unique struggle. (Thank you to one of our first interviewees, Eugenia Flynn, for articulating this point so clearly.)
Let's rise up, together!
Please reach out if you’re interested in working together, on any of our social media and also on email: creativesofcolourAU@gmail.com
"I have tried to create spaces, rather than say "You're not giving me space in your institution or your pathway". I'm actually trying to find another alternate space altogether. And this is where I do feel we're taught as artists that there is a lack and there is less. But I actually believe that we can create more. We can actually absolutely create more spaces if we choose it, if we find pathways, if we work together rather than against each other. I really do think we can create those pathways."
"I sometimes wonder about the term "people of colour". I get it as an umbrella term - I think that it speaks a lot more to race politics overseas than it does here. And I think that, for me, particularly as an Indigenous woman, that identifying as First Nations is important because that is about sovereignty. That is about connection to Country. And that also is about a really unique perspective, a really unique identity, a unique struggle, that if you lump all people of colour together, really erases that. And if we're talking about Australia, the central issue in Australia is about that takeover, or that denial, of First Nations people's sovereignty to have the state of Australia over the top."
"Your artistry is your child.. This is years of understanding this: the most beautiful part of me is my child, and your child is your spontaneity, your creativity. And if she doesn't want to go to work, it's like, "Oh my God, we're going to look like shit today. Please come to work!""