FORMAT & QUAD stand in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

On behalf of FORMAT & QUAD we would wholeheartedly like to reiterate that we stand in solidarity against discrimination and aim to work on the eradication of discrimination in society and the cultural sector.

As an organisation our mission is to “Make art, film, photography and digital media accessible to all” it is with this in mind we restate our commitment.

We would like to publicly and unequivocally acknowledge that Black Lives Matter and condemn the violence and discrimination that black people endure, in the UK and globally. There is no place for discrimination of any kind in our society.

We accept that we are on a journey to challenge, improve and always do more to make our programme accessible and our understanding of the life experiences and challenges of communities  greater.

FORMAT is world leading biennale and year round programme focussed on photography and QUAD is an international centre for contemporary art and film. Through our multiple strands of education, exhibition, film, training, participation, residencies, and festival programmes, we will continue to work to champion, embrace and engender cultural diversity. Locally based and internationally engaged, we will endeavour to make sure that cultural diversity is continually addressed and proactively facilitated throughout the creative economy.

We acknowledge that there is much work to be done within our industry to promote and advocate equality. FORMAT & QUAD, has much to do and learn but also has the power through our programmes to explore the relationship between art and society, and to facilitate the contribution of culturally diverse black voices within this agenda. Indeed, arts centres and programmes such as ours should openly embrace debate and offer a public forum to examine social and political critique through art.

As an organisation we acknowledge that there is more to do and that change is a dynamic process.  Our programme and policies will be continually updated in order to eradicate systemic bias. FORMAT & QUAD will continue to amplify our intentions through proactively developing the work that we do by:

Continuing our work to diversify our exhibitions, as well as funding new opportunities to amplify the voices and creativity of Black artists.

Accelerating our current work to promote positive change for Black artists and marginalised audiences.

Increasing our commitment to featuring, commissioning and supporting Black creatives as an integrated part of our programming. (These programmes are already underway)

Ensuring that our artistic programme includes development opportunities that foster the skills of new cultural leaders from under-represented communities.

Continuing to engage culturally diverse young people and communities to facilitate the exchange of knowledge to promote a more conscientiously informed, considerate and collaborative society.

Diversity will always be at the heart of FORMAT & QUAD, and we acknowledge that we are accountable for the way that inequality is addressed within our work. We are open to our communities and welcome feedback: [email protected]

These are some resources that we have found informative:

Black Lives Matter resources

Akala addresses Oxford Union

Mutual Aid

Black Artists Grants

The Personal is Political. Helen Starr in conversation with Azu Nwagbogu

Black artists’ collective

John Akomfrah in conversation with Tina Campt, Ekow Eshun, Saidiya Hartman