An invitation from Abe Popoola, actor.
I'm an actor just graduated from RADA and have been frustrated with the homogenisation of people of colours and their diverse stories within dramatic art. Though there is commonality in being victims of a white supremacist society, I know that my history of a first British Nigerian is not the same as that of a first generation British Jamaican, Indian, Vietnamese and nor is my future, so why should our stories be? The label of BAME in acting means we often see a performers colour before we see their art, their stories and I want that to change.
What in the hell is BAME? I don't like it and insults me. It's a paradox. A word that was born from the lack of representation of people of colour in many fields, including our own that also serves as an excuse for the lack of representation of people of colour. Black, Asian, minority ethnic? Since when has being black meant being a minority? And since when has being Asian meant the same thing? Why are so many different and diverse cultures being slung together in the same queue for rations of representation? Is the term BAME limiting and accurate? And are the albeit good intentioned meanings behind it actually very dangerous. An industry that produces dramatic art that is beamed around GLOBALLY has somehow convinced us that being white and middle class is the state of being for the majority of the earth. Yet there have been more immortal alien time lords on BBC than there have been black protagonists in ANY universe. You might believe that representation in TV, Film & Theatre is representative of the demographic of the UK. Or that there isn't enough time or space for everybody's story to be told. But this year the internet went mad for a penguin's humanity after its partner had left him for another penguin in a sequel to a show called Planet Earth. There is space. There is time. Are we always going to be second best to penguins and Dr Who's as long as we allow ourselves to be perceived merely as Acronyms?
Language is important. Come discuss and debate the language of diversity and the words others choose and we choose to describe ourselves. Come, come with your own questions, with your own words, with your own gripes, ideas, challenges and visions for the future. Come.
This event is free but space is limited so please reserve your place.
Produced in partnership with Tiata Fahodzi, RTYDS, 20 Stories High, Talawa, Freedom Studios, ITC
Supported by Arts Council England