UpdatesPop culture & social change

BLM Fest launches this weekend!


Counterpoints Arts is delighted to be supporting the launch of BLM Fest — a festival amplifying Black creativity and activism. This festival will become an annual event presented as part of Black History Month UK.

Launch event – 3rd October 2021

BLM Fest believes “Black creativity can and should be enjoyed by everyone and not treated as a niche market, as is so often the case in mainstream institutions and businesses. BLM Fest is a celebration of Black lives, an invitation for everyone to take part and an exciting model of cultural production that fairly compensates Black people for their ideas, time and labour.”

Through our PopChange (Pop Culture and Social Change) initiative, we are supporting the BLM Fest initial launch being held this weekend (3rd October 2021, London). This event will be a space for Black artists, producers and change makers to connect and help shape the development of BLM Fest as it begins a year-long programme towards its first public festival in 2022. The launch will feature film, artists and networking, as well as an associated public screening at Rich Mix.

The invite-only launch event will be hosted by radio presenter Richie Brave, and feature artists Andella Shuggs, Reya Saint, Bronze Abloh and Toya Delazy, amongst others, as well as a special screening of ‘The Fade’ — a portrait of life from the barber’s chair by Andy Mundy-Castle.

Linking the Racial Justice, Migration and Cultural Sectors

BLM Fest is being spearheaded by Kayza Rose — creative producer, BLM activist and cultural leader. Kayza has over a decade of experience and leadership in creating change for Black and POC, and was featured in a recent research report on racial justice commissioned by Counterpoints Arts.

The Barriers and Opportunities to Meaningful Collaboration across the Arts, Migration and Racial Justice Sector’ (April 2021), written by Selina Nwulu, examines how these sectors navigate barriers and institutional power dynamics, and recommendations for enhanced cross-sectoral collaboration. Nwulu writes: “For organisations reckoning with their privilege, there needs to be an understanding that if anti-racist work is solely about educating white people and institutions, it still centres whiteness and does not help to rectify the ways in which living under oppressive structures have stifled the progress and talents of the BPOC community. Understanding how this privilege can be mobilised to support the work of BPOC collaborators is crucial.”

We’re proud to be an ally and support the launch of BLM Fest as it begins development of a Black-centred festival for 2022. As Naima from Inclusive Mosque articulates in the report, “Anti-racist work can’t be just about mobilising and educating non-black people, it has to be about joy and redistributing resources.

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Read Counterpoints Arts’ commissioned report The Barriers and Opportunities to Meaningful Collaboration across the Arts, Migration and Racial Justice Sector’ (Selina Nwulu, April 2021)

About PopChange

PopChange (Pop Culture & Social Change) is a pioneering initiative led by Counterpoints Arts exploring how the power of pop culture can be harnessed for social change in order to shift the way we talk, think and feel about migration and displacement in the UK. Together with a network of cultural innovators, creators, producers, funders and activists, we are championing new ideas and cross-sector collaborations.