Anti-racism work | May 2022

This is an update on our anti-racism work, sharing the work we have done so far and what is planned for the rest of this year.

We have reviewed all areas of our programme and working practices to understand and name which parts of our work perpetuate racism and inequality and where we hold power. This process involved us mapping out, identifying and critically looking at all of the processes and systems in place in our organisation that impact how we (broadly) work with artists, select artists for opportunities and commissions and support artists’ professional development.

These are the actions that result from this initial review. These actions aim to address the first areas of our work that we can immediately improve upon:

Unconscious bias

We want to ensure that we address our unconscious biases and expand our knowledge of the practices of artists of colour, at all career stages, through a programme of paid studio visits. This aims to focus our attention on promoting, supporting and developing artists of colour who are based in Scotland.

We have designated a member of our team to lead on anti-racism to embed this work into our organisational structures in the long-term. They plan monthly team meetings and quarterly all-day sessions where we focus on specific areas of work within our framework for the year. We have added a commitment to anti-racism to all of our job descriptions and this work will be prioritised during our annual reviews.

We have all attended unconscious bias training (and will continue to do so on an annual basis) and continue to attend training events in line with our individual responsibilities e.g inclusivity training for line managers.

Demographic data and our anti-racism work

We want the data that we collect to help us deliver real change. We also want to go beyond what is required of us as recipients of public funding, in part as we recognise that structural flaws in the entire system of reporting on, collating and analysing diversity data in the UK cultural sector have resulted in a system that lacks accountability.

It is really important that we can track our own progress (both from year to year and in the longer term) towards achieving our aims to become more representative and build a better, more equitable and ethnically diverse artists’ moving image sector that we are part of and responsible for shaping. Gathering demographic data, by asking artists that we work with and our audiences to complete short questionnaires, is one way that we are trying to monitor this progress.

This year, we collated demographic data from April 2021 – March 2022 through an online questionnaire, but the completion rate was low, and as such the data hasn’t provided a comprehensive overview or accurate picture of the ethnic diversity of everyone we have worked with or of all of our audiences. In addition, the fact that we work with a large number of partner organisations means we don’t have access to audience data from collaborative projects, further reducing our data set.

Looking forward, we will improve the ways we gather this data over the year ahead and start to ask artists and audiences to complete questionnaires within 24 hours after attending individual events in our programme.

Programme and work with artists

We will ensure that all artists/​programmers/​selectors we work with across Scotland are representative of the ethnic diversity of the local population. For example, our annual Artists’ Moving Image Festival takes place in Glasgow. In this case, based on data from the 2011 census, in Glasgow, 17.3% of the population identified as an ethnic minority’. As such, we will ensure that a minimum of 18% of the artists whose work is presented in this festival and the programmers who set the curatorial agenda for the festival are from global majority backgrounds.

We will ensure fair rates of pay across all our work, including paying shortlisted artists for their time to prepare and present work for award and residency opportunities. We will also pay panel members for their time while participating on selection panels for these types of opportunities. Fees across our programme adhere to Scottish artist union rates.

Next steps

We will update this statement in October 2022. Future areas of work that we will be addressing as part of our future anti-racism work include governance and recruitment.