2007 - 2020

New creative platform We Are Here Scotland officially launches

We Are Here exists to support and amplify the voices of BIPOC artists across Scotland

Aberdeen-based creative practitioner Ica Headlam is the driving force behind new creative platform We Are Here, which has officially launched this month with the aim of highlighting and celebrating the work of BIPOC creatives across Scotland. Having already used their social media to draw attention to a number of significant individuals involved in the creative industries including Sarra Wild (OH141), Bemz, Sekai Machache, Our Lovely Goods, Courtney Ama Stoddard and journalist Tasnim Nazeer, We Are Here intends to continue to amplify such voices to ensure that the importance of representation is emphasised, alongside vital discussions around race and racism in the UK.

“We Are Here Scotland is an amazing platform that highlights the voices of Black and underrepresented minority artists and creatives from Scotland,” Tasnim Nazeer says. “Ica has provided a much-needed platform that is invaluable for creatives to learn, be inspired, be a source of motivation and enable their voices to be heard.”

To confront some of these issues, We Are Here is working to create a fund with a recurring monthly application in which two BIPOC artists/creatives can apply for a one-off £500 grant each towards their practice and professional development. It is hoped that the We Are Here Creators Fund will be a useful resource for creatives all over Scotland and not just the central belt, with the money to be used for everything from new equipment, residencies and individual projects to collaborative projects, exhibitions and showcases. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to work towards this goal.

As Ica Headlam explains: “We Are Here Scotland came about through my sheer frustration of seeing the constant lack of consistent BIPOC representation within Scotland’s creative industries whilst also recognising that there needs to be a platform in which we are given the chance to showcase ourselves, connect and seek funding and grant opportunities.

“I’ve had a lot of conversations with BIPOC artists and creatives and we have all noted that we face constant barriers in terms of funding and employment opportunities within Scotland. There are also hurdles when it comes to the recognition of our work and people not valuing our time.”

Headlam hopes that the future of We Are Here will include online events, networking sessions and panels which will be of benefit to the creative community. To stay updated on progress and news, visit weareherescotland.com and follow on Instagram at @weareherescotland.

The GoFundMe for We Are Here Scotland’s Creators Fund is now live. To donate, please visit: bit.ly/WeAreHereFund

Comments (2)

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  1. Gavin says:

    BIPOC was a new acronym for me.
    https://www.dictionary.com/e/acronyms/bipoc says ‘BIPOC is an acronym that stands for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.’
    This classification may be useful in say an American or Australian context, where the indigenous ethnic group are a minority.
    But it doesn’t make sense in a Scottish context, where the indigenous ethnic group are the majority.
    Here, ‘black, indigenous, and other people of color’ must surely mean people of ‘White: Scottish’ ethnicity plus those of colour.
    It’s difficult to see a situation where this would be useful!

  2. Gavin says:

    Arusa, is it true that non-white people are under-represented in the arts?
    You, Ica Headlam and Tasnim Nazeer obviously think so, but you provide no evidence. It doesn’t seem that way to me.
    As I pointed out on https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2020/10/29/changing-scottish-media-2/ , the list of Scottish Album of the Year Award winners looks biased in favour of non-white artists. As far as I can see (apologies if I’ve misjudged anyone’s ethnicity), the 2020 and 2019 winners have been non-white, and the 2018 winner was a majority non-white trio.
    Another prominent figure of colour is our Makar, Jackie Kay.
    Do you have any evidence to support your opinion?

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