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Catherine Morton-Abuah by Kez Coo

Why we need to talk about representation in the creative industries


TextDazed Beauty

To celebrate Ace & Tate's new campaign, Seeing In Colour, we've invited our favourite Dazed Beauty contributors to have a frank conversation about how to improve the representation of people of colour in the creative industries

 We've all heard it, the phrase "I don't see colour". Too often, this proverbial form of colourblindness is wheeled out as an excuse for a lack of diversity. It's a basic denial of the inequalities people face because of the colour of their skin. 

In a new campaign for eyewear brand Ace & Tate, the creative brains behind gal-dem magazine are attempting to subvert the phrase, or at the very least, get to the bottom of what it really means. 

The result is Seeing In Colour, a project that explores our perception of skin colour by talking to women and nonbinary people of colour about their experiences with racism and particularly colourism.

Among the four people that gal-dem interviewed for the collaboration, all from the creative industries, the feeling was unanimous: colourblindness is not an excuse for a lack of inclusion. 

“Saying you don’t see colour is like saying you’re some higher 
being who lives 
in a world 
without prejudice," said Catherine 
Morton-Abuah, an artist and illustrator, and one of the people gal-dem talked to.

To celebrate the Seeing In Colour campaign, this week, Dazed Beauty are hosting a panel at Ace & Tate's's Brewer Street store in London. Under the title 'Owning The Narrative', the panel will feature a line up of important British voices from media, fashion and beauty, who have taken it upon themselves to improve representation, either by creating spaces and platforms for people of colour or by speaking out about a lack of diversity. 

Sharing their own experiences around representation, colourism and racism, the panel will explore how the creative industries can do better, asking: How can we take control of the conversation about diversity? How does community building empower and inspire POC voices? And how can brands push the conversation forward?

Sitting on the panel is  Simran Randhawa – model, writer, and former gal-dem politics editor, Umber Ghauri – a talented make-up artist specialising in QTPOC beauty, Hélène Selam Kleih - model, writer and founder of HIM + HIS, a project about men's mental health (that you can read about on Dazed Beauty here), Kuchenga Shenje – a journalist and speaker, who wrote this Dazed Beauty article on her natural hair journey as a black transgender woman, and Kemi Alemoru – Dazed Digital's staff writer and a Dazed Beauty contributor. 

Keep an eye on @DazedBeauty and @AceandTate's Instagram stories on Thursday night to see what went down at the event. We're also giving away four sets of tickets. Winners will be picked at random. Email dazedbeauty@dazedmedia.com with the subject line 'Dazed Beauty x Ace & Tate panel' to apply.

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