THE effects of Scotland’s active participation in colonialism and the slave trade continue to be felt today, according to an arts collective currently exhibiting in Glasgow.

One example is the recent cut to the city’s Transmission Gallery’s regular funding in its 35th year – the first year with a non-white programming committee.

That’s the claim of sorryyoufeeluncomfortable (SYFU) who are behind the show (BUT) WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT WHITE SUPREMACY?, which is part of Glasgow International Festival.

The exhibition at the Gallow Gate includes multi-disciplinary work from six Black artists, writers and makers – Christopher Kirubi, Halima Haruna, Rabz Lansiquot, Mayfly Mutyambizi, Imani Robinson and Jacob V Joyce.

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The exhibition, curated by Robinson and Lansiquot, ranges from film and photography to objects, sound art, poetry and performance. A supporting programme draws out the themes present in the exhibition, allowing for an extended dialogue to take place between the artists and Glasgow International Festival audiences.

SPEAKING to The National, Robinson and Lansiquot said white supremacy was a problem everywhere and everyone had a responsibility to do something about it.

“The world as we know it is built on its foundations and while its visibility and brazenness ebbs and flows, it continues to violently subject non-white peoples to systematic oppression,” said Lansiquot. “When we speak of white supremacy we are not simply speaking of far-right groups and the Klu Klux Klan or some other country’s problem.”

“White supremacy is a world system, embedded into almost every institution, from the UK government to the World Bank and the UN, to the books read by children in classrooms, to the day to day dealings of even the best charitable foundations, to the boards of art galleries and the knowledge production carried out in universities, workplaces and health care facilities.”

SCOTLAND, Robinson said, “has a history of active participation in colonialism and the slave trade – this history has not simply faded into insignificance”

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“Its effects reverberate and continue to be actively reinforced in contemporary policies both by Westminster and on a local level. These ideologies continue to persist and Scotland’s non-white population, and those beyond the border who are affected by them, continue to bear the brunt,” added Robinson.

She said Creative Scotland’s recent cut to Transmission’s regular funding was an example of this. In January, the gallery was one of 20 organisations dropped from Creative Scotland’s portfolio of organisations that receive funding over a three-year period. It had been awarded £210,000 from the regular funding pot for the three years previously. The artist-run gallery condemned the cut, saying that Creative Scotland was unwilling to invest in organisations that did not conform to a particular demographic and the cut was discriminatory, whether conscious or otherwise.

LANSIQUOT said the Gallow Gate exhibition was born from a desire to confront “the elephant in the room”, adding: “White people benefit from white supremacy, whether or not they consciously share those views, but relatively few people are having intentional conversations about it,” she said. “So, (BUT) WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT WHITE SUPREMACY? is meant to provoke dialogue and action towards an anti-racist world.”

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The manifestation of white supremacy across the UK, said Robinson and Lansiquot, includes – but is not in any way limited to – racist deportations such as the current assault on the Windrush generation; inhumane treatment in detention centres; disproportionate police treatment and brutality towards non-white people, specifically young Black and Asian people; disproportionately incarcerated Black people (more disproportionate than the US) who are statistically given harsher penalties than white offenders convicted of the same crime and wage disparities along racial lines and hostile work environments; hate crimes against people of colour and migrants and the lack of public and institutional support for victims; attainment gaps in education at primary, secondary and university levels;the rhetoric underpinning Brexit.and a multitude of political campaigns, including the “hostile environment” policies under the current government; the war on terror and Islamophobia in all of its manifestations, and cuts to funding for specialised public services such as mental health facilities, women’s refuges and youth organisations that cater to the specifics of racialised life.

FORMED out of the 2014 project Baldwin’s Nigger Reloaded, initiated by artist Barby Asante and curator Teresa Cisneros, SYFU has presented work in London, Newcastle, Brussels, Nottingham and Amsterdam.

Jacob V Joyce is a non-binary artist currently artist-in-residence at Nottingham Contemporary Gallery. Halima Haruna is a Nigerian video artist while Christopher Kirubi is a poet and artist who uses “the mutability and promiscuity of images, objects and text to negotiate the limits of sexuality, gender, race and desire”.

Mayfly Mutyambizi’s current projects include a series of conversations under the umbrella term Mutakura (translating as “what is carried on a journey”) to explore migration and culture.

Rabz Lansiquot is a filmmaker, programmer and DJ while Imani Robinson is currently completing an MA in Forensic Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.

The exhibition is on until May 7 and can be booked via GOMA and Eventbrite