3 July 2020
BLACK LIVES MATTER
In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.
— Angela Davis
UKS stands in solidarity with black, indigenous, and people of color in Norway, Europe, and around the world against state brutality and racism. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and all citizens who use their democratic right to demonstrate against such abuse.
There are many examples of institutionalized racism in Norway. UKS acknowledges that our organization—as an institution for contemporary art and a Norwegian membership union—has a special responsibility to contribute to anti-racist work and to continue existing and initiate new measures that work towards dismantling everyday discrimination on an institutional and intersectional level. On this page, we’ve gathered some resources relevant to this work and information on what UKS is doing. We will update the page regularly.
EQUAL TREATMENT AND ETHICAL GUIDELINES
UKS’ Annual Assembly 2020 decided to add equal treatment as one of UKS’ Principles, see point 3. In addition to this, through 2019 we have worked out a set of ethical guidelines for debate at UKS, which includes the right to define one’s own group affiliation.
These tools will be actively used to be able to respond to racism and harassment at UKS and other parts of the Norwegian visual art field, and to actively prioritize anti-racist work. UKS is also a member of Balansekunst, an organization that works for an inclusive and equal cultural life, whose advice our members can ask for when needed.
SUPPORT FOR NON-EU/EEA ARTISTS AND CULTURAL WORKERS BASED IN NORWAY
During the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, UKS has worked closely with a self-organized group of artists and cultural workers with citizenship outside the EU for their rights in Norway. UKS has written a letter to the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI), the Ministry of Culture, and the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV). The self-organized group defined its own needs and presented these to UKS. The group consists of individuals who are non-EU/EEA nationals and several define themselves as BIPOC.
Fighting racism requires daily attention, and anti-racist information work is essential to this task. As a start, we have collected some resources that you can find below.
As a union for professional artists, we encourage all members who experience harassment and discrimination to contact us and/or Balansekunst. Contact details can be found here.
WANT TO HELP?
Get acquainted with and support your local anti-racist organization or group in their ongoing work against racism. Some national organizations in Norway:
RESOURCES AND LITERATURE
It is also important to recognize how racism manifests for artists in their daily working life. Please take a moment to read about the experience of POC artists in Nordic countries in an anthology published by the Arts Council Norway in 2019, titled Actualise Utopia: From Dreams to Reality. “An anthology about racial barriers in the structure of the Nordic arts field.”