A Critical Ten Point Plan to Creating Professional Sectors that Reflect Society

The IETM Porto Plenary Meeting, April 2018, gathered 651 participants from the different corners of the world to discuss how art relates to the processes of transforming centres of creation, dissemination and decision-making.

You can watch a recording and read the transcript of  the keynote speech: ‘A Critical Ten Point Plan to Creating Professional Sectors that Reflect Society‘, delivered by Tunde Adefioye, City Dramaturg at KVS – Koninklijke Vlaamse Schouwburg.

Tunde Adefioye began:

As Paul Gilroy suggests we need to take sober actions to remove ourselves from the stupor of postcolonial melancholia. It is also tiring to see the continual denial of the role of racism as a way of propping up the fantasy of white innocence in many structures.  This speech is a call not only for allies and accomplices in Porto but also to start making transnational alliances that will benefit the cultural (and other professional) sectors so these institutions better reflect the differences in society.

Below is a brief summary of the ten points Tunde makes, and you can click here to watch the speech and read the full transcript. 

  1. Ask how can my instution be decolonized?
  2. If you are 60+ a white cis-male, start thinking of an exit plan.
  3. Funding bodies need to make sure that resources are better redistributed. Not only large institutions should be getting funding for new projects.
  4. For predominantly white institutions that serve predominantly white audiences, what are you doing to make sure more individuals of color occupy your spaces on their own terms not one that you pre-determine for them or one that feels comfortable for you?
  5. How are you broadening your canon? What other type of works are you including in your programming that is different from the repetoire?
  6. Stop navel-gazing!
  7. Cultural institutions, like governments too often practice a type of appropriation that is endemic of parasites in the human gut.
  8. How do you measure quality?
  9. Form transnational alliances with institutions that have a completely different approach than yours.
  10. What are you doing within your institution and festivals to make sure the “work floor” is a safe space that does not harbor the festering culture of transphobia, sexism, racism, ableism, ageism, homophobia, fatphobia and hatefulness in general (as the Afro-Punk music festival sums it up)?