“Black people don’t go to galleries” – The reproduction of taste and cultural value

“Here’s the scenario: two children, one white and one black, walk into an exhibition filled with portraits of white people. Both children enjoy it. After the exhibition they make self-portraits out of food. The black child asks for brown ingredients – cocoa pops, hot chocolate powder – to represent his skin in the portrait. The white child does not bother with colour in the same way. Her whiteness is not a colour that needs to be marked or thought about, it is naturalized as normal, a seamless part of the wall-to-wall whiteness of the surrounding exhibition. On closer inspection the portraits show further nuances of colouring and also commonality. Other features such as nose, lips, eyes and hair were not represented mimetically. As the brown skin colour of the portrait on the left stands out because of its purposeful colouring, it creates a link between the child and their artwork, making visible what is taken for granted in this space – whiteness.”

Media Diversified

by David Osa Amadasun

Since childhood I have always been curious as to why rich people were rich and the poor were poor. Fast-forward two decades and that same curiosity has evolved into a call for action to do something about the insidious ways in which inequalities infect our daily lives. It was during the second year of my undergraduate degree, at the age of 32, that I became aware of the limited exposure I had had to certain social and cultural resources as a child and young adult. As a teenager my experience and aspirations were heavily influenced by two things: the media (mainly TV and music) and the church – my mother was an international evangelist. During one of my undergraduate courses I was mentally conversing with a lecture about the ideas of the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu onSocial andCultural Capital. I had one of those…

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