Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Africa News Today - Stop discrimination of models of colour in UK; Black BUT Invisible campaign: “When we come together we can force change”



Stop discrimination of models of colour in UK;
Black BUT Invisible campaign: "When we come together we can force change"

5th January 2009: The blantant discrimination of models of colour in the UK must stop now. "London is recognised as one of the most diverse cities in the world but this is not reflected in the models used during the London Fashion Week's and many of the other Fashion Weeks across the world," says Sola Oyebade of Mahogany Model Management.

It is time to act to bring to an end such discrimination of models who are fully part of this society. It is shameful in deed that racial discrimination can still be practiced in the modern world in an such an open manner.

black-but-invisiblefull.jpgWhat is needed now and urgently is strong action to make people acting in this manner know that we are aware of the injustice they are practising against models of colour. This is exactly what the "Black BUT Invisible campaign" is out to achieve.

"Enough is enough, it is not good enough to take the money that we spend on consumer goods but then refuse to put a fair proportion of models of colour on the catwalk," says the campaign, adding that "They will not even be a little bit fake and let us audition and then say no."

"Black BUT Invisible campaign" claims that the British Fashion Council, organisers of London Fashion Week are blatantly open about the "industry Apartheid" they are practising.

The campaign is not just about giving the models of colour a fair chance. It is about general racial discrimination against the non-whites in the UK.

"Black BUT Invisible campaign" points out that "the black publications cannot get press accreditation to attend London Fashion Week because they are not ABC rated. This is not just about models, this is about discrimination generally and if we break down the visual barriers that people can blatantly see on catwalks and in magazines then other barriers will also eventually be broken down."

Sola gives an example of a major model agent that has laid bare the racial discrimination the fashion industry is riddled with.

Sola says that Premier Model Management's Carole White admitted that finding work for black clients was significantly harder than for the white models, as magazines and designers were reluctant to employ them.
Models from ethnic backgrounds "have to be perfect because we can't have a lot of diversity with black models."

"At style.com, three shows chosen at random featured black models in eight out of 136 photographs taken during the week. The March issue of Vogue – with more than 400 pages of editorial and advertising – has 14 shots with black or Asian women – two of them featuring Naomi Campbell. Isn't this an issue industry insiders should work to tackle, or is it just a case of giving people what they want?," the campaign asks.

What you can do

The "Black BUT Invisible campaign" notes that President (elect) Barak Obama has proven that, if you believe you can achieve, but first you must induce, convince, gather support and take action for your goals to be realised.

The campaign is therefore asking you to pass on this message to everyone you know and then ask them to pass it on to everyone they know. "We need the world's support to ensure that we achieve change," the campaign says.

You are also requested to support the campaign by writing, sending an email or making a phone call to the British Fashion Council, organisers of London Fashion Week to complain about this blatant discrimination. Please address all your views to: EMMA CAMPBELL, BRITISH FASHION COUNCIL, 5 Portland Place, London W1B 1PW. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7636 7788, Fax: +44 (0) 20 7436 5924, Email: emma.campbell@britishfashioncouncil.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Contacts of the "Black BUT Invisible campaign"
Mahogany Model Management
07971 388687
0845 388 7249
www.mahoganymodelmanagement.com

By Stephen Ogongo

http://www.africa-news.eu/news/africans-abroad-u.k./stop-discrimination-of-models-of-colour-in-uk.html


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