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What Now? | Newsletter

“Privilege is when you think that something is not a problem because it’s not a problem for you personally” by David Gaider.


It’s hard for me to summarise the last few weeks. Discomfort, shame and pain while taking an introspective look at myself and acknowledging my privilege. Discomfort, shame and pain while learning, unlearning, and taking responsibility of my actions.

 

What now? 

Be actively antiracist, and become a better human being as well as a better designer.

This month’s newsletter is a collection of resources to help you reflect, do and undo, and act intentionally.


10 Steps to non-optical allyship by Mireille Cassandra Charper

 

1. Understanding what optical allyship is.

“Allyship that only serves at the surface level to platform the ‘ally’, it makes a statement but doesn’t go beneath the surface and is not aimed at breaking away from the systems of power” —Latham Thomas.

 

2. Check in on your black friends, family, partners, loved ones and colleagues.

This is an emotional and traumatic time for the community, and you checking in means more than you can imagine. Ask how you can provide support.

 

3. Be prepared to do the work.

Understand that coming to terms with your own privilege will not be a pretty or fun experience. It is necessary to feel feelings of guilt, shame and anger throughout the process.

 

4. Read up on antiracist works.

It is not enough to dislike racism, you need to work towards antiracism. The following will be essential for your learning: Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad and How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.

 

5. Avoid sharing content which is traumatic.

Whatever your intentions, it is vital to consider sharing videos of black people being abused and hurt can be both traumatic and triggering for many black people. Avoid sharing this content as it increases also to the dehumanisation of black people.

 

6. Donate to funds and support initiatives.

Consider supporting platforms and initiatives which support black people, such as the Minnesota Freedom Fund, support black-owned funding platforms like Kwanda and sign petitions. Put your money and pen where your mouth is.

 

7. Do not centre this narrative around yourself.

Whilst it is nice that you can relate and empathise, now is not the time to insert your personal experiences into a narrative that isn’t about you. This is actually harmful and takes away from the severity of the situation. Leave your ego.

 

8. Keep supporting after the outrage.

It should not take an act of brutality or the virality of a situation for you to suddenly show your support. Keep supporting black media, black initiatives, charitable organisations and continuing your work after the attention has died down.

 

9. Stop supporting organisations that promote hate.

If you read pieces on media platforms that promote hate or fund supremacist and hateful organisations, you are contributing to the problem. Equally, stop supporting organisations that love “black culture” but fail to speak up on issues affecting the black community.

 

10. Start your long-term strategy

How are you making a long-term impact or affecting change? Can you mentor a young person? Can you become a trustee for an organisation that supports the black community? Could you offer your time to volunteer? Make the effort to do something valuable over a long-term period.

 


Listen, do your homework, amplify BIPOC voices and pay the rent.

If you can afford to contribute, I encourage you to set recurring donations to #paytherent.

 

Black Lives Matter

UK Black Lives Matter

Canada Black Lives Matter

Antiracism resource guide

AUS/US Donations and antiracist resources

Black Lives Matter in Australia Article

Path to Equality

Support First Nations Australia

First Nations Resource Directory

Blak led not-for-profit orgs & grassroots initiatives

 


Welcome to the work.

Love from an immigrant independent female designer,

Maria xx


 

The Perks of Isolation | Blackletter Days

During April and May this year, I decided to spend time studying Blackletter, as this has always been in the back of my mind but never found the time to go around it. Putting my mind somewhere else, and focusing for hours only on letterforms, was very meditative and extremely enjoyable. These below are my personal exercises.


The perks of isolation: Freestyle

One of the highlights of my isolation time is that I haven’t worn a bra in seven weeks. Every little pleasure counts.


The perks of isolation: Refining my skills


The perks of isolation: FOMO no more.


The perks of isolation: Safe at home


The perks of isolation: Progress is the inspiration


 

In-Person Calligraphy Workshops in Melbourne

Following the latest announcement from the Victorian Government, I have decided to resume my calligraphy workshops at Rotson Studios in Fitzroy.

These are the changes I have implemented:

— My workshops will only host a maximum of 6 students;
— Mandatory hand-sanitiser spray on arrival;
— BYO keep cup or water bottle;
— BYO lunch or take away from the local cafes;

These are my upcoming workshops:
Sat 1 August: Italic
Sat 8 August: Copperplate
Book your spot.

Brush Calligraphy Weekend Workshop
August 22 & 23, from 10am to 2.30pm
Level: Beginner and intermediate. No previous knowledge required.
Book your spot.

Copperplate Capitals Weekend Masterclass
September 12 & 13, from 10am to 2.30pm
Level: Copperplate lowercase knowledge required
Book your spot.


 

In my own backyard: “In My Blood It Runs”

In My Blood It Runs documentary addresses Indigenous youth detention and the ongoing removal of children. Read the ABC article here. Listen to an interview with director Maya Newell here.

Dujuan speaks three languages and is a child-healer; a gift he proudly inherited from his grandfather, Ngangkere.

He spent his childhood between Alice Springs in the central Australian desert and Borroloola in the Gulf of Carpentaria in the NT’s Top End.

Dujuan was encouraged to learn traditional ways of living and the use of his native languages was enforced by his elders.


 

In my own backyard: Path to equality

My colleague Mike Nguyen alongside @heykyle and @babydilf have created an online directory which will be constantly updated with resources to help you educate, support and empower yourself and your community.

The site has been built by Thomas Tkatchenko from thank-etc-ok.com

Please, share it far and wide. If you have any additions, please email pathtoequalityyy@gmail.com.


 

In my own backyard: Meyne Wyatt on Q&A

Dear white Australia, we have a lot of work to do. Meyne Wyatt’s poignant monologue from his play City of Gold.

This episode was broadcast on Monday, June 8 2020. For more from Q+A, click here: http://www.abc.net.au/qanda


 

Where are the black designers?

Where are the Black Designers is an initiative founded by Mitzi Okou which aims to give a platform to creatives of color. By connecting designers, educators, and creative leaders we hope to start a dialogue about change in and out of the design industry.

On June 27, this fantastic initiative hosted a free live streaming conference, and you can watch it here. I started with this educational talk called “Algorithmic bias” by Shabnam Kashani.

Access a list of resources on their about page.


 

200 Black Creators by Sean Canty

This list consists of Black Architects, Landscape Architects, Interior Designers, Historians, Urban Planners, Artists, Furniture, Industrial, and Product Designers, Design Advocates, and Creative Entrepreneurs. It is entirely, imperfect and not yet exhausted. Still, hopefully, it can be a resource, and inspire others to amplify the voices of black designers, artists, and intellectuals who continue to make a meaningful impact in our built environment and cultural landscape.


 

An essential watch-list of black documentaries

These films illustrate both the undeniable threat of white supremacist capitalist patriarchy and the incomparable strength of Blackness. Read more.


More ways of helping by Sebastian Speier

Resistance is NOT a one lane highway. Maybe your lane is protesting, maybe your lane is organizing, maybe your lane is counselling, maybe your lane is art activism, maybe your lane is surviving the day. Sebastian Speier gives us more ways of helping here.


 

Thank you for all your work Juan Villanueva

I haven’t met Juan Villanueva in person yet, but I have a huge respect for him. Muchas gracias por todo tu trabajo y valentía.

Please, read this letter about Juan’s experience at Type Directors Club here.


 

TypeWknd: Applications open

We’re an online-only type conference for everyone who sees, draws, makes, studies, and sells type. We’re powered by volunteers. And thanks to our generous sponsors, registration is free.

Applications for speaking are now open till 11:59pm GMT, July 31, 2020.

First-time speakers are welcome to apply! They’ve created a helpful Submissions Guide that you can download and use to get your application ready.


 

“Getting to know you, getting to know all about you” by Raxane Gay

“Things are pretty overwhelming but for a change of pace I wrote about living with my fiancée for the first time in our relationship”.

This love letter by Roxane Gay made me love Debbie Millman even more, and reminded me the importance of loving myself and each other in a daily basis.