Paradox declares our solidarity with all those who have risen up and condemn the continued anti-Black violence. We honour the names of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Manuel Ellis, Javier Ambler II, Eric Garner, and so many others for whom justice has been denied.
On May 25th 2020 George Floyd was brutally murdered by the police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. George Floyd’s words ‘I can’t breathe’, repeated sixteen times, have rightly become a rallying cry for racial justice and repair of systemic and structural oppression of black people within and beyond the US borders. The same phrase was uttered by other black people killed by police in the USA. Floyd’s murder is part of an ongoing seriality of executions at the hands and the weapons of police force. This demonstrates perpetuated systemic inequalities and anti-black cultures of white supremacy.
Paradox recognises the depth of oppression of black people and the maintained global North’s economic extraction of the global South. The toppling of monuments associated with colonialism and racism is an urgent expression of a collective desire not to cultivate anti-blackness and to discontinue imperialist violence and extraction founded on a colonial past. It is a desire to stop the continuous erasure and devaluation of the oppressed and disenfranchised.
We acknowledge that decades of neoliberal demands for diversity, equity, equality, fairness and inclusion in the art world have failed. We also acknowledge how systems of hierarchy, privilege and structural violence are present and deeply entrenched in art institutions, galleries, art schools, biennales and curricula. We commit to revision and reimagine Paradox and to pursue a clear racial justice pathway in our leadership, research, programs and projects. We will dedicate ourselves to opening dialogue and discourses that will allow us to find mechanisms to advance social equity and dismantling systemic racial oppression within the field of art education. We commit to advancing intersectional political transformation and we stand in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives.
Steering Committee of Paradox
19th June 2020