One-Art Exhibit

An inclusive pop up exhibition in Tower Hamlets to raise awareness about widespread intolerance in our society.

Racism, xenophobia, intolerance and the scapegoating of migrants are rampant in UK society, and increasingly so. We want to raise awareness about these issue through an innovative platform: giving a chance to young and underrepresented artists to voice their concerns about the tide of intolerance that is sweeping the country as well as the opportunity for them to showcase their talent in a ‘pop up’ exhibition in Tower Hamlets. We believe that art is underexploited as a channel for raising awareness of social issues and that young artists should be given more opportunities to express themselves. OneArt represents a first step towards remedying that. 

According to the Home Office, in 2013/14, there were 44,480 hate crimes recorded by the police, an increase of five per cent compared with 2012/13, of which 37,484 (84%) were race hate crimes.

The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance published in 2010 a report in which it raised concerns about the incidence of racist crimes in the UK, the presence of racism and xenophobia in political discourse and the media, racial and religious discrimination in the workplace and increasingly negative social attitudes towards ethnic minorities, Muslims and migrants in society at large.

In this climate of increasing ignorance, intolerance, racism, xenophobia and the scapegoating of immigrants, finding new ways of going against this tide is crucial. Art is a powerful medium of communication, expression and awareness-raising and young underrepresented artists deserve to be heard on those social issues that particularly matter to them.

We are hoping, even if only on a limited scale, to promote cultural exchange and learning in a diverse borough fragmented between communities. 

We wish to hold a ‘pop up’ exhibition in Tower Hamlets that will provide young underrepresented artists with a platform to voice their opinions about the climate of intolerance, xenophobia and scapegoating of immigrants in UK society as well as a chance to portray how this climate may impact their lives, hopes and aspirations. Tower Hamlets is the most diverse borough in London. Its ‘hyper diversity’ makes it the ideal place for us to hold our exhibition. Not only do we hope to raise awareness and start discussions about the aforementioned social issues through the use of art, but we also hope to get members of the local population interested in our exhibition thereby making it an opportunity for cultural exchange and learning. To do so we aim to have a participatory piece around which we hope people will engage with the issues at stakes in addition with engaging with different cultural perceptions. This piece will be a big, blank canvas on which people can express their reactions to the title ‘Diversity is…’ We are hoping that this inclusive piece will help in our goal of bringing people together, both in engaging them with the issues at stake, and with each other.

We believe that the ‘pop up’ format of our exhibition and the use of art itself will provide a chance for young, underrepresented people to voice their concerns about the state of UK society in an innovative way. We hope to be able to attract artists, members of local government, students, activists, and some publicity by combining a strong medium of communication and expression (art) with a crucial issue (racism and intolerance).

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