Statement on Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with those protesting for racial justice. We are committed to upholding equality and inclusivity. We recognise that we must do better.

We posted a well intentioned black square in solidarity with the music community participating in Blackout Tuesday on June 2nd. We have since removed this, to reflect and to re-focus our attention on ways we can use our platform to actively improve inclusivity and support BAME communities.

We have a lot of work to do, and we won’t always get it right. We must educate ourselves and actively be anti-racist. We acknowledge our shortcomings.

At Szentek, we are committed to inclusivity, to the promotion of diversity through music and art and to the creation of spaces free of judgement. But our previous lineups have poorly represented BAME artists. We are all indebted to the historical and ongoing contributions from black communities and cultures to the electronic music scene that we know and love, which have made it what it is today. This is often overlooked, or overwritten through a white narrative. Our committee is overwhelmingly white, and we operate in a town and attend an educational institution which benefits from centuries of white privilege. We acknowledge this privileged position and the problem of white complicity.

This won’t go away when the ‘topic isn’t trending’. We commit to an ongoing effort, to educate ourselves, to promote inclusivity and diversity, and to honour these words with actions going forward.

Szentek commits to the following promises to actively improve our representation of BAME communities on our platform:

1. To use our platform to highlight the importance of BAME communities to the history of music and contemporary culture, and to focus and feature BAME visual artists on our social media feeds and in our events

2. To push for better representation of BAME artists in our booking process for Szentek 2020 and beyond, and to strive for transparency in our booking efforts

3. To stay committed to fighting racism in our communities and worldwide in any way that we can

We have compiled a list of educational resources, including some specific to Scotland and to music and club culture, which can be found here: https://docs.google.com/…/1OhY51L3n8dozC2ckSJzRhqTeXB…/edit….

We encourage you to use it, and we will continue to post regular updates and share resources which help to promote justice and equality across our social media channels.

If you want to have a conversation with us or have any suggestions about how we can do better, please reach out to us in our DMs or at szentekstandrews@gmail.com.

Use your voice, challenge authority, challenge institutions. Be active, engage with campaigns, sign petitions, attend protests if you can.

Power to the people. May love win against hate.

References

¹ "The First Woman Rapper MC Sha Rock Talks Women in Rap, Sugar Hill Records, & Her Movie Project”, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8UBKxJg1SQ >

² “On set w/ Aaliyah, Da Brat, Missy Elliott & Lil’ Kim (1999): You Had To Be There”, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOzcH9Fim1M >

³ hooks, bell. “Hardcore Honey: bell hooks Goes on the Down Low with Lil’ Kim”, (May 1997), < https://www.papermag.com/lil-kim-bell-hooks1-1427357106.html?rebelltitem=62#rebelltitem62 >

⁴ hooks, b. (1994, February). Sexism and misogyny: Who takes the rap? . . . Misogyny, gangsta rap, andpiano. Z Magazine. < http://s18.middlebury.edu/AMST0325A/hooks_Sexism%20and%20Misogynywho-takes-the-rap.pdf >

⁵ Adams, Terri M., and Douglas B. Fuller. “The Words Have Changed but the Ideology Remains the Same:Misogynistic Lyrics in Rap Music.” Journal of Black Studies, vol. 36, no. 6, 2006, pp. 938–957, JSTOR, < http://www.jstor.org/stable/40034353 >

⁶ Barnes, Dee. “Here’s What’s Missing From Straight Outta Compton: Me and the Other Women Dr.Dre Beat Up”, < https://gawker.com/heres-whats-missing-from-straight-outta-compton-me-and1724735910 >

⁷ “Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche Flawless Speech”, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75BknhBhWVg >

⁸ “Joan Morgan Talks Hip-Hop Feminism & The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill”, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeYRRzt2ikQ >

⁹ “WAP and the Spectacle of Sexual Liberation”, < https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=ILApR36KgQw&fbclid=IwAR23XawseazqgOGpZJ-VknYVIx3SuO_qkbtovWHiPO5_KP3Z3IwTRmtCrp8 >

¹⁰ Gracie, Bianca. “How Women Reclaimed Hip-Hop in 2019 by Making Their Own Rules”, 19 December 2019, Billboard, < https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/8546781/female-rappers-2019-dominance >

Music never lets you down
Puts a smile on your face
Anytime, any place
Dancing helps relieve the pain
Soothes your mind, makes you happy again
Listen to those dancing feet
Close your eyes and let go
But it don't mean a thing
If it ain't got that swing
Bop-shoo-wa, bop-shoo-wa, bop-shoo-wa

Chic - Everybody Dance from the album: Chic (1977)