Playing the Race Card’ was a call out in late 2020 to UK artists who identify as black to submit artworks responding to perceptions or experiences relating to the concept of the race card.
We asked artists to consider how this problematic metaphor can be turned on its head, and explore ideas that replace a culture of victim blaming with a celebration of diversity. towards rendering this phrase extinct.
Entries are displayed as part of the digital exhibition on this website. The physical exhibition will open 21 October 2022 in Hastings, East Sussex.
“In 2015 I spoke to an estate agent on the phone and enquired about purchasing a property in my home town, which he was happy to discuss. I was introduced to him briefly outside his office. I phoned about another property a few days later and was told the property was sold. He hung up while I was in mid sentence. However, when my husband called five minutes later, the estate agent booked him in for a viewing immediately. He had yet to meet my husband.
We decided to bring white friends to the viewing and, predictably, the estate agent was shocked and embarrassed to see me again. Instead of apologising, he told our friends that he refused to sell to me as I had been aggressive and abusive to him in his office - a complete fabrication. I challenged him and I felt that the real reason he was treating me like that was because I was black, to which he told me “don’t play the race card.”
As a black woman I have never felt that ‘a race card’ was something that I could use to my advantage, but the metaphor intrigued me, which is how this project was born.”
Claudine Eccleston, Programme Director
Playing the Race Card is a community-led project based in St Leonards and Hastings created by local resident Claudine Eccleston in response to her own experiences.
Programme Director: Claudine Eccleston
Steering Group: Maggie Scott, Nichelle Kelleher, Zo Daniels, Izzy Withers
This project is part of Good Stuff in St Leonards, a creative programme of activities and events led by local residents supported by arts charity Home Live Art. Good Stuff in St Leonards is funded by Creative Civic Change, a partnership between Local Trust, the National Lottery Community Fund, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.