“Thing is, when you get out more, you see there’s a disconnect between the real world & TV world. People in the TV world often aren’t the same as people in the real world… Change is coming, but it’s taking its sweet time.” Idris Elba
Who remembers where they were, or what they were doing when Idris Elba’s speech to Parliament on diversity in the media hit the news? It’s speeches like British actor Idris Elba’s which summons for action – and not just in the UK. Proving that we are more of a global village than we might think…
UNITED ARTISTS FOR ITALY is platform lead by filmmaker Fred Kuwornu, supported by a group of Italian artists from diverse backgrounds, living, working and essentially contributing to the cultural and economic wealth of tItaly, however not recognised in its dominant narrative. Fred set up United Artists For Italy due to being inspired by Idris Elba’s speech to Parliament on Diversity in the Media, and the movement for diversity in the Media swiftly growing momentum here in the UK.
The initiative was created organically as a response to the stereotyped images produced in a flyer of the Italian Ministry of Health which represented ‘bad habits’ with images of blacks and Latinos. United Artists For Italy consisting of BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) artists and creatives of colour, aims to do to restore a positive image of diversity in Italy.
2016 has proven to be a year of “calling out” with campaigns such as #OscarsSoWhite and #BritsSoWhite going viral. In the United States, the United Kingdom and France, multiplied voices from prominent individuals and organisation have been demanding for an increase of BAME representation the screen and behind the scenes (off-screen). The BBC recently launched a goal to be achieved by 2020 in which 50 % of women, 8 % of disabled people, 15 % of Black British , Asians, Latinos, the 8 % LGBT roles will also lead to the screen, but also behind the scenes with a plan of recruitment careful to introduce merit and diversity.
In countries such as the UK and USA, laws and protocols are now binding on the public sector to assume Diversity initiatives, monitoring activities and results for businesses. In Italy, this debate has never caught on because of a cultural and legislative delay on what time you want to intervene. United Artists for Italy aims to platform the discourse around diversity in the media.
United Artists For Italy questions how the various liberation groups are present in the Italian cinema and audiovisual. How they are represented gender identity, age, ethnicity, level of ability, disability, sexual orientation?
So why change?
1. To have an Italian cinema that is more competitive with the international cinema!
2. To renew the artistic talents of the Italian film!
3. To re-build self-esteem through the images you see in the media. Too many Italians are not seen represented and included the narration of the Italian media.
“We wondered; why is there still this approximation in representing the Italian society in advertising, in fiction, in the movies, or even in the communication of the institutions of some social groups? It doesn’t matter if you black men, women, LGBT, disabled. People are often represented with a label or just as a social problem. That’s why some groups of society are often put in a box, and stay in a box… It’s not a nice place to stay” Fred Kuwornu
Fred Kuwornu’s latest film “Blaxploitalian: 100 years of blackness in Italian Cinema” explores the existence of the black presence within a traditionally white space.
Join Fred Kuwornu during the Rome Film Festival for a meeting between filmmakers, institutions, and experts in the field to promote the deployment of policies that enhance the artistic talent on and off-screen wherever it manifests itself. The occasion will be marked with a screening of the documentary “Blaxploitalian: 100 Years of Blackness in Italian Cinema” on the October 14 2016 at 11 am, Casa del Cinema in Rome in Largo Mastroianni 1 national. Admission is FREE. To reserve a place by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Support by sharing in your social media networks #DiversityInMediaMatters Italy
“Diversity in the modern world is more than just skin colour – it’s gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, social background, and – most important of all, as far as I’m concerned – diversity of thought” Idris Elba
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