Tunisian Crochet with the work BLACK in cross stitch

I Don’t See Colour

2020, crocheted cotton and Wool
Size: 10 x 17 cm

Background to artwork:

During the lockdown, I have created many crochet artworks. For this artwork, I want to experiment using thin crochet cotton to create Tunisian crochet. In the past, this type of crochet was often used as a replacement for Aida cross-stitch fabric. For this piece, I created a fabric constructed of Tunisian crochet and embroidered the word ‘Black‘ on it using cross-stitch embroidery.  The artwork is called ‘I don’t see colour’. Some people may not be aware but this statement is problematic – no matter how well-meaning one might feel by saying it. It is used by people in an attempt to explain that they are not prejudiced and embraces diversity.

As Dr. Jaince Gassam Asare states in her article, ‘Why The I Don’t See Color’ Mantra Is Hurting Your Diversity and Inclusion Efforts.

“How can you possibly fix something that you don’t believe you actually see? If you are conducting training to help individuals move past their racial biases, it’s important to understand that the goal is not to be color-blind. The goal is actually to see and recognize skin color but to control and regulate your innate impulse to make decisions based on such characteristics. Being able to first recognize this is critical. We all see color.”

Close up video of I don’t see Colour

I believe that by using the phrase one is disregarding the fact that people are unique individuals. For Black people, it sounds like “I don’t see you”. It’s used as a full stop in conversations about racism, inequality, or injustice and serves to invalidate black people’s lived experiences.

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