Yellowzine is a vehicle used to celebrate and promote black art via “120 pages of pure talent by BME artists from around the UK.” Created by Oreoluwa Ayoade and Aisha Ayoade, the new zine puts ethnic minority artists at the forefront without tokenism. Just a platform of appreciation for art by artists who often go unnoticed within the industry’s elitism.
Speaking on the project, one half of creative duo, Aisha remarks how “The zine is important because it is necessary to see the work of artists of colour as normal. We exist and create out of the confines of showing “diversity” in mainstream publications or fulfilling some sort of quota. Through the magazine we show talent by artists of colour as a regularity.”
While there are countless ‘diversity’ campaigns that aim to appeal to all people, it is less common to see a platform exclusively dedicated to BME creatives. Aisha continues “too often our work is cramped into a box that labels us by our race and our race alone.” And its exactly independent projects like Yellowzine that give power people to showcase voices that are often hushed.
So, what prompted Yellowzine, “We created it at the beginning of this year for a few reasons. One of those being that as recent graduates within the School of Arts we had first-hand experience of the taught curriculum and the tendency of the curriculum to make a distinction between mainstream ‘normal’ art and art by people of colour.” Yes, being labelled as the ‘other’ and treated like an exception is ordinary for POC and BME artists, making the recognition that they do get feel like second best. Fueled by this, the core purpose of the magazine is to “normalise the work of minority ethnic artists in the U.K.”
In the future Aisha hopes that Yellowzine will “serve as a directory for POC artists in the U.K., like the Yellow Pages.” See the distinct new zine here, and click here to follow Yellowzine on Instagram and Twitter.