Colourblind Stormzy mural Croydon with passing woman. Photo by South London Photography

Colourblind focuses on commonalities between people, such as their shared humanity.

Colourblind acknowledges, highlights, and celebrates ethno-racial differences. It recognises that each tradition has something invaluable to offer. It is not afraid to see how others have suffered as a result of racial conflict or differences. Colourblind accepts that the struggles have been real.

Although I have experienced racism in a variety of situations, my demeanour and outlook should not be marked as different or inferior due to the colour of my skin. That, however, does not mean that I do not see the struggle others go through who may not have the same background as me. Perhaps the analogy is not perfect; it is not meant to erase one’s right to have pride in racial/ethnic heritage. Colourblind celebrates when different kinds of people work together, fostering the simultaneity of unity and diversity. Indeed, Colourblind embraces these differences. Hence my colourblind motif features 7 triangles symbolising each continent in our world.

I want you to know that the idea of colourblind is beautiful when said with a true desire to accept others, but we cannot let it blind us to the forms of discrimination still present in our society. Perhaps we can all be mindful of institutional dynamics when we think a situation is ultimately caused by one or a few individuals. Perhaps we can be mindful when we may be denying society structures or expecting behavioural assimilation. Perhaps nothing will truly start to get better until we do these things.

I also want you to know that none of this is meant to even suggest that all people of a certain colour or ethnicity are the same; my interpretation of colourblind is quite the opposite. I ask you to be open to individual differences but aware of racial or ethnic pride. Frankly, some people may abide by racial or ethnic norms, but others may not. This, one cannot ascertain, until we get to know individuals.

So, if you see colourblind as a grand panacea for racial solidarity, make sure you are not inadvertently denying the racism that still exists or the cultures to which people belong. This quote from Audre Lorde clarifies my points quite strongly:

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognise, accept, and celebrate those differences”

My art celebrates the beauty in our diversity and is not blind to it. The seven triangles in the motif also represent the seven colours of the rainbow not only being aware of the colour but as a sign of peace. I believe the ideal is not assimilation but a unity in diversity and an attempt to create and maintain a level playing field for a variety of people. I see all, I’m not physically blind to anything cultural, political, ethnic or racial.

Creating art for me is simply not good enough to make positive changes, I truly live my words and walk the walk by creating opportunity’s for hundreds of multicultural children that I never had when I was their age. I’m actively inspiring our future civil servants, politicians, scientists, sportspeople, writers & artists to help create a better tomorrow.