10.26.2021
Diversity

Yahoo launches Black Art. Black Stories. Black Voices. A celebration of art, culture and technology

Black art. stories. voices. image

Yahoo is proud to launch a new initiative aimed at amplifying Black artists and their work across the digital ecosystem. Black Art. Black Stories. Black Voices. is a celebration of art, culture and technology, in partnership with Kaleidoscope, Disrupt Space and SuperRare. Yahoo is  guiding these artists through a cutting edge, digital transformation in the crypto art world, creating a platform for their unique stories and voices to be heard and connecting the artists to new audiences. 

Black Art. Black Stories. Black Voices. represents Yahoo’s ongoing pledge to elevate Black voices in the art and technology industries. The project is delivered in support of Yahoo United, an Employee Resource Group (ERGs), as part of its commitment to representing different employee groups to ensure all voices are heard across the business. 

In this multifaceted initiative, Yahoo have commissioned 8 artists, from Disrupt Space to create a piece of art,  where, then, together, with Kaleidoscope, an immersive production studio, will lead the mentorship and education into NFT marketplace, by providing access to some of the most impactful and future oriented professionals from the spatial art community.

Ana Brzezińska, from Kaleidoscope said "We believe that the future of art and independent creation lies on the intersection of decentralized culture and spatial art. Our goal is to make sure that creators who have been marginalized in the past, often for centuries, have a chance to get their voices heard."

Yahoo Creative Studios will then take the artists’ original, physical, artwork and transform it into crypto art,  make it viewable in a 3D AR environment and then this Disrupt Space collection will be available to purchase, in an exclusive auction, on leading NFT marketplace, SuperRare, in December. 

John Crain, CEO of SuperRare said "We are thrilled to partner with Yahoo on this important initiative. From our inception, SuperRare has been dedicated to democratizing access to digital art for all artists and collectors and we strongly believe an integral part of this mission is celebrating the work of Black artists."

Ahead of the auction, Yahoo will host a live show at its Holborn studios – hosted by TV presenter Ade Adepitan – celebrating the artists and showcasing their work.

Ade Adepitan commented, "I'm very excited to speak with these artists as they make their debut in the NFT space. This awesome project can only inspire future generations of artists and ensure more diverse stories are told. Black stories, art and voices are the future."

To support the campaign, Yahoo has partnered with the Black Blossoms  School of Art and Culture founded by Bolanle Tajudeen to create editorial content that supports this initiative. The partnership with Black Blossoms echoes the work done with Yahoo and Black Ballad during October to celebrate Black History Month UK so as to amplify the voices of black women across its digital properties.

“We’re proud to be launching Black Art. Black Stories. Black Voices. to continue Yahoo’s focus on elevating voices from all backgrounds and cultures. The campaign will help showcase the talent of these artists to a wider audience and provide a digital platform for the powerful and important messages within their work. We hope in doing so, we can help drive actionable change for more diverse representation in art for the next generation of artists”, says Josh Partridge, UK MD and Co-Head of EMEA, Yahoo. “Art has a unique power to bring people together and by creating an accessible digital platform that’s rooted in diversity of thought, ideas and expression, we welcome audiences from across the UK and beyond to come together to appreciate and celebrate each artist's work.”

The eight artists being spotlighted in Black Art. Black Stories. Black Voices. are: 

  • Pauline Boyenga Bofala: inspired by different forms of art such as photography, sculpture and literature, with care for the environment being central to her work, Pauline uses recycled materials as her canvas. 
  • Sharon Adebisi: a self-taught artist, whose art is a reflection of her mind. Her work communicates the journey of her emotions, experiences and self-discovery through colour-rich, semi-abstract paintings focused on portraiture. 
  • Lola Betiku: a self-taught Nigerian-British painter based in East London, better known by the alias ‘Labet’. Labet’s work serves as a figurative and abstract diary which explores themes of identity and representation.
  • Damel Carayol: inspired by the richness of The Gambia where he was born, the energy from Africa and her people in the Diaspora, Damel uses oils and acrylic to engage with themes of beauty, religion and community to grapple with human endeavours.
  • Sekai Machache: a Zimbabwean-Scottish visual artist and curator based in Glasgow. Sekai is interested in relationships between spirituality, imagination and the role of the artist in disseminating symbolic imagery to provide a space for healing.
  • Isis Raheem: a Webcomic artist and illustrator experimenting with sequential art and enhanced audience interaction. Her work explores the ways in which technology allows for closed narratives to be transformed into more immersive experiences.
  • Gus Brooks-Simpson: Inspired by the ancient world and religion, while compelled to study mankind and creation, Gus’ art pays reverence to nature and life.
  • Elicia McKenzie: an expressionist artist that mainly specialises in water mixable oils to create either a representational or abstract art piece. Elicia creates art that allows the subject to decide if it will be a figurative or an abstract piece.

 

Paul Reid, Founding Director, Disrupt Space  “Disrupt Space is thrilled to be working with Yahoo, and  all the partners and industry leads on Black Art, Black Stories, Black Voices. The project involves exciting new creative frontiers for us in cryptocurrency and digital art. It has accelerated our learning and active participation at the apex where ‘creativity’ meets ‘commerce’ meets ‘tech”

The campaign is a continuation of Yahoo’s commitment to amplifying diverse voices and perspectives for its global audience through the digital space. Yahoo also has an ongoing relationship with some major diversity and inclusion membership organisations. This includes the DIAL Global Summit, where Yahoo UK Managing Director, Josh Partridge and Kristiana Carlet, VP of International Sales, recently spoke about how they are driving actions over words across the many facets of diversity. Yahoo also works with INvolve,  where every year they exclusively publish executive, future leader, and allyship role model lists from those from marginalised communities, including ethnic minorities, women, and LGBT+.

Yahoo UK is also a sponsor of the Journalism Diversity Fund which supports prospective applicants to the National Council for the Training of Journalists through grants and bursaries.