Black Lives Matter

We invite everyone to work with us to create a fairer, safer, anti-racist world together through photography. We need to do better. We need to listen and learn. We need to make change happen.

We want to clarify exactly what this means to us as an organisation; the steps we are taking and the timeline for these shifts.

Photo Fringe must be an organisation that is a safe space for people of colour to work, connect and thrive whether as an employee, board-member, photographer or freelancer. It is not enough to champion photographers of colour. Photo Fringe as an organisation must also be actively anti-racist and support its network and colleagues in this endeavour ensuring that the future of photography is always anti-racist.

Photo Fringe produces an open access festival that invites everyone to join in. However, we can do more to ensure a wider network of artists, practitioners and audiences hear that message and know how to participate. We have to scrutinise the default systems and processes we use and make them more transparent and accountable.

Photo Fringe is led by a Board of Trustees and employs freelance consultants. We recognise that we are not currently representative.


The Board has agreed on the following live and rolling actions and we have a time-frame to deliver them. We will seek and prioritise resources to support delivery. We want this change to be ongoing and the very core of our work.

In developing new ways of seeing together we will strive to create more opportunities for those who are currently under-represented or disempowered by societal discrimination.

Actions to be updated on a rolling basis and reviewed at each Board meeting and reported each year in December on our website:

Review and research

  • Listen, learn, read, understand, change
  • Ensure people of colour do not shoulder the responsibility of anti-racism at Photo Fringe
  • Review our use of language and consult on the best terminology to use
  • Review our recruitment and selection processes and work towards transparency and accountability in all organisational processes
  • Actively expand our networks
  • Work collaboratively and support collective working with diverse partners
  • Seek critical friends to help us ask uncomfortable questions and make concrete change
  • Ensure artists and/or practitioners of colour are part of our evaluation and review processes
  • Dedicate resources to the evaluation of our progress and publish the results annually each December
  • Join with other arts organisations and sector champions to make the arts sector a fairer place and to fight racism in all its forms

Board development

  • Recruit two new members of the Board by December 2020
  • Research effective training for staff and Board and strategies for systemic change-making by December 2020
  • Develop a code of conduct, following the example of Site Gallery and Wysing Arts Centre, by October 2020. Review biannually each May and December


  • Dedicate staff time to expanding our networks of artists, curators and contractors of colour, ongoingly. Review in December 2020 and then biannually in May and December.
  • Seek funding to develop a self-directed project for and by young people of colour by October 2021
  • Develop a programme of work with new national partners that interrogates and informs our thinking about racism and inclusion by March 2021. Seek funding for it and deliver it in October 2021.
  • Emerging Curators’ Programme to be dedicated to curators of colour in 2020. Recruitment processes to be reviewed for subsequent years and new funding partners sought to provide higher bursary to those in need by 2022.
  • Reach out with our programme to under-served communities and co-produce projects with them that make a difference to them, one per year from 2021.
  • In 2020 we are presenting a festival that asks ‘how can photography make a difference?’ There is no doubt that photography changes everything. It can be a great dissemination tool for sharing messages of change and for documenting the BLM movement. We invite photographers and artists and our local communities to respond to our call to action and tell us how their photography can affect change and make a difference.

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Photo Fringe consistently demonstrates exceptional value for money. Led by volunteers, Photo Fringe endeavours to make all its activities self-financing. Public funding makes up only a third of the current Photo Fringe budget and pays for freelance consultants essential to delivering our intensive programmes. Help us continue to develop our much-needed programmes by donating here. Every little helps.

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