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Pay Black People.

Hello friends, I hope you’ve had a stunner start to the week and that the weekend heaped some ocean good in your direction.


... diversifying the table..


I have been thinking about the challenge of inclusion of Black people in the Ocean conservation space and discussions, and the requirement to be volunteers thus unpaid for time and effort bothers me to no end, bothered me to a point where I broke down yesterday.



This is the challenge, historically, Black people had little to no access to financial means, for years we were forced to labour without compensation and then when we were compensated it was at a fraction of the cost of what everyone else was being paid, this is still the case today.


For Black people to be in conservation, it requires a level of access to means, means being money.


There is a requirement to come from privilege,


You’ve interned for a fee,

Worked as a volunteer,

Have the gear to be a part of the creation,

Have the money to accumulate ocean experience,

And the papers that extend assumptions of validity of voice.


So you don’t require payment because passion is the only thing that matters and after all, your parents can somehow meet financial needs unmet by your passion and there’s a safety net at the end of your ‘that’s all that matters’.


Privilege. I often talk about how it varies in its social effect and end,


So in another request to participate without compensation, I declined, declined again, and again.


Time, Effort, Principle.


The idea of more labour without compensation when a lineage of people that look like me have endured the worst hardships at the face of building structures that were never theirs nor looked to make them a part of, has begun to make me ill.


The history of Black people and the Ocean is violent.

The assumption and insinuation of free labour is violent.

The request to access Black skills at no fee is no different from the last 400 years. It's violent.

The emotional turmoil of wanting to change the world while having financial obligations mid endless requests to share yours and the disheartening realization of another cup in hand when all the Blood I've known came under the same conditions, is violent.


While you look to diversify your spaces, the Black voices you want to see around the table aren’t there by chance, there was labour and time and sacrifice.


Pay Black People.

Pay Black People.

Pay Black people.

For their time,

For their skills,

For their emotional labour.


----

My guest on the live this week was the Director and Producer of the Rise from The Cape Flats film, Shamier Magmoet, telling the stories that we need to be hearing about the healing found in the ocean - Listen as I speak to @shamier_ocean about this Film and his work to take it international!

Read more about @rise_from_the_cape_flats ⬇️


The film is about a guy who lives in one of the most dangerous places in the world, concern about bringing change into his community.


Despite being shot as a child, when he was 14years old, he still remains positive. On his quest for change and peace, he finds it in a place he never thought to look, he finds this peace in the Ocean, and goes on to learn even more about his new found love in order to teach the children from his community.


*I have entered 50 film festivals, in 23 countries around the world so far, both locally and internationally.

*some festivals were free and the majority of festivals has an average of R200 entry fee.


*the reason for wanting to enter even more is so that I can send this message of hope and change to everyone around the globe.



Enjoy,

Xx



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