African & African-Caribbean Design Diaspora Initiative - Questions & Answers

06.04.2011 11:47


What is AACDD?

The African and African-Caribbean Design Diaspora is a three year programme initiated and managed by the London based not-for-profit organisation British European Design Group. It has been set up to promote the creative skills - academically or traditionally craft-trained - and commercial potential of ethnic minorities of African and African-Caribbean descent in the UK and their creative counterparts in Africa and the Caribbean. 

Who supports AACDD?

AACDD is co-funded by the London based not-for-profit organisation British European Design Group and the Arts Council of England.

Who are the main AACDD partners?

AACDD works very closely with the London Design Festival as its main partner organisation, a number of community and cultural organisations in London and in the UK as well as nine African and Caribbean nations.

Why London?

London is one of the leading multi-cultural cities and one of the most creative hothouses in the world, with inspiration from different cultural identities feeding into the city’s design community. The power of diversity to stimulate creativity is well established. Despite this huge potential, however, the UK creative industry has remained surprisingly mono-cultural, with many different parts of London’s broader community unable to gain employment, access support and showcase their talent. This is especially true for London’s black ethnic community. AACDD aims to showcase, nurture and develop this talent to mainstream audiences in the UK and around the world. 

How will AACDD expand?

One of the main priorities of 2011 and 2012 will be to see the extension of the AACDD geographical reach into other parts of the UK with high percentages of black ethnic minorities and globally through calls for entries to higher academic institutions, community, institutional and social networks (incl. young offenders), the  internet and personal contacts.

By 2012 we therefore aim to have an even larger series of events promoting black creativity in the widest sense to run parallel to the 2012 Olympics. In this way AACDD has the ability and intention to become a major tourist attraction built around England’s black creatives and their heritage partners in Africa and the Caribbean.

What will happen after the Olympics?

The amazingly positive response to AACDD so far has convinced the organisers that this initiative needs to have permanent foundations – to create a legal structure for AACDD to hand over the activities to those, whom it most concerns – a cadre of designers and artists from black minority backgrounds.

This will allow the work that has so successfully began to continue and grow to further encourage, empower and train black diaspora descendents in the creative industries.

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