Dancers, dramatists, and even circus performers are part of a “white supremacist” system, a leading UK conservatoire has claimed.
“Power is held by white people” at the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (CDD), the institution has said, and this “white supremacist” structure must be “dismantled.”
This is according to documents setting out methods to decolonise the “white-dominated” CDD subjects, which span disciplines including dance, drama, and skills for circus performers.
Documents state that subjects, taught by “mostly white staff” with “mostly white faces in their classroom,” should be reviewed on an annual basis to assess the content of courses.
This majority has been asked to help the process, with protocols setting out “how white people… can be better allies and use their inherent privilege to dismantle persistent white supremacist structures in the Conservatoire.”
Documents state that white people have “privileges that their whiteness has imbued” and “inherent complicity” within supremacist systems, which include the UK, US, and “other European or European settler nations.”
‘Self-reflection exercise’ for staff members
Staff have been given a “self-reflection exercise” which asks “what advantages” they have enjoyed in their lives, and whether their subject has been colonised.
Evidence of this colonialism may include focusing on the “UK and ‘Britishness’ at the expense of other interpretations of the world,” or failing to “interrogate how issues of power, privilege and oppression have developed historically in relation to the subject.”
The decolonising process should not be limited to curricula, documents state, and “the Conservatoire and its Member Schools must work to decolonise themselves at all levels.”
This will include ensuring specialist makeup and hair stylists for all performers, and tackling micro-aggressions in the conservatoire’s end of year performances…
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