Australian architects and designers post black square for racial equality

Jun 3, 2020
  • Article by Online Editor

Australian architects and designers joined more than a million people around the world yesterday by posting a black square to Instagram to support those protesting for racial equality in light of the death of George Floyd.

Gray Puksand, Woods Bagot, Bates Smart, Kate Challis, Ben Callery, Fender Katsalidis, Cumulus Studio, Matt Gibson Architecture + Design, Russell and George, Ian Moore Architects, Design Office, Edition Office, Mim Design Studio, WOWOWA Architecture, the NGV, Arm Architecture and Breathe Architecture are just some of the hundreds of local architects and designers who posted black squares on Instagram.

The posts were accompanied by the hashtag #blackouttuesday, which began as an attempt by two US music insiders to pause business as usual across the industry.

The hashtag has been widely adopted over the last 48 hours with many Australian creatives and the general public posting the black square in solidarity.

However, the initiative was not without its issues, leading some to criticise it as a “potentially harmful allyship” and calling on those who did post black squares to include links to support funds that have been established for Floyd and those impacted by the protests.

These include the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund along with numerous funds to pay the bail of those arrested during the protests in the USA.

Floyd was killed in Minneapolis on 25 May when an officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. In Australia, those protesting on social media have also highlighted Australia’s history of Aboriginal deaths in custody.

There have been at least 432 Aboriginal deaths in custody since a royal commission looked into the matter in 1991.

On Tuesday, hundreds took to the streets of Sydney chanting “black lives matter” and advocating for reform in Indigenous policing. Similar protests in Melbourne are set to take place on Saturday.

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