Inclusion Committee

The IC aims to make sure that the BIPP is a true representation of society, raise awareness of inclusion within the membership, and advise on how education programmes embrace and involve a broad spectrum of people. 

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy states zero tolerance to racism, classism, ableism, and prejudice toward a person's sexual orientation, gender identity or religious beliefs.

To open educational opportunities, the IC has adopted the BIPP's world-recognised qualification structure into a scholarship programme to support younger generations entering the field of photography. 
 

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BIPP Inspired

We are very excited to launch BIPP Inspired, a new project that looks to support young photographers in the photography industry. 

For a full calendar year, two photographers aged between 18 & 25 will be granted a place on the BIPP Scholarship programme. They will receive support and mentoring through the BIPP, led by the programme coordinators, Aneesa Dawoojee and James Musselwhite. 

The aim is to provide a bridge for young photographers to step more confidently into the industry of photography and to assess and nurture their development within the Institute. The benefits include: 5 Online learning meetings with BIPP experts from every field, 2 Portfolio Reviews, a 1-2-1 in-studio work experience day, sponsored entry into the National Awards and access to the overall membership benefits of the BIPP. 

 

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James Musselwhite

Around three years ago, I was asked to produce a series of videos for Arts Council England, highlighting the stories, motivations, and experiences of black wrestlers in the United Kingdom. I was reluctant at first; however, the experience was one that helped me go some way to understanding the struggles that young black people have living in everyday society.
I seized the opportunity not only to create the video packages but also to further my own personal reading. It was about trying to understand other people’s experiences of life and the history from a range of cultures and backgrounds.
I realised that most people’s lives are complicated, tough and unique, and fraught with problems and hurdles to overcome, but if you are a white person living in the UK, racism does not deny you opportunities.
One of the key components to overcoming this is representation. Seeing someone who looks like you, who talks like you, is a fundamental asset to driving success, especially in young people. I believe when you surround yourself in as diverse a community as possible it leads to a greater understanding of the world and ultimately greater empathy with our fellow person. A more diverse community is a stronger community, and that is better for everyone. 
This should be the goal for the BIPP. To be as positive, transparent, and inclusive as possible, so everyone benefits from a better community. 
 

John Hunt

The BIPP have got a year. I’m not going to pay the University subscription unless things start to change”. 
The words of the course leader for the photography degree at the University of Northampton, where I teach as a part-time lecturer. He concluded this statement with, “John, you’re in the BIPP - you’re our liaison with them”. This was the start of the journey then, and prior to it, I have to admit to being a perfectly comfortable white, middle-aged photographer from a very affluent and academic area of the country without really ever having to think about diversity very much. The area sandwiched between Oxford and the Cotswolds is not an area with a high number of ethnic communities (although parts of East Oxford do have small communities). Working in Northampton with a different cultural demographic, it was clear I needed to challenge my own apathy and unconscious bias as a privileged white individual. I’m not there yet, but I’m trying to learn. Aneesa and Monir are helping on the journey, Mark too. Aneesa really opened my eyes after many conversations and shone a light on some uncomfortable questions the BIPP needed to ask itself. Whilst my knowledge about diversity still needs work, my feelings about unfairness and discrimination burn very bright. I hope I can play a small part in future.
 

Aneesa Dawoojee

Inclusion is important to each and every member of any organisation or institute. I believe it to be the foundation of a strong ethos and culture. None of us wants to see anyone struggling or unable to speak up. I’d simply like to support the access for any photographer to reach their professional goals. Our development is always impacted by those who we interact with. In order to not just feel like an onlooker, it is essential that dialogue is opened up and everyone has a platform to be heard, respected and noticed. There is so much talent within the Institute, but unless a person feels connected or encouraged, they may never shine the way that they should.

Mark Hall

I became involved with the BIPP Diversity Council after reading an article in the Guardian, which named and shamed the institute that I have been a part of since studying photography in Blackpool between 1983 and 1986. I posted a link to this onto the Institute Facebook page when I realised that nothing had been said about this either internally or publicly. Unfortunately, this brought out a small number of regrettable responses, which showed that there were issues that had been ignored for too long. It is no surprise to know that engagement with photography is at its highest and most diverse; it should also come as no surprise that many of the institutions that represent photography are not so diverse and need to do a great deal to encourage people from a more representative group of people that are actively engaged in some form of professional photographic activity. What we call professional photography needs also to be redefined, to incorporate areas that have expanded exponentially since the BIPP was formed in 1901 and the practitioners who inhabit those spaces. Education should be seen as the potential link between the past and the future and a way to reach out to the underrepresented if the Institute is to thrive.
 

Monir Ali

I wanted to be a part of the Inclusion Committee as I wanted our organisation to be more representative of modern Britain. A place that allows photographers to be able to express themselves ideologically and creatively without barriers or walls. Also, as a visual organisation, we need to show the industry we are visibly diverse while reflecting and showing a real understanding of creed, race and culture and not just an exotic side note.