We are very happy to introduce one of our co-hosts for the upcoming symposium, the phenomenal Kusheda Mensah. Kusheda is an artist, print designer and part of the stunning trio that is Unfinished Biz, a Youtube channel and NTS radio show. Unfinished Biz is a passion project launched by Kusheda and her friends, Charlie and Rivah with the aim of representing women that otherwise don’t feel represented on Youtube or other outlets. Topics of discussion vary from relationships and sexuality to club outfits, all rounded up with mad r’n’b tunes. If you haven’t tuned in yet, we urge you to do so. Currently, Mensah is working on broadening her art practice through sculpture and video, focusing on topics of mental health and wellbeing, media, women, diversity and humanity.
Prior to co-hosting the W Project x Tate Exchange symposium, we asked Kusheda to share her insights regarding women in art and diversity on a wider scale, and why she thinks curation from a diverse female perspective plays such a significant role in moving things forward. “The world is diverse. And not just now, when we have magazine covers and films highlighting these beautiful Black/Asian/Arabic women make it trendy. It always has been, especially to the ‘diverse’/ modern world. It just hasn’t been acknowledged. People of colour, especially women don’t usually own or get a voice. I don’t want to hear the perspective of a white male voice anymore. Not because it not important. But because we’ve heard the narrative, they own the world. So, a different voice needs to be heard. From Black to Arabic, Indian to Asian etc. The world is colourful and that is powerful and it should be celebrated. Voices and visions that have been suppressed for so long need to be heard. I want to see that narrative.”
The lack of diversity in the art industry is blatantly obvious, be it regarding gender, race or even socio-economically. Being an artist herself, Kusheda tells us what she would like to see evolve the most within the art world, “As an artist, of course my point of view comes from being a woman but at the same time, I am a human. And from the beginning of time, art has been a reflection of humanity, war, politics, struggle, pain, beauty, love etc. In the bigger, more public museums we see the actual reflection of society, which is STILL white males in portraits, always conquering something, which is still their narrative unfortunately. Never the REAL reflection of humanity. I’d like to see more of us, more diversity, which means ethnic women/men, gay, trans etc and less of ‘them’. We already know what they have to say. We appreciate that. Now we can move on. The real statement in these bigger, more public museums is diversifying the art promoted on i.e. tubes, on the billboards in west London and privileged areas that need to be diversified. And in less privileged areas where art exhibits or art isn’t even promoted or championed. The art world needs to embrace it this diversity. It signifies an acceptance of culture, which is something bigger, and they stand behind and champion the diverse voices of the new age.”
Listen to Kusheda & Co at Unfinished Biz on NTS