White Gaze: The Way We See You (2020)
After the first Brighton Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest in June, I noticed a lot of photographers and media moguls that were there to document the day were white. It made me question why there wasn't more Black and People of Colour documenting for the news. It dawned on me, it's all part of the system that has prevented Black voices speaking out and given stage to the 'white saviour', who not only goes down in history for capturing such moments, but also gets paid to do so. As a Black woman in the creative industry, I've had to work twice as hard to get to where I want to be and be as successful as I hope to be. The struggle lies within the opportunities that are either not offered to me, or I am none-the-wiser about because of the system that myself and my lineage have been forced into.
As I marched and protested for my Brothers and Sisters that were being shot and killed because of the colour of their skin, I was surrounded by white faces gleaming at the great shot they took of the pretty black girl in tears. Shot with a camera that was possibly passed down from a parent, passed down with the knowledge of how to use it, or a camera that was purchased with a bonus that was given to you over the Black colleague that worked twice as hard as you for the same job. You shot it with a camera that gave you opportunities, knowledge, a new door to a new job that you can walk through swiftly because you have white skin.
The Marches and Protests for Black Lives Matter are to stand against inequality, police brutality and systemic racism. It was not for your profit or amusement.
All of these photos were shot on one day, Brighton's BLM protest 3rd June 2020.
This is the way we see you.
Jade Hylton is a Mixed Black British photographer, art model, creative events promoter, writer, and artist from Brighton. Alongside being a creative in a multitude of mediums and learning about her ethnicity and cultural heritage, she hopes to not only educate herself, but others, in her creative and self-journey. Slowly bringing her art into the professional spectrum, in 2019 she exhibited her ‘Black Brighton’ photography project in Chengdu, China. She has recently read her poetry for the Siegfried x Lush Fundraising event at Brighton's BLM protest on the 11th June 2020, and has future projects planned to work with a small business in printing her designs on apparel, to raise and donate money to charity. Jade also has plans to start a Life art class to introduce the life modelling world to more Black, and Ethnic minority creatives in Brighton.
You can view more of Jade's work at www.jadehylton.wordpress.com or via her Instagram @The_Hylton. She can be contacted at email@example.com.