• Ella Lukowiak

Racism in the Art World

Many people are victims of xenophobia and racism throughout the world, regardless of their personal background. With the novel coronavirus sweeping across the globe, the art dealer Raquelle Azran has used the current turmoil of the world to instigate racist actions.

In early March, Azran sent an email to a Vietnemese man, cancelling his assistance at her booth at the Affordable Art Fair in London due to his race. She said that his presence would “unfortunately cause hesitation on the part of the audience in the exhibition space.”

An individual An Nguyen posted the email on social media in an effort to address the situation and

the issue of non-violent racism. Since then, it has been reposted countlessly in a trend of outraged and shocked people across the globe. 

In the email, Azran states, “The corona virus is causing anxiety everywhere, and fairly or not, Asians are being seen as carriers of the virus.” 

The UK fair was quick to back out of having any association with these statements and have removed Azran’s booth, Raquelle Azran Vietnamese Contemporary Fine Art, from the event. 

However, this is just one instance of a person using racism tied with the coronavirus in the art world. During this time, countless others may have lessened opportunities due to their looks for a virus that is out of their control.  

Thanks to brave people such as Nguyen who share their stories, people all over the world are able to understand these horrors and the importance we hold in speaking up about these issues.

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