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Bristol's artists get racist abuse for 'joyful' project

image copyrightPlaster Communications
image captionThe #WhoseFuture campaign was launched in mid-July across Bristol
Black artists have been targeted with threats of violence and racist abuse following a campaign for social change.
The women took part in the Rising Arts Agency's #WhoseFuture campaign where 370 billboards in Bristol were posted with art, photography and poetry.
In a statement, the agency said a minority of people had targeted six artists as well as the agency.
Avon and Somerset Police has confirmed it is investigating the reports made on social media to several individuals.

'Lives threatened'

The campaign was launched in mid-July as a response to the worldwide Black Lives Matter movement.
Founder, Kamina Walton, said the majority of abuse was aimed at one young, black female artist.
The agency has not named her in order to protect her.
"She is a mixture of extremely angry, upset and traumatised.
"We knew there was potential for backlash but we had no idea it would be to the point where people's lives are being threatened," added Ms Walton.
image captionThe posters have been put up around Bristol, including this one in Bedminster
The agency also said it has received public support and its aim was to give a voice, not just to people of colour, but those who felt ostracised and excluded from the arts sector.
"This campaign was about asking questions of the city but it was also saying, 'look at this talent that is on your doorstep that you're just not seeing'.
"That is what has been so joyful about the campaign. For those artists, their self-esteem was through the roof and and it felt like a real celebration," said Ms Walton.
The agency has said it will continue its work to encourage openness and honesty.
Bristol City Council said in a statement: "Art is interpretive and therefore always draws different opinions.
"While people may not agree, it is important conversations remain respectful."

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