Black with a Capital B: Week 6 – Anita Welsh

Commissioned by 20 Stories High and created with KOF at GoPlay Studios.

“I Am – ANITA” is a gift of affirmation, empowerment & strength. Anita said that she struggled to respond to the original BLM movement as racism is something she has had to deal with in everyday life, but after the death of George Floyd felt it was important to add her voice and perspective with her own artistic response: “I wanted to show that yeah I’m Black and so much more than just that. My Blackness is a main – and important – part of who I am but it shouldn’t be the only part people see… This piece is a declaration to who I am, exploring my own identity. This piece is me affirming who I am…To me I am Black because even though I am as Black as I am white, no one will ever see me as white – society gave me that identity.” Affirmations are something Anita does regularly using her Jo/Bo stick, she described it as something that has benefited and empowered her – she has even taught her son to do them too. She wanted to share her practice and give other people permission to use them. Her aim is to build women up to be strong and empowered. She hopes this piece will be the start of a new series of her work called “Warrior Women”. “I want every person watching it to be able to take an affirmation they can use to empower themselves, use positive words about themselves, towards themselves. The power is in people saying the words themselves, not me saying it for them.”

About Anita

Anita is a mother, poet and writer who creates: not only life but in art to share with her child, as well as other children and families. She uses writing and poetry to spark imaginations and encourage playful synergy between little ones and their parents and carers. This aim to offer high quality work and activities grows from personal experience of a lack of exciting, inclusive artistic opportunities that bring families together.

Recent projects include: “Touchy” 20 Stories High. Artistic Collaboration with Squash on their ‘Sign of the Times’ exhibition on Windsor Street L8. Toast & Jam, a 16-week project of creative play sessions delivered as Community Engagement Associate for Big Up!, a 20 Stories High and Theatre-Rites co-production. Consultant at Liverpool Cultural Education Partnership. Anita is also a Story Building Associate at 20 Stories High as part of their State of Mind initiative which explores mental health and wellbeing within the work they make.

Black with a Capital B Artwork by Amber Akaunu.

Photos by Rebecca Oliver.