What the BLANKety blank?

About this time last year, the Swallows Partnership was just completing a fantastic residency by 28 South African artists in North East England, which nearly didn't happen due to difficulties obtaining visas. (I wrote about it, and the issues around movement of artists here.) This issue has not gone away.

This week I was sent a blistering piece by South African playwright Mike van Graan, which you can see here. He dubs those excluded from the UK the BLANKS: Black Artists with No Kids and who happen to be Single. If you are such a person, you are assumed to want to leave your home and stay in the UK.

It's fiery writing, and a useful exercise in perspective: this is what UK behavior looks like. Swallows received great support from National Campaign for the Arts last year. It is time, however, for the national agencies in the UK and DCMS to start to be much more vocal about this issue.