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Black Professionals in the Creative Arts Spotlight – A Conversation with Ayo

Hi Ayo! Can you introduce yourself and describe your role in the creative arts?

Ayo: Hi! My name is Ayomide Adesanya and I am a filmmaker and a news research intern. My passion for creativity has led me to explore various creative endeavours like short films, drama, media campaigns, live-streaming, and documentaries.

What inspired you to pursue a career in this field?

Ayo: The need to tell human stories inspired me; stories that are immediately relatable to everyone. I believe we all have shared experiences that unite us as we navigate society and pursue our dreams, facing similar challenges that we need to overcome. Also, as a minority living in Scotland, I want to be part of the emerging voices promoting appropriate representation for people like me. I aim to create pieces that project us as we are—strong, resilient and full of boundless creativity—while embodying those qualities myself.

What are your proudest achievements in your career so far?

Ayo: I recently finished a 10-minute short film called Elsie. It challenges the current rhetoric about some courses being “Mickey Mouse” degrees compared to others. I believe people should be free to choose and study what they want. Passion, mentorship and hard work are recipes for success regardless of the field. The UK media and creative industries contribute about £108 billion to the UK economy, a figure that underscores the importance of all fields, including the arts.

How does your work contribute to advancing representation and inclusion for Black professionals in the UK?

Ayo: There is a significant gap for Black creative professionals in the UK, not because they don’t exist but because they lack access to growth opportunities. I’m privileged to have a powerful support system like BPU and mentors in the film and creative industries. Through my work, I exemplify the creativity and resilience Black professionals can achieve when given opportunities. Collaborating with my fellow filmmakers and media professionals across the world showcases the potential and richness of having diverse perspectives.

What challenges have you faced as a Black professional, and how have you overcome them?

Ayo: Structural inequality has often pushed me away from my goal of telling human stories. The lack of representation and role models in senior positions is another major challenge. However, support systems like BPU bridge this gap by connecting talents like me with forward-thinking employers and funders who recognize the importance of diversity. Collaborating with individuals worldwide has also expanded my perspective on art and creativity.

What advice would you give to young Black creatives aspiring to join the industry?

Ayo: Collaborate! Work with Black creatives and creatives from around the world. Widen your horizon and keep pursuing growth.

What motivates you to continue your work in the creative arts?

Ayo: The desire to tell compelling human stories and the drive to promote representation and inclusion for people like me keep me motivated. The impact of these stories and their ability to unite us as a society is incredibly powerful.

In what ways does BPU support and promote Black creatives in the UK?

Ayo: BPU provides a support system that bridges the inequality gap, connecting Black creatives with forward-thinking employers and funders. This support is crucial for promoting diverse perspectives and providing access to opportunities that are often hard to come by.

Are there any upcoming projects or initiatives you’re excited about that advance representation and inclusion?

Ayo: Yes, I’m currently working on several projects aimed at promoting diverse voices in the creative arts. While I can’t reveal too much yet, these initiatives are designed to provide platforms for underrepresented talents and highlight the richness of diverse perspectives.

How can people follow your work and support your projects?

Ayo: You can follow my work on social media and through various platforms where I share my projects. Supporting my work involves engaging with my content, sharing it with others, and staying connected to upcoming initiatives that promote representation and inclusion in the creative arts.

Stay tuned for more inspiring stories from Black professionals in the creative arts. Follow us at BPU to stay updated on our latest highlights and initiatives.

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