AN exhibition featuring images of black Scots wearing face masks has been destroyed in what is being described as a racist attack.

The vandalism of the BREAdTH apart exhibition came just weeks after it opened in Dundee.

Artist Sekai Machache, 31, who was behind the display condemned the action.

Police Scotland said officers were carrying out inquiries into what happened.  

It comes after vandals targeted her previous public exhibition in the city and after a mural of George Floyd, the US police officer whose death sparked new life to the Black Lives Matter movement,  was defaced.

The Herald:

One of the images.  Source: Creative Dundee.

Ms Machache said: "Racism is the most inevitable thing in the world.

"I’m not shocked Dundee, I’m just disappointed. It’s not the first time this has happened to me and my work or to anti-racist statements in the city."

It is thought the vandals struck at some point over the weekend, most probably Saturday night.

Creative Dundee, an organisation that supports creativity and art in the city, said: "Sekai’s work has been torn down in an act of racist vandalism. We will be working alongside Sharing Not Hoarding [the exhibition organisers] and Sekai to share and help platform their response in the near future.

"Until then we stand in solidarity with our friend Sekai and all involved in the project."

The exhibition presents two interpretation posters and 16 portraits of Black people based in Scotland wearing face masks designed in collaboration with Dundee-based artist Fiona Catherine Powell.

The masks were made using a collection of vibrantly coloured African fabrics.

According to Creative Dundee, choosing to have the participants wear brightly patterned masks the exhibition advocated the importance of wearing face masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19 "whilst highlighting the relationship between systemic racism and healthcare".

The exhibition was part of the Scottish Black Lives Matter Mural Trail which has seen artwork displays popping up at a dozen arts venues and sites in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.

Creative Dundee's description of the exhibition said: "Reports on the Covid-19 pandemic have shown that Black and Asian communities in the UK have been made disproportionately vulnerable to this virus and so in many ways the call to citizens to wear a mask to prevent the spread of coronavirus has become yet another aspect of the BLM movement.

Ms Machache said in launching the exhibition: "“BLM as a movement extends far beyond police brutality into every aspect of Black lives. It is important to understand the ways in which systemic anti-Blackness affects the quality of life, access to adequate healthcare and life expectancy of Black people.

We stand in solidarity with Black people around the world. We are imploring everyone to understand that All Lives cannot matter as long as some of us continue to be excluded from the ‘All’.”

Scottish Black Lives Matter Mural Trail artists come from a wide range of backgrounds (including Cape Verde, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan/Harris, USA), some trained, some self taught, combining youth and experience, individuals and artist collectives.

The trail is the brainchild of Edinburgh based creative producer Wezi Mhura who pulled the idea together in just over a week, with the support of venues and arts organisations including Edinburgh International Festival, Dance Base, Queen’s Hall Edinburgh, Eden Court Theatre, Glasgow’s King’s Theatre and Theatre Royal, and many more.

In launching it, Ms Mhura said: “The Scottish Government says it recognises the strength in its aspirations to a more equal and more diverse society going forward, and we hope this Mural Trail will help to start the conversations that need to be happening now. It’s been amazing to connect in with so many talented artists (with roots in so many different places) who have been so enthusiastic about getting behind this project”.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "We are aware of a vandalism to posters in Slessor Gardens, Dundee and will be carrying out enquiries. Anyone who knows who is responsible should contact officers."