“Black pride builds communities.” This artist is bringing people of colour to the forefront

“Black pride builds communities.” This artist is bringing people of colour to the forefront

Aurélia felt isolated because of the way she looked as a woman of colour growing up in France. After finding self-confidence, self expression and courage through illustration, Aurélia is determined to represent women of colour in her art.

Beautiful News

Art is supposed to be a mirror of the world – but illustrator Aurélia Durand didn’t see herself in it. The vibrant hues that reflected her mixed-race identity and multicultural heritage had been painted over in whiteness. Juxtaposing bright purples, blues, and reds with rich blacks and browns, Durand is instead painting a picture that shows off all of her colours. “Representation matters,” she says. “Black pride builds communities.”

Raised in Paris, Durand struggled to recognise herself in mainstream media. “I grew up ashamed of my identity because I didn't understand it,” she says. While studying in Denmark and France, she was confronted with the underrepresentation of people of colour in art. So Durand began to create digital drawings to depict the nuances of blackness that were missing from European narratives. “Our society needs to see more colour,” she says. 

In Durand’s illustrations, black and brown characters draped in trendy clothes strike a confident pose or dance to music, capturing the contemporary life of Afro-descendants. “I use my voice to make people feel proud,” she says. Her work has since been featured on international platforms, and in 2020 Durand collaborated with writer Tiffany Jewell on the book, This Book is Anti-Racist. The pages deconstruct racism, and teach youth how to be active in the face of injustice. Depicting her culture and identity in a positive light, Durand has brought her story to the forefront. She’s redesigning the world as she sees it – bursting with joy. “Do what you love,” Durand says, “and embrace who you are.”

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Black pride matters.

Posted by Beautiful News on Saturday, June 6, 2020

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