Dear RCDF community,
We hope this letter finds you well and in good health. The last few months have been about experiencing the daily operations of a foundation with the Supervisory Board, chaired by Jose Teunissen, and the Advisory Board, chaired by Rolando Vazquez, having their quarterly meetings, while the Executive Board meets bi-weekly. The focus has been mainly on funding applications, which is a craft in itself and we are reaching out to the community for people with experience who would be available to help us in our efforts.
Having applied to several funds and having received feedback on our applications, we are starting to realise how funding institutions are struggling with eurocentric and colonial biases regarding fashion as much as educational and museum institutions. The way we are defining fashion for example, aimed at disrupting western-centric and universal claims of contemporary fashion, are met with resistance and reluctance. Although inclusion and diversity are buzzwords in most of the calls, many funds continue to focus on supporting ‘(national) excellence’ and ‘(radical) innovation.’ But how can we strive for inclusion and diversity, if we are limited to excluding notions of excellence and nationalistic thinking? How can we convince that a focus on radical innovation rather distracts from a radical reduction of cultural diversity? Of roads into the future?
We are starting to wonder if the format of a foundation and applying for funding is the right road into the future for us? We are starting to wonder if we should invest our efforts in changing the system from within or from the borderlands, the in-between and the cracks that we have been operating from since 2012. The main reason to transition into a registered foundation was to become financially sustainable and fair to all the people investing their time and expertise. But what is the best way for the Collective to achieve that? Would it suit us better to be fully self-reliable and self-sufficient through our community? Through a system of voluntary donations based on members’ financial abilities? Here too, we are reaching out to members who have experience and expertise to advise and guide us.
Furthermore, we have news to share on our regular activities, like our monthly Conversations and our very first Global Fashioning Assembly, as well as from our coalitional partners and some exciting publications, exhibitions, podcasts, courses and calls. We are also very excited to announce the creation of our very own RCDF Youtube channel, where you can find all the recordings of the Annual General Meeting 2021 and the Conversations in 2021 and 2022. Make sure to subscribe!
We hope you enjoy this newsletter.
The RCDF team