Papergang Theatre supports stories of the British East and South East Asian community and the (South) East Asian diaspora. (South) East Asian culture in the Western diaspora, is a unique amalgamation of Eastern and Western customs. There is no formula for this culture which can manifest itself in East and West mixtures of varying degrees but with the overriding factor that it is not solely one, nor the other. It is a recognisable and yet unique experience.
Our commitment to improving the representation of British East and South East Asian culture across the dramatic arts primarily in UK theatre goes beyond the work we put on stage. It informs our policies as a company and our activism in the wider world.
Beyond our specific BESEA focus, we are also committed to creating a fairer, more equitable for industry for all in our post COVID-19 world. Most importantly BLACK LIVES MATTER, and we will actively work challenging anti-black sentiments in the East Asian diaspora.
Our Core Values:
● in a safe space, in accordance with the Equity Safe Space statement:
Every single one of us working on this project is entitled to work in a safe space: a space free of fear, a space free of bullying and harassment of any kind. We will work together honouring our differences and celebrating the gifts we each bring to the table. We will treat one another with politeness and respect at all times and, if we are subjected to or witness bullying and harassment, we will speak out knowing that our voices will be heard and we will be taken seriously. Together we can create a safe space
● with inclusion: if you are from an South East Asian country and wish to make your practice within the UK, we include you within our BESEA scope and hold you to the same values.
● with flexibility: we believe in a healthy work/life balance and will support the needs of individual collaborators during our projects.
We commit to
● Black Lives Matter and pro-actively confront anti-blackness in the BESEA arts sector, BESEA community and the UK.
● No-white washing or yellow face in our work, and that of our collaborators.
● No colourism. We will always actively seek out auditions from actors within a play’s particular ethnic identity, without preconceived notion of ethnic appearance; and in extension, we do support (South) East Asian and Eurasian actors in pan-Asian casting.
● Sensitivity to the British East Asian experience. The BESEA experience, within the structural racism endemic to UK society, needs special consideration beyond an international outlook. Against a backdrop of discrimination and erasure from UK stages, it is the work of ACE funded BESEA companies to support and promote individual BESEA artists.
● Protecting LGBTQ+ rights and representation.
● Promote and increase accessibility for disabled performers and audiences.
● Without language that is informed by colonial legacies and internalised racism.
● Without censorship and conformity: the BESEA sector should be a contested space. We will always engage in dialogue, but we believe that to further debate issues concerning protected identities is damaging and we maintain our right to disengage with those that breach our core values.