Fringe of Colour is back for 2023 with a full hybrid programme of films from Black, Asian, Indigenous and Latine people in Scotland and around the world. Staged online and in-person through live events at Summerhall, Edinburgh, the festival’s design is centred on exploring new ways to connect artists and audiences – with thematic strands centred around the life cycle of a plant:
the seeds that we plant in the soil, to the process of roots finding their way into the earth and the importance of nourishing a growing plant. A plant’s life cycle holds innumerable parallels with our own existence on this planet. Through thinking about this cycle, we also explore the symbiotic relationship we humans have with the greenery around us, the fruits that plants may yield, and the pollination that follows.
Moved from peak festival season August to earlier dates in June, it’s clearer than ever how the event’s ethos is expressed through its curatorial and organisational form as well as its contents – whether in offering space to think about relationships as specifically Black, indigenous, and people of colour creatives and audiences to our environment, to reconsider the role of traditional arts critique in responding to performance art and film, or in planting seeds for future growth, with the festival’s artist commission from Ashanti Harris, Black Gold, joined for the first time by a new curatorial commission in the form of Begana, curated by Neha Apsara and featuring films from the Queer South Asian and Indo-Caribbean archive.
As in previous years, it’s also a festival thinking about the relationship of film to other arts practices – perhaps most clearly through programming of works by interdisciplinary artists and performance makers including Mele Broomes and Alexandrina Hemsley.
Originally developed as an initiative to highlight work by Black people and people of colour at the Edinburgh Fringe through a database and free ticket scheme, Fringe of Colour has often been discussed – narrowly – in terms of its intervention within a white cultural mainstream. The problem with this approach is that less attention has been paid to what the festival offers on its own terms (a move which, ironically and predictably, re-centres whiteness).
You can access the festival with a single pass starting at £5, with free passes available to any people of colour on request; some of the in-person events have a fixed capacity so check @fringeofcolour for details.