ITSJANINEBTW! Is Janine Francois’s critical and creative space. Janine is a Black Feminist cultural critic and writer, who writes candidly about race (specifically whiteness) and its connection to academia art, culture and heritage. Sometimes it’s wholly personal, sometimes its a structural critique and sometimes its a little bit of both. Janine is also a PhD student at the University of Bedfordshire / Tate. She is researching whether Tate can be a safe(r) space to discuss race and cultural difference within a teaching and learning context. Janine aims to problematise the notions of ‘safety’ that reinforces dominant cultures of whiteness and rein scribes notions of surveillance culture, border control and citizenship privileges.
Janine lectures at the University of the Arts London and has just created the university’s first ever Hip-Hop Studies there. See Janine’s CV which covers her academic interests covers.
Janine’s journey as a cultural critic began 10 years ago, when she first worked as a youth arts educator and manager. She noticed how white cultural institutions both ghettoises and colonises participation project as ‘hard-to reach’ without considering their power and privilege. This led her to develop arts practice that inspires critically amongst young people and have successful partnered with the Victoria & Albert Museum, London College of Fashion, Hackney Museum, Design Museum and The National Archives amongst many others to deliver high impact youth-led projects. Janine still works with young people and is interested in this work around criticality and power / privilege.