Art&Co., the world’s largest online art auction to support charities alleviating those suffering from disease, depression and domestic violence due to Covid-19, has added Race on the Agenda (ROTA), the seventh charity among those it is supporting to highlight the disproportionate effects of the coronavirus on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in the UK. Fineqia International Inc. (the “Company” or “Fineqia”) (CSE: FNQ) (OTC: FNQQF) (Frankfurt: FNQA) is among Art&Co.’s founding partners.
The risk of Covid-19 related death is more than four times as high for people of black ethnicity than for those of white ethnicity, after adjusting for age. BAME populations in England and Wales are twice as likely to die if they contract COVID-19. Among health professionals, the statistics are particularly stark. While one out of five healthcare workers are BAME, they numbered three among five who died. Among doctors, 90% of those who died were BAME, twice their proportion amongst medical staff. *
“This is deadly evidence of existing socio-economic inequalities that exist in British society,” said Andy Gregg, CEO of ROTA. “The numbers state the sad reality that we’ve tried to have redressed for the past three and a half decades. Real change is long overdue.”
ROTA has sought to highlight the number of BAME lives being taken by COVID-19, as racial inequality has been highlighted amidst Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests in the US and elsewhere.
“Racism still exists because the majority of people still uphold its systems at every level, said Sola Olulode, a British-Nigerian artist participating in Art&Co. “It’s about not getting hired for a job, being stopped and searched on the street, not getting funding, being deported.”
More than 260 pieces of art are being auctioned to bidders from across the globe by Art&Co. Funds raised are being shared by seven registered charities and 42 artists who have come together in the fight against the four D’s of the COVID-19: disease, depression, domestic violence and disproportionate effect on black and ethnic minorities.
Amongst famous artists Picasso, Dali, Warhol, and Koons represented at Art&Co., Olulode is an emerging artist who was a finalist for the 2018 Evening Standard Art Prize. An advocate for rights of BAME individuals, she has more than a dozen of her works on the auction site that explore personal and collective experiences of the communities.
“Black artists have struggled for representation within the art world,” Olulode added. “We need to have a wider conversation about why that is and how we can go about changing that.”
“ROTA is a real agent of much-needed change and we’re proud to support its efforts,” said Bundeep Singh Rangar, Art&Co.’s founder and Fineqia’s CEO. “We’ve also ensured Art&Co. is a real mosaic of the UK population at large, with 80% UK artists and 20% foreign.”
International artists include those from Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, India, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain and the United States. The youngest artist is a 26-year-old Royal College of Art graduate and winner of the Hine Award for Painting; the oldest is a 65-year-old American artist in New York.
Art&Co. is backed by PremFina’s InsurAid unit. Its auction is being extended to June 27 to highlight the unequal effect of Covid-19 among BAME communities and allow for the auction to better support ROTA. Funds raised from InsurAid’s Art&Co. project will be distributed to artists out of work, for their art pieces, and seven registered charities: ICU Steps, The Care Workers Charity, Khalsa Aid International, Painting Our World in Silver, ROTA, Solace Women’s Aid and Za Teb.