Film refuses to cram race into a check box

0 Posted by - April 3, 2010 - Blog, Sound

Boxed In tells the story of a young woman of mixed ancestry who struggles with an Equal Opportunity form that asks her to select one, singular ethnicity.

This four-minute piece by Shane Belcourt is the second installation in Work For All’s 10-week campaign to highlight issues of racism in the workplace through film.

Aisling Chin-Yee, a film producer who herself is a mixed-race person, explains the problem with the idea that ethnicity can neatly fit into bureaucratic check boxes on the Work For All blog:

I understand the positive reasons for self-identifying, and why these measures exist to ensure a diverse workplace. But the question of self-identity is much more complicated than checking a box, and like the Mountie in the film points out, it’s not how she identifies on the inside, it’s how she identifies on the outside. Notions of “diversity” and “visible minority” are based more on physical characteristics, colour of skin, shapes of eyes, colour of hair, than on cultural identity. And, sorry to tell you, this type of categorization is racist, even if it’s trying to promote inclusion.

So watch the video, join the discussion, and stay tuned for next week’s chapter in the Work For All campaign.

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