“I wanted to paint people who looked like me”
Kelechi is a 12-year-old artist from London whose paintings are selling around the world.
Representation matters, especially to children, as it can shape not only how they are viewed by society, but also how they view themselves.
Historically, people of African descent (PAD) in western countries have been both underrepresented and misrepresented in the media. In particular, PAD children are susceptible to this as they often become infatuated with characters that they come across within films, TV shows, advertisements, books and even in video games. PAD children often do not see themselves reflected in media and if they do, it is often in a negative stereotypical matter, which can cause self-esteem and inferiority issues. Consequently, this can lead to poor quality of life.
But this is something we can change with CERD 34.
CERD 34, recommendation number 25 – “Recognizing the particular vulnerability of children of African descent, which may lead to the transmission of poverty from generation to generation, and the inequality affecting people of African descent, adopt special measures to ensure equality in the exercise of their rights, in particular corresponding to the areas that most affect the lives of children.”