Creative Ecosystems is a digital garden that takes care of black community creativity

It is nice that:class=”sans”> Are there other platforms or areas like Creative Ecosystems out there, and what makes yours stand out?class=”sans”>

Annika Hansteen-Izora: Black Creative Ecosystems is part of a long-standing lineage of Black artists and writers brought together through collectives. The Black Arts Movement and The Dark Room Collective were important venues for Black poets and literature, and Where We At Black Women Artists was a collective that arose in response to the lack of space for Black women in the feminist art movement. With the advent of the internet, there are more ways to further expand our radius. What sets Creative Ecosystems apart is that we are an online space and we are committed to radical black imagination. Our definition of radical Black imagination is imagination rooted in the history and future of Black trans people who evoke realities where all have access to agency and success. We are interested in thoughts that come from perspectives outside of the not-for-profit industrial complex and take a grassroots approach. We also differentiate ourselves by focusing on collaborative rather than individual creativity. Creative Ecosystems believes that collaborative creativity is a tool in support of black agency, community, caring and future.

It is nice that:class=”sans”> What are the biggest challenges you face? And what are the highlights of working on Creative Ecosystems so far?class=”sans”>

Annika Hansteen-Izora: Keeping the limit of slowness is one of the greatest challenges. One of the values ​​that is important to me is moving at the pace of sustainability. The general energy around digital spaces is rapidly growing to “move fast and break things”. I’m only interested in growing at a rate that allows for centered care. Creative ecosystems are added to the directory slowly and continuously.

I would also say that expanding Black Creative Ecosystems to locations outside of the US is a challenge I’m keen to take on. We are open to submissions from Black Creative Ecosystems that support the collaborative creativity rooted in radical Black thinking as a method of both imagining and creating worlds that detach from practices of domination on a global scale.

The biggest highlight of working on Creative Ecosystems is seeing the multiple ways that collaborative black creative work is being created. These are spaces that work outside of institutions that build our own tables. It’s inspirational to say the least. An even bigger highlight is seeing artists connect through Creative Ecosystems, moving from an online connection to one committed to deeper shared learning and collaboration.

It is nice that:class=”sans”> What can the creative industries do to support your purpose and mission?class=”sans”>

Annika Hansteen-Izora: Share Creative Ecosystems with your communities to help us connect with other collaborative black creative spaces so we can continue to grow. Follow Black Creative Ecosystems on Instagram at @creativeecosystems. Investing is also the best way to grow. Interested people can contact us at

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