The Shocking Facts
According to a survey conducted in 2020 by Sport England, 95% of Black adults and 80% of Black children in England do not swim. 93% of Asian adults and 78% of Asian children in England do not swim. (Sports England Active Lives Survey) , while only 1% of registered swimmers with governing body Swim England identify as Black or mixed race.
Black Children are seven times more likely to die from drowning than their White peers, prompting experts to encourage them to learn how to swim.
Children from African and Caribbean backgrounds have been held back from learning the life skill because of fears about water, hair protection and financial means which has left them at a greater risk.
Figures show that 1.87 per million White or White British children, followed by 2.86 per million Asian and Asian British children and 3.12 per million mixed-heritage children have died from drowning.
Source : The Voice online : 28th July 2023
My name is Ed Accura, the producer of the Blacks Can’t Swim film documentaries and co-founder of the Black Swimming Association (BSA).
As a filmmaker, I am embarking on this personal project in the form of a documentary to address the pressing issue of low aquatic participation within underrepresented communities. Please note, this campaign is a personal endeavor and not affiliated with the Black Swimming Assocation (BSA), a charity of which I am a cofounder. However, I am deeply committed to the BSA's mission and believe that both parties share the goal of promoting swimming and water safety within marginalised groups.
The documentary "Changing the Narrative" aims to transform the narrative surrounding swimming in African, Caribbean, and Asian communities. Through a deep exploration of the impactful journey of the Blacks Can't Swim Campaign, the documentary strives to instigate enduring changes in how swimming is perceived, behaviours associated with it, and the cultural norms surrounding aquatic activities. It aspires to challenge stereotypes, tackle systemic barriers, and foster inclusivity in the realm of swimming.
The objective of this documentary is to delve into the five-year journey of the Blacks Can't Swim campaign and explore its impact on the current state of diversity in swimming. It will assess the progress made in diversifying swimming and aquatics over the past five years, take stock and use these findings to gather valuable insights that will inform and guide future actions and strategies for the next five years.
Due to its critical importance, the documentary will be produced regardless of the amount of funding we raise. However, the more money we raise, the greater the impact will be.
The documentary will strive to present a nuanced and perceptive exploration of the present state of diversity, equity, and inclusion within aquatics. It seeks to highlight and commend notable achievements in these areas while simultaneously undertaking a critical analysis of the persistent challenges and shortcomings that demand attention and resolution.
In 2018, I was deeply moved by a story of a tragic incident where a father couldn't rescue his daughter from drowning because he lacked the necessary water safety knowledge. Considering the potential risk to my daughter, now 13 year old, I realised that I too, needed to overcome my fear of swimming. Motivated by this realisation, I made a conscious decision to confront my fears, challenge the stereotypes, and address the myths surrounding Black People and swimming. This commitment materialised in the form of a five-year-long campaign known as "Blacks Can't Swim."
Alice Dearing, Ed Accura and Danielle Obe representing the Black Swimming Association in hosting World Drowning Prevention Day at No.10 Downing St.
To grasp the future of diversity in aquatics for the next five years, let's examine the highlights of the campaign over the past five years.
The Black Can't Swim Film Documentaries: The production of three impactful Blacks Can't Swim film documentaries. These films serve as powerful tools to raise awareness, educate, and engage audiences on the critical issues surrounding swimming within minority communities.
Co-founding the Black Swimming Association: Alongside Seren Jones, Alice Dearing, and Danielle Obe, we played a pivotal role in establishing the Black Swimming Association. The association has a clear mission to ensure equitable access to water safety education, drowning prevention, and the overall benefits of aquatics for African, Caribbean, and Asian communities.
Multi-Medium Awareness Campaigns: Utilising various mediums, including music, films, podcasts, art and relatable content, to highlight the issues faced by communities often overlooked in water safety discussions. This approach aimed to reach individuals who are typically at higher risk of drowning.
Mainstream Media Coverage: The campaign received extensive coverage in mainstream media outlets, making it easier to initiate conversations on topics that were previously uncomfortable to address. This exposure helped bring attention to the disparities in aquatic safety education.
Community and Sector Collaboration: Efforts of the campaign helped facilitate a closer relationship between disenfranchised communities and the aquatic sector than ever before. This collaboration is crucial in addressing the gaps in water safety awareness and drowning prevention.
Long-term Focus on Water Safety: The campaign contributed to creating an environment with a long-term vision of making water safety and drowning prevention important to all individuals, regardless of their ethnicity. This focus aims to build a sustainable culture of safety within diverse communities.
Key Questions & Forward-Looking Stance: While highlighting achievements, the documentary will pivot to a crucial question: What has changed since the campaign's inception? This inquiry serves as the foundation for evaluating current strategies and addressing ongoing challenges, prompting me to ask are we doing enough? Taking a forward-looking stance, the documentary will challenge the present and explore the possibilities of the next five years. This perspective aims to ignite a call to action for stakeholders. Viewers will be prompted to assess the sufficiency of past efforts and consider additional measures for lasting change.
To provide a broad perspective, the documentary will showcase interviews with individuals representing the communities affected by the campaign. This will involve community influencers, politicians, mentors, and other significant figures.
As participants in the "Blacks Can't Swim" initiative, young individuals will also discuss their challenges and successes, reflecting on the influence of their participation in the documentary. They will explore whether this involvement has fuelled motivation or not. Given the existing scarcity of inspiration, we will delve into the crucial responsibility of instilling motivation for the next generation.
Beyond the Seas
The interviews will extend beyond the UK, as the campaign has garnered significant engagement internationally. Notable participation has been observed in places such as The Fairmount Water Works exhibition in Philadelphia USA, Enigmatic Global in New Zealand, the SwimStrong Foundation in New York USA, and the initiation of a recent dance movement in Nigeria.
Challenges and Triumphs:
The documentary will shed light on the obstacles encountered on this journey, including institutional barriers, racial slurs, personal financial and health challenges, unconscious biases, cultural stereotypes, and resistance from various stakeholders. However, it will also highlight the tremendous support and positive encouragement we have received from stakeholders and the general public.
In addition to reflecting on the past five years, the documentary will delve into the current challenges we face and the prospects for the future. We aim to provide a comprehensive exploration of the triumphs and trials we have experienced, shedding light on both the systemic failings and the resilience of our community.
Stunning Cinematography: The use of skilled camera work, composition, and framing to capture beautiful and impactful shots. This would include sweeping landscapes, intimate close-ups, and dynamic angles.
Underwater Shots: Capturing scenes beneath the water's surface, offering a unique and visually captivating perspective, especially relevant to the theme of swimming and water safety.
Slow-Motion Sequences: Slowing down certain footage to highlight details, evoke emotions, or add a dramatic effect. This technique is often used to emphasize key moments or actions.
Aerial Footage: Utilising drones or other aerial technology to capture shots from above, providing a broader view of locations and events. This can add scale, context, and visual interest.
Symbolic Imagery: Incorporating visuals that carry symbolic meaning, representing the journey, challenges, and empowerment being explored in the documentary. This could include metaphorical images that resonate with the narrative.
Utilising the vast amount of media assets that have been generated since the beginning of the campaign.
Overall, cinematic visuals aim to enhance storytelling, create a deeper emotional connection with the audience, and elevate the overall production quality of the documentary.
Please be aware that the final visuals will be determined by the amount of funds raised.
To guide the audience through this transformative journey, the documentary will feature a compelling narrator or voiceover. A powerful and uplifting soundtrack with old and new music will complement the narrative, enhancing emotional moments and evoking a sense of hope, determination, and triumph.
Proposed Film Specification
Film type File Type: .XAVC S
Picture profile S log
Res 100M 4K 4:2:2 10 bit recording
Frame rate 25p/50p
Please be aware that the final specifications will be determined by the amount of funds raised.
The documentary will be directed by award winning Mysterex, who directed the Blacks Can’t Swim trilogy.
"Ed Accura: Changing the Narrative" transcends mere retrospection; it aspires to ignite continuous discourse and meaningful actions. It calls upon everyone to actively contribute to the development of a safer and more inclusive aquatic environment. Employing personal narratives, engagement with stakeholders spanning communities and the aquatic sector, visually compelling elements, and an inspirational tone, the documentary takes on the challenge of examining the profound impact of the Blacks Can't Swim Campaign on perceptions, behaviours, and cultural norms within African, Caribbean, and Asian communities. Through a blend of storytelling, interviews, and data-driven insights, the documentary vividly portrays the journey – from where we started, to where we currently stand, and towards our envisioned future.
On a personal level, the documentary seeks to inspire by exemplifying how an individual's vision and unwavering determination can instigate substantial change. Ed Accura's journey serves as a compelling call to action, encouraging viewers to pursue their own visions despite challenges and actively contribute to a future that is both inclusive and empowering.
Your contribution will help cover the pre and post production expenses, planning, filming equipment, travel, editing, and marketing efforts. We endeavour to create a high-quality film that resonates with audiences worldwide.
We aim to have the documentary completed and ready for broadcast during Black History Month (October 2024)
We kindly ask for your support through crowdfunding contributions, which will be greatly appreciated and bring us closer to our goal.
Pledges and Rewards
As a thank you for your contribution, we would like to offer you valuable assets as a token of appreciation. These assets include Screening and Q&A packages, Education Resource packages, and special editions of A Visual Journey of Blacks Can't Swim.
(Please see the videos below)
Blacks Can’t Swim REWIND Screening Package (Reward)
The Blacks Can’t Swim Screening and Education Resource packages have been proven to raise awareness, educate and inform, address social Issues, promote inclusivity, inspire change, empower disenfranchised communities, challenge stereotypes, promote dialogue and discussion, and work towards a lasting change.
Organisations that have supported and benefited from the screening and Q&A sessions include
• PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) • British Council • University of East London • Nottinghamshire Police • Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) • Hertfordshire County Council • St. Mary’s University, Twickenham • The Fairmount Water Works (Philadelphia) • Active Oxfordshire • Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and more
Blacks Can’t Swim REWIND Education Resource Package (Reward)
The 'Blacks Can't Swim' film documentaries have been instrumental in uncovering the reasons behind the disproportionately low number of individuals from African, Caribbean, and Asian backgrounds who engage in swimming. Leveraging the interview material collected during the production of 'Blacks Can't Swim Rewind,' we have developed an educational resource package comprising six modules.
These educational modules serve as essential content for those seeking a deeper understanding of how the lack of diversity and inclusion in aquatics affects individuals within ethnically diverse communities. Specifically curated for individuals within the aquatic and education sectors and organizations with ethnically diverse workforces, this resource is designed to empower you to drive positive change within your spheres of influence. By immersing yourself in these modules, you'll gain valuable insights into the intricate barriers to aquatic engagement, the myriad opportunities and advantages associated with swimming, and effective strategies to promote participation in swimming and aquatics within African, Caribbean, and Asian communities.
Your engagement with these modules holds the power to reshape the narrative. Together, let's break down barriers, create opportunities, and foster a more inclusive aquatic environment. These educational resources are not just informative; they are a call to action, inviting you to be a catalyst for positive change.
Signed copy of A Visual Journey of Blacks Can’t Swim (Reward)
Dive deeper into the narrative that inspired the groundbreaking documentary! This exclusive 384-page book, "A Visual Journey of Blacks Can't Swim," is a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes content, untold stories, and unseen footage. It goes beyond the screen, providing an intimate look into the personal messages, challenges faced, and triumphant moments that shaped the Blacks Can't Swim campaign.
- Untold Stories: Discover anecdotes that didn't make it to the documentary, giving you an insider's perspective on the journey.
- Multimedia Extravaganza: Immerse yourself in the experience with QR codes linking to unreleased podcasts, music, video footage, and more.
- Private Messages: Gain access to personal messages that showcase the dedication, struggles, and triumphs behind the scenes.
- Behind-the-Scenes Backstories: Explore the making of the films, the formation of the Black Swimming Association, and the intricacies of a transformative mission.
- Hundreds of Pictures: A visual feast featuring snapshots capturing pivotal moments, challenges, and celebrations.
Embark on a literary and visual journey that transcends the documentary, offering an enriched perspective on the transformative voyage of Blacks Can't Swim. Your pledge not only supports the creation of the documentary but also grants you an intimate connection to the profound story behind the movement.
"A Visual Journey of Blacks Can't Swim, endorsed by the British Prime Minister, is not just a documentation; it's a collector's item, a testament to resilience, and a celebration of the journey that reshaped narratives. By supporting this campaign, you're not only contributing to the documentary but also securing a piece of history that vividly encapsulates the highs and lows of a movement that aims to make waves of positive change.
Limited Edition: This exclusive edition which includes a copy of the letter of endorsement from the Prime Minister, is crafted specifically for our crowdfunding backers, making it a rare and valuable addition to your collection.
Secure your exclusive copy now and be a part of changing the narrative!
We will acknowledge your support in the film credits and provide you with exclusive updates on the progress of the documentary.
As advocates for equal access to swimming and water safety, I am calling on your support in bringing this independent and important project to life, as it will play a vital role in achieving significant milestones and addressing this crucial issue through this much-needed documentary.
Every contribution, regardless of the amount, will have a significant impact on the production of this documentary. Whether you contribute as an organisation or an individual, together we can make a meaningful impact.
Thank you for being an integral part of the "Changing the Narrative" documentary. Together, we have the power to make a real impact and inspire future generations.
Explore more Videos, Audios and Press on the Blacks Can’t Swim campaign