Row as Yorkshire town with a 98.7% white population only features white people on new mural commemorating workers
- Row over mural dedicated to workers amid pandemic in East Riding of Yorkshire
- Driffield Town Council installed the artwork on Middle Street North this week
- Some locals said the piece to show people from ethnically diverse backgrounds
- But other residents said that it was a ‘lovely piece’ which ‘celebrated people’
A row has erupted on social media over a new mural dedicated to businesses amid the pandemic after it only portrayed white people.
Driffield Town Council installed the ‘Wall of Fame’ artwork on Middle Street North in East Riding of Yorkshire to commemorate the ‘well-known personalities’ in the region who have worked tirelessly through the Covid-19 crisis.
The temporary mural, which was unveiled this week, features 15 different people, who represent local shopkeepers, restaurant owners and other personalities, and all are depicted as white.
However the installation has divided opinion among locals, with some arguing the artwork lacked diversity while others said it was reflective of the region, which has a 98.7 per cent white population.
Row erupted over a new mural erected by Driffield Town Council this week which commemorates the ‘well-known personalities’ in the region who have worked tirelessly through the Covid-19 crisis
The artwork features 15 different people, who represent local shopkeepers, restaurant owners and other personalities
Local resident Kerrie Woodhouse-Dove wrote on Facebook that, although she liked the idea, it could have been ‘a little more inclusive’.
She wrote: ‘Whilst I really like the idea, it just screams welcome to out ‘white town’. Obviously being a minority is even more reinforced by this which is a shame really, some thought could have gone into being a little more inclusive.’
One local wrote: ‘Wow, not one person of colour or disabled person and mostly full of men. Representation matters.
‘I appreciate the sentiment is celebrating the local businesses and the people behind them who have worked really hard but there are so many other ways this could have been represented in art besides just drawing a load of white people.’
While another person added: ‘What a huge missed opportunity to highlight people of colour in the town as well.’
Elsewhere another person commented: ‘This is good but sadly lacks the real diversity in our town, which would have really done the town and town council some good!!!’
However others commended the council for the mural and said it was a ‘lovely piece’ which ‘celebrated people’.
One resident said: ‘I think this is a lovely piece, celebrating people who actively care and support their town. A good celebration in these Nasty Covid days. If you contribute and work hard you should be recognised. Brilliant job, well done.
Driffield Town Council said the panels on the mural were created to reflect ‘well-known personalities who either own or work in the shops and businesses’
Some locals criticised the piece and argued that it could have been ‘a little more inclusive’
And another wrote: ‘Fabulous and lovely to see the businesses within the high street who have chosen to give their spare time to help make this town nicer what a lovely tribute.’
Meanwhile another person added: ‘Dear me, reading some comments!!!
‘It’s just a picture of people representing their businesses. who have struggled and worked hard to stay afloat, during these difficult times, so sad some of you out there want to be so negative when it’s a positive that brightens up Driffield.
‘Please try to understand it’s representing Hard Working Businesses nothing more.’
Driffield Town Council said the panels on the mural were created to reflect ‘well-known personalities who either own or work in the shops and businesses’ in the area.
Other locals commended the council for the mural and said it was a ‘lovely piece’ which ‘celebrated people’
It went on to say the artwork was an ‘attempt to boost the town not to cause negative publicity.’
In a statement, the council said: ‘The people shown run businesses and shops in Middle Street North, Market Place and Middle Street South, also known as the Northern and Station Quarters.
‘The town council and the steering group are working hard to support local businesses and this mural is an attempt to boost the town not to cause negative publicity.’
The latest figures show that of Driffield’s 13,080 population, 12,909 people are white.
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