A female photographer was escorted out of a Canadian music festival after she refused singer Lido Pimienta‘s request for white people to move to the back.
The incident happened at the Halifax Pop Explosion music festival where Lido invited “brown girls to the front” during her Oct. 19 show, according to The Canadian Press.
Witnesses say Lido, pictured above, asked white people to move to the back of the venue and she invited people of color to come to the front.
But a white female photographer refused to budge after Lido repeatedly asked her to move.
“She just kept saying, ‘Move to the back,”‘ says Allie O’Manique who attended the concert.
“Finally after saying it about 10 times — and the woman refused to move — (Pimienta) said, ‘You’re cutting into my set time and you’re disrespecting these women, and I don’t have time for this.”‘
Festival organizers ordered the photographer to be escorted out, and they later terminated her services.
Julia-Simone Rutgers, a woman of color who was invited to the front, says she couldn’t understand why the photographer just didn’t move.
“There’s a certain understanding that if an artist asks a crowd to do something, the artist is in charge in that space,” Rutgers says.
A festival organizer took to Facebook to apologize for the white photographer’s “overt racism” and she promised to make changes to improve “anti-oppression and anti-racism training” over the next year.
Vice-chairman Georgie Dudka apologized to Lido in a Facebook post: “We are sorry that one of our volunteers interrupted your art, your show, and your audience by being aggressive and racist.”