‘Offensive’ Edinburgh club night rebrands event after being accused of ‘insulting black culture’

The event was originally called ‘Black Magic’

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New club night Juju have changed the name of their event this Monday after criticism of it being an “insulting interpretation of black culture.” Juju, which takes place on Monday nights at Opal, have issued an apology on their Facebook page in response to the criticism.

The club night have come under stick for their branding of this Monday’s event that was initially called Black Magic, the use of a Nigerian man who plays the role of the ‘Juju Priest’, and a photo that appeared on their Facebook page of caveman costume.

The Juju priest, Oscar, in action

Esme Allman, EUSA’s BME convenor told the Tab: “It’s disappointing to see a night that skews, exoticizes and fetishises elements of West African and Caribbean culture. The fact their target audience is mainly a white demographic is increasingly concerning and indicative of a problem on university campuses/within university cities nationally and even internationally.”

On the role of the Juju Priest she said: “The use of the ‘Juju Priest’ as a prop for this event is uncomfortable to see and quite frankly offensive. The idea that blackness is something subversive or dissident points to the epistemic violence that black students encounter on a day to day basis.”

Talking about the marketing of ‘Black Magic’, she said: “It is peculiar that this event was ever seen as an acceptable thing to hold and once again black culture is being exploited by white people in order to capitalise on an inaccurate and insulting interpretation of black culture.”

In response to the criticism Juju told the Tab: “JuJu itself means ‘black magic’ and our weekly JuJu club decor and JuJu Priest are all part of the sorcery in which our student night theme is echoed in order to create more of an atmosphere within the venue.

The apology made on their Facebook page

“I have been the JuJu priest on two occasions, launch night and reading week, however more recently my friend Oscar, someone who I’ve worked with for over five years has been doing it. This isn’t because he is Nigerian but purely because he is the best man for the job. Oscar is a local legend due to his fantastic outgoing personality. He is easily the most jovial and happy guy in Edinburgh so having him work with us as our host has been great.”