Category Archives: Imagery and representation
From the best hashtags for the most needed social justice campaigns to looking like we invented every single colour, from writing books and articles about institutionalized anti-Blackness to bringing you the best Twitter threads with the deepest breakdowns and memes… we, as Black women, wrote our names all over your entire year. Life, even. Again. We are magic when taking over the theatres, universities, book charts, Youtube playlists and museums but best believe that we are equally magical when we rest, indulge in Self Care and/or say “No.” There’s magic in our work but, and this is perhaps more important, there’s work behind our magic. It’s more than ‘talent’ and ‘having a nose for it’… it’s expertise. It’s not a ‘head start in the race to be cool’, it’s a deep-rooted (self)love for that what makes us us and loving it before the mainstream catches on. We must praise each other more. Not just when they see us but long before that. Not just when what we do shows up on that generalized radar of acknowledgements. Waaay before that. At the root, from the moment we see ourselves and, but also in, each other.
With that in mind, my dear colleague Bahghi Yemane and I turned our “More celebrations!”-resolution into a program: the Black Magic Woman intro event. Black Magic Woman is an annual festival that started in 1995 and it was as great as the title predicts. The last few years it slimmed down significantly, some years not even taking place at all. It has been one of my long-time dreams to bring it back in a way that matches the memories that, with regards to events, hold a top position in the highlights of my late teens. I’m excited to report that I’ve been granted the honour of organizing the 2019-edition of the festival but that’s a lot of months from now and to hold back on celebrating Blackness… in this economy? I. Think. Not.
So, the festival-festival will take place in 2019 but on Friday October 5, we’re hosting a pre-event at Amsterdam’s Bijlmer Parktheater. There will be two panels:
Panel 1 (in Dutch) – Representation in film and fashion with panellists Grâce Ndjako, Janice Deul, Rowan Blijd and Tosca Vrede. Host: Bēylula Yosef. We’ll talk about:
– #BennieBeige, Rowan Blijd’s campaign that urged Dutch lingerie brands to rethink ‘nude’ as always being 11 shades of beige.
– #DiversityRules , Janice Deul’s platform that focuses on diversity with regards (but not limited) to magazine covers, fashion shows and advertisement.
– “Noire n’est pas mon métier” (Black is not my job), a movement where Black, French actresses protested against misogynoir and other forms of anti-Blackness in French cinema. Grâce Ndjako will give us a breakdown. The picture of above was taking during part of the protest.
– With Tosca Vrede, one of the Black Magic Girlz-coordinators we’ll talk about how all this impacts the lives and minds of Black, teenage girls.
Panel 2 (in English) – Representation in literature with panellists Sarah Ozo-Irabor (Books&Rhymes, (co-founder of Not Another Book podcast), Bēylula Yosef (co-initiator of Afrispectives) and Yomi Adegoke (co-author of Slay In Your Lane). Host: Marly Pierre-Louis.
During this panel we’ll discuss the recently released books and other bundles of stories that made us feel represented.
Wednesday, Bahghi and I will announce the third part of the program and we’ll do so on our Facebook event page. Please note that there’ll be a break between the 1st and the 2nd panel so people who don’t speak Dutch can also properly enter the room.
Basic event info
Date: Friday October 5
Time: From 20.00h until 22.00h.
Location: Bijlmer Parktheater (address: Anton de Komplein 240, 1102 DR Amsterdam)
Tickets: €5 and you can buy them here.
In the Spring of 2018, Marly Pierre-Louis (co-founder of the Amsterdam Black Women group, writer and my dear Sister) and I will release the first edition of our zine. Black Folks Zine is absolutely a work title but let there be no mistake: the writings, illustrations and photography will be about, made by and catering to the Black communities in the Netherlands.
New deadline: February 28, 2018.
Please send your piece(s) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call for submissions
“The last 10 years have been a rollercoaster with new highs, squeaky bolts and loose belts. There were new waves that (re)claimed our spaces and floods of violence questioning, sometimes even challenging our humanity. The realities – joys, sorrows and everything in between) of being Black in the Netherlands need and deserve to be told.
We’re putting together a zine and want you in it! f you’d like to share your writing, drawings, poetry, essays, comics, interviews, or photographs about your experiences this call is for you.”
Click here for our list of topics (written in both English and Dutch).
The gif is taken from Blitz The Ambassador’s video Shine. It is, truly, a mood.