Saturday, 29 October 2016

friday late: gal-dem

I've been off for a whole entire week this week. And it's been good. Like, real good. Usually during a half-term break I feel stressed out with school work and revision, but because my first assessments were a week before the break, I had nothing to worry about expect for petty things. It's been nice and easy. It's been the equivalent of that movement you make when you let your shoulders relax.

I've spent the majority of this week rehearsing with my theatre group for a show we're putting on in Edinburgh next month. (!!!) My sister Cleo has a blog and she wrote a post about the show we're putting on, so you should check it out!

Here's a small playlist of the songs I've been listening to and liking a lot this week:

Anywayyyys, to top off an amazing week, yesterday I went with Cleo and my friend Oyinda to the V&A museum for their 'friday late' event, hosted by the amazingly beautiful online / print magazine 'gal-dem'. I love going to these type of events; they're so inspiring and just ooze with creativity and music and fashion and art. It was so great to be in a huge creative space surrounded by so many beautiful people of colour. It's such an achievement for gal-dem too - to be taking over the V&A?!?!? I'm so inspired by the fact that it started off as an idea that was rooted in frustration at the lack of diversity of women of colour, and for it to have birthed up to this moment, bringing together so many creative people is just so amazing. And the vibes were insane. I felt so lucky.

Along with several exhibitions and talks, gal-dem paired up with BBZ London - (Burgeoning Brazen Zamis OR Babes) - which is a monthly exhibition / club night centred on creative queer women and genderqueer people of colour. It was honestly one of my favourite parts about that night. I'm a sucker for dance parties anyway, and to be able to bounce to the beat of banging tunes whilst surrounded by gorgeous, fashionable, eccentric people was LIT.

I went to a talk called 'On Confidence, Scribbles and Celebration' held by Lotte Anderson, Art Director and founder of MAXILLA, and Lynette Nylander, Deputy Editor of iD. It was about exploring the role of confidence and finding your voice. Man this talk was everything. It was what I needed to hear personally, and what I feel most aspiring creative young people need to hear in general. My mantra of the night, taken from Lotte's words herself, was "Make more, show more, care less."

It's so fucking true. Care less. Care less. You have these ideas, these feelings, these questions. Don't be afraid of them. Don't even feel like you have to broadcast them everywhere. Take pride in things that turn out shit - they shed light upon the things that you think actually have worth, right?

^^ creds for these three paintings go to this amazing artist. find her on instagram here. ^^

It was the push I needed to confidently seal up the idea of the zine I want to make. And I'm definitely going to make it now, just go for it. I need to start cherishing these innovative feelings without putting too much pressure on myself for them to turn out perfect. I need to stop being so self-involved and just relax, care less and go with the flow. I'm going to try and get a website sorted out for the zine, and I'll be back!! Enjoy these pictures from this spectacular evening. 

I think I was one of at least 20 people rocking the camouflage trousers look that night.

Cheers to good times ahead. I hope that wherever you are, things are swell. 
~peace out~ peeps. Zoe xo

Monday, 17 October 2016


A conversation with my great friend Anjali about her photography, her ideas about the representations of female sexuality, her experiences, and the expectations that arise from being a young, Asian female in today's society. Enjoy these pictures I took of the beautiful gal herself!

So what do you do?

I study photography, sociology and English literature, but photography is my favourite subject. [In my photography], I mainly focus on girls and their sexuality and kind of exploring the misconceptions of teenage girls. There's never really any representation of us being powerful. So I choose to show femininity and the power of the female mind and how we're just all strong individuals. That is what should be shown in the media instead of women's emotions being shunned.

How do you feel about the stigma attached towards Asian girls and their sexuality?

Well, I feel like people always find it really awkward when they first meet me and I'm so open about my sexuality because it's very stereotypical for an Indian girl to be quiet and really innocent, and I think that comes across through the way that we're seen as a group. For me, I've always been really open about my sexuality and my sex life, and I think people kind of find it really weird. I don't see the problem, I don't see why the colour of my skin and the background that I'm from should affect how I am as a person. Especially living in this day and age, I feel like a lot of the time if I'm with other Asian girls, we do find it a lot harder to be open about our sex lives because of the way our families have taught us to be respectful, and people don't see being open about their sexuality as respectful in our culture. But I feel like as more and more Asian girls become more open and express themselves, we are coming around that stigma and getting over it. I feel like any woman should be able to talk about their sexuality, they shouldn't be ashamed. Like no, we just like to enjoy sex just like men like to enjoy sex - and they're not labelled as whores or sluts; more than often they're praised, and I don't see why there's a double standard.

You've mentioned photography, but is there anything else in the arts, or maybe not even the arts, just anything else that you're interested in?

I'm really interested in politics. I love music and fashion, but with politics you get to see a lot of different aspects of the world around you and it just opens your eyes into what's going on. It depends on what politics you're into, like I guess you could call me 'against the system'  in a sense - I really don't like the police, I'm kinda anti-government. I mean, a lot of aspects of our government aren't too bad, but there are still parts of it that, as a person of colour, I am scared of. For example the whole Brexit thing and this underlying racism in our country really scares me.

How have your experiences, with boys/relationships for example, influenced/shaped the way you see yourself?

I think with me, my first couple of experiences with guys - they were just fuckboys. But it kind of helped me as a person to realise my worth. A lot of boys nowadays, they don't take things seriously. I used to have this image that when I was sixteen I'd find a guy who was really lovely and everything would be fine, [laughs] like you know when you watch those programmes on CBBC and the girl finds the boy and it's all really cute, things don't turn out like that. You'll find someone you get along with but people change. It's made me realise that you can be in so many toxic relationships without knowing, and that if I don't feel happy in a relationship I shouldn't stay in it. Being in relationships has also made me realise that I'm not ready for a long-term one. I'm more happy being with someone without the 'relationship' label attached to it. Although there are loads of stigmas around the whole "friends with benefits" thing, I still feel more comfortable with it. So I guess you could say my experiences have shaped me in a good way.

How would you put these experiences and feelings into your artistic work?

If I was to do that, I would portray like I said, the powerfulness of the female mind because it takes a lot to know you're in a certain situation and leave it. It takes a lot, at any age.

What about something inclusive, would you try and change the way people view Asian girls and their sexuality? 

Yeah I try to. I try to show that we aren't always quiet and unknowing about sex. Asian girls are seen as prudes a lot of the time.

- Yeah, they're either that or they're hypersexualised. -

Yeah it's actually true. I feel like I'd try and show that we aren't just sex-symbols, like Chinese or Japanese girls are always seen as really cute and overly sexualised. I'd try and subvert that and show us as knowing our sexuality and knowing what we want and showing the power through that.

hope you enjoyed this! ~peace out~ Zoe xo

P.S: remember, if you wanna join the 'Creatives of Colour' blogging network, just click on the tab link on my blog and email us! It's just a cool space for other bloggers of colour to find each other and do cool posts whenever we can.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

what am i and what will i be in this strange world of ours??

this article is very interesting.

               this 8tracks playlist has some nice tunes.

I've been thinking a lot about my future, especially after reading this article/interview on vice about millennials and this culture we've created of being creatively inclined but broke and guilty. It really put things into perspective for me in terms of what the world has to offer, and more confusingly, what I have to offer to the world. Here's a slap-dash collage for weird-times sake:
Part of my mind is in a really confused and curious place so don't worry if you're reading this and you don't fully get the sentiments I'm trying to get across. Idk. I want to create. I see all these cool people getting to live these lives characterised by arty stuff, aesthetics and opportunities, and I desperately want to be part of it. But in order to live that  life, I have to be a creator, a do-er. And that's required in most areas of life, but you have to agree with me that in the creative industry, the 'doing' part is a lot less straight-forward than a pathway in say, finance or engineering. (correct me if i'm wrong.) 

*internal monologue*: oh shut up Zoe, stop chatting about stuff and just get on with it!!! Enjoy a classic mood-board to illustrate my past feelings and this stream of conscious mess that is this post...

(All photos found on tumblr)

ANYWAYS~~ how's everyone doing? I hope well.

I'm going to start being a "getting sh!t done" type person from now on. January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and basically this whole entire year as been a 'trial month', :-). it's been a 'trial year', :-).

I don't know about you guys, but October is the cut off time for me. The year ends during October. Usually around this time, something in the air around me just tells me to start planning ahead. Maybe that's why I love October so much. Because it feels like the end of the year without the bloating, depressing yet extremely joyus weight of November and December. It is when the year slips away behind a brown, autumn-leaf-coated door in the corner of the universe, leaving the rest of humanity to float blindly away into the new year.

I've definitely mentioned this fleeting topic about 3 times. here, here and here to be exact. But yeah, zines. >>> INTERJECTION!!!! this song just came on and i really like it and now it's on repeat!!! It's kinda dark and solemn, but also thought-provoking and dreamy, and the fact that it's called 'yellow' gives it a kind of lightness, sort of how I feel right now, in the month of October.<<<< 

anyways, zines. I've come up with a solid idea now, you may be pleased to know. I'm going to make 'SWEET THANG', an arts and literature zine for / by PoC. I'll be looking to make it an actual thing by the beginning of 2017. A cool platform to promote and celebrate the work of PoC. It'll be a sweet thang. © Below, a temporary logo. 

Art by Nivia Gonzalez

cheers to life. cheers to the greatness that will hopefully arise out of the uncertainty of this world.
~peace out~ luvs, Zoe xo