Friday, 7 October 2016

spirited, magic

I want to dedicate this post to the Black Blossoms exhibition I went to last weekend called "Re-imagining Black women in art and media." The exhibition was held at UAL, and aimed to deconstruct stereotypes of black women in order to re-establish an authentic and inclusive narrative of Black Womanhood.

It was absolutely amazing and inspiring and beautiful. I had seen it promoted on Facebook and was interested in it for weeks. Then the day came and I thought "do I really wanna go out today?"
I asked my friend if she was interested but she couldn't make it, which made me not want to leave my house even more. Then something hit me. I'm going to university next year. I've lived my entire life with a twin sister by my side which was always this other comfort if I needed it, and I'm not going to have that next year. I'll be a lone wolf. And if I can't even get myself up town for an exhibition, how will I survive??? So I did it!!!

It was such a good decision. It wasn't a safe space exhibition, (a 'safe space' meaning it is open to black women only), it was a free drop in one, so anyone was welcome. And we sat in the UAL show room and the host went through a power point of interesting quotes and videos from which we could discuss and intervene with our opinions , experiences or ideas whenever we wanted. It was nerve-wracking but I did offer an opinion about something at least once, and I realised how special it is to have a space to talk about issues regarding black woman hood and even just conversation in general about issues we feel are important and relevant. 

We talked about the way we feel black women are represented in the media, using adjectives. People suggested words like "Loud", "Bitchy", "Strong", "Gold-diggers" and more. The word 'strong' was meant to have inverted commas, and I couldn't agree more with that notion. It may seem weird to view that representation negatively, but when black women are constantly portrayed in that way, it hardly makes us human, hardly allows us to be sensitive and fragile because we're always supposed to maintain a 'strong black woman' type image and persona. 

Then we looked at how we want black women to be represented in the media. And I loved that someone suggested the word 'awkward'. We need more representation of awkward, geeky alternative black girls. Definitely. It's hard living in a white supremacist world where black girls are put into a box and smothered with what people feel we should conform to. We aren't allowed to do this or that and it's so damaging. I went through being called horrible names throughout the early part of secondary school, and it was from other black girls who didn't understand black girls who had a couple white friends, who's voice was kinda posh, who liked indie music etc. It was such a confusing, frustrating time. To avoid other black girls from experiencing that, we need representation of black teens and adults being quirky and geeky, listening to rock music (or should I say reclaiming idk), reading poetry, making art. Dissolving the stigma. 

^^ All rights go to DORCASCREATES  for the above illustrations ^^

During the exhibition, we got to hear from two artists, Francesca Cozier and Dorcas who incorporate their experiences of being a mixed or black woman in today's society into their work. Cozier makes interesting and thought-provoking videos that we got to watch a bit of. You can see more of her work here. Dorcas is an illustrator and her work is absolutely beautiful! I bought some of her stuff after the talk. See/buy her stuff here.

After the talk, I walked around to look at the featured art in the exhibition. It showcased artwork from graduates of various art colleges who have explored the intersections of gender and race and ethnicity. It gave me so much hope and I left the UAL building smiling like a lil' kid. Enjoy these pictures from the exhibition!

"Yellow Fever" by Kudzanai-Violet Hwami

"Woven Womanhood" by Shane-Louise Osei

"Tetrahedron. Beauty, Identity and Conceal" by Yharnna Dior Joseph

"Hair" by Habiba Nabisubi

Artwork by Mikela Henry-Lowe

check out all of the links, support young black artists! yeah!! 
hope you enjoyed this post, ~peace out~ and see u later, Zoe xo
P.S sorry for the chopping and changing of  the style of my blog (if u haven't noticed i can't make decisions lmao)


  1. it's so good that you managed to pump yourself up, it really looked like it was worth it! the exhibition looks amazing :)

  2. loving the new header! This looks like such an amazing day, and really, really interesting. Going to a UAL open day on sat too! x x

    1. Thanks luvly!! It really was. Oooh nice, I'm sure you'll love it - have fun!xo


thanks for your comment, they never fail to make me smile + i appreciate them so much!