Visual Subversions: At the Intersection of Art and Identity

Stunning traditional henna designs on hands, backs and legs are the subject of artist Hina Ali‘s photo essay, exploring skin as a ‘repository of honour & canvass of oppression’. with Rakshi Rath The Artist’s Journey: I am a final year undergraduate, studying Fine Art for Design. My search for mediums of artistic expression during my studies has also coincided… Read More

Black British feminism then and now

Professor Heidi Mirza reflects upon her involvement in black feminism and the changes she has witnessed over the past 30 years. She is hopeful about new generations of activists and reminds us that “black women’s activism has been central in tackling problems within our local communities.”   ‘Thank you for organising this. I thought black feminism was dead!’ wrote a young woman in an email to… Read More

‘Washing our dirty linen in public’

Reflecting on 25 years of Women Against Fundamentalism Sukhwant Dhaliwal reflects on 25 years of Women Against Fundamentalism, a coalition of women brought together in the aftermath of the Rushdie affair. For Dhaliwal, control of women’s bodies and minds lies at the heart of all religious fundamentalism For some of us, 2014 is a momentous year. It marks 25 years… Read More

First Boi In – Dressing Queer in the Corporate World

Carolyn Wysinger takes us on a journey into the corporate workplace, where as the ‘first boi in’ her inventive transgression of gender dress codes also means getting used to ‘the daily stares, the interested glances of some and the disdain of others.’ I’ve heard it said that lesbian femme women come out everyday. This is in reference to them having to constantly inform people… Read More

A Public Life of Intimate Violence

Touched by Patsey’s struggles in the Oscar winning film ’12 Years a Slave’, Karen Williams describes how the film helped her to recognise and articulate the depths of latter day racism in her own ‘Public Life of Intimate Violence’  I have spent decades challenging women to have public lives, and for dark women to insist on their right to it, even with the abuse… Read More

Challenging Mistaken Assumptions about Honour-Based Violence

Honour-Based Violence is part of a spectrum of violence against women that all too readily has become associated with certain cultures. Drawing from her research and activism Dr Aisha K. Gill *[1] tackles the racialisation of HBV and women’s complicity with it Violence against women and girls (VAWG) committed in the name of ‘honour’ is attracting increasing attention around the world.… Read More

My Body Is Not Your Images

What use is diversity in popular culture when it still conforms to narrow aesthetic norms? Sunny Singh discusses women’s “range of life stories, complete with joys and tragedies,” A renewed concern with the race politics of beauty has been fueling recent lively discussions about colourism, hair and the lack of representation of models of colour… Read More

“Toxic Wars” vs. Conscientious Feminism

Minna Salami draws upon cross-cultural activism and dialogue to offer ‘Conscientious Feminism’ as an antidote to ‘toxic feminism’ and an ethical ‘compass that can be used to navigate the labyrinth of oppression’ In July 1992, an international conference Women in Africa and in the African Diaspora (WAAD) was held in Nigeria. WAAD was a rare event: an interdisciplinary and… Read More

“Complicit No More”

Yasmin Gunaratnam introduces the series ‘In creating a forum to discuss gendered racisms, ‘Complicit No More’ aims to encourage more generous and ‘conscientious’ feminist inspired dialogue’  As far as feminism of colour goes we seem to be caught in something of a doublethink. Feminism is dis(mis)sed on a daily basis but has also become part… Read More

Diary of a “Tragic” Mulatto – Love Minus Zero Over No Limit

In a vivid and sometimes playful account, cultural critic and ‘master code-switcher’ Désirée Wariaro explores racial mixedness. ‘ Ontological doubt’ is a constant companion for the ‘tragic mulatto’ when ‘much of the world is blind to the inherent genius of the way my body dissects and pollutes tradition.’ “Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.” James… Read More