White Skin, Black Masks: On the “Decolonial Desire” of Vasco Araújo

by Efua Bea I walked into the opening of Vasco Araújo’s Decolonial Desire exhibition, his first UK solo show, at Autograph ABP last month with somewhat low expectations. I guess I’ve just become a little tired of white men getting lots of funding and lots of space to tell me about my Blackness, the history… Read More

Doctor Strange takes audiences on a spiritually insensitive journey of appropriation

by Sonya Lalli  When I went to see Doctor Strange, the question about whether Marvel Studios’ latest blockbuster would be a success seemed to have already been answered. I couldn’t resist the dazzling trailers and adverts, the glowing four- to five-star reviews, and of course the all-star cast. Sweets and popcorn in hand, I settled… Read More

Cashmere Hip Hop Straight from the Swet Shop

by Lamisse Hamouda  An American Hindu-Punjabi rapper from Queens drawls, “Insha’allah / masha’allah / No martial law / hai allah / yo yallah”. Never had I experienced such visceral sense of familiarity in listening to music until I was blasted with these lines from “T5”, the opening track off Swet Shop Boys’ debut album Cashmere.… Read More

The Good Immigrant: review

by Raymond Antrobus The Good Immigrant is for everyone in Britain As ethnic minorities in Britain it is easy to see how easily things can be taken for granted, how misinformation about non-white cultures can be spread without hesitation, how an all-white reading list says that white people have rightfully earned their spot as the… Read More

Still Barred: Reflections on a Black woman’s trauma and mental health

by Guilaine Kinouani  ‘Each episode of depression I have experienced, I have experienced because of the struggles I have faced in my life as a Black woman’. Those were the words spoken by a fellow panellist who went on to share her personal testimony of distress, as part of the discussion which followed the reading… Read More

Album review: Kano’s Made in the Manor – staying true to grime’s DIY culture

by Zahra Dalilah In keeping with the theme of his first two albums Home Sweet Home and London Town, Kano takes the opportunity of his fifth studio album to once again rep his ends and celebrate the manor that made him. An honest depiction that doesn’t seek to change minds but jog memories, going beyond… Read More

Review: “Technologies of the Self” by Haris A. Durrani

by Micah Yongo ‘A person’s identity,’ Lebanese-French author Amin Maalouf once wrote, ‘is like a pattern drawn on a tightly stretched parchment. Touch just one part of it, just one allegiance, and the whole person will react, the whole drum will sound.’ It was these words that came to mind as I finished reading Haris A.… Read More

Under the Udala Trees – a Review

by Claire L. Heuchan I have read a lot of lesbian fiction in my time. For the most part my life, both as a reader and a lesbian woman, has been all the richer for it. However, the vast majority of these books have focussed specifically on love, sex, and relationships between white women –… Read More

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: An African-American Crucible

by Shane Thomas  Last month, Queen Latifah won a SAG Award for her performance as blues legend Bessie Smith in Bessie. The biopic also featured Mo’Nique, who played Ma Rainey – Bessie’s one-time mentor and ‘Mother of the Blues’. The iconic Rainey is now being portrayed on the stage in the revival of the August… Read More

ART AND EMPIRE @ TATE BRITAIN

by Zarina Muhammad   Institutions can never satisfactorily deal with confronting colonialism’s past and present. That is a fact. They never go far enough. There is never any real denouncement, never any sincere apology, or rather, confrontation of the subject. I went to see Artist and Empire with some brown friends and we were loud and… Read More