All the news from this week that wasn’t about Boris Johnson
29 Jul 2019
Black Womxn In Theatre shoot, via @titiandherlife’s Twitter
As the temperature drops, it has become apparent that the heat wasn’t making us delusional, and that Boris Johnson is actually our new Prime Minister. If you need some help on how to fight it, look no further than this handy guide.
Among his crusty cabinet are a couple of brown faces, namely Priti Patel, Sajid Javid, James Cleverly, Alok Sharma, and Munira Mirza. But remember, melanin and being a minority does not equal humanity or solidarity. Meanwhile, we must remember that Boris is a symptom of a larger problem. For example, if you want to feel really clued up, fucked up, and scared, please watch The Great Hack on Netflix that looks at how data theft and social media meddling helped install this chaos.
And, while we’re still processing our new leader, here’s what else went down this week.
Hundreds of black womxn in theatre came together for an iconic moment of “black magic”
250 black womxn came together for an “iconic moment in history”, inside London’s Globe Theatre on July 26 to celebrate the contributions of black womxn in theatre.
Titilola Dawudu, from Black Womxn In Theatre (BWIT), arranged the powerful photoshoot as part of the #WeAreVisible campaign, to reverse the historical erasure of Black womxn’s voices, stories, ideas, and existence in the arts.
The photoshoot, taken by Sharron Wallace, was inspired by the iconic A Great Day in Harlem image of 57 Jazz musicians by Art Kane.
Speaking to gal-dem about the “black magic” atmosphere, 37-year-old Dawudu said: “I was overwhelmed by people coming together, hugging, laughing and connecting. Our ancestors wanted this: to put down the stories of trauma and pain – what people are used to hearing of us, and to look at each other and say, ‘we are here, valid and visible.’”
BWIT is less than a year old and was originally penned as an intimate intergenerational networking space. When asked how we can support BWIT, she said: “Support by reminding yourselves, like a daily mantra or prayer, that you are visible. That’s number one for me. Let’s validate ourselves before we ask the world to.”
Women in South Korea are on a marriage strike
South Korean women are rising up in a feminist movement dubbed the #nomarriage trend. Women are mobilising behind the hashtag, refusing to be burdened by traditional gender and heteronormative relationship expectations.
Two Youtubers from Seoul, Jung Seyoung and Baeck Ha-na, have been campaigning not only against choosing to remain single, but actively fighting subordination to the patriarchy, which they say manifests in marriage in South Korea.
Jung, who co-runs the Youtube channel Solodarity or ‘live-alone life’, told gal-dem: “South Korea has the biggest wage gap and housework hours gap between men and women among the OECD countries. This shows devastating reality for Korean women.” She continued, “The anti-marriage movement is the first step.”
It’s been met with controversy as South Korea also has the lowest birth rate amongst OECD countries, with rates of seven children per 1,000 people. The government has tried to intervene by offering marriage and parenthood incentives, as well as encouraging dating events in the workplace. This interference is described as “intrusive” by Jung, who explained their movement has been met with a lot of ignorance, including people asking her if she is a lesbian or she was unable to find someone to marry.
#Nomarriage began trending on Twitter this week, with many people sharing their positive stories of living a life without children and marriage.
• In case you needed a reminder of the Home Office’s inhumanity, they threatened Bhavani Esapathi, 31, with deportation while she was in a coma.
• 29-year-old Denali Berries Stuckey is the 12th known black trans woman to be killed in the US this year. She was found fatally shot in South Carolina on July 28.
• A white woman thought she invented a silk hair bonnet when she released her £60 NiteCap. After designer Marantz Lindenberg did an interview about her ‘new’ product, she was called out on Twitter for culturally appropriating a long-held practice of black women.
• A popular children’s animation on Youtube, Dina and the Prince Story, has been called out for its blatant racism after the main character turns from white to brown when she “loses her beauty”. WTF.
• The next season of Issa Rae’s Insecure will be the biggest yet with ten episodes, and will start filming in September this year.
• New York has approved driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.
• British passport holder from the Chagos Islands are being systematically pushed to leave the UK, in a continuation of the Windrush Scandal.
• Lil Duval cemented white beauty standards, tweeting to black women that he hates natural afros and instead prefers straight hair.
• 50 Cent thinks the popular Starz series Power, which has a predominantly black cast, was overlooked by the Emmys for “racial” reasons.
• Four boys, between the ages of 15 and 17, have been charged with the aggravated hate crime over a homophobic attack of Melania Geymonat and her girlfriend Chris on a London bus.
•Tinder has announced it will send users warning alerts when they are in countries with anti LGBTQIA+ laws.
• Police in Worcester handcuffed 14-year-old black boy Vanulson Silva at his church on a Sunday morning because he looked “suspicious”. What on Earth would a child be doing at church on Sunday?
Moment of the week
US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar beautifully unravelled the burden of representing everyone in her race after being told by a white journalist that it would be powerful for her to denounce female genital mutilation, despite having done so numerous times.
This article is a part of gal-dem’s Race Review column, a weekly news roundup centring the issues faced by people of colour.