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Why gal-dem made my 2015

30 Dec 2015

*Disclaimer* this article will be all sorts of cheese, I can’t help getting flutters when I think about the dynamic, intelligent, creative and not to mention PIFF women I’ve had the fortune of working with this year.

Considering we’ve only been about for the latter part of the year, it’s pretty special that we’ve already managed to create our own little gal-dem family, in which everyone brings something to the table. Whether it’s our technical wonderwoman Halimah who always stays calm and collected in a crisis; ifama making strides with Interlude, gathering attention from the likes of  AfroPunk and Arthoe; Varaidzo elevating our film festival to the level where it’s revered as an unmissable event in 2016; Leyla pumping out illustrations like a mad woman; Hannah for bringing us our first editorial; Charlie for seeing a story everywhere; or Antonia always keeping us in the know with the latest in underground vibes, these women are all SICK.

The importance of having a group where I can relate to so many women who instantly get where I’m coming from, no explanation needed is incredible and has revolutionised my way of thinking. Having grown up in predominantly white environments, my ‘bounty complex’ has been strong and by my second year of uni I was all sorts of confused. Things can get pretty bleak when your curriculum is white and everyone around you is from planet boarding school with no clue and no desire to investigate things from a perspective outside of their own. Having a group where you can dump your baggage without feeling guilty and move on is something I would recommend highly, to everyone but particularly to those WoC experiencing a quarter-life crisis.

For many of the women I’ve been working with, it can be easy to feel bogged down by microaggressions and having to constantly explain your perspective and sometimes you just want to shut off. My solution is becoming no.1 beg friend and reaching out to people you think are great and want to hang out and work with. Our generation is full of amazing women of colour making strides in music, film and politics and I’m yet to find a more willing and supportive group of individuals to work with. I recently went to a talk at The Guardian where Gemma Cairney pointed out that we should be looking to our peers, rather than those who are already established, because we are the next group of movers and shakers! This is a great time for girl power and all that; I love the fact that I’ve met a group of women who know that they are the baddest and the best.

The ways we are perceived as WoC in the media, whether these be the mad ghettoised portrayals of our being, alongside those of non-conforming people deemed to be ‘alternative’ or oreos, or many other fetishisations of us, are being torn apart by gal-dem in a big way. The breadth of talent, ambition and experience housed in the gal-dem family promises lots of big things for 2016. We are currently in the preliminary stages of plotting future world domination and are always looking for more amazing women to join the team. Expect some big things from us and please do donate to our crowdfunder if you want to see more from the gal-dem – tomorrow is the last day for us to meet our target!

Thank you to everyone involved and all those who have supported us over the last few months!

(aww gals at the end of our launch)