Media Diversified

Tackling the lack of diversity in UK media and the ubiquity of whiteness
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Join #Twitterchat: Growing Pains @WritersofColour Sundays 8-9.30pm with Ella Achola

Childhood memories in white spaces!

Read “No, I meant where are you really from?” on being black and German
Week 1, Childhood memories
Week 2. Growing pains: popular culture
Week 3. Growing pains: academia/working life
Week 4. Growing pains: self-preservation
Hashtag: #growingpains

‘The bystander effect’ Combined passivity, fear and a mind-your-own mentality

by Yomi Adegoke

Photo from Tumblr

Yesterday morning, model Mahaneela Choudhury-Reid fell victim to an unprovoked and racially motivated attack at Regents park Tube station. She described the ordeal via Twitter, recalling how on entering a lift, she was repeatedly pushed by a white, stocky middled aged man. When she turned to face him, he continued to push her in full view of 15 or so bystanders who, taking the nomenclature too literally, chose to simply stand by.

Mahaneela and her assailant left the lift and carrying on the abuse, he proceeded to kick her as she attempted to exit through the barriers. She asked him what his problem was, to which he replied, “You’re my problem” and when she told him he was acting like a child, he told her she was a “fucking nigger”.

The two had passed commuters, ticket inspectors and even a pair of soldiers- all of whom did nothing to prevent the offence or diffuse the situation.

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#WhyILeft Reflections on Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Rubab Zaidi

by Rubab Zaidi

Recently hashtags related to domestic violence were trending on Twitter, #WhyILeft and #WhyIStayed, asking women to come forward with their stories about why they chose to leave or stay in an abusive relationship. I thought it was incredibly brave of people to tell their stories like that – something I have not been able to do, until now. I’ve had a lot to say to the few people who have asked, but I think it’s time to share my story even with those who haven’t asked, especially those women who have gone through, or may still be going through, similar experiences. I know I had no one to help me or guide me, or even to just listen to what I had to say; I had my family of course, but I never got “proper” guidance or support because I just didn’t know it was there.

To give you a bit of background, I am a Muslim woman of Pakistani descent; I was married to a British Pakistani man and lived with him and his parents for a grand total of sixteen weeks, which seemed to me like sixteen years because of the mental state I was in. As naive and idealistic as I was back then, I went along with my husband’s decision to have a baby ASAP, and lo and behold, three weeks after getting married I was pregnant with my first and only child.

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What does jihad actually mean?

My Arabic Alphabet Book

by Abdullah Alhomoud

what does the word actually mean?

In the Oxford English Dictionary, “jihad” is defined as “a holy war fought by Muslims against unbelievers.” And this is the view commonly held in Western cultures. In Islam, however, the word has an entirely different meaning, taught to Muslims from childhood.

I first heard about this meaning of jihad as a kid on a radio show on the way to school. The radio show host was explaining how helping the needy and going to school are forms of jihad. I scoffed at him. “Really?” I said mockingly.

My dad turned to me. “Yes,” he said.

“So if I die now, do I go to heaven?”

“Yep. You would be a martyr.”

So what was the radio show host talking about? Where does this meaning of jihad as he was using it come from?

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Black Men Need To Support Black Feminism


by Jesse Bernard

by Jesse Bernard

Being a black man over the past couple of weeks has been interesting, as it always is. I’ve stood in solidarity with the citizens of Ferguson, Missouri – both virtually and in a march at Notting Hill Carnival. There is a long history of black women leading movements for change and the most inspiring occurrence to come out of the recent protests has been the support black men have received from black women. However with that, it revealed a harsh reality, we aren’t always there for black women.

Earlier this year, NFL and former Baltimore Ravens running back (fired yesterday) Ray Rice was indicted for assaulting his then fiancée Janay Palmer. On Sunday, TMZ leaked a video recording (without consent) of the assault taking place in an elevator at an Atlantic City casino. The recording shows Palmer and Rice having an altercation, which leads to the latter knocking his fiancée unconscious. The most startling image during all of this was Rice’s demeanour as he dragged her body out of the elevator. It suggested that this wasn’t the first time that an incident like this had occurred between them. This leads me onto the point I wanted to raise.

Unlike the women who stood by us during the riots in Ferguson, who took rubber bullets, pepper spray and physical abuse for us, some men have done the opposite

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A Human Zoo For The ‘Post Racial’ 21st Century

Brett Bailey and the new white supremacy

by Simon Woolley

I guess it’s one way to get international fame, lauded by liberals, and thanked by Black actors for getting some miserly short term employment.

But in the real world for the vast majority of Black Britons, and other Africans on main land Europe -where this exhibition has been equally controversial- Brett Bailey’s human installation that mimics the nineteenth century Victorian ‘human zoo’, which exhibited Africans in cages, is but a modern day facet of white supremacy.

Back then the Victorians viewed Africans less than humans, and therefore put our ancestors in cages to prove it. Thousands came to ogle at the human ‘spectacle’ that fed into the European psyche that Africans had been fair game to have been enslaved or colonised, and controlled as they still were back then.

The new more subtle white supremist such as Brett Bailey will tell Black people and anyone who will listen that he’s on our side.

Speaking about his work he said:

'This exhibition is about humanity; about a system of dehumanization that affects everybody within society, regardless of skin colour, ethnic or cultural background, that scours the humanity from the ‘looker’ and the ‘looked at’.

Sign the petition asking the Barbican to withdraw the exhibition


Please keep the embassy phone lines clear and go to @RainbowNoirMCR for updates. Thank you

PLEASE SHARE THIS ON ALL YOUR NETWORKS. CALL, EMAIL, TWEET @UKinDRC & @ukhomeoffice on behalf of Christina Fonthes


Urgent - Please Spotlight:

I regret to tell you that Christina Fonthes - a dear friend and organiser of Rainbow Noir has been held against her will in The Congo - she was on a family holiday with her mother who has decided to have Christina ‘cured’ of her sexuality. 

Christina has managed to escape from her aunt’s house and is currently hiding out with a friend. She has access to internet and has been communicating with us via email. The next available flight is 2nd September - 5 days away! Chris needs help and protection from the British Embassy in Congo but her mother has reported her missing and therefore we need to get in contact with both the UK Home Office and UK embassy in Congo to let them know that she is in danger and that her mother is lying/the one endangering her life!!

PLEASE SHARE THIS ON ALL YOUR NETWORKS. CALL, EMAIL, TWEET the British embassy on behalf of Christina - the more we call, the more attention it will bring to her case and hopefully they will act quicker in getting Christina to a safe place. 



If you can help please contact @RainbowNoirMCR or @WritersofColour on twitter.

UK EMBASSY: 0871 050 5840


Please do your best to contact the British Embassy in DRC, RT using the hashtag #ChrisFontes, tweet at all the media outlets and amazing people you can find.

This is a personal plea too because I consider Christina a friend and someone I would trust with my life. She has been incredibly generous and supportive and a real inspiration, an example of how one can actively work to improve the lives of others. I have gained so much knowing her and wish I could be as passionate, open and clear sighted as I find her to be.

I am scared for her, not going to lie. I really pray this all turns out for the best but I am scared. This is the stuff of nightmares, being trapped in a hostile land when your own family have turned against you.

Please Holy Mother, St Aelred, St Mary Magdalene, St Joseph of Cupertino, St Teresa of Avila, holy martyrs and anyone out there who is willing to intercede, please intercede for my friend and her safe return and the reformation of her family. Amen.

(via biscuitnapper)

Browse the biographies of the nominees 

The Background
In September 2013 we were sent this article: 8 African-American Women Who Changed the World with the question “Which 8 women of colour do you think have changed the UK?” We posed the question to our social media followers and the #EightWomen awards were born.Thw awards are  one of those rare chances to celebrate women of colour in the UK and to spread awareness of the work they do..

The Awards
The #EightWomen with the most votes from the public will be revealed at the “Complicit No More” panel event, highlighting themes and challenges of black feminism and intersectionality on the 15th September at the Khalili Lecture Theatre (lower ground floor) School of Oriental and African Studies.

Click here for further information and to book your ticket, limited spaces available

To read about 2013’s nominees and winners click here

Your vote counts!



"Complicit No More"

A first of its kind anthology on feminism and intersectionality

Monday 15th Sept - 6.30pm to 10.30pm

Khalili Lecture Theatre (lower ground floor)

School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, WC1H 0XG

In creating a forum to discuss gendered racisms, ‘Complicit No More’ aims to encourage more generous and ‘conscientious’ feminist inspired dialogue.

Click here to book your ticket, limited spaces available
To obtain your ticket we ask for a donation of £4.00 or more. This will  include a “Complicit No More” e-book which will be emailed to you

The panel event chaired by Yasmin Gunaratnam with Minna Salami, Sunny SinghDésirée Wariaro and Sukhwant Dhaliwal will highlight themes and challenges for black feminism and intersectionality, tackling topics that have been framed by Eurocentrism but which are also a part of intra-oppressions: how we relate to ourselves, to each other and our communities.

Use the hashtag #ComplictNoMore on twitter to send in questions for the panellists before the event

The winners of the #EíghtWomen Awards for Women of Colour will be announced before the panel event


This event is brought to you by Media Diversified and Ain’t I A Woman collective

*Refreshments will be provided after the panel discussion

Trailer “I wasn’t always dressed like this”

The veil is an object that tends to instigate profound and diverse feelings. Its practice and meaning have been greatly abused throughout history. Within the context of the West the question one might ask: “In a free country, why are women choosing to veil?”

In a very intimate and meditative mode, three Muslim women reflect around issues of cultural memory, identity, self-censorship, feminism, politics and media. By appreciating the personal and experiential quality of veiling, this documentary is able to articulate critically and reflexively while challenging its popular perception.

Produced and Directed by: Betty Martins

Edited by: Elle Sillanpaa

Music By: Noura Sanatian



The Media Diversified team are taking a short site break over the summer to concentrate on building and launching the experts directory which, thanks to your support, we successfully fundraised for earlier this year. 

We’ll be back in mid September with lots more great content, but in the meantime we hope you’ll catch up on articles like Teaching English in China While Black and The Racial Pecking Order in British Theatre and TV. We will still be on twitter for debates, so hopefully you won’t miss us too much!

Calling experts and professionals!

The Media Diversified Directory is at the heart of our movement to change the face of the UK media landscape. We’re looking for great people working across a number of fields: are you a science researcher? a social care practitioner? a lawyer? If have had some media experience: whether in radio, TV, or on filmed panel debates then get in touch with us via this quick form. If your application is successful then you’ll be accessible to corporate members.

Please contact us at with any question

"Complicit No More": A Panel Discussion  

On the 15th September we are hosting* a panel event to further discuss the series "Complicit No More" a first of its kind anthology on feminism and intersectionality, tickets and event details will be released next week so check back here!
*In association with Ain’t I A Woman collective

Nominations for #EightWomen open now!

2 weeks ago we launched the 2014 #EightWomen awards for notable women of colour in the UK. Nominations are open until midnight on Friday, August 15. Bios will be available to read from then at

Voting will commence in the last week of August and the eight women with the most votes from the public will be announced at the “Complicit No More” panel event in September.

Have a great summer!

Africa Fashion Remixed

by Angela Inniss

As a fashion enthusiast, not even a long day at work or the rain was going to stop me from attending Europe’s biggest event for African fashion: Africa Fashion Week London! #AFWL.

AFWL provides a platform for established, and up and coming African/African inspired designers, models and industry entrepreneurs to showcase their work. For 3 days the Olympia London Exhibition Centre, Kensington played host to this major event, welcoming hundreds of press, media and fashion-conscious individuals.


“No, I meant where are you really from?” on being black and German


by Ella Achola

“No, I meant where are you really from?” is a micro-aggression I am all too familiar with when my simple answer of “Berlin” is perceived as insufficient to a query that blatantly illustrates how my brown self is read as out of reach of possible German citizenship. It is usually asked with a slight sense of exasperation, perhaps a hint of irritation, at the fact that I had oh-so-obviously not caught on to what I was really being asked. That I may not want to answer such a question within the first three minutes of a conversation with someone I have never met before does not come to mind.

In 1986, May Ayim and Katharina Oguntoye engaged in a conversation that was long overdue. They opened up the debate about being black and German, two characteristics, which were and still are often read as inherently oppositional.[1] Be it a question about our fluency in the German language or someone yelling “N****rs out!” micro-aggressions and racism are still very much reality for the 500,000 black Germans today. One example involves a pub in the Berlin borough of Kreuzberg where the owner recently banned all black people from his premises in a supposed effort to curb the dealing of drugs.

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