Media Diversified

Tackling the lack of diversity in UK media and the ubiquity of whiteness
Posts We Like

Writers like Saladin Ahmed, Cindy Pon and Shveta Thakrar show that non-Western worlds can be fantastic, magical and unique, without resorting to common exoticizing tropes.

That all three writers are also persons of color certainly helps, but that shouldn’t limit anyone–of any background–from trying to do better. I do not subscribe to the school of thought that it is solely up to PoC to write diverse stories. It’s certainly relevant that we “write our own stories,” yes. But I should be able to write stories that aren’t about my particular ethnic-racial background. And so should everyone else. That argument in my opinion is a cop-out, that conveniently leaves PoC holding the responsibility bag. It lets white-dominated speculative fiction continue on doing what they do–while PoC are relegated to smaller enclaves that get little to no popular visibility. We’re all responsible for creating not only more diverse worlds, but ones that challenge our past (and modern) stereotypical tropes.

Brazil’s new primetime show ” Sexo e as Nega” serves the white gaze

by Blogueiras Negras

TV Channel Globo, one of the largest television networks in Brazil, is broadcasting a series called “Sexo e as Nega”. The series is an adaptation of Sex and the City, but this time with four Black actresses. The series has been written by the famous White actor, writer and producer Miguel Fallabella.

The very title of the series is itself hugely problematic, not only because race is the primary signifier of the women, but also because the terms are full of racist and gendered connotations, such as the venacular Brazilian expression “I’m not your niggaz “. In racist discourses, Black women are those who work for sex, while the white woman is the woman who is worthy of romantic love, kindness and respect. These same dualities are repeated in “Sexo e as Nega”, where the main character is a white woman who seeks love, while the black women live only for sex, which reminds us of another Brazilian expression which also has its roots in slavery and has remained practically unchanged – “White women are for marriage, mulatas are for fucking and black women are for work”.

View more:

Race, Revenue and Representation

Frank Bowling

by Jon Daniel

In contemporary art and design, context is everything. Where the medium and the moment come together forms a powerful and resonant statement. So the context is 2011 Obama, the most powerful man on Earth, is of African origin. Barriers are being broken down across all market sectors and territories. And there is a shift of economic power from the western world to the emerging markets of Asia, Latin-America and Africa, where over 100 domestic companies boast revenues greater than $1billion. It’s all part of an African renaissance that has been taking place for several years. A renaissance that’s evident in the media, with the arrival of high quality publications like Arise magazine; online environments such as the African Digital Artists Network; and new African cinema as evidenced in Wanuri Kahui’s futuristic sci-fi movie, Pumzi. All are united by a desire to portray a dynamic, progressive image of The Motherland. From a UK design perspective we saw new initiatives arrive, primarily in the form of the African and African-Caribbean Design Diaspora (AACDD). A three-year programme, initiated by the British European Design Group (BEDG), its aim is to promote the creative skills of ethnic minorities of African and African-Caribbean heritage. It was in part a response to statistics, which showed that minority ethnic groups are significantly under-represented in the art and design scene in the UK. In fact, Design Council research in 2010 revealed that just 7% of designers are from a minority ethnic background.

View More

This Week In Whitesplaining

"Sanjay and Craig"

by Chimene Suleyman

From two single beds and a spotlight bright enough to crochet beneath, we would watch Bollywood films, my aunt and I, in the bedroom we shared in North London. There were, within each film, similarities to my own Turkish upbringing; a crossover of words, appearances and plot-lines worthy of less-accessible Turkish cinema. It kept my attention. Characters who became somehow…

View More

NUS Black Students Officer Malia Bouattia has experienced a horrific level of sexist, racist, anti-Muslim abuse and threats in the past few days after misleading and untrue accusations suggesting she refused to condemn ISIS. The slew of sensational national newspaper headlines has encouraged and whipped up a round of sexism and Islamophobia and led to vitriolic abuse and attacks directed at Malia. It is a great example of exactly the kind of thing Malia spoke of at that NUS meeting and is indicative of how women of colour, particularly Muslim women are silenced

We send our FULL support and solidarity to her. We were lucky enough to have her accept our EightWomen Award earlier this year. She gave an inspirational speech because she is an inspirational person and activist who fights for what she believes in and who she was elected to represent. Please see below for just a brief list of her achievements.

READ: Loaded questions and deliberate misrepresentation in the “NUS refuse to condemn ISIS” manufactured scandal:


As the Black Student’s Officer for the National Union of Students (NUS) Malia Bouattia has worked tirelessly to ensure there is strong black representation at every level of the student Movement. Along with this she has continued to develop and be part of a strong NUS Black Students’ Campaign that increases the unity of all students of African, Arab, Asian and Caribbean heritage which fights against racism in society and inequality in education and calls for international peace and justice for the Black majority of humanity.
Malia was lead organizer of one of the most successful NUS Black Students’ Winter Conferences ever which brought together Black students from over 60 campuses and was attended by special guest speaker Diane Abbott and rapper Akala. In her role as Black Students representative at the NUS National Executive she was part of a campaign which successfully overturned the ban on Muslim niqab at Birmingham Metropolitan College. Along with this she has lent her voice to a movement aiming to stop the deportation of International Students at London Metropolitan University and pushing for the NUS to support justice for Palestine after years of silence.
Her achievements do not stop there, Malia has founded, established and worked to promote a number of organisations including the Black Women’s Forum UK, the West Midlands Pan-African Students’ Union and the West Midlands Palestine societies Forum.
Due to her work there are now a record number of Black students elected in Students’ Unions. Some of the ways she assisted in making this happen include co-editing the NUS Black Students’ Handbook to equip students with the arguments and tools for increasing Black representation on campus and building up thriving Black Students’ Associations on her own campus and regionally. Most recently Malia has led ‘Operation Black Student Representation 2014’ which involved campaigning for Black students in Students’ Union elections from Warwick to Kings College London
Aside from the above Malia has led and supported a number of campaigns and causes including Palestinian Prisoners Day, United Families and Friends Campaign International Day of Action Against Police Brutality and Million Women Rise.
Malia’s many achievements have resulted in the buildup of a powerful black student’s campaign which has strengthened the fight against racism and inequality while uniting students from ethnic minorities.

New column ‘This Week In Whitesplaining’ starts 16/10/14
White-‘ˈɔːr(ə)ning “to explain or comment on something in a condescending, overconfident, and often inaccurate or oversimplified manner, from the perspective of the group one identifies with,”

e.g the paternalistic lecture given by a white man toward a person of colour defining what should and shouldn’t be considered racist, while obliviously exhibiting their own racism

More Than Melanin: A Film Series on Black Experiences


While schools may mark Black History Month, it is important to remember that we cannot rely on them to teach us about black history.

There are other avenues, resources and people that can provide us with an abundance of knowledge, particularly during this month.

One example is Filmmaker and founder of Visionnary Arts, Troy James Aidoo who to mark Black History Month has created a short film…

View On WordPress

Judy Finnegan: the myth of the perfect victim and the acceptable rape

By Huma Munshi

1413289945_judy-finnigan-apologises-violent-rape-commentIn one fail sweep Judy Finnegan has laid bare the prejudice and ignorance faced by rape survivors. Speaking on ITV’s Loose Women programme on the case of convicted rapist, Ched Evans, Judy noted that because there wasn’t violence during the rape and the woman was drunk at the time, it didn’t cause “bodily harm.” herefore, the footballer having served his sentence should be allowed back to play in his team, Sheffield United.

Let us unpick for a moment Judy’s conclusions based on her logic.

Without any physical sign of violence, a rape has not caused the victim “bodily harm.” Testimony from survivors and victims would lay bare the ignorance behind this statement. Not fighting back does not negate the violence inflicted or the long-term trauma of being violated. A woman might not physically fight back for a number of reasons: the perpetrator is physically much stronger; fear and terror may paralyse a woman; the victim may believe the perpetrator may be less violent if she does not struggle; or in the case of the 19 year old woman Ched Evans raped: his victim was passed out.

View More

Tourism, White Privilege and Colonial Mentality in East Africa


By Samira Sawlani

We walked into the police station in Uganda. My white British friend who wanted to file a complaint had asked me to accompany her. The three officers behind the desk stood up immediately, one giving her his chair, the other rushing to take notes and the third, with a great deal of concern on his face asked her what had happened.

Sat in the waiting area were a pregnant woman and an elderly gentleman, both were black Ugandans. The lady had been waiting over two hours for the police to attend to her while the gentleman had spoken to them regarding his issue and been told to wait. He’d been waiting for almost three hours. My friend on the other hand was dealt with immediately and within thirty minutes all procedures had been carried out and her complaint both logged and addressed.

Two years prior to this I was stood in a queue at a bank in Uganda, ahead of me was a white gentleman and in front of him was an elderly Ugandan lady. The Bank Manager came out and bypassed the lady at the front and made a beeline to the white man. I stood, absolutely baffled by both her actions and the collective silence of everyone in the bank as if this was a normal occurrence. As I called out to the manager and pointed out that the Ugandan lady was first, she ignored me and continued on with her tasks.

This was to be the first of many situations I witnessed of what I believe can be defined as ‘white privilege’ in East Africa a right earned through the continued domination of white supremacy.

Two weeks ago the media reported that the Kenyan Government have offered a free holiday to the family of a 15 year old American tourist who was ‘harassed by a police officer’ because he mistook her for terror suspect Samantha Lewthwaite. If it was a Somali family holidaying in Kenya and their son been mistaken for Abu Ubaidah the new leader of Al-Shabaab would the same courtesy have been offered? I highly doubt it.

View More

Ain’t no black in the UKIP pack?

by David Wood

Now we know for sure. After their stunning, and literally historic, victory in the Clacton by-election and unexpected success in the North West on the same day, there is now electoral ‘proof’ – if any were still needed – that UKIP are likely to have a significant impact on the outcome of the general election in May 2015.

So what does this mean for minority ethnic communities in Britain, as the political centre of gravity drifts to the right? Will we be caught in the crossfire, as the mainstream parties look to meet this threat to their flanks by tacking hard-a-starboard themselves?

This is clearly a distinct possibility.  The temptation for any party will always be to be seen to be responding to what the electorate – or more truthfully, the opinion polls – are telling them in order to broaden their appeal. This is how we get to a situation where the three major parties all start talking about the need to ‘do something about immigration’, though exactly what is still unclear. Given that earlier this year, a poll conducted by The Economist/Ipsos found that immigration has overtaken the economy to become the issue of most concern to the British electorate, even above the economy, this is not altogether surprising. And whenever political discourse turns to immigration, we have long since learned to recognise that particular code word as a proxy for race – much like in politics, ‘committed family man’ = adulterer, bon viveur = alcoholic and anyone leaving politics to ‘spend more time with their family’ = serial adulterer who got caught.

However a lurch to the right by the main parties would surely be a mistake. For one thing, the electorate isn’t that stupid.

View More

Would The Rooney Rule Work for English Football?


by Shane Thomas

“There is no racism in football… If you are good, you get the job… Football is not stupid to close doors to top people.” – Jose Mourinho

“The whole recruitment process needs to be more professional, more diverse, and equality-wise, fairer. We’ve struggled to do that.” – Gordon Taylor

One shouldn’t draw any kind of equivalence from these quotes, the former made last week and the…

View More

A Reply to: Malala Yousafzai and the White Saviour Complex

by Meriam Sabih

I want to give my message to Pakhtoons, to educate their sons and daughters. Not just school, work on them so they treat every human being well…Teach them tolerance. Teach them how to tolerate the ideas of others and how to live in coexistence with others.”– Malala Yousafzai

In a Pakistani interview, long before she became a household name outspoken Malala shared her dreams of becoming a politician, gave advice on foreign policy (yes, including drones), and thanked the Pakistani Army for their successful operation in Swat. Malala was a force to be reckoned with long before the Taliban shot her in the head for speaking up for the education of girls. And despite their best efforts to silence her, she is an even greater force now.

Assed Baig in his article, “Malala and the White Saviour Complex” failed to understand the universality of Malala’s message and did not give her the credit that she deserves. This is not the story of “the weak native girl being saved by the white man,” it is the story of the bravest girl in the world. A girl with a voice so powerful that she had to be eliminated. The West did not offer Malala protection when she was receiving daily death threats nor did a knight in shining armour rescue her when she stood face to face with the Taliban. She endured these threats alone. Without the tactical support of the world’s largest armies let alone a bulletproof vest or a bodyguard. Baig argues that although her message is true and profound it has been “hijacked by the West.” Therefore this coverage must be scorned and vilified. His very masculinity as a brown man and worldview (in which the West must remain the enemy), are brought into question when Malala receives a warm welcome by the international community. How can the West be the enemy and then do any real good? He cannot fathom doctors, activists, institutions, and politicians around the world engaged in humanitarian work unrelated to a larger racist narrative.

Read More

Malala Yousafzai and the White Saviour Complex

by Assed Baig

When Malala Yusufzai was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen simply because she wanted to gain an education it sent shockwaves around the world.

The Western media took up the issue, Western politicians and the public spoke out and soon she found herself in the UK. The way in which the West reacted made me question the reasons and motives behind why Malala’s case was taken up and not so many others

There is no justifying the brutal actions of the Taliban or the denial of the universal right to education, however there is a deeper more historic narrative that is taking place here.

This is a story of a native girl being saved by the white man. Flown to the UK, the Western world can feel good about itself as they save the native woman from the savage men of her home nation. It is a historic racist narrative that has been institutionalised. Journalists and politicians were falling over themselves to report and comment on the case. The story of an innocent brown child that was shot by savages for demanding an education and along comes the knight in shining armour to save her.

The actions of the West, the bombings, the occupations the wars all seem justified now, “see, we told you, this is why we intervene to save the natives.

The truth is that there are hundreds and thousands of other Malalas. They come from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other places in the world. Many are victims of the West, but we conveniently forget about those as Western journalists and politicians fall over themselves to appease their white-middle class guilt also known as the white man’s burden.

Read More

1st queer cultural diversity media festival celebrates stories through films, conversations & performances | @QueerMediaUK

rsz_qmmflogo2_copy qmfuk resize.jpg

Queer Media this October will host Fusion to celebrate the stories of the LGBT Black, Asian and ethnic minority community with conversations with LGBT media professionals, interspersed with LGBT themed short films and performances. As part of Black History Month and partnered with UK Black Pride their aim is to inspire positive LGBT stories and promote LGBT visibility in the media.

Fusion at the Compass Room at The Lowry, Sunday 19th October 2014, 12pm to 8pm with registration from 11am.


Fusion asks can storytelling really empower people to create positive      social change within their community?



Fusion: Fighting for LGBT visibility in the media

Help us develop a voice for a new 21st century LGBT community through telling narratives of wholeness, connection and power,” said Queer Media director Jamie Starboisky. “We want to touch people’s lives by telling empowering and inspirational stories through films, conversations and performances. Ultimately our aim is to promote understanding in society through improving visibility and representation of LGBT people, characters and stories in the media.”

Being an interactive event with Q&A sessions, live video streaming and a Twitter wall the costs of the technology are high, meaning that Queer Media are reaching out to people to support them through their Indiegogo campaign which recently launched. New Fusion hosts.jpg

About the team

The three hosts for Fusion are freelance sports journalist Jessica Creighton, Pink News political editor Scott Roberts and Aashi Gahlot, who is editor-in-chief and founder of website

The event is a chat show sofa style format where the hosts will be introducing short films and interviewing the guests, who have diverse media backgrounds such as; film, TV, radio, news, arts, performance. Fusion follows their success earlier this year of the Queer Media Festival held in February, on the day the Sochi Games opened, at MediaCityUK.

At the festival Queer Media screened 22 short films and had nine in conversations and it was a sell out. Organised by broadcast journalism student Jamie, after interning for #LoveAlwaysWins film director Mike Buonaiuto, the event sold out the week before.

Join in and make Fusion happen

Inspired by TED talks their dream is to stream the event and link up live on the day with people from across the world, so even if you can’t make it to the event you can join in online through Twitter or via the video stream.

Conversations with the media guestsAsifa Lahore _Fotor_Collage.jpg

Fusion guests clockwise from top left: Asifa Lahore (UK’s first Muslim drag queen), Eiynah (author of My Chacha is Gay), Colin Campbell-Austin (Head of Talent & People Development at Telegraph Media Group), Rudy Katochi (Multimedia journalist for Press Association), Bobby Tiwana (live event producer), Mike Buonaiuto (filmmaker), Aziz Rachid (Head of BBC North West), Phyll Opoku-Gyimah (Director & Co-Founder of UK Black Pride).

Support for Fusion

One thing I have learnt is that we all struggle- we all fail- we all succeed- these things are not as important as having the courage to stand up and try (again!). As long as we keep on trying, nothing is impossible. I feel that people are encouraged to give up more than they are to keep trying :) We are all AMAZING!! - Aashi Gahlot,

Fusion: One story at a time we are all changing the world.