Want to know what goes on behind the scenes at gal-dem, and what we’re looking forward to next year? The gal-dem editors reveal all…
Suyin Haynes – Assistant Politics Editor
While 2016 has been a very much up and down (mainly down, one might argue) year in politics, it’s been a phenomenal year for gal-dem! My role has changed from sub-editor to assistant politics editor, and it’s been really inspiring to work with our amazing writers and illustrators to produce thought-provoking, beautiful content. I’ve learnt so much from developing pieces for our site on topics as varied as reactions to the U.S. elections and the politics of blackface in the Netherlands, and I’m proud that we are a space devoted to such diverse issues, ideas and perspectives. On a personal level, I’m so happy to say I’m in a much better place now than a year ago – I feel like I’ve got much more belief in myself and I’ve learnt so much from my experiences of graduating and interning at TIME magazine. I would never have had the confidence before to write something as intimate as my recent article on masculinity and male mental health, but I finally feel strong enough to do so. Looking forward to 2017, I really want to continue throwing myself into gal-dem‘s work. We undoubtedly face some turbulent political times ahead, with the triggering of the Brexit process and a Trump presidency on the horizon, and it will be more important than ever for us to provide a positive platform for those whose voices are in danger of being silenced. I’m not sure exactly what the next year has planned for me or where it might take me. But if 2016 has shown me anything, it’s to not give up or lose hope, no matter how bad you think things may be.
Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff – Opinions Editor
There have been a few moments in 2016 that have left me scared for the progressive future of our country. The way forward is going to be difficult because the identities we have forged for ourselves as part of gal-dem, and beyond, are being challenged. Diversity is something the collective mainstream media are concerned about today, but in 2017? If Theresa May has her way the false homogenisation that occurs every time someone says that they “don’t see colour” will take over everything, leaving us in a hate-crime filled dust. So next year I want focus on how to bring people into the nest. Not like that recently axed documentary from A&E, which saw activists try to take on the KKK, just in small, gentle acts of education that might mean that someone reconsiders their views on something. Apart from that, in the new year I’m really excited about getting started on issue two of gal-dem’s print magazine, and a whole host of other events that everyone should look out for! I’m so proud of all we’ve achieved so far. 2016 was one of the most exciting, full-on years of my life, but I reckon 2017 will top it.
Varaidzo – Arts and Culture Editor
Hannah Gooding – Fashion Editor
2016 has had its fair share of sad events, iconic deaths and political disasters, but on a positive note, it has also been the year gal-dem launched our first print issue, brought over 6,000 people to our V&A Friday Late takeover, celebrated our first birthday, won two awards, and gained nearly 29,000 followers on social media. So yeah, NBD. My personal high was being recognised as the Fashion Editor of gal-dem at London Fashion Week. Never been so gassed in my life. For all we’ve achieved, we deserve to be really proud of ourselves. But looking forward into the unknown abyss of 2017, we have big things planned. Let’s call them New Year’s Resolutions – but ones we’ll actually stick to…
We want to keep producing content that resonates deeply with our WoC readers. We want to keep educating through giving our contributors a voice, even if education isn’t our primary aim. We want to go “viral” again and again because this is the time to tell stories that haven’t had the platform to be told before. We want to become so big that no one will ever spell “gal-dem” incorrectly ever again (for the record there is a hyphen, there are no capital letters and there is only one ‘e’ – this has been a PSA). I want to be recognised at LFW again for the personal ego boost. So watch this space.
I’ve also decided that 2017 is Leyla’s vegan year. It’s been said before but this time it’s in writing and therefore basically semi-legal. I’ve been attempting off and on for about three years now but reading Heather’s article this week has convinced me to finally pull my finger out, watch Cowspiracy and don a plastic Doc Martin or two.
Antonia – Music Editor
Also still sitting high on our agenda is continuing to be a space where women of colour feel affirmed, valued and at home. If you thought you’ve seen and heard enough of us this year, you haven’t seen nothing. The V&A was just a teaser. More tun-ups, more growth and more life to gal-dem.
ifama – Video Editor
2016 has been the biggest madting. The amount of recognition gal-dem has received, from our videos, events and the incredible contributors’ writing (particular faves of mine are Top Girl, The Very Black Body and every single fashion throwback piece #ilovehalimahsdad) has been sooo affirming and beautiful. The trust and support amongst women of colour across the world and in particular from other PoC DIY projects in the UK is proof of how much we have all be crying out for each other and these spaces, sometimes without even realising it.
So, here are my resolutions to make sure this dreamy experience continues. I’ve never written New Year’s plans, so here’s to hoping I stick to them…
- gal-dem video content will pop off. Expect regular gal-dem chat, interviews and maybe a couple of baby documentaries by Spring
- Expand and elevate more marginalised voices. Let’s challenge the definition of “womanhood”, be critical and learn from the ting
- Start those chats I’ve been apprehensive about having
- Or write it into a gal-dem article, make a fake email and @ them