Gal-dem is back for their fourth annual print issue curated around the theme of UN/REST, split into two contrasting sections (think Beyoncé’s seminal album I Am… Sasha Fierce).
In these incessantly hellish times, most of us are embroiled in the constant battle between contrasting energies. Sleepless nights, working overtime, grassroots organising to fight the powers that be, and dancing the stress away in darkened spaces. All before burning out, passing out, dreaming, vacating to tranquil corners, and then, of course, we’ll all die. The ultimate pause.
Their newest edition features conversations with the likes of Little Simz, Tierra Whack and Paralympic record-breaker Kadeena Cox. And of course, an on-set interview with their literary luminary cover stars, Candice Carty-Williams, Mariam Khan, Naomi Shimada, Yasmin Rahman, Victoria Princewill, and Jay Bernard.
To unpack the themes, gal-dem have called on over 40 contributors, ranging from first-time writers to the UK media’s rising stars, and calling on the visual expertise of photographers and illustrators from around the globe. Ash Sarkar writes on her vision of utopia, while Yomi Adegoke laments the relentless pressure of being a black woman in the spotlight. Pena Monaghan gives insight into the surprising politics behind the Miss Tibet beauty pageant, and the once-sceptical Ruchira Sharma reconsiders her attitude toward superstitions by speaking to diaspora children who use them to connect with their family’s culture.
This issue is a testament to the constant balancing act of modern life, and an ode to the endless creativity of women and non-binary people of colour who continue to break down the barriers in media with their ideas and creativity.