The gal-dem team talk over their plans with staff from the Guardian Weekend magazine. Photograph: Shaista Chishty for the Guardian
1. The Guardian Article
Liv Little and Melissa Denes
Sat 18 Aug 2018, published on The Guardian
Working with the Guardian on gal-dem’s takeover of Weekend magazine was an incredible exercise and a clear demonstration of the power of championing marginalised voices. The feedback has been overwhelming and the fact that sales spiked significantly are both clear reminders of the fact that diversity breeds creativity.
As young women and non-binary people of colour who rarely see themselves celebrated in mainstream media (and as a generation who rarely buy print media), this has been a particularly illuminating project. Much of the content produced for the Guardian issue is no different to the content which we publish on our website, the only difference was the sheer reach of the Guardian’s platform.
After the publication of the gal-dem takeover, the reaction left mespeechless. When I started to see a flurry of young people who don’t normally go out and buy any sort of print media looking for this particular magazine, it was just amazing. Newsagents were saying loads women of colour and non-binary people were looking for the Guardian. I was getting messages from girls saying: “Where is it, I can’t find it anywhere, it’s sold out. I went to a shop in my area and couldn’t find it.”
So many people were messaging me on Instagram and Twitter and saying: “Oh my god this is the first time I’ve picked up a paper and it really shows someone who looks like me.” This was a genuine spread of body shape and type of women and non binary people of colour. Real women and real people, I mean how often do we get to see that. That’s when my grandma asked me: “So, what’s happening next weekend?”
I thought it was such a good exercise in seeing the power of speaking to everyone. It means that you get a breadth of perspectives you wouldn’t ordinarily get to see. We had drawn up this massive pitch document, with loads of potential writers, illustrators, photographers, and ideas, and slowly, slowly whittled it down. We had our mix of regular people and then really broadened out that pool and it ended up being such a nice collection of voices.