Curator, writer, producer, publisher, CEO – there’s not much that Liv Little can’t do. And at 25 years old her rise may have come quickly but it certainly hasn’t been without plenty of late nights and a serious amount of grafting. While still studying at the University of Bristol Liv founded gal-dem, a title by and for women and non binary people of color to address a lack of representation in the media. It was a necessary reaction to the whitewashed news cycle of mainstream media, but also a form of catharsis for Liv. Feeling unhappy, isolated and misunderstood at university – “I would cry every day” – gal-dem provided a way for Liv to create a like-minded community of women going through the same thing.
“Growing up the people I would see on TV or in entertainment that looked like me were very Americanized, and they were the only things I could in any way relate to,” Liv says. “That’s true for a lot of Black people in Britain I think. The recognition of the British media of Black people and people of color more broadly has always been behind. Even the history I studied in school that was in any way related to Black history was the American side,” she says.
“I think as you get older you get to a point where certain things just don’t sit right with you anymore and when I was in university I had started to develop a framework to articulate those experiences,” she says. At the time Liv was also working part time in television and documentary making, giving her a broader understanding of storytelling and more specifically which stories were being told. “gal-dem seemed like a viable route to tell more stories from different perspectives,” she says. “It made sense for me.”
It was a manic but incredibly exciting time – I wouldn’t have done it any other way.