THE ACTIVIST

Final Project, MA Fashion Journalism, London College of Fashion (2017-2018; graduated 2019)

Awarded - Distinction

The Editor's letter...

 

'The Activist is a space to celebrate, support and share the stories of young womxn and non-binary people in politics, protest and activism. What are their stories? What makes them get up every day despite the knock backs? And what do they wish that they had known when starting out?

 

We discuss the power of youth and how activism is not defined by age, experience or where someone is from with asylum seeker rights activist Amal Azzudin (Glasgow Girl). In Greenham, My Mother and I, teenage feminist activist Maddie talks to Bridget Garrard about Greenham Peace Common and how the women’s rights campaign has evolved. Three first time marchers tell us what they learnt from joining the picket lines in Why I Marched, and we talk about solidarity with Clayre, a Women’s March London organiser. In Youthquake we call on the original movers and shakers – the student activists of the ‘60s – in a sepia-tinged ode to the style of the period.

 

Throughout this issue we examine how the creative arts are a vehicle for political discussion and change, whether that is photojournalism with photographers Caroline Power and Diane Tuft (in Behind the Lens), fashion photography with Rosie Lowery (The Perfect Body), through protest poetry with spoken word artist Nina Mariah Donovan (Nasty Woman) or fashion, with designers Jeanine Christopher-Kebbie and Aurélie Fontan (in Maidens and The New Order respectfully).

 

As you’ll see this issue is split in to four sections: Protest, Body, People and Earth. Narrowing down the hundreds of issues and campaigns that I would love to explore, and support was tough. In fact, when you think about all the wrongs that need to be righted in the world it is easy to be overwhelmed and disheartened. What struck me about each and every person I talked to in making this magazine though was their hope and determination that things can change. From Nico Stevens who travelled to and lived in Calais for six months to support refugees in 2015/16 (Help Refugees), to Meena Rajput who scales gantry cranes and fishing ships, and gets arrested along the way, to raise environmental awareness for Greenpeace (No Planet B), I left each interview with a renewed sense of purpose. I hope you find the same.

 

This first issue goes out to all the first-time marchers, petition-signers and protest pin-wearers. It goes out to the women who wreaked hell in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s – who laid the way for us today. It also goes out to those who want to make a change but don’t know how to yet – I hope this issue inspires you to try, in any way you can. As Mabel Evans, founder of anti-FGM organisation The Vavengers, told me: “you don’t have to ask for permission for the power to make a change, you inherently have it [inside you].” There is no right or wrong way to be an activist, you just need to do it.'