Everything you wanted to know about the Feminist Realities Magazine
On 23rd April 2020, Kamee Abrahamian, Arts and Creative Expressions Lead at AWID, and Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, Director of Communications and Tactics at AWID, held a conversation via Instagram to chat about why AWID is producing a Feminist Realities magazine, to share more about the kind of stories we would like to feature, and to answer any questions that prospective contributors may have. Below are highlights of their chat.
Why did AWID decide to produce a feminist magazine and what do you imagine that would be like?
AWID’s theme for this strategic period is Co-Creating Feminist Realities which is all about strengthening, supporting and amplifying the many examples that speak to Feminist power in action. As an organisation, effective communications has been one of our best known tactics, and we also love to experiment and try out new ideas.
Personally, I’ve always loved magazines, particularly women’s magazines, and magazines with a strong sense of identity like ARISE magazine (which is sadly no longer in production) which had a great blend of African politics, fashion and features. As a lover of magazines, I would always notice those moments in time when some magazines had more explicitly feminist content, and then there would be a change in editor, and the content of that magazine would change. That always felt disappointing to me.
In recent times we’ve seen magazines like Teen Vogue become more explicitly political and that’s been beautiful to witness. I think magazines are really powerful. They can be both aspirational and reflect culture back to us.
In the Feminist Realities magazine that AWID will be producing we want to reflect Feminist Culture, Identity and Politics to the World. We want to profiles Feminist activists from all over the world who are contributing to what we at AWID call Feminist Realities - who are shaping and reshaping our world for the better, we want to showcase Feminist identities in all our diversities. We want people to see the beautiful diversities in our Feminist families. We want beautiful photo spreads of our global Feminist families. A magazine like this would be the kind that my younger feminist self yearned for, and one that I imagine other feminists would enjoy reading.
If you were submitting to a magazine on Feminist Realities, what story would you tell?
I would tell the story of the first Adventures Live festival which was co-organised by myself and an amazing group of feminist, queer and trans folk in Accra last December. We organised this festival with our own resources and a number of amazing African feminists stepped in to support us financially including Diakhoumba Gassama of Senegal, and Francoise Moudouthe who is also the founder of an incredible platform that I really love called Eyala.
The way we planned the festival, and the kind of conversations and people who were present were for me an example of Feminist power in action. We centred the kind of voices and people we don’t often see given centre stage in Ghana. I remember for example feeling very satisfied at some of our events when the majority of folks there came across as mainly queer. Afterwards one of the participants shared feedback with us and described the gathering as a space where they had felt fully affirmed for the very first time.
I know there are many groups and collectives who create space for communities all over the world. Stories of how we organise and create inclusive spaces are also an example of Feminist Realities. We would love to receive some submissions in this vein as well.
Who can send in submissions?
Feminists and activists who have stories to tell of Feminist power in action can send in a submission. We are paying $50USD “per page” which comes up to approximately $100 for a 1000 word article, or $150 for a three page spread of photography.
You can also send in different types of submissions, including fiction and non-fiction, graphics, images, poems, profiles, features, reviews, etc. Our word limit for written pieces is 300-1500 words and for artistic and creative submissions we are looking for a maximum 3 pages of work. The magazine itself is going to be between 40-60 pages.
Who else is involved in this magazine?
I love all the folks involved in this project. From AWID a number of staff are going to be involved in different ways.
For example we are committed to producing content in our 3 working languages which are English, French and Spanish, and as this is a magazine on our Forum theme, we shall also produce it in Mandarin. So our different language specialists in house will be involved. The editorial team will be the talented writer Yewande Omotoso, who is the author of Bom Boy, and The Woman Next Door, incredible books which I recommend everyone reads.
Of course you yourself Kamee, will be co-editing this magazine alongside Yewande with some support from myself and other colleagues at AWID where necessary. I am also super excited to have Ellena Ekarahendy working on the design of the magazine. She's a super talented graphic designer from Indonesia and worked on the amazing graphics to promote our call out for the magazine which you can see if you check out the AWID feed now. And of course we are hoping most of you will be involved in some way by possibly contributing to the magazine.
What are your deadlines for submissions?
Friday 15th May, 2020
When can we expect to see this magazine out in the world?
December 2020 - it’s going to be our end of year gift to the world, and will hopefully get everybody ready to delve more into Feminist Realities at the AWID Forum which will be held in January 2021 in the City of Taipei. The AWID International Forum is a journey with many steps, the production of this magazine is only one stop, and so we invite you all to check out our website to learn more about how you can get involved in the various Forum activities, and to consider joining AWID as a member to be part of supporting a global feminist movement.
Think creatively and collectively about authorship. You are welcome to write collective stories, or if co-creating a story, please credit the community members that you are working with.
If you aren’t sure about whether your piece is a good fit or not, feel free to write to us! We are accepting both in-draft and complete pieces. If you are in the process of working on something and want to run something by us, email us well before the deadline so we can support.
Get your creativity on. We’re looking to put together a magazine that will be pleasurable to read. We welcome creative non-fiction, personal essays, fiction, memoir style writing, poetry, graphic illustrations, book reviews, feminist recipes for the creation of magical healing spells, photography, and all types of blended forms.