STORYTELLING & CELEBRATION
A holistic platform seeking to highlight the experiences of marginalised groups.
Throughout history, media has been a powerful tool of amplifying varied narratives and bringing mass awareness to critical issues. It is no secret that the face of modern media has evolved and proliferated in a way that many of us would not have been able to imagine a few decades ago.
The rise of the blogosphere, podcasts and social media have caused a mass emigration of our retinas and ear drums to these new sources of media. We are living in an age where everyone has a story to tell and almost anyone with access to an internet connection can create a platform and audience around what they are passionate about.
Recent conversations with my mum highlight the benefits of this generational change. As a politically active young woman with a passion for the civil rights movement, my mum grew up in a time of ‘traditional’ media. Her and her peers relied on television broadcasts, radio and newspapers to remain informed about current affairs.
Today, she remarks on the speed and efficacy with which social media can bring to the forefront of global attention instances of injustice and abuse from far reaching corners of the globe. In some cases, even contributing to tangible legal or political change.
It’s undoubtable that the changing face of media has proliferated the avenues through which we learn about our world. The success of platforms such as Medium also reflect the demand for a more personalised and interactive relationship with what we read and digest.
My question in all of this is whether there remains still more scope for diversity? As a writer, artist, designer and advocate I have had the unique opportunity of navigating very different spaces of thought and action. As a law student I became accustomed to theoretical discourse and legal processes of affecting change. As a creative I have been exposed to people who use their poetry, art, writing and films as a tool of expression. To tell stories that are often shunned or silenced altogether.
The outcome of these experiences has been an inquisitiveness into the grey area that seems to separate the ‘academic’ and the ‘creative’ in storytelling, research and media. Furthermore, growing up in Britain as a second generation child of African and Caribbean parents - exposed me to a plethora of socio-economic experiences that cause me to empathise with marginalised groups and voices.
The synthesis of all of this has lead to my own contribution to the changing tides of media. Birthed in the form of Aya’s Garden - a digital platform seeking to highlight the stories of marginalised groups (academic and the creative nuances of storytelling both welcome). How successful the contribution of Aya’s Garden will be to the modern realms of media will only unfold with time.
However, in an age where media continues to expand beyond the reaches of traditional academia towers and generational media dynasties - I am hopeful that we will continue to witness greater diversity. Not only in who is creating our media but the ways in which it is presented.
To submit works to Aya's Garden, click here.
Founder | Seyi Afolabi
A multi-faceted and dynamic professional committed to social justice and international development. Attainment of a BA in Law and Sociology followed by an LLM in International Development Law and Human Rights, both from the University of Warwick. Thesis entitled, 'Changing The Order of Suffering’ (2016) went on to be published by Lambert Academic Publishing.
Experience gained with international NGO’s and global development organisations delivering advocacy projects, campaigns and conducting legal research. Founder and writer at Aya's Garden, a digital platform dedicated to highlighting the stories and experiences of marginalised groups. Passionate about leadership and youth. Currently serving as a Youth Mentor to local BAME youth groups to inspire achievement and self-development.
Founder and Creative Director of conscious fashion brand, LALI London.
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