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via @muslimgirl
via @muslimgirl

Five digital safe spaces you should know

Art collectives amplifying Latinx voices, discourse on the reality of fat, and rebuking the hijab-white saviour complex, here are the online havens to keep up with

As much as we dwell online – combing the web for information and bouncing between social media platforms, we don’t have nearly enough virtual spaces to decompress. A soothing pied-à-terre that doesn’t require tedious history lessons on facets of our identity and sees us in our entirety. While a shortage of depressing news doesn’t seem to be on the horizon, the catharsis of pals who just get it is always a welcome respite. Here, are five spaces making life a little less bleak and your time on the Internet a whole lot more interesting.

BURNT ROTI MAG (@BURNTROTI)

Meet the digital and print mag culling South Asian voices and showcasing rising creatives. Of the endearing moniker, creator and editor-in-chief Sharan Dhaliwal shares: “It has a few differing meanings to it, but one that seems to connect with a few people is the connection between growing up as a 1st/2nd generation immigrant, under the influence of those who inflicted their very traditional beliefs onto you as you attempt to assimilate into (for eg) British culture. The biggest metaphor for me was by burning my rotis. I was told on a regular basis when growing up that I had to learn to cook, for my future husband. I used to resent that connotation that I was (a) straight – because that generation only believed marriage to be for a man and woman (b) wanted to marry (c) had to learn to cook for this person and (d) was meant to be okay with all this. In an act of defiance, I would burn my rotis. Now I love making rotis but occasionally I accidentally burn them and it reminds of this act and I feel very proud that I was deflecting from such misogynist practises.” Support Burnt Roti here or nab a subscription to the print edition here.

LA LIGA (@LA.LIGA.ZINE)

La Liga, stemming from ‘the league’, is an all-inclusive art collective highlighting Latinx experiences and talent. The eclectic hub of creators – self-taught photographers, publishers, editors, graphic designers, content generators, and activists – chatted to Dazed about their mission: “La Liga is meant to function as a bridge between virtual safe spaces and real life experiences. (It’s) a space created with the intent to combat white supremacist media outlets and monopolies; a space that is meant to give a voice to individuals who white, neoliberal media generally ignores. We recognise our responsibility to feature not only marginalised voices from the art and literature community at broad, but especially those that are marginalised within the Latinx community (queer, indigenous, trans, Afro-Latinx, etc). More than anything, we want to be objective and give them a platform, not speak for them.”

BAD FAT BROADS (@BADFATBROADS)

Offering a no-frills take on living as women who are “fat fat,” KC and Ariel’s podcast, as well as the duo’s general online musings are worth a listen. It’s an enjoyable mix of calling bullshit on mainstream body positivity, boosting the voices of fat and plus-sized people most at the margins, dissecting your favs not-so-hidden fatphobia, sex, and regular hoopla from the day-to-day.

BLAVITY (@BLAVITY)

Since entering the media sphere in 2014, Blavity has become the go-to for heaps of Black millennials. Imagine all the nuggets of wisdom, witty banter, and hilarious memes of Black Twitter condensed into a source for news, art and pop culture. Need a thought-provoking read on the prison-industrial complex and an analysis of 101 ways Lemonade continues to snatch the metaphorical edges of your life? This is the place. Check out sister platforms @blavitylife, @blavityfoodie and @blavitynews.

MUSLIM GIRL (@MUSLIMGIRL)

How often are Muslim girls and femmes at the vanguard of their narratives? Embarrassingly, empowerment by way of modesty and devout religion remains a mind boggling concept for some to fathom. Enter Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, the effervescent powerhouse helping to broaden both the dialogue and representation around the Muslim femme experience. The forum intersperses news, culture and wry humour, while addressing dire matters like Islamophobia and LGBTQ rights head on. “It's true that perception is reality, and media is such a powerful tool in that regard. Reckless media coverage has perpetuated wrongful depictions of Muslim women, that have in turn been used to justify a lot of detrimental policies against Muslim communities at home and abroad. Media treats many communities of colour in the same way. It's so important for us to create our own media and tell our own stories.”