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Left to right: ifama wears logo t-shirt by Calvin Klein Jeans. Varaidzo wears jeans by Calvin Klein Jeans. Liv wears denim jacket by Calvin Klein Jeans. Antonia wears bra by Calvin Klein UnderwearPhotography Hanna Moon, styling Ibrahim Kamara

A magazine and creative collective ran exclusively by women of colour, gal-dem have spent the past year and a half challenging the male pale stale media landscape

AgesAntonia 28, Charlie 28, Ifama 28, Leah 33, Leyla 27, Liv 28, Varaidzo 28
LocationLondon, United Kingdom

gal-dem is a 70-strong, London-based magazine and creative collective, established to help WoC build careers in the media and to provide an honest and fair vertical for PoC issues, globally. “I want to give back to women of colour and truly support them,” declares gal-dem founder and Editor-in-Chief, Liv Little.

Launched in 2015, the collective have built an international matrix of contributors, have put on a nighttime take-over at the V&A — showcasing WoC artists, thinkers, musicians and writers — and, last autumn, unveiled an inaugural 264-page print magazine, packed with essays on sex positivity, music and mindfulness.

“Having been in the journalism industry for about two years, I'd seen how whitewashed newsrooms were and how negatively that could affect the type of content produced and attitudes towards people of colour,” says gal-dem’s Opinions Editor Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff. “You're walking into an office and it’s almost like your skin colour burns. You stand out.”

Little, a trainee researcher at Lion Television, agrees. “An exec at my work says I’m the first black person she’s worked with in 15 years. Most editors are white and middle class.”

“I’ve had an issue writing about something that isn't about race or gender,” adds Arts and Culture Editor Varaidzo. “(Commissioning editors) want to hear what I have to say, but (within the confines) of certain topics...”

Despite this, the gal-dem bug is germinating fast – and their sights are set further than the UK. “There’s a lot of students who have studied and found out about gal-dem through their time in England, who then have gone back to the countries that they came from and still want to follow it,” reveals Little. “We’re going international!”

Jack Mills