The Digital Lives of British Black Women
“…I think that visual art, in all aspects, are super important to me…creating strong visual representations of not only myself but, again, Black women, and getting to see us as avant-garde beings in a world that sometimes puts us in a box is really important to me…” extract-The Digital Lives of Black Women in Britain, pg52
The way in which Black women have circumvented their exclusion from platforms in ‘mainstream’ discourse do so through a demonstration of their use of technology to create spaces and platforms of their own.
The Digital Lives of Black Women In Britain is research which goes towards recording how and why Black women are using digital spaces and online platforms on the Internet to reduce their marginalisation, to express their opinions, to share their knowledge and to position themselves as entrepreneurs in the digital sphere.
Wether seeking advice in the form of vlogs for hair and beauty, relationships, business, childcare, health and wellbeing or travel, these spaces have provided a welcomed breath of fresh air to the continued exclusion of existing spaces.
“…people are just making their own spaces…making our own iconography and making our own content…it’s really important that we carve out our own narratives and that we don’t shy away from creating spaces for ourselves…” (pg 65)
This autonomy doesn’t come without consequence as the book charts how Black women’s images and their real-life, lived expriences are replicated in the digital sphere. The book charts the abuse, stalking and trolling that Black women face as they carve out their spaces online.
Split into five chapters, Francesca Sobande’s book includes investigations into cultural industry experiences, collectivity and resistance and Black women in British media. There is a view of the full spectrum of media – television, radio, film and online experiences. The book includes extensive research and interviews that collectively highlight British Black women and their travails online
The book is a welcomed resource in the documentation of how British black women are using digital spaces for their own benefit.
Founder of Women Of The Lens Film Festival.