In January 2021, shortly after the UK plummeted into our 3rd Nationwide lockdown, I wrote a blog post for Creative Connex called ‘The Females That Helped Me Through’, spotlighting some incredible women whose positive Instagram pages and writing had helped me through a pretty dreary time. I was so thankful to have a space where I could share that and, much like those who had inspired me, to have an opportunity to put out content which was uplifting and hopeful. I was dubious about spending so much time on Instagram and how the increased screen time I had during those lockdowns would affect my life – but if anything I have found some beauty in social media, creating my own community and reaching out to those I would not have done otherwise.
As a creative freelancer, remote networking has become a totally viable way of connecting with people. I have made some incredible relationships with folks who share my ethics and I have been working on some very exciting projects with those very people I had connected with online (although I am very grateful for the in-person post-project pints!) I think we’ve all found light in things we hadn’t before; mine include making the perfect hollandaise sauce and potting plant cuttings, watching them grow as big as their mumma. However, this post isn’t about the dreaded you-know-what – it’s about who you should know. So here we are, 1 year on celebrating International Woman’s Day and I’m back with another wondrous selection of people, places and things that not only helped me through lockdown, but are now helping me through life!
Ruby Rare @rubyrare
Ruby Rare is a sex educator, artist, and body-positive champion. She’s on a mission to engage people of all ages in positive conversations about their pleasure. Her work is influenced by her experiences as a queer, non-monogamous, dual-heritage woman. Her Instagram page has been an ongoing tool for education, enlightenment and brightly coloured things.
The House of Savalon @thehouseofsavalon @astrozenica_
As stated by OutRight Action International’s Jessica Stern, “International Women’s Day should be about inclusivity of the diversity of women — whether lesbian, bisexual, trans, intersex or queer (LBT+); women of colour; women from diverse social and economic backgrounds, religions and families; women with a range of physical abilities; and gender non-conforming people.” I wanted to take this moment to spotlight The House of Savalon, led by the gorgeous clown-mother Astro-Zenica, Bristol’s new Antiseptic Queer Drag Cabaret and Party. Their shows and events are ‘a playground for the imagination’, full of love and acceptance that does more than celebrate diversity – they create it! If you haven’t been to one of their nights, throw on a tiara, grab a fan and go live your best life at The House of Sav! See you there!
Adesayo Talabi @simplysayo
Adesayo Talabi is a creative content queen whose spoken word poetry videos went viral during lockdown. They are seriously funny and seriously clever and have filled me with entertainment for hours on end. Another prime example of a young creative using socials to make and share innovative content. Go check it!
Ameena Hamid @ahamidprods
Ameena is the youngest (ever!) female West-End producer, and is the founder of Ameena Hamid Productions who pride themselves on championing marginalised voices on the stage. From the first UK revival of The Wiz, the 1970s “super soul musical” based on The Wizard of Oz, in 10 years – to an all drag rendition of Dick Whittington, Ameena has her ethos planted into everything she produces. She has just become one of ‘The Stage 25: Theatremakers to watch out for in 2022 and beyond’ and her theatre has made a lasting impact on me.
Concrete Jungyals @concretejungyals
A Bristol based, female-led, genre-fluid music and arts collective with the goal to support and celebrate female-identifying, non-binary, people of colour and LGBTQI+ artists within the scene by offering them opportunities for exposure and networking through events and radio (what’s not to like!?) They’ve got events popping up all over the city, plus radio shows on Bristol’s own 1020 Radio and female-led Foundation.fm