BY ELIAS WILLIAMS
MANDEM is a new webzine for young men of colour to comment on a wide range of issues and showcase their artwork.
It was set up in response to the calls for more diversity in the film, television and journalism industries and to the increased discourse surrounding masculinity. It has no political affiliations to ‘the right’ or ‘the left’ and attempts to avoid falling into the typical ‘Social Justice Warrior’ category. MANDEM simply seeks to provide a voice to men of colour who don’t feel represented in the mainstream and encourages people of all backgrounds to engage in important discussions with us. The platform has a large focus on the arts and has been lucky enough to interview popular British musicians such as Cosmo Pyke and Kojey Radical.
Alongside the arts and culture side of things, we have also hosted several debates in front of audiences of young people. Some of these have included topics such as male identity and African history, while a recent debate at the UWE Students’ Union was centred around the black Muslim identity. The discussions involve a lot of audience participation which humbly takes away from the ‘prestige’ of the panel and encourages people to speak up. We make a point of covering racial issues in a light-hearted manner so that all feel welcome.
Most of the video content appears in the form of ‘RL-TLK’ conversations in which we invite people to have conversations about their views and opinions on the world. We have also produced several powerful short films on topics ranging from African history to male insecurity. On the website, we have several writers who produce compelling articles on stories ranging from police stop and search to holidays in Nigeria.