#Oneisnotenough in conversation with: The I’m Tired Project

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The One is not Enough Team had the privilege of interviewing one half of UK based The I’m Tired Project, Paula Akpan, to discuss the project that has delved into the  world of micro-agggressions, assumptions and stereotypes. Using art, creativity and personal stories, The I’m Tired Project aims to provide ‘a safe and honest platform (for participants) to be both vulnerable and empowered’.

What is The I’m Tired Project?

The “I’m Tired” Project is a campaign which uses the human body, photography and written word to highlight and increase awareness around the impact of stereotyping, assumptions and micro-aggressions. While it started out as a strictly social media project, it slowly turning into a community outreach project as we’ve conducted workshops in schools and universities as well as two exhibitions so far.
The I'm Tired Proj
Why did you start The I’m Tired Project?
Harriet is a white woman and I am a black queer woman so we’ve both experienced our fair share of micro-aggressions and stereotyping and last year, we reached a point of frustration with the lack of representation and awareness around such issues – which was paired with the fact that we were graduating and suddenly had a lot of free time on our hands – and decided we wanted to channel the frustration into some sort of creative project. We also found that a lot of feminist groups we were a part of were just not intersectional.
What are the biggest lessons you have learnt from doing the project, either in the organisation of it or the messages that people have shared?
Despite considering ourselves to be fairly socially engaged, I think one of the biggest lessons has been that there is always so much more to learn and be made aware of. I know it sounds relatively basic but I think it can be quite easy to lose sight of that. There have been so many times when a statement has been sent through and I’ve thought to myself “Why has that never occurred to me?” For example, a trans man once wrote about their difficulty finding men’s shoes in small sizes and despite the fact that it is so simple, it really took stuck with me as one of those minute and powerful details that can be so easily overlooked.
Are there any race related ‘I’m Tired’ contributions that you related you?
A black woman did a statement that read “I’m tired of self-policing in order to avoid stereotypes” and spoke about the difficulty of trying to avoid being labelled “ratchet” or how it feels to be singled out simply on an account of your race i.e. being asked if you can twerk because you’re a black woman. It completely resonated with me personally because I’ve spent much of my life juggling with my blackness, sometimes not wanting to appear “too black” or “uncouth”.
What are your hopes for the future of The I’m Tired Project?
We plan to continue sharing pictures and stories on our page as well as continue to travel with our exhibitions and workshops and represent as many people as possible!
The I’m Tired Project covers race issues and the One is not Enough campaign is all about representation of British BAMEs in the media and school curriculum. Why do you think representation is important in the British media and school curriculum?
Representation in the school curriculum is important because I can tell you all about white writers and white people who contributed to history but, bar slavery and the civil rights movement, you’re not taught about the contributions of black people. You’re taught about black oppression and little else. For many years, I had no idea that there were so many black inventors because they’re simply not acknowledged. This is reflected in media. You rarely see diversity unless it is somehow related to oppression or the black individual somehow being made the villain, no matter what. Representation is important because, black people, particularly black youth, need to be able to see that it is possible to be black and to succeed; it’s important for us to know that the two are not mutually exclusive.
How can people get involved with The I’m Tired Project?
People can email us at theimtiredproject@gmail.com or message us through our Facebook page and we can send through submission guidelines and help them with the process.
Make sure you follow the The I’m Tired Project on their various social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram 🙂

#Oneisnotenough TEAM

Twitter: @1isnotenough
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All Kinds of Beautiful film campaign

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All Kinds of Beautiful is a film campaign aimed to help those who do not fit into Eurocentric beauty standards and are otherwise ignored by Mainstream Media. This includes all minority ethnic groups and also any other groups of people whereby there is a lot of stigma attached. For example, people with mental health issues or people with disabilities, or people who are overweight and judge themselves for being this way. All Kinds of Beautiful wants to promote every kind of human being, and to show that we are all the same.
I started this project because I myself have had an eating disorder due to weight issues and I also suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. I always felt alienated from society and felt that I had to constantly live up to its beauty standards. Also, being part of the Muslim Asian community is something I am very proud of despite all the stigma attached to this group by the White British population. My goal is to make people feel better about themselves and to help others not to feel the way I did – like an outsider.

I hope that my project can help others if enough people can share it and connect with it. I hope that it can make others feel as though they are not in this alone and that they are truly beautiful. I hope that this project can help to put a dent in Eurocentric standards of beauty and make people think about other minority groups. And mostly I hope this project makes people realise that there truly are All Kinds of Beautiful in the world.

I am a big supporter of the #Oneisnotenough campaign because it ties in completely with All Kinds of Beautiful. I would like to represent BAMEs in my own campaign through spotlight interviews, giving people a chance to see through the eyes of of BAMEs themselves and to hear about their struggle. I want BAMEs to feel beautiful in the British society and I want them to feel like they belong.

Afshan x

Twitter: @Afshaann

To get involved in this wonderful project email afshansharif@hotmail.co.uk

If you would like to share your stories, experiences and opinions, or if you want to be featured on the ‘spotlight’ section email us at oneisnotenough16@gmail.com.

Bless x

#Oneisnotenough TEAM

Twitter: @1isnotenough