With quarantine bringing everyone ample amounts of free time, many people began founding organizations and trying to make a difference in the lives of those in need. One of those inspirational social entrepreneurs includes Aruba, a Marketer by day, and Fiction writer by night. With the help of her cousin, Afeera, a climate activist from Pakistan, Aruba began growing an Instagram page, Brown Girl Voices (BGV).
Brown Girl Voices Mission
Brown Girl Voices aims to highlight South Asian females and their creative talents. They showcase all forms of creativity, including but not limited to music, art, writing, dancing, and comedy. Through their feed posts, they are able to spread awareness about different issues South Asian females face. They also highlight their amazing accomplishments.
“Generally, female artists are underrepresented,” Aruba said. “You’ll see them highlighted more as subjects/objects of art than as creators. The fact that there is a ridiculously talented segment of society that is not being recognized bothered me.”
Share Your Skill Project
In addition to displaying others’ work, Brown Girl Voices is also working on several other projects. First off, BGV is working on an initiative called Share Your Skill. The event consists of a series of workshops, sessions, masterclasses, and virtual event to teach creative skills or enjoy a creative activity online. Aruba is working towards collaborating with artists, writers, and mental health advocates to provide an exciting experience for participants. BGV also plans to host virtual paint nights, creative writing masterclasses, basics of knitting, cooking, dance tutorials, and more.
“I’m very excited about the first three events I lined up– a henna design walkthrough, a virtual paint night, and a session on effects of body-shaming, the first of which is this weekend,” Aruba said.
Furthermore, BGV is working on a “Bookscriptions” series. Published South Asian female authors from all genres will discuss their book in a one-minute video. These videos will help spread awareness about South Asian authors who often don’t get the recognition that they deserve.
Finally, BGV is developing a concrete website to share longer pieces and not be limited to Instagram’s format. Through the website, they plan to develop their events more in-depth to provide a better experience for viewers.
“I grew up consuming a lot of content I loved but couldn’t relate to. What little I could see in the mainstream media and books ended up feeling more like token representation rather than actual characters,” Aruba said. “To move beyond seeing every brown girl in a book or movie as a version of me, I started searching for content where there was more to the female I was identifying with than just the colour of her skin. Brown Girl Voices hopes to become the place where you can discover your new favourite singer, artist, writer etc and where you can feel represented while doing so. South Asian Females are more than caricatures or characters. By highlighting the works of many diverse voices with their differing opinions, outlooks and experiences I hope the world can see that too.”
Brown Girl Voices is a wonderful initiative and Aruba has poured her heart into growing this page. When it comes to South Asian female representation, there often is not much out there. Brown Girl Voices provides the boost we need in society to recognize everyone who deserves it.
To follow Brown Girl Voices on their journey to South Asian female awareness, click here.