Filmed & Edited by JENDELLA.

Dope interview on the MDMflow blog with Sharmadean Reid, founder of WAH Nails and WAH London, and loads of other dopeness in between…

The Middle Distance (Short Story)

Why did I write this story? I dunno, I think I was exploring possibilities in both life and art… Anyways, I submitted it to a few places but it never got anywhere…maybe because it’s a bit too weird. Or whatever.

Anyhow, presented for your approval entertainment…

The full spread of the SS14 shoot I creatively directed for MDMflow is up at StreetwearBabe. If you go there you’ll also get a discount code for summer lip colours…don’t say I never told ya… The full spread of the SS14 shoot I creatively directed for MDMflow is up at StreetwearBabe. If you go there you’ll also get a discount code for summer lip colours…don’t say I never told ya… The full spread of the SS14 shoot I creatively directed for MDMflow is up at StreetwearBabe. If you go there you’ll also get a discount code for summer lip colours…don’t say I never told ya…

The full spread of the SS14 shoot I creatively directed for MDMflow is up at StreetwearBabe. If you go there you’ll also get a discount code for summer lip colours…don’t say I never told ya…

new things, part 2 | toot-toot | jendella.co.uk

Couple snaps from the pop-up studio I held over the weekend at the Young Motherhood preview exhibition in Peckham. Couple snaps from the pop-up studio I held over the weekend at the Young Motherhood preview exhibition in Peckham. Couple snaps from the pop-up studio I held over the weekend at the Young Motherhood preview exhibition in Peckham. Couple snaps from the pop-up studio I held over the weekend at the Young Motherhood preview exhibition in Peckham. Couple snaps from the pop-up studio I held over the weekend at the Young Motherhood preview exhibition in Peckham. Couple snaps from the pop-up studio I held over the weekend at the Young Motherhood preview exhibition in Peckham. Couple snaps from the pop-up studio I held over the weekend at the Young Motherhood preview exhibition in Peckham.

Couple snaps from the pop-up studio I held over the weekend at the Young Motherhood preview exhibition in Peckham.

Self-Portrait, 2014

"August child
Of the sun on high”

(One of my favourite lines of Japanese poetry written by a workman describing the Empress in a poem written on the construction of the Palace of Fujiwara.)

Happy August.

I turn 25 this month.

I’ve been having these grand ideas about “rising to meet my destiny” and all that super-zen stuff there.

I’ve already had my quarter-life crisis so I’m good on that front. I’m happy with my freelance pennies so you can miss me with that “un/underemployed millenial” stuff. I don’t want to buy a house, I don’t care about a pension, and I’m not bothered about the price of a Masters degree so those struggles are not mine.

I would like to learn how to drive at some point in life, and I really need to cut down on my sugar intake. But other than that. I’m good, I thank God that I can say that I’m good.

In the spirit of rising to meet my destiny I’ve made a few a lot of changes to my website. Have a look.

#THROWBACKTHURDAY HOMIES!!!

Don’t ask too many questions about the picture above, but I wrote something about being a “Christian” “artist” for UKGospel.com and you can read it here.

Three Things I’m Into Right Now

(Or at least a week or so ago when I first wrote it…)

Our Lives On (In?) Film

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When I heard that Cardy Films was going to release the entire first season of Life of Hers in one go I thought that it would be a perfect opportunity for an evening of binge-watching. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) it didn’t work out like that as I’ve been waist deep in Young Motherhood stuff, so I could only steal away enough time for an episode at a time (you know, how we used to watch stuff in the old days). The delayed gratification made me savour the series more, and it all ended too quickly anyway, but either way Life of Hers is great for many reasons and here are the first two that come to mind.

First of all: that title sequence. Totally besides the fact that I recognised a few of my friends’ baby pictures, I found it strangely emotional. Maybe I’m really sentimental, but seeing all the little black girls stirred something within. It reminded me of myself as a little black girl and all the little (and not so little) black girls that I know and love. So strange, and yet so familiar, to see such a solid representation of us in all our dimpled, balloon-chasing, care-free glory. Sometimes it feels like the world has told us forced us into being these other things (#StrongBlackWomen, Defenders of Our Collective Womanhood, Fighters, Survivors and all the rest) but it’s just really nice to remember how we once were.

Life of Hers is about four millennial (oh Lord how I hate that term) black women navigating various crossroads in their lives involving career, ambition, love and religion. As much as the four main characters are black, the series is way beyond race and ethnicity. It’s an honest examination of the contradictory period of life many of us twenty-something women find ourselves in, it just happens that for once it’s black and brown faces that take centre stage.

I wrote my degree dissertation on the importance of black women self-defining their own identities on screen and how it’s truly the only way to realise true depictions of our authentic selves. I could publish the 8,000 word essay on this blog, or I could just tell you to watch Life of Hers as a perfect example of what I was talking about. So just watch it, yeah?

An Instruction Manual on Blackness

Following in the theme of self-definition, I just finished reading Baratunde Thurston’s How To Be Black. (Reading it in public is highly recommended. The looks on people’s faces as they saw a young black woman reading a book called How To Be Black, were priceless.) First thing I thought was “I wish someone gave me this book when I was a twelve-year-old token black girl in a predominately white secondary school” and with chapters such as “How to Be the Black Friend” and “How to Speak for All Black People”, this is the perfect guide for any discerning young individual with skin of a darker hue. Get yours today! *salesperson smile*

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But seriously. This book is great. A cross between a memoir and humorous observation of being a black face in some very white spaces, this book has an edge that I find really engaging. It’s less instructions for perpetuating blackness and more a manifesto for self-defining your own blackness and as a Harvard-grad-tech-geek-Pan-Afrikan-raised-crack-war-witnessing-absently-fathered black man, Baratunde is a great spokesperson.

What I’m finding really interesting about this book, even a couple days after I’ve finished it, is this blend of memoir, humour, art and politics. Baratunde brings in the voices of his carefully assembled “Black Panel” (with one white Canadian for a taste of the exotic) who are comedians, artists, writers and creatives themselves, and have addressed this “blackness” thing in through their own work. I particularly love this quote from Elon James White, a comedian, on defining blackness:

Black people define blackness with everything that we do. So, right now I’m shooting this video and someone’s sitting in their house thinking, “Ah man, black people love shooting videos on green screens,” because I’m defining it. People are like “Why do you have servers in your house?” I’m like, “Because I need information, this is how I put stuff out there.” Because black people like computers, son! We love server farms, we like LAN gaming, and we define it every time we do something.

Oga Jona

After I finished reading The Miraculous Deliverance of Oga Jona by Chimamanda Adichie, I literally (as in I actually) clapped my hands together and said “she’s done it!” out loud. “Done what?” you ask. Well, she’s done what I’ve been thinking about and what intrigued me about How To Be Black, she’s merged art, reality and politics into this thing that is both challenging but digestible. While How To Be Black is clearly a manifesto of sorts, The Miraculous Deliverance… is more of a suggestion of possibility. A quiet suggestion of how things should (could?) be. There’s a time for a preaching, and a time to not be preaching and I’ve always wondered in my own work how to communicate my thoughts and ideals without pounding the pulpit too hard. I’m quite often so passionate when I talk, table-thumping and gesticulating comes so easy to me, but Chimamanda has provided a quiet example of another way. Her graceful carriage of self continues to leave me in awe. #FanGirlForLife

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Do you have suggestions of what I should get into next?

Last Thursday we went along to the preview of the WAH London range by WAH Nails’ founder, Sharmadean Reid.

It was dope.

You wanna know how dope?

Well, read what I wrote about it on #DoingTheMost.

Here’s the video from the private view of the Young Motherhood Project Preview Exhibition a week and a half ago…

With only a couple days left of the crowdfunding campaign, I’m asking you all to think of the possibilities…

Last week I was on the radio talking about the Young Motherhood project. Listen from 1hr in to hear the good-good.

It’s Friday, in the evening of what has been a hot July day. My balcony doors are wide open and a cool breeze gently lifts the sheer curtain. I’m sipping chilled rosé from a brightly coloured glass and making notes for an article I’ve been asked to write. Last night was the private view for my first ever solo exhibition, and this morning I received a complimentary copy of The Voice newspaper with a full-page feature on a project that I’ve been working on for the last nine months.

Right now, in this very moment, I feel like I’m living the dream.

yesterday: front page & full page feature in the voice + flowers from @lanreworld for the #youngmotherhood private view. yesterday flippin’ rocked.