News Brief

#FemmeInPublic Is an Assertion of Trans, Femme Identity in Cape Town

#FemmeInPublic is a transgender rights movement "disrupting the heteronormative and colonial gaze" in Cape Town, South Africa.

#FemmeInPublic is a Cape Town-based movement exploring trans, femme identity in South Africa.


Creative director, Gary Mikey Collins and artist Alok Vaid-Menon teamed up to document a “live fashion protest," which took place amongst a group of femme identifying people in the city. The movement is a show of solidarity between members of the community, who are collectively “disrupt[ing] the heteronormative and colonial gaze with their unwavering celebration of femininity,” reports Afropunk

Footage of the demonstration is interspersed with firsthand accounts from members of the group, which includes Vaid-Menon, kwaai diva Umlilo, and many more.

“With the recent advent of the ‘transgender tipping point,' representation of trans people in the media continues to be of people who are binary (identifying as a ‘man’ or a ‘woman,’), white, and conventionally attractive,” said Vaid-Menon.

“My work is about creating more representations of gender non-conforming people of color who have been and continue to be at the front of the movement for gender liberation.”

Watch "Femme in Public" below.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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