Discourse Archives - Bubblegum Club

Redirecting the conversation around colourism // everything up until now has been a distraction

When you think about the biggest femme artists and media personalities in the world and in South Africa right now, who do you see? Who is the catalyst for visual culture, storytelling and desirability? Described very well by Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, Alice Walker, colourism is “prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely…

The sari: between tradition and modernity

As a third-generation South African Indian, I often question my Indian heritage and Indian cultural identity as it seems that with every passing generation more of this heritage is lost. In recent years, through both my research and artistic practice, there has been an underlying theme of investigating my Indian identity and what it means…

Rory and Mal are not good guys

Trigger warning: This article contains mention and discussion of abuse The public rift between rapper/podcaster Joe Budden and his former co-hosts Rory Farrell and Jamil “Mal” Clay created a social media frenzy. Many people took sympathy towards Rory and Mal as they were on the receiving end of Joe’s callous, loud rants and bad business…

Your fave is problematic / a look back at how ‘cancelling’ arose from teenage anger

In the early 2010s, a blog titled Your Fave Is Problematic (YFIP) on Tumblr became very popular and dominated the public online sphere. If not for its then cult circulation, the content still remains familiar and culturally-relevant today. YFIP contained long lists of celebrities’ regrettable (racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ethnophobic, ableist etc.) statements and actions,…

Does Victoria’s Secret recognise activism or tokenism?

I can honestly say that I have never understood the mass appeal and hype surrounding Victoria’s Secret fashion shows. The few that I have seen, were background visuals that played at the gym probably aimed to serve as motivation. However, all it ever inspired me to do, was question why thousands of people would anticipate…

Britney Spears is a human being so set her free

Since 2008, after her public mental health-related hospitalisation, rehab and recovery, global pop star Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship managed primarily by her father, Jamie Spears. The singer’s career has been in the hands of legal guardians, as is the arrangement of the conservatorship, and even though she has continued to release albums,…

A moment to realise colourism, again, with ‘In the Heights’

Every year, every movie cycle, every new television season, Hollywood faces criticism for its lack of racial diversity. Not a major, or much-anticipated premiere of a reboot or adaptation goes by without producers, directors and even cast members facing backlash for these representational shortcomings. What we often overlook at times, though simultaneously occurring, is the…

The appropriation of the Palestinian keffiyeh

“Symbols matter. Especially for oppressed people.”  Khaled Beydoun Last week Louis Vuitton began selling a “monogramed keffieh” on their website despite the luxury fashion brand’s commitment to remaining “neutral” in the face of Palestinian oppression by the settler-colonial state of Israel. While Louis Vuitton may be coming under fire now, the keffiyeh has a long…