Zeenat Afzal: Provocation 101

Hey there,

I’m Zeenat, and I’ve recently joined the team here at Rising Arts. My job is pretty much straightforward: ramble on about various issues in the hope that it sparks something in those beautiful brains of yours.

Although I currently study, work and live in Bristol, my roots will always be firmly planted in the East End of London. Moving from a BAME-dominated area to the suburbs of Bristol really messed with my head and had me in a state of crisis, questioning my own identity. I’ve recently become more politically active, which in turn helped me open up my mind and also open my heart to my cultures once again.

A lot of what I’ll be discussing will be quite controversial and may cause a bit of a stir…too bad. We need to talk more about issues affecting our society, and less about how the youth today are ‘too sensitive’. The youth aren’t being heard loud enough so I encourage you to find a space, and build your platforms; education is so, so important!

It’s great to finally feel like I can speak openly about issues affecting me, and those around me. Even better, to do it without having to walk on eggshells for fear I’ll cause a privileged person to feel uncomfortable. Marginalised groups have kept quiet for far too long in order to spare the feelings of those outside their groups. But this is no longer about those of you that become uneasy at the idea of equality; this is about a revolutionary generation. However, guys, gals, and non-binary pals, I must dash, but I’ll be here again next week – watch this space!

(Ooh, and before I go, a quick ‘thank you’ to Sarah, Gill, Kamina and Eli for this opportunity and for all your support.)

Peace, love, and sugar puffs,

Zeenat Afzal