Local Instagram accounts for social causes and minority voices:@beyondhijabsg, @_archipelagirl, @projectx.sg, and more
Power to the people
While social media can pose its own set of problems for self-perception and mental health, its sheer influence is undeniable. Which means when it's actually used for good — it's a bountiful harvest, that can easily encapture and sway the hearts and minds of a billion others scrolling through their Instagram feeds. There's power in social media activism. The sheer traction and momentum that the BLM movement has been garnering on our feeds lately can attest to it. It has also shown us that we need to learn more about topics that are confrontational and make us uncomfortable. We need to amplify voices that have not been heard enough.
Sure sifting through incisive memes and glossy pre-coronavirus travel throwbacks may be fun, but we can also incorporate mindful and informative posts into our daily feeds. Starting with these accounts started by local creatives, who have come up with digestible, illustrative posts to educate and inform the masses — on representation and discrimination — and why minority voices' matter.
One of the newer online zines on Instagram, @_archipelagirl is run by two brown women who are aiming to highlight stories, issues and experiences of the underrepresented in Singapore — and in time, across the region. While they are currently in the process of brainstorming stories for the zine, those interested are highly encouraged to send in suggestions for content that they would like to see on their page. They are also building a directory of black and brown creatives in the community to ensure that they are amplifying the voices of minorities and the marginalised, so if you are a designer, curator, writer, performer or any other creative individual, sign up at their link to contribute to their aim.
Project X is an organisation that aims to protect sex and entertainment workers for abuse, championing for the rights of sex workers and supporting the destigmatisation of sex work. Established in 2008 by Singaporean social worker Wong Yock Leng, it advocates and provides services for sex workers, covering issues like safe sex, abuse and legal cases. They envision a fair, safe and respectful sex industry for workers that will prevent them from being exploited or violated.
Minority Voices aims to create a safe space to share experiences of racism and discrimination, featuring untold stories from unheard voices. They encourage those who have experienced racism and dicscrimination to use their platform to create discourse around an otherwise "taboo" area, and uplift the marginalised in the process.
@hearmesg believes in having a platform where people can share their stories of discrimination anonymously. They understand the difficulty behind sharing personal stories of being discriminated against, such as potentially seeming confrontational to your peers, or risking personal relationships. Starting a conversation is nonetheless still important in educating the majority about the struggles that minorities face, and they've done this by continuing to amplify stories of racism, ableism, homophobia, ageism and colourism on their page.
"Interrogating the uncomfortable." is Beyond The Hijab's ethos, as they aim to create a platform for women to share their experiences without fear of stigmatisation. They've also tastefully created a post in response to the recent events of "OkLetsGo". It's a safe platform where women can share about reconciling the demands of their religion and the pressures of the modern world. Their goal is to create a judgement-free space to give women a sense of belonging (regardless of their backgrounds, experiences, or choices) by building a community of understanding, empathy, and openness, where people can learn about Islam, and where women can understand each other and themselves better.