The KA & GRM Daily Awards 2018

On Tuesday 4th September Stars of the UK Urban Music scene turned out to attend the fourth edition of the KA & GRM Daily Rated awards held at Eventim in Hammersmith London. This annual event is a celebration of UK Urban Music Culture and Talent.

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Photo Source: http://www.grmdaily.com

The ceremony was co-hosted by the fabulous Julie Adenuga from Apple Music Beats 1 Radio and The Comedian Mo who presented awards throughout the evening.

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Co-Hosts Julie Adenuga and Comedian Mo Present the KA & GRM Daily Awards 2018 (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Artist of the year was given to Rapper Not3s and Fredo won mixtape of the year.

Steel Banglez maintained producer of the year for the second year in a row.

Before the scooping his award he told journalists, “I think we are the unsung heroes in terms of what we do for the artists, I think awards like the MOBO’s or Brits should have producer categories and also songwriter awards as well. Because that’s a big part of tracks coming together. It’s to recognise everyone’s talents so people don’t feel disheartened.”

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Producer Steel Banglez  wins Producer of the year for the second year running at KA & GRM Daily Awards 2018 (Photo Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk)

Grime Legend D Double E took home the well deserved legacy award with a career stretching 15 years, the 37 year old was formerly a member of the Nasty Crew and went on to form the Newham Generals. Previously Skepta has called him the “the greatest of all time” and Dizzee Rascal says he is the inspiration that got him rapping. He recently released his longly anticipated debut album ‘JACKUUM’  available now for purchase or streaming.

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Artist D Double E wins  Legacy Award for his contribution of 15 years in the Business  (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Young talent AJ Tracey won best track of the year for ‘Butterflies’ and ‘Crop Circle’ from Nines won Album of the year. Headie took home breakthrough award of the year and the mastermind behind Fire in the booth DJ Charlie Sloth won DJ of the year for the fourth year running.

Giving the crowd life on the night, live performances came from Kojo Funds, Raye, BLK, Giggs, Not3s and D Double E.

Comedian Michael Dapaah the man behind legendary character Big Shaq was honoured with Personality of the Year. On acceptance of his award he told fans “Don’t let anyone stop you from what you want to do”. Not many females were nominated on the night and Michael added “Big up to the females in this category and all the other entertainers, big up yourself, this one’s for you.” Female artist Kenzo was the only winner out of 14 to win an award taking home the KA Get Rated Award.

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Michael Dapaah the man behind Big Shaq tells fans “Don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you want to do” on receiving his Personality of the year award (Photo Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk)

On the red carpet, Big Narstie commented that it was “100% unfair” that the music genre of drill is being named as the cause behind the increase of violence across London recently. This statement comes after Cressida Dick the UK’s most senior police officer linked the music to the surge of crime and murders across the capital.

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Big Narstie makes defends Drill Music on Red Carpet at GRM Daily Rated Awards (Photo Source http://www.bbc.co.uk)

Big Narstie went on to say “It’s a scapegoat, isn’t it? If cowboy films started making everyone start shooting guns, would they ban John Wayne? Going back 10 years ago, the only thing a black kid could do to get out of the ghetto was being a sports star! Now we can add music to that, which is a good achievement in itself. Drill has a lot about it buts it’s the truth. Its what’s happening out there. You can’t ask these kids to talk about living in a stable household if they don’t”

This is the first time that the Award Ceremony will be broadcasted on national television and is to be aired live on Channel 4 on Friday 7th September at 11.05pm! Put your reminders on and be sure to catch this special event.

List of Winners:

Breakthrough of the Year – Headie One

Personality of the Year – Michael Dapaah

Album of the Year – Nines

Track of the Year – AJ Tracey ft Not3s

Radio DJ of the Year – Charlie Sloth

Video of the Year – Rapman

Mixtape of the Year – Fredo

Producer of the Year – Steel Banglez

Artist of the Year – Not3s

The KA Get Rated Award – Kenzo

The GRM Legacy Award – D Double E

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Virgil Abloh and Yara Shahidi Cover Business of Fashion 500 Print Edition

We can’t seem to get enough of the delightful Virgil Abloh can we! This week Business of Fashion reveal him as one of the cover stars of its 500th BoF 2018 issue.

Off-White founder Virgil and Grown-ish actress Yara Shahidi have been listed on this years Fashion Change Agents List. Two of the four covers that have been shared also feature activist Kalpona Akter and chairman of Kering Francois-Henri Pinault.

Named the ‘disruptor’ who took over streetwear and then Louis Vuitton as it’s very own artistic director for men this talented creative wishes to inspire the youth to chase their dreams. Yara at the tender age of 18 has many accomplishments under her sleeve as the Black-ish star starts her freshman year at Harvard and wishes to use her platform as a way of increasing U.S mid-term election voters.

Full list and interviews with cover stars will be screened in each of the hard-copy issues on magazine and newsstands soon.

Beyonce Cover Girl and Chief Editor for Vogue September 2018 Issue! – But why has it taken 125 years to have a black photographer shoot the cover?

 

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Beyonce Cover Girl and Chief Editor for Vogue September 2018 Issue (photo source: http://www.vogue.com)

September has arrived which means its back to school for the kids, the cooling off of summer temperatures and lastly but not least Beyonces Knowles-Carters Birthday.

This month marks an important time in the Media Fashion industry and Vogue sets pace this month with Queen Bee gracing its cover. This issue includes some personal mini essays from our favourite girl and is the first cover ever to be shot by an African American photographer. Beyonce was given full editorial control over the issue and selected twenty- three year old photographer Tyler Mitchell for the job.

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Tyler Mitchell first Black Photographer to shot a cover for Vogue Magazine (Photo Source: http://www.vogue.com)

Some of you must be wondering; why has it taken Vogue 125 years to hire a black person for the role of creating its cover photo? Well, I don’t like to point the finger, but it looks like current chief Editor Anna Wintour has a lot to answer for!

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Anna Wintour Chief Editor of Vogue since 1988 (Photo Source: http://www.vogue.com)

Fashion legend and first black male creative director for Vogue Andre Leon Talley the subject of a 2017 documentary called “The Gospel According to Andre” gave his take on pushing diversity when he worked for the magazine saying “I never pushed for anything. I never pushed anything. I didn’t- Vogue is not a place where you are pushy”. You’re not a bully – I don’t go in there – I never pushed for anything. I nuanced my points of view, safely realizing that I had to navigate a world that was basically a dominant white world of power. You don’t go in there pushing and saying, you know, ‘We gotta have a black cover.’ The covers are chosen when they are chosen for many, many reasons, for commercial reasons as well as perhaps demographics. I never was part of that. That was not my job. I was not in those meetings. That was not my responsibility. So, when the covers are shot, you know, not everyone is brought in to be a participant in the cover decision. That goes between the editor in chief and the art director, and the photographer, and the fashion director which is doing that cover at the time. So you don’t even know what is going to be on the cover until you see it is about to go to print. No one decides that but the editor in chief.”

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Andre Leon Talley pictured at the Carolina Herrera Fall 2007 Fashion Show (Photo Source: National Public Radio http://www.npr.org.com)

One of the 20th centuries most influential photographers Gordon Parks shot photographs for Vogue during the late 1940’s right into the 60’s but was never given the privilege of shooting the cover.

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Gordon Parks with his Camera in 1960 (Photo Source: http://www.therake.com)

In his memoirs he describes how coveted the cover images were saying “it was an acknowledgment of your status and success as a photographer, being able to out-compete everybody else and get the most coveted placement in the magazine. So magazines occupy different places in the culture and Vogue is sort of the magazine that can anoint popular culture royalty. And so for a photographer to get the cover of Vogue, you know, it announces that photographers entrance into the highest ranks of the photographic profession, which among other things, opens further doors, and means more money for your fees and for African American photographers to be denied that right, to be denied entrance into the highest ranks, to be denied the ability to earn the income that comes with it, to be denied the cachet, the cultural cachet, that comes with having one of your images on the cover of the magazine, one of the few remaining iconic, truly iconic magazines, well, that is really infuriating.

With this Septembers issue, Vogue is now attempting to rectify its discriminative past along with other well-known publications such as the National Geographic who has admitted that in the past it has often pigeonholed non-whites as simply exotic extras, labour or savages. NG produced a special issue on race this year and asked John Edward Mason a specialist in the history of photography and the history of Africa at Virginia University to be a guest editor. When asked about the attempts of such publications trying to rectify their past behavior by using a black photographer to shoot the cover he answered, “It didn’t surprise National Geographic what I told them. There has been a lot of very good writing on the way that National Geographic has represented people from Asia, and Africa, and Latin America. It was a very colonial vision and a very racist vision. And you know, the magazine knew what I was going to tell them, but I think it was important for them to hear it from an outsider. And I appreciated the lack of defensiveness at National Geographic. My work was all in connection with their issue on race, and in that issue, both the people who wrote the articles and the photographers represented a very, very racially, ethnically and gender-ly [laughter] diversity of photographers . . . and I think the challenge is for National Geographic to continue that diversity, right? To hire black photographers to shoot things other than stories about black people, right?”

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John Edwin Mason Leading Specialist in the History of Photography of Africa at Virginia University (Photo Source: http://www.virginia.edu)

 

The likes of Tally and Parks are have undoubtedly made groundbreaking moves in the photography fashion and media world, but it would be unfair to put all the pressure on the ‘firsts’ to single-handily change an industry set up for and riddled with white supremacy. However, step by step the fight for equality and equal opportunity continues and so we must strive to help those who did it first so that one day diversity is spread across these powerful publications thickly and consistently and so becomes a normal part of world culture

Matching x Nike Blaze Sneakers for Serena William Baby Girl Alexia Olympia

Looks like Serena Williams Baby girl is set to be a sneaker head already with Uncle Virgil making these too cute for words x Nike Blaze in minature size to match  Mama.

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Serena Posted a picture  on her instagram  page @serenawilliams of the oh so cute one of a kind x Nike Blaze sneakers designed and gifted to her baby girl

After defeating Kaia Kenepi Serena spoke to press about her experience coming back to tennis just one year after having her daughter Olympia. The legend is now competing in The US Open her third tournament this year stunning the crowds this time with not just her tennis ability but with her outfits from the ‘Queen’ Collection designed in collaboration with Nike and Off Whites Virgil Abloh.

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In her round 3 press conference, Williams the owner of six US Open Championship titles confesses that despite looking like a magical fairy in her off shoulder tutu style dress. Coming back hasn’t been easy she told press “I think society puts it out there that you’ll just kind of snap back and that’s just a myth,” when asked about her experience on motherhood and the way back to the top of womens tennis she replied “I feel likes it’s important for women to know that it doesn’t happen like that in the Instagram world. But in the real world, it takes a while for your body to come back. Especially after a C-section, I think it takes a little bit longer. And not only that, like mentally and physically and dealing emotionally with providing for a child, it’s a lot that goes into it. And I was just living in this world where I thought it would just automatically come together. Yeah, my dress, I kind of look like a magical fairy, but it’s not happening. So I had to realize and live in reality.”

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Pictured: Serena Williams and her baby daughter Alexis (picture source @serenawilliams on instagram)

 

23 time Grand Slam champion said the black and lavender colorways tutu-style dress is fun to play in calling it “aerodynamic with one free arm”. Controversially Serena’s ‘Wakanda’ inspired catsuit designed by Virgil was banned from French open. The catsuit compression garment was designed to help with blood clots after pregnancy. In 1985 Anne Whites was also asked not to wear her white catsuit. Still, in 2018 the tennis society still isn’t ready to evolve and embrace the female form. Hopefully this tennis inspired fashion fusion will inspire the future of fashion in tennis.

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Pictured: Serena Williams at the French Openm 2018 in her ‘Wakanda’ inspired catsuit designed for her by Off Whites Nigel Abloh (photo source http://www.bbcnews.com

The True Meaning of Notting Hill Carnival – The Windrush Race Riots 1958

In the 1950’s Notting Hill was not the stomping ground of the rich as it is today. Back then it was an area of slum housing, poverty and high crime where many gypsy and poor people lived. In 1958 the Conservative government in power promoted open immigration from the Caribbean to fill the shortage of workforce in the country due to many men being killed or injured in the World War 2. Many Londoners also did not want the low paid menial jobs on offer from public companies like Royal Mail or London Transport and neither did they want to live in derelict London and so moved out to new housing in areas like Essex.

 

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HMT Empire Windrsuh Source: http://www.theweek.co.uk

Londons’ new workforce disgruntled many white Londoners’ at the time and West London areas such as Ladbroke Grove, Paddington and Notting Hill erupted in race riots. Cover ups by both the Home Office and Scotland Yard led to a lack of confidence in the police who had made false claims that the rioting was not about race. Years later police testimonies revealed this to be untrue. Constable Richard Bedford said he had seen a mob of over 300 to 400 white people shouting “We will kill all black bastards. Why don’t you send them home?” Another constable by the name of McQueen said that on the same night he was told “Mind your own business coppers. Keep out of it. We will settle these nigers our way. We’ll murder the bastards”. This caused distrust blacks to distrust the police. A distrust which is still present today. Further Reading can be found on the riots that reveal hidden information on the 5 nights of terrorism in Notting Hill that year.

 

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Ladbroke Grove in Notting Hill 1958 (Picture Source: http://www.mynottinghillcarnival.com)

After World War 2 the number of Caribbean migrant residents settling in London during what is known as the Windrush period was estimated at over 100,000 by 1961. Many Landlords would not rent to black families, with the  slogans ‘no blacks, no Irish, no dogs’ written on doors of many establishments. Infamous landlords such Rachman bought many derelict properties in the area and decided he would only rent his substandard properties damaged in WW2 to blacks and Irish; who would group together and share housing and then invest in their own properties. There were often 2 or 3 families sharing one house.

Work was getting scarce for whites and in those days there was no social security, free health service or benefits. Financial pressure and ignorance bought about hostility toward the Caribbean community from the working class, ‘Teddy Boys’ and fascist right wing groups stirred up conflict in the area distributing anti-immigration leaflets. People such as Sir Oswald Mosley and his British Union Movement and ‘White Defence League’ held ‘Keep Britain White’ street meetings in protest against immigration, harassing black people and homeowners.

 

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Oswald Mosley Picture Source: Getty Images

By 1958 unrest was brewing in the Notting Hill area and gangs of Teddy Boys took it on themselves to attack any Caribbean shops or business as  violence towards black people in the country continued to get out of hand. Two incidents on the 24 August in Shepherds Bush and Notting Hill left several black men injured and in hospital after they were attacked by a group of white youth’s intent on harming with weapons such as iron bars and knives.

Just a few days later things took an even worse turn and riots broke out in West London. On 29 August 1958 a married couple, Jamaican husband Raymond and his white Swedish wife were having an argument near Latimer Road tube station.  The argument escalated as crowds involved themselves. Shortly after 400 white men gathered together as a lynch mob and pursued any Caribbean resident. Backed against the wall Blacks had no choice but to join forces to defend themselves against the attacks on their person and homes.

All hell broke loose as weapons including glass bottles and petrol bombs were thrown at innocent West-Indian residents. Clashes continued each night until finally the police took control and arrested 140 people of who were mainly white and some blacks who had armed themselves in defence. Morrison later went on to write an autobiographical book, Jungle West 11 (Tandem Books, London 1964) were she describes what happened that day.

 

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Mixed Couple in the 1950’s Source: http://www.collections.vam.ac.uk

As an act of solidarity and defiance in response to the racist attacks 5 months later in January 1959 the first carnival was held in central London at St Pancras town hall as an inside event. Organisers of the event included Claudia Jones amongst others and in 1965 Notting Hill Carnival became an annual outdoor parade.

 

However despite this, tensions from the riot  were still evident and in the month of May 1959 Antiguan Carpenter Kelso Cochrane was set upon by a gang of white men on his way home from Paddington General Hospital after breaking his thumb at work. He was stabbed through the heart with a Stiletto knife and died in Kensal Rise (known as Kensal New town back then). The murder marked a social turning point and over 1,200 people both black and white attended his funeral. Shortly after in the same year Oswald Mosley head of  the ‘British defence league’ lost his place as the leader of the ‘British Union Movement’.

 

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Innocent victim of Race Riot Terrorism Kelso Cochrane (1926-1959)

 

Cochrane was the Stephan Laurence of his day as his murderers were never convicted. A journalist named Mark Olden wrote a book called ‘Murder in Notting Hill’ uncovering the murderer as 20 year old Patrick Digby who was tried in Court but cleared. His step daughter in an interview with Olden described Digby as an “over the top racist’ and admitted to the Olden that she had accused her stepfather of murdering Cochrane to which he replied “yeah, so what if i did. You can’t prove nothing”.

 

Carnival is still an event that most people of colour look forward to celebrating every year. In 2018 what we need to remember is that many of our Grandparents came to the UK from commonwealth countries with British passports and had helped to build the country into what it was and what it is today. We should never forget those that came before us and that Notting Hill Carnival  is in fact a  celebration of what those that came before us went through for us to be here today.

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Muhummad Ali attends 1966 Notting Hill Carnival (Photo Source: http://www.standard.co.uk)

Aretha Franklin (1942-2018) The Lady of Soul, Feminist, Civil Rights Activist & Symbol of Black Equality

“I didn’t think my songs would become anthems for women. But I’m delighted. Women probably immediately feel compassion and relate to the lyrics. We can all learn a little something from each other, so whatever people can take and be inspired by where my music is concerned is great,” – Aretha Franklin on Respect and Natural Women for Time in 2017.

 

 

Picture Sources: Rollingstone.com , Biography.com, inews.com

The “Voice of black America” Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin sadly died yesterday in her Detroit home surrounded by friends and family. The cause of death being reported pancreatic cancer.

The 76 year old ‘lady soul’ was arguably the greatest singer in living memory and will go down in history as courageous figure of social change. She set the bar for passionate soul music in the late 60’s and early 70’s with her glorious roof-lifting performances of some of her hit tracks ‘respect’, ‘say a little prayer’, ‘natural women’ and ‘Spanish Harlem’. She became and icon for the civil rights movement and feminism; becoming the voice for the oppressed during this period of struggle. Her energetic calls for understanding and respect bought attention to the movement. With over one hundred US Billboard Chart hits she became a symbol of aspiration and hope for many.

In 2015 Barack Obama said that when Aretha sings “American history wells up……”Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B, rock and roll – the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope.”

Aretha was born to a preacher father and singer pianist mother on 25 March 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee. She was christened Aretha Louise Franklin. Her love of music began early on in her life. At age 10 she started singing in church sand also learned to play piano by ear.

In her younger years her family relocated to various locations and eventually her parents separated with her mother also dying at a young age. Her father was a talented musician often called “the man with the million-dollar voice” and would make substantial amount of money performing at various churches where he received visits from the likes, of Martin Luther King Jr, Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson. He became Aretha’s manager when she was 14 and was also the father of her first child which she gave birth to at tender age of 12. She named the child after her father Clarence. Clarence Franklin Senior helped to get Aretha signed to JVB records and released debut album ‘Songs of Faith’ in 1956. At age 18 she was highly sought after by various record labels but in 1960 settled with Columbia in 1960.

“I guess most people call it soul. This is something I got from growing up in my father’s [The Reverend C. L. Franklin] church, singing with him and hearing his sermons every Sunday. You hear him preach just one sermon and you’ll know that he’s a past master of soul,” – Aretha on her fathers influence on her music Ebony 1964

Whilst at Columbia Franklin had a string of US chart topping hits with a cover of ‘Rock-A-Bye your baby with a dixie melody’ which hit the billboard top 40 in 1961. In early 1967 she released her first big hit ‘I never loved a man (the way that I love you)’ and ‘Respect’, with ‘Respect’ becoming her first number one in the US and the anthem of the civil rights movements and feminists. The magical working relationship with producer Jerry Wexler produced her first string of albums– ‘I never loved a man the way I love you’, ‘Lady soul’ and ‘Aretha now’ which produced legendary hits, ‘Think’ (‘You make me feel’), ‘A natural women’ and ‘Chain of Fools’. Her impact at the time was powerful and she appeared on the cover of Time magazine and Martin Luther King Jr gave her a very own day of honor.

“It’s the rough side of the mountain that’s the easiest to climb; the smooth side doesn’t have anything for you to hang on to,” – Aretha Franklin for  Ebony in 1964

Franklins career continued to grow and in the early 1970’s she released ‘Amazing Grace’ a gospel album that produced sold over 2 million copies. She went on to head line the San Francisco’s Filmore West venue- the first R&B singer to ever do so.  In the late 70’s Arethas career started to decline and so in 1980 she moved to Arista and produced popular hits such  as ‘Who’s Zoomin’ Who?’ and ‘Freeway of Love’. Collaborating with the Eurythmics on ‘Sisters are ‘doing it for themselves’ and George Michael on ‘I knew you were waiting for me’. Aretha stayed with Arist for over 20 years, establishing herself as the grand dame of soul music. In 2004 she left the label but continued to make appearances at the Superbowl in 2006; at the inauguration of President obama’s inauguration and at an honor ceremony for held at the Kennedy Centre for Carole King.

“We didn’t have music videos. You weren’t an overnight sensation. You had to work at it and learn your craft; how to take care of your voice, how to pace your concerts, all that trial and error, I paid my dues, I certainly did” – Aretha Franklin told Elle Magazine

The love life of Aretha Franklin was often turbulent, and she was married twice. Firstly to Theodore White in 1969 at age 19. She later got divorced on grounds of domestic violence. Glynn Turman would be her second husband for 6 years and in 2012 she called off her engagement to Willie Wilkerson.

“Falling out of love is like losing weight,” she said toin 2011. “It’s a lot easier putting it on than taking it off.” – Aretha Franklin speaks on Love to  The Independent  in 2011

It was known that Franklin battelled with addiction to cigarettes and alcohol -health problems relating to an undisclosed tumor saw her cancel shows in 2012 so she could have surgery. Many of her shows were often cancelled due to health reason and at a show in Detroit in 2017 she asked her fans “to keep me in your prayers”.

“As women, we do have it. We have the power. We are very resourceful. Women absolutely deserve respect. I think women and children and older people are the three least-respected groups in our society.”– Aretha for  Elle 2016

 

With over 20 top R&B Hits, 75 Million records sold worldwide, 18 Grammy Awards and the first female ever to get a place on the Rock and Roll  Walk of Fame; Aretha Franklin will forever be known as one of the greatest musical legends of all time for her incredible achievements both in and out of the recording studio.

Feminist Icons – Who is Frida Khalo? ♀️

Born in 1907, Activist, Feminist, Communist and Artist; Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo achieved world wide popularity and recognition through her work of self-portraits that she painted in vibrant colours -influenced by indigenous Mexican folklore and culture. Her inspiration also came from European artistic movements such as Symbolism, Surrealism and Realism. Her works are an expression of her sexuality depicting the emotional and physical pain she suffered in her life.

In 1929 Kahlo married Diego Rivera the Mexican muralist with whom she shared the same political views. He encouraged her artistic creativity and although popular and widely recognized today as an important Artist and painter, her magnificent work became famous only in the 1970’s proving that Kahlo was a feminist ahead of her time. During her marriage her husbands’ works and career took center stage until after she died in 1954. In 1957 her beloved passed away and donated her “Blue house’ in Coyocan Mexico City as a museum where the journals of her intimate self-portraits and writings were finally discovered.

Characterized by her own husband as ‘the first women in the history of art- who with a directness and brutal clarity- focused on subjects exclusively to do with women.’ Her often stormy relationship with fellow painter Diego Rivera was often the focus of some of her amazing paintings where she combines self-portraits with deep emotion and folk-art motifs.

Now a modern day icon Frida has been able to capture the hearts and minds of generations of women. All over the World her voice and message can still be heard as we fly the flag of feminism together!

Photo Source: www.frida.org

Painting Title: ‘Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird’

Artist: Frida Kahlo (July 06 1907-July 13 1954),

Located: Harry Randsom Center, University of Texas at Austin

To visit Fridas ‘Blue house’ in Mexico check out  www.lonelyplanet.com ♀️#iconicwomen