Following the August 2018 gal-dem takeover of Weekend, the magazines' editorial teams have worked together to set up conversations between leading black artists, activists, actors and sportspeople who meet each other for the first time.
The wide-ranging conversations are between model and activist Munroe Bergdorf and comedian Lolly Adefope; writers Brit Bennett and Jackie Kay; boxer and Strictly star Nicola Adams and singer Mel B; actors Paapa Essiedu and Lennie James.
The issue also features the winning entries from the winner and two runners-up of the memoir writing competition. Launched in October with a Guardian Masterclass, the Guardian and gal-dem invited UK resident black women and black non-binary people aged 16-21 to write on the theme of conversations, having their work published in the magazine and on theguardian.com and gal-dem.com. As well as publication, they each receive a fee for their work, as well as mentoring from gal-dem and a 1-1 workshop with a Guardian journalist for the overall winner.
The issue also features the work of black photographers, illustrators and designers.
Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, editor-in-chief of gal-dem: “It’s been a monumental year, sparking so many important conversations about anti-racism. What we don’t want now is for any of these to completely stop. The people we feature within this issue have not been limited to focusing on the stressors and strifes of this period, but also feature a lot of laughter; mutual fandom; recognition of shared experiences; and astute dissection of the ways in which their industries are evolving. Our collaboration with Guardian Weekend feels like a strong way to mark this extraordinary year.”
Ruth Lewy, deputy editor, Guardian Weekend: “Two years after our groundbreaking takeover issue, it’s been wonderful to partner with gal-dem again. From Mel B to Paapa Essiedu, all the people we approached to be part of this special were excited to take part, and the conversations themselves are frank, fun and powerful. The issue features illustration from new talent, and we’re also delighted to publish the winners of our memoir writing competition for 16-21 year-olds. We have uncovered some exceptional voices and I can’t wait to see what they do next.”
The conversations issue of Guardian Weekend is out this Saturday, 19 December.
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