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Activism / Global Resistance

Faces of the Global Resistance: A Letter From the Guest Editor, Yassmin Abdel-Magied

When we see ourselves not as individual actors but as key players in a team that requires all our efforts to function, that’s when our true power is realised. It is power in solidarity, in learning from each other’s resistance, in the inspiration that we draw from our fellow humans: that’s what this edition, “Faces of the Global Resistance,” is all about.

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By Yassmin Abdel-Magied. 

Art by Kristel Brinshot

Dear Salty readers,

It can sometimes feel overwhelming, can’t it? The amount of work to do in the world, on whatever social justice issue we care about or are affected by. We are all doing our little bit, but at times it feels like we’re alone, fighting against systems and structures that are too large, too powerful and too impenetrable for our efforts to have lasting purchase. It’s enough to throw one into a deep well of despair. Or that’s how it sometimes feels for me, at any rate.

But in moments like these, I am reminded of one of the key lessons of past revolutions: the power of solidarity.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

But in moments like these, I am reminded of one of the key lessons of past revolutions: the power of solidarity. When we are isolated, splintered, and atomised in our resistance, fighting the good fight does seem almost impossible. However, our strength lies in our ability to come together towards a common cause: liberation. When we see ourselves not as individual actors but as key players in a team that requires all our efforts to function, that’s when our true power is realised. It is power in solidarity, in learning from each other’s resistance, in the inspiration that we draw from our fellow humans: that’s what this edition, “Faces of the Global Resistance,” is all about. 

This is truly an exciting edition for Salty, and showcases the incredible breadth and depth of this community — something for all of us to be proud of!

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

This special edition of Salty, launched on International Women’s Day and running throughout the month, is about highlighting, platforming and celebrating the work of women, trans, and non-binary activists, advocates, and artists from all around the world. The globe is replete with examples of inspirational folk, so deciding who to profile was an incredibly challenging process. But with this edition, we wanted to spotlight voices and perspectives that are perhaps less known to you, but all with profound insights and important experiences to share. We’ve interviewed folks who have been involved in grassroots organising for years, who have been involved in major movements like the Arab Spring, who are revolutionising the way we millennials travel. These profiles are truly global, with folks from every continent in the world. The range of issues they tackle are equally diverse, from decolonising birth control to climate change, from online safety to prison abolition. This is truly an exciting edition for Salty, and showcases the incredible breadth and depth of this community — something for all of us to be proud of! 

Without further ado, meet the Faces of the Global Resistance: 

  • Community organiser Tarneen Onus Williams, a Gunditjmara, Bindal, Yorta Yorta, and Torres Strait Islander working with incarcerated Aboriginal women. 
  • Thordis Elva, an internationally acclaimed Icelandic writer, speaker, journalist, and playwright who campaigns for gender equality internationally. 
  • Tunisian feminist Aya Chebbi, the first ever African Union Special Envoy on Youth and political blogger during the Tunisian Revolution. 
  • Bangladeshi-American Sabirah Mahmud, the National Logistics Director of the U.S. Youth Climate Strike movement. 
  • Brazilian Dr. Luiza Prado, an artist and researcher investigating how colonial gender differences are imposed upon bodies through technology. 
  • South Korean-American (by way of Hawaii) Dr. Kiona, an academic turned businesswoman who inspires people to decolonise their travel. 
  • British-Nigerian Seyi Akiwowo, the founder and Executive Director of Glitch, dedicated to ending online abuse and championing digital citizenship. 
  • Fijian Sulique Waqa, cofounder of the Haus of Khameleon, a transgender led feminist movement advocating for transgender equality in Fiji and the Pacific. 
  • Australian Asher Wolf, a data rights activist whose work focuses on the intersection of technology and human rights. 
  • Tamil woman, Tasha Manoranjan, the Founder and Director of the women lead organisation, PEARL, People for Equality and Relief in Lanka.

How do we find a common thread throughout all these profiles? Well, in every interview, I asked the same question: How can we learn from how your people have resisted? This is a question I keep coming back to. How can we learn from each other? There isn’t one way to fight, no single silver bullet that will exterminate the ills of our current systems. However, if we learn from each other’s struggles and battles, and use them as opportunities to grow, then we are surely on the path to a fairer, safer and more just world for us all. 

…take solace in the fact that you are not alone in your fight for justice. You never are.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied

So dive right in to this month’s Salty: Faces of the Global Resistance. Connect with these folk, show them your appreciation, and hopefully also take something away for your own resistance. Finally, take solace in the fact that you are not alone in your fight for justice. You never are. 

-Yassmin


Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a Sudanese-Australian writer, broadcaster and award-winning social advocate.

Yassmin trained as a mechanical engineer and worked on oil and gas rigs around Australia for years before becoming a writer and broadcaster in 2016.  She published her debut memoir, Yassmin’s Story, with Penguin Random House at age 24, and followed up with her first fiction book for younger readers, You Must Be Layla, in 2019.  Yassmin’s critically acclaimed essays have been published in numerous anthologies, including theGriffith Review, the best-selling It’s Not About The Burqaand The New Daughters of Africa

Yassmin founded her first organisation, Youth Without Borders, at the age of 16, leading it for nine years. Since, Yassmin has co-founded two other organisations and now shares her learnings through keynotes and workshops. Yassmin has spoken in over 20 countries on unconscious bias and inclusive leadership. Her TED talk, What does my headscarf mean to you, has been viewed over two million times and was one of TED’s top 10 ideas of 2015.


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