on my mind
I’m excited to share that I have a new piece included in the first issue of One Day Seyoum’s #2001Magazine. 2001 is the year Eritrea’s free press was shut down by the president Isaias Afwerki. The country still has no free press and continues to be the most censored in the world. The magazine is dedicated to the journalists, politicians, and dissidents arrested during the 2001 crackdown, who remain imprisoned to this day.
The goal is to tell Eritrean stories to inspire people to join the movement for change and fight for the rights of Eritrean refugees. This issue features pieces by leading Eritrean writers, artists, activists and allies on the theme “The past, present, and future of Eritrea.” My article is called “The Tale of the 2% Tax,” where I explain the history and facts of Eritrea’s 2% tax and how the government has taken advantage of the Eritrean diaspora to earn money and stay in power.
If you’ve been interested in learning about Eritrea but felt confused about where to start or have no idea what’s going on, this is for you! You can learn more about the project and order your copy of the magazine (physical or digital) at onedayseyoum.org/2001magazine.
Free shipping worldwide plus 100% of the proceeds will go to One Day Seyoum’s new Eritrean Refugee Center. It would mean a lot if you ordered and/or shared the magazine with your network!
what i’m noting
Watch // Lupin. If you love a good revenge, eat the rich story, then I highly recommend this French show, starring the amazing Omar Sy. It’s a reimagining of the classic French character Arsène Lupin, the gentleman thief. The show follows the life of Assane Diop, a master thief and son of a Senegalese immigrant, who is trying to avenge his late father. Definitely watch this in French with English subtitles (I cannot stand dubbed shows, but curious if there are any good ones out there?) It’s a short season that I accidentally finished in one night. Part two drops this summer, which feels too way far away with the cliffhanger the show leaves us on!
Listen // Creatives in Place. This is a beautiful listening project and digital platform that showcases 22 diverse Bay Area artists and what it means to survive and thrive in the Bay Area during the pandemic. I got to support the communications strategy for this project and really enjoyed listening to their interviews on everything from gentrification to lack of arts funding and working outside the mainstream arts world. This is also a great way to learn about new musicians, painters, poets, and writers you may not be familiar with!
Read // Pixar’s Troubled “Soul.” I watched “Soul” last month and while it was a unique and mostly enjoyable movie, I was a bit underwhelmed by the narrative and couldn’t articulate why exactly. I really appreciated this critique of how Pixar depicted “soul” philosophically and culturally, and its first Black protagonist. There are spoilers, so wait to read after you’ve watched it.
Write // Clubhouse Live Poetry Session. I’m hosting a Clubhouse room for the first time on Tuesday, Feb 5 at 6 pm PST/7 pm MST/9 pm EST in the Writer’s Room. This will be a chill hour where we’ll give you some prompts to respond to and at the end, we’ll listen to some of the pieces the attendees wrote. It’s also a great opportunity to meet other writers and poetry enthusiasts and just have some fun :) If you’re not on Clubhouse, I have a few invites left, so let me know if you’d like one!
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