Sanjana NageshImage copyright
Sanjana Nagesh

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Sanjana Nagesh believes or now not it is time for brown girls to face up and take ownership of their identities

There is a sisterhood emerging on Instagram and or now not it is one made up of younger females from across the globe who proudly name as „brown girls“ – however who are they and what is it that they need?

„We’re told that ‚we’re too brown‘ or ‚we’re now not brown ample‘ however Instagram is now giving us a likelihood to take encourage our culture and play with it – that is exactly what we’re doing“, states Sanjana Nagesh, founder of BrownGirlGang.

And with 50,000 followers on her Instagram location hungry for announce material created by and for brown girls, or now not it is sure this Australian has tapped correct into a rising market.

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Getty Photos

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Comic Mindy Kaling is on the total cited as an inspiration by South Asian females

She says she wished to prove off females she would accumulate on Instagram who hang been doing unbelievable, creative issues which fused their South Asian heritage with long-established popular culture.

A hasty stumble on at her curated database, which attracts followers from the US, India, Canada and the UK, reveals memes pertaining to to actress Mindy Kaling, activist Jameela Jamil, as smartly as a form of Bollywood stars. It moreover has pictures of emerging artists, entrepreneurs and announce material creators.

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Simmi Patel

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Simmi Patel makes exercise of Instagram to showcase South Asian culture

Simmi Patel, an marketing and marketing copywriter, used to be born in the UK and moved to the US as moderately one. She faucets into her Gujarati Kenyan Indian heritage for inspiration for the memes referencing a mishmash of Indian and western popular culture which she posts on Paper.Samosa. Hers is undoubtedly one of the essential accounts highlighted on the Brown Woman Gang page.

„I wished to develop one thing wintry however that used to be varied and would consult with of us admire me. It wanted to be one thing that tapped into this mixture of eastern and western culture that the younger desi era has find entry to to. We’re attracted to popular culture and mixing up the entire lot that is in style with our traditions.“

The term „desi“ Simmi makes exercise of is derived from the Sanskrit word „desha“, which manner country or land. It be historical to debate with those of South Asian heritage who stay in a single other country – the diaspora.

And with a form of of hundreds of makes exercise of of the term #BrownGirl and its plural respectively, and better than 5.8 million makes exercise of of the desi hashtag on Instagram, it looks admire here’s a group that is here to preserve.

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Simmi Patel

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Simmi desires to bring a smile to of us’s faces with her art work which contains this image highlighting the fact that chai and tea mean the same thing

„Forward of you needed to rely on films and tv where females admire us would be represented by one-dimensional characters and an amalgamation of cliches. Now we’re presenting our hang narratives,“ says Sanjana.

Professor Radhika Gajjala of Bowling Inexperienced Dispute University in Ohio is researching how South Asians exercise digital media. She is now not bowled over by the brown girl circulation. Bollywood stars hang been utilizing the media for a truly long time to prove off a particular controlled image, one very powerful serious about their brands, she says.

„These younger females, who are digitally native, are expressing themselves in a identical however extra legitimate plan. In actuality, you would possibly perchance be now seeing Bollywood stars sight the success of these females and take inspiration from it – so posting candid photos and ones that fit less of a system.

„These are the younger of us and grandchildren of immigrants who are trying to connect with their roots of their culture however moreover prove how they are very powerful segment of standard millennial culture. These females are segment of what I name the digital diaspora.“

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Neha Gaonkar

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Neha Gaonkar is an architect for her day job however makes exercise of Instagram as a creative outlet

Neha Gaonkar, the brains gradual The Cute Pista myth, agrees. She grew up in India and the UK and moved to Chicago 10 years up to now.

„It be about trying to construct up a chuffed medium with the sort of smartly off mix of culture and immigration and mosey in our heritage. It be about trying to construct up out where we slot in.“

Extra currently she’s been desirous to immerse herself in the roots of her Indian culture.

„I chanced on so many unbelievable talented of us on Instagram who hang been displaying what or now not it is admire to be Indian, Pakistani and heaps extra. I used to be exposed to this total smartly off historical past and I wished to be segment of it“.

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Neha Gaonkar

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The usage of multilingual puns makes accounts admire Neha’s very standard

Tamil-Canadian Pranavi Suthagar, from Toronto, is moreover proud to name as a brown girl.

The graphic designer runs the Not Sari Instagram myth where she sells clothes and badges she’s made. Her work makes an are trying to „decode the brown abilities one illustration or collage at a time.“

„When I used to be rising up I will also plot friends with other brown of us. We had incredibly varied backgrounds and came from varied countries. Yet there hang been many similarities in the very top plan we hang been introduced up and the experiences shared. I admire that we bonded over these cultural norms.“

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Pranavi Suthagar

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Pranavi Suthagar is proud to be a brown girl

Prof Gajjala says the usage of the word brown is very indispensable because it used to be a term that helped of us from a unfold of backgrounds to „bridge“ their varied histories however moreover prove what they’d in long-established.

„It be now not correct kind about South Asian females; it involves those of us with a smartly off historical past of immigration in their households – whether deliberate or pressured which implies that of colonisation and indentured slavery and additional. They’ve being brown in long-established.“

She says brown as an identification turned extra visible after the 9/11 fear assaults in the US.

„It used to be about political convergence – this word introduced of us from varied backgrounds collectively. They hang been being looked upon as ‚the other‘ and this word erased the diversities in historical past between these of us who had repeatedly been looked upon as migrants.“

Brown is now not a racial category, she provides, or now not it is a long way never on Census documents. „Nonetheless brown has repeatedly been viewed as migrant – especially here in the US. Now we’re seeing females especially utilizing brown to mobilise and take ownership of their narratives.“

Brown is a colloquial term, says Pranavi. „I’m a brown person. It be precious for of us who invent now not are trying to make exercise of the word desi as or now not it is extra inclusive. It’ll contain of us who are from Indo-Caribbean backgrounds or Sri Lankan or blended or powerful extra. It be a large term.

„I invent now not deem white of us would exercise it however I’d now not for my share be offended in the occasion that they did. In my abilities or now not it is a long way never a derogatory word and or now not it is by no manner been historical that plan in direction of me by anybody; or now not it is a long way a groovy term.“

She said the mild image of a South Asian girl used to be of anyone who used to be stable, oppressed and mild-weight. Nonetheless many of the brown girls on Instagram hang been becoming a member of her in subverting that and on the total utilizing humour – in varied recommendations – to prove that they are mischievous however they are preventing encourage.

„These brown females invent now not need white saviours,“ she provides.

Nonetheless what about of us which hang been utilizing social media for a whereas to highlight desi culture? What invent they deem this zeitgeist second?

Maria Qamar, who is gradual the HateCopy myth, is an artist who started on social platforms. She’s now had her work shown globally, has been championed by Mindy Kaling, and has exhibited in Unique York.

Maria, who lives in Toronto, Canada, says: „What’s occurring now would possibly perchance well be that females are taking tips of dated custom designed to take us in line and withhold us down and combating that. Desi females are coming out and announcing ‚ I will invent what I are trying to invent'“.

Maria shrugged off concerns the brown girl mark would be limiting, announcing: „I’m a brown girl. That is what I’m. It be the lens by which we’re working. Brown girls are skilled-us; now not anti-you. We must be allowed to celebrate – especially as females of coloration are the least represented in the media. Dim and brown females are on the total pushed to the facet.

„Now we’re being viewed and on our phrases.“

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