For its fourth issue, Consented tackles the topics ‘Race & Empire’, aiming to challenge the idea that we are living in a post-racial society, and to show the ways that empire and colonialism continue to dictate our everyday lives. It manifests that racism must be shown as not just name-calling, but as an institutionalized, structural and all-encompassing system of oppression that has been born out of empire, which is why the topics are explored together.
Consented is a platform for those who aren’t accurately represented by the mainstream media. Its past issues have covered mental health, belonging, and gender, using personal narratives, essays, comics, poetry and art. As well as producing a quarterly print magazine, Consented runs live events like workshops and panel discussions.
Issue four is split into three parts; Post-Racial Racism, Empire & the Body, and Towards Decoloniality. The first section opens with a personal experience piece by co-editor Amit Singh, entitled ‘Don’t Worry, He’s Alright for a Paki’, which talks about feeling like a ‘palatable ethnic’ in white society. The conversation continues through short testimonies compiled by Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, that discuss the things that white people say behind the backs of the BAME community.
As the issue moves into looking at empire and the body, co-editor Ella Jay Taylor looks at the construction of ‘racial bodies’ through sexualisation, and Qaisar Siddiqui explores brown and black erasure in gay male kink. The final section looks at moving towards deconoliality, and re-humanising one another, with an emphasis, towards the end of the magazine, on the work of American writer and social critic James Baldwin.
The magazine is full of incredibly powerful stories brought to life via equally strong illustrations. It concludes itself with a divisive essay, ‘There is, in Fact, no White Community’, that is written by all four editors and establishes the issue as a bold and fearless response to contemporary racism.
Editors: Amit Singh, Ella Jay Taylor, Mike Pope, and Natalie Fiennes
Art director: Sophia Yuet See