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#Repost This Week

You know, when selecting articles for #Repost I don't often have a theme in mind. My goal is, and has always been, to find stories that I find interesting. And as you know, my perspective is one that is a global view of what 'interesting' means. Sometimes there is a thread that connects those stories within a particular week's selection, but that is purely coincidental. Sometimes, one story leads me to another. This week, Padma Lakshmi has been doing the promotional rounds for her new show Taste the Nation. The smart, charismatic host who has been gracing television screens hosting Top Chef is taking her love and passion for food across the United States to find the cuisines that make this culinary schmorgasbord that is American food. As she discusses in her interview with W Magazine, the definition of "American food" is one that is actually a melting pot of ingredients originating in cultures from around the world. What she wants to do is give those cultures the credit that has been missing. It's a brilliant initiative that challenges the assumption that to be living in America is all the credit that is needed. That sense of gratitude that immigrants and refugees are expected to feel when making a life in their new home is what author Dina Nayeri explores in her book The Ungrateful Refugee. Nayeri and her family left Iran when she was just a child, becoming asylum seekers when her mother was threatened with execution after converting to Christianity. In this article, which she wrote for The Guardian that would become the premise of her book, Nayeri talks about how those seeking refuge often have to leave their identity, their culture behind. Give this article a read. I was completely absorbed by it and I look forward to reading her book. While we know about the struggles faced by those who leave their homes in search for a safer life, or a life with more opportunities, we don't often hear or read about the lives left behind. With Atlantics, Mati Diop, the French Senegalese director, explores the space between those who leave and those who stay. A space, like the Atlantic Ocean, that is wide, open, unpredictable, yet also represents journeys towards hopes, encapsulating fears, promises of a new life, and even threats of death. Mati Diop is an inspired filmmaker who has only just begun to explore her talent. A journey that has already been off to a great start winning the 2019 Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, the first Black female filmmaker to have competed at Cannes. Read more in this great interview published in Vulture. Creating and finding stories from different perspectives is also the goal of Alana Mayo, head of production and development at Outlier Society, the production company founded by the actor Michael B. Jordan. For Mayo, as you can read in this piece from Glamour Magazine, the time couldn't be better than now to find and capitalise on the desire to consume more varied content, to produce films and tv shows that reflect an evolving mindset. What an empowering and exciting place to be. It is people like Alana Mayo and Mati Diop that inspire Angela Davis, the woman who was at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement of the late 1960s and 1970s. The former Black Panther who is seen as a poster woman for millennials in the fight for Black Lives today, sees these young people as the future of a more just world, telling the Guardian that as much as she has inspired them, they inspire her too. A recognition that at the start of any great movement is an idea, a hope, and then action. That intention also applies to great findings in science. Astrophysicist Janna Levin talks about where, for her, those ideas come from. There is often the misconception that science, art, and culture are separate entities. Yet, as Levin talks about in Quanta magazine, they are intertwined and always have been. We only need to see the way children think and operate to know that that is true. Immersing herself amongst musicians and artists is how Levin is able to work, theorise, and discover breakthroughs. I hope you find these articles as enjoyable as I do. Meeting these amazing women through their words has opened up so many wonderful worlds for me as well as inspired many ideas for my own work. Which has always been the point of #Repost.

Monita xo

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