Feeling At Home With Strangers – Afropunk London

Listen to the Afropunk mixtape while looking at the photos and reading the text.

Photos by Hannah Wolny
Text by Amuna Wagner

Home is supposed to be a safe space. It is also supposed to be wherever our loved ones are, where we feel comfortable to show and celebrate our true selves because everyone around us respects and values us exactly for what we are.

Unfortunately, most minorities – whether it’d be people of colour, members of the LGBTQ+ community, followers of a certain religion, people with disabilities or most broadly, women in general – struggle to feel safe and at home on a daily basis. When the work place, school and even the own house can be a place of alienation and pain, safe spaces create a new sense of home that we might not even realize we miss until we experience it. After having entered an environment that is filled with the warmth and comfort created by the feeling of being accepted without conditions, re-entering the patriarchal and ignorant world that we live in becomes harder after every time we manage to escape it.

We have never felt more at home with a bunch of strangers than when we went to London’s Afropunk festival. We did not realize how much we needed a safe space until we found ourselves within it. It is beautifully sad that in 2017 we are still amazed by an inclusive and respectful environment in which
women do not fear to be grabbed by strange men and
men are not considered trash before they have even introduced themselves.
Where LGBTQ+ members or people with disabilities
are not reduced to be just that and more importantly
do not have to hide and be scared.
Where colour is beautiful,
men love men and women love women.
Men love women and women love men.
Where fashion is a form of unique expression and not something to be judged.

Acceptance is so natural that no one even wastes their time discussing it. The world is how it should have always have been and no religion or belief matters except for the common understanding that we all love and accept one another.

Safe spaces are both beautiful and sad. Our world should be a safe world, but unfortunately it is far from becoming one. Until then, we will continue to create small paradises where we enjoy and celebrate diversity and equality rather than oppression. We can and will do better for everyone.

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