Hello, Rookie generation! Hawa and Tonia of Browntourage here, looking for some friends as we decorate our new locker in the digital hallways of Rookie High [insert caddie-decor-anxiety feels]. If you didn’t catch it before, we wrote a Life Syllabus for you all back in February, where we introduced a bit of the inspiration behind what we do. Browntourage started as an idea in 2010, a tumblr in 2011, a full-blown magazine in 2013, and now operates as a creative agency and curatorial portal. Our mission always centers on diverse representation in media, and the conscious consumption and production of culture. While our ideas come from academic leanings, we’ve always found the hearth of our work in the warm screenglow of the internet and all the relationships we’ve built through technology. We are also huge fans of the royal “We.”
I (Hawa) currently freshly reside in New York while Tonia, our co-founder, resides in Los Angeles. In this new era of Browntourage (and yikes white nationalism) we are taking stock of what our lens has allowed us to project and manifest into the world, the windows we’ve opened up for ourselves and others, the transparency in our curiosity, digital friendships over great distances, and the unquestionable tint to our way of viewing the world. We are not alone in this endeavor, and the show will go on as we are tested to the limits of our capacity to sustain impactful work.
In the past we’ve hosted a mixtape series featuring exclusively women of color, produced an Alt Role Model series highlighting the creative paths people take for their personal work or career endeavors, and collaborated with our favorite artists in a web gallery we literally built from scratch named Konversation. We want to keep the momentum going as we question “What do we responsibly do with our inherited problems, vices, existential crises?? How do we survive the trivial-yet-inescapable anxiety of read receipts?? What does it mean to be successful??” As post-modern women of color ourselves, we navigate extra layers of problems and crises, so we rely on our community for feedback, advice, and going hard on shine theory.
In these trying (read: Trumping) times, it’s like, democracy, how can it actually be for the people? Is this one of those failures that can encourage people to relate #teamgrowthmindset? We need each other and the potential keys we can unlock through dialogue, heart massages, and continued visibility of underrepresented experiences.
So how are we gonna dish it on Tinted? We’ll be covering some amazing cultural producers on our radar, examine pertinent social issues, and take in your questions and calls for advice as well! We may not have all the answers, but call us when you need a lifeline, friends, and we’ll gather collective knowledge every month.
Extra credit: This month we’re excited about Tonia’s new project, Downtown Browns, an interactive web series highlighting the decisions faced by women of color in Los Angeles.
Not sure how to navigate implicit bias in the workplace? Want to know how to balance a career and a side gig? Curious if “diversity” is on the brink of trendiness and therefore destruction? Us too! Let’s figure it out together—slide into our DMs @browntourage or holla(at)browntourage(dot)com with your questions/musings. ♦