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A unique story gives you a unique voice to use.

There are enough people that are silenced. So I chose to be loud for the ones that don't have the privilege.

That is what all my work is about as a writer and aspiring journalist.

Let's take it from the beginning.

Hi, I am Aysun. Nice to meet you.

I am a 23-year-old daughter of Turkish immigrants. My parents moved to Germany to grant us a better future. Only through their sacrifices have I been able to study journalism abroad in Scotland.

I have a deep passion for travelling and discovering new cultures. Through open and empathic discussions, it is possible to find solutions for our society's complex and layered problems.

As a queer woman of colour I have experienced discrimination. I have seen it. I have heard of it. My life has been flooded with stories of other minorities being treated differently. What do you do when you witness this much pain and inequality?

You either continue with your life, or you decide to get loud.

For me, the choice was obvious.

Why complain when you can change the game, huh?

Hopes and ambitions are one thing.

However, how does reality look compared with the heroic fantasy of being a writer? How does the everyday life of a student journalist with a diverse background really look?

Well, I have written more applications than I can count, networked with more people than I can remember, and hit up more journalists on Twitter than some might find reasonable.

But then again: Who cares?

You stop bothering about what other people might think when you have something more significant to fight for. The possibility of not achieving your goal is much more frightening than public embarrassment.

On the flip side, this journey has also brought me three work placements, a summer academy place at GlobalGirl Media UK, and different travel opportunities. And this is only the beginning.

I am proud of where I come from, who I am, and where I am going.

Let's see where my path leads me next.

Author: Aysun Bora

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Emerging into any industry as a young, working-class, transgender boy in 2023 is effortsome, and I understand these esoteric troubles from a fundamental level.

This is who I am.

My name is Henry; he/they.

I am a queer boy born in Croydon, currently seventeen, young and sweet, and studying English, Film Studies, and Sociology at A-Level. I aim to pursue English with Film at university in 2024, progressing into an optimistically prodigal career in writing of any and all forms. The interweaving of my female upbringing, my pivot into masculinity, and the experiences between them have vastly bolstered my ethics and provided emotional backing for my values; my values being of equity among all, intersectional understanding, and the pursuit of kindness. I am also partial to a bit of drawing.

I aspire to honour this moral code especially through my writing, as I aim to share my own story of gender and class hardships, as well as broadcasting the stories of other people.

Other people are very important to me.

I am constantly surrounded by a wildly diverse plethora of cultures and characters, and I firmly believe that the world needs to know about it. All of it.

This is why, with be it poetry or journalism or simply artistic expression, I am fully geared toward making our society a more aware and understanding place.

I first heard about the GGM summer academy from my Film Studies teacher, and was urged by family and friends to apply. Once I had done some research into the charity's work, I was absolutely ecstatic to join. I'm excited to see what the course has in store for me and my interests, as well as deepening my understanding and passion for the investigation and exposure of gendered representation in the media.

I currently work as a face painter in a theme park, using any and all time between endless glitter tattoos and hair wraps to jot down new ideas and to draw characters and people on the backs of receipts; most of my fiction-based writing surrounds characters I have created and their intricate and colourful backstories, majorly for video games such as Skyrim or Fallout; whilst I'd love to say that I paint children's faces so I can save for university, we both know that I'm just counting my coins so that I can buy Fantastic Mr. Fox-themed memorabilia and impossibly more orange-coloured clothes and objects and teddies and pens and…

I like video games a lot. I think that looking into the representation in video games especially is very important; this is as well as films targeted toward children as, whilst they are currently just tiny sponges of ideology, they will eventually age into the adults that make our laws and help our people.

We already have an incredibly diverse range of people and ideas, now it's just time for the world to listen to them.

Author: Henry (he/they)

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Updated: Jul 13

Amber Phillips - GGM Film Festival Volunteer, 2021

On March 18th – 21st of March, 2021, GlobalGirl Media UK hosted its very first film festival. Not only was it their first film festival but due to the COVID-19 restrictions, it took place online and it was nothing short of fantastic.

Like many other young women who are hoping to get into the film industry, I volunteered to be part of the post-production team but my role eventually became much more than that. I wanted to be involved in an event that focused on giving young women a voice as well as showcasing their filmmaking talents. It is already so difficult to get a start in the entertainment and creative industry, let alone when you are a woman or from a minority. When I found out that GlobalGirl Media UK’s aim was to give women from all backgrounds that opportunity, I knew that this was the place for me.

GlobalGirl Media Film Festival’s aim is not only to give female filmmakers a platform but to extend learning opportunities to diverse young women, provide networking opportunities with industry professionals and peers, raise awareness for the media training that GGMUK provides, and to promote women in media and film, both behind and in front of the cameras in order to achieve more equal representation in the industry.

The festival itself showcased over 30 short films (from over 150 submissions from more than 40 countries), many of which covered topics that are extremely relevant in this day and age (I’ll get more into that later!) Although the films that were submitted had to be directed by self-identifying women, the festival welcomed all ages and genders.

The event took place over four days:

Day One: A review of the best films in competition, by Anna Smith of the Girls on Film Podcast, with GGM UK founder trustee and documentary maker Sue Carpenter. Lastly, there was a panel talk with Mia Bays and Isra Al Kassi from the charity Birds’ Eye View.

Day Two: The first filmmaker Q&A on Mental Health and Disability (hosted by yours truly), a workshop with Twitch, and the screening of the feature documentary ‘I Am Belmaya,’ followed by a Q&A with the director Sue Carpenter.

Day Three: A career talk with Uzma Mir who is an executive producer in children’s television at the BBC and the second filmmaker Q&A on Sexual Harassment and Violence. There was also a live workshop with Tamara Jacobs, content strategist, and ex-trustee, on finding your voice, and a live keynote session with filmmaker and broadcaster Yalda Hakim who spoke about finding your point of difference.

Day Four: A career talk with Zara Janjua who is a producer, filmmaker, and presenter, our second live workshop with Tamara Jacobs focused on developing your story and the awards ceremony hosted by Anna Smith.

As you can see, it was totally jam-packed!

The films? Incredible. So many issues and challenges that women face every day were bought to the screen; issues from women in first and third-world countries, issues on disability, sexual harassment, gender inequality, and patriarchal issues. If you are a human being, there will be a film (or three) that speaks to you.

One topic that arose time and time again was sexual harassment. Films such as Run Amok and The Museum tackled the theme in two very different ways. Run Amok was a revenge film much like Thelma and Louise and Promising Young Woman whereas The Museum was an animation that explained what it is like to be made to feel like your body is not your own. The filmmaker Q&A on Sexual Harassment and Violence spoke to both of these directors and two others on why they made their films, why they chose the style and tones of the films, and what the directors wanted the audience to take from watching their films. As it was a film festival by women, the ways in which these topics were covered were done so in a touching and relatable way which also allows room for education within the audience.

Other films that stood out were Hattie, Hamada, and Aguan. Hattie was a moving documentary that followed the life of 16-year-old Hattie who suffers from spina bifida, allowing the audience to understand that there is more to someone than their disability. Hamada was about a woman racing driver in UAE and Aguan was about a female rickshaw driver in Bangladesh. Both films challenge the audience’s views on women taking on masculine roles in a patriarchal society.

As a volunteer and (hopeful) future filmmaker, I have been honored to take part in an event that so openly praises women, not to mention having been given the opportunity to host a panel on something that is so close to my heart. I have to say a massive thank you and shoutout to Dami, Yalda, Aisha, and Ami. These four women are not only insanely talented and inspirational but have been so supportive throughout the entire process.

I can honestly say that GlobalGirl Media UK put together a fantastic film festival and I can’t wait to be a part of the next one!

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