Brown Don't Frown was borne out of a personal journey with womanhood. As a British Bangladeshi, navigating mainstream Feminism often felt exclusionary to me because it didn’t seem to value the experiences or views which shaped my grandmother’s, aunts’, mother’s or friends’ lives. Through this podcast, we seek to build a more inclusive discourse, which breaks down presumptions about different cultures, and shines a positive light on the stories of underrepresented women. Featuring new guest(s) from different walks of life in each episode, Brown Don’t Frown seeks to engage ordinary women and facilitate openness towards entirely new perspectives. It hopes to spark honest and meaningful conversations about intersectional feminist themes in contemporary society with the acknowledgement that our views are shaped by our cultural, racial, religious, social and political experiences. Whether it's discussing society's preconceptions about the Hijab with a British-born Jamaican Muslim woman or examining the impact of gendered expectations on our ability to grieve on our own terms, we hope listeners finish each episode feeling more rounded than they did before. Follow us on: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/browndontfrownpodcast/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/bdfpodcast?lang=en Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/browndontfrownpodcast LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/browndontfrownpodcast
Monday May 31, 2021
Monday May 31, 2021
Today, I am joined by Dr Fatima Rajina and Hajera Begum of Nijjor Manush, an independent campaign group which empowers and educates Bengalis and Bangladeshis in the UK.
Brick Lane’s legacy is synonymous with Bangladeshi cuisine, culture and history. It is both a symbol of struggle and success for Bangladeshis, from Altab Ali to infamous curry houses and everything in-between. It’s somewhere I frequented during my childhood as a Tower Hamlets resident, and now as an adult. I saw it through the lens of unadulterated fascination as a child, and now through the reality of gentrification. The Old Truman Brewery plans to build a five storey shopping complex in the middle of it. We discuss whether this gentrification of Banglatown is an inevitable response to changing consumer demand and economic growth, while also questioning the broader, underhanded motivations at play. We also talk about the potential impact of gentrification on first and second generation Bangladeshi women in East London.
We consider whether there is a sense of solidarity in the UK between different South Asian ethnic groups and also within the Bangladeshi diaspora itself. We each talk about our experiences as British Bangladeshis growing up in the UK, as well as the experiences of our families.
The portrayal of Bangladeshi, and particularly Muslim, Hijabi women in the media can be incendiary and damaging. The current mainstream feminist narrative simultaneously portrays Muslim women as threatening and oppressed, invalidating their agency and undermining their integrity. We share our perspectives on this narrative and whether we think it will ever evolve.
If you enjoy listening to this podcast, please consider supporting it so it can continue to provide you with engaging, meaningful content. You can donate via Patreon: www.patreon.com/browndontfrownpod.