Guardian Weekend takeover by gal-dem to feature work exclusively created by women of colour

Guardian Weekend's gal-dem cover

The Guardian Magazine has given the keys to its kingdom to women of colour-centric media title gal-dem to highlight "underrepresented" writers, photographers, illustrators, stylists and make-up artists.

Starring in the special issue of the title, published on 11 August, will be Bafta-winning Michaela Coel, Humans actor Gemma Chan, writer Ash Sarkar (who recently clashed with Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain), author Chidera Eggerue and MP Diane Abbot.

For the takeover, all articles, photography and illustration have been created by women and non-binary people of colour.

Melissa Denes, Guardian Weekend editor, said: “On Weekend, we value diversity when it comes to the people we interview, who write and work for us, who are voices in our features, and who appear in our photoshoots. But gal-dem’s takeover has moved the dial in a really interesting way, and proved we have further to go when it comes to our bylines.

“I am white but my daughters are not, and in a media (and political) landscape which features too few girls and women who look like them, gal-dem are the agents of change we need.”

Liv Little, gal-dem founder and editor-in-chief, added: “If someone had told us when we started gal-dem, almost three years ago, that we’d have the opportunity to take over the Guardian Weekend we would have laughed.

“It's an incredible opportunity for both our teams to learn from each other. The journalistic integrity of The Guardian has been something we've been massively inspired by and having the chance to commission an entire team of women and non-binary people of colour to produce this issue has been overwhelming.”

The gal-dem title was created to cause a seismic shift in the media landscape in the UK which it estimated is 94% white and 55% male. Little concluded: “We hope that this is part of a wider shift in women and non binary people of colour being commissioned to write about whatever interests them. We've still got a long way to go but are hopeful that through collaborations like this and continuing the work that we do, things will continue to shift in the right direction.”

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