My main mission was to give a more political and societal aspect to the Ayika’a project. Indeed, Ayika’a isn’t simply a project which aims at promoting black and mixed-race women’s beauty in the fashion world, it also aims at questioning and challenging our society to show that another world is possible. – Safia Dos Santos

Safia, can you introduce yourself ?

Hello everyone and welcome to Ayika’a.

My name is Safia and I am pursuing a Masters degree in Political Science at the Sorbonne with a view to specialize in Africa and the various states that it includes.

For a long time I was one of the only non-whites in my class, and even in my day-to-day life. At a young age I felt ‘different’ in an environment that does not look like us. At first it did not bother me to look different from everyone around me. In the end, if the standard of beauty was to have straight hair and blue eyes, all I had to do was straighten my hair and wear colored lenses.

It was only much later, once I was in college, that I realized who I really am. I took part in my first conference on Afro-feminism, that ironically was organized at my university, one of the whitest in Paris.

The topic for discussion was women of African origin, black and mixed. Hair, body, the representation of black or mixed-race women in the media (or rather the absence of representation), all of the elements that point to a real problem in society.

Pourquoi as-tu rejoins ce projet ?

When Cindy came to me with her project to promote diversity among black and mixed-race women, I obviously wanted to help. To help because as a mixed woman, the opportunity was ideal for me to finally be heard and perhaps to reach out to others.

My role in the project is rather broad since I am not particularly familiar with the fashion or media world. My role is rather to promote the non-fashion aspect of the project to give it societal and political importance. To this end I will be contribute to a blog on societal issues concerning black and mixed women, and what are called the « visible » minorities in France.

Come join us, and I hope you’ll like the blog !

The « visible » minorities in France