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photography by Isabella Pearce @isabellapearce1

In conversation with K Bailey Obazee

Creator and Storyteller, PRIM

shado sat down with K Bailey Obazee, creator, creative and storyteller, to find out more about Prim.Black and its purpose as a platform of storytelling.

photography by Isabella Pearce @Isabellapearce1

Can you tell us a bit more about your motivations and plans for Prim.Black?

Storytelling. History. Legacy.

The hope is for my community to be able to find themselves. For us all to see and be moved by the work of our peers beyond socials. I think social media is fab, Twitter and Instagram are genuinely the funniest and most informative places in the world right now. You’re able to connect seamlessly with people you know and people you don’t and your activity can have proper impact. Socials really hold me down sometimes, like the boyf I never wanted but tried his best. However, I want people to get to see, hear and feel the real real that exists in their community and to have a place where you can access it, physically and digitally, anytime you want. Also, all this shadow banning stuff is really annoying. We shouldn’t have algorithms or people working against black and brown people, preventing us from finding ourselves, just because the rest of the world has a weird issue with breasts and bums.

What are some of the experiences/ influences that shape your approach?

A big one is reading. Knowing about a lot of the stories of black people, black with ancestry in the Caribbean, in Africa and one that I often missed out the Afro-Latinx experience. My honey taught me that big time, I was omitting a huge portion of black history from my understanding of our experience because I didn’t seek that knowledge but also because it was made readily available to me. I want to definitely incorporate all the mediums we currently use to consume information. Reading, visual and audio. Prim wants to be a space where you can find out about what your people are doing. Where you can also add the work you are contributing to helping shape and add to the history of us but also somewhere else where the QTIPOC community can be in full force.

Why is self-representation and representation as a whole so important?

Ahhh what a question. Just because.

To create something lasting. To ensure someone else doesn’t continue to write my story and tell you this is what black people didn’t or couldn’t do – to end the lies, the erasure and to hold space.

What do you think was missing for you growing up and do you hope Prim.Black combats this?

Understanding fully my history and my story. Some of that falls to my parents to have done but there are so many things in life that sometimes prevent parents from being able to contribute to our learning in this way. Especially parents who have migrated from one country to another, finding that time to keep heritage alive whilst also surviving can be difficult. Despite this, I do know my culture and the food of my nation, all I ever want to eat is Nigerian food because everything else doesn’t compare for me. However, I would have liked to know more about what people were doing when my parents were growing, visit and see Nigerian more and that doesn’t have to be physically. What PRIM aims to do is really provide that avenue for every black person to know the story of people of black ancestry and to learn both about their own nation and of others. With this, you will be able to see just how many people of black ancestry there are contributing to the story of us, the multitude of things we create and just how deep our impression on the world is. We’re hoping to give you access to all the information you need on PRIM.

A lot of your work focuses on literature and storytelling; who are some of the QTIPOC you are most excited about at the moment?

This is a difficult one to answer with just a few names. So what I will say, is that I am excited about and for all my QTIPOC and beyond fam who are creating and building.

Creating space, creating the history of us right now and creating stories we can share, reminisce over, use to heal and use to encourage. I’m excited for the years ahead and the real hot girl amazing shit we’re doing.

photography by Isabella Pearce @Isabellapearce1
photography by Isabella Pearce @isabellapearce1

Find out more about Okha, the queer + black book club here

Keep updated with Prim here

Interview carried out by Hannah Robathan and Isabella Pearce, co-founders of shado

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