We recently met Elvira Vedelago, a blogger, model and co-founder of POSTSCRIPT, a cultural anthology bringing together the multiplicity of perspectives of socially conscious and independent thinking women. Elvira spoke to us about the story behind POSTSCRIPT, and where she sees the publication in the future.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Elvira Vedelago, model, blogger and co-founder of POSTSCRIPT.
What’s the story behind POSTSCRIPT and what do you want to achieve with the platform/publication, and what makes it different to any other ‘zine’?
POSTSCRIPT started as a conversation. About a year ago I met, a now close friend, Chinasa Chukwu of the contemporary fashion brand Weruzo and, as women of the Nigerian diaspora, born in foreign cities and living in London, we bonded quickly. Very soon after that first meeting, we decided to create something meaningful together – a space where the varying perspectives of women, like us, could be expressed and excavated. It manifested into a printed cultural anthology, in reaction to a lacking press narrative that celebrates the multifacetedness of women’s minds and voices. Niche publications such as Gal Dem and Riposte have already started those conversations and creating POSTSCRIPT was a chance to add yet more ideas, expressions and perspectives into the mix. The difference for us is in the presentation of that content. With an assortment of articles, essays, and interviews influenced by art, culture, and academia – hence an anthology – POSTSCRIPT aims to spark contemporary conversations for women on issues both immediate and perennial.
If I’m honest, there wasn’t a conscious decision made on the timing of our release. Emotions and thought processes just fell into place at what transpired to be the right time for us. Yet it does appear that POSTSCRIPT exists in a unique time – the era of being ‘woke’ – where consumers are challenging stereotypical perceptions of our existence and encouraging an openness to novel ideas. POSTSCRIPT was born out of a frustration of lacking representation in the media and a desire for a new framework of how content speaks to women. No doubt, the current landscape added fuel to that fire.
What are your thoughts on the #MeToo movement and how it is affecting the media landscape as a whole?
For all the bad press social media gets, it has incredible power to push a movement, such as #MeToo. Women are the hot topic right now and and while media attention has been beneficial to raising awareness, we still need changes to take place before we see any real effects. The hashtag has opened up the conversation, which is great, but with such things there is always the danger of it turning into a trend rather than real, actionable change.
Thoughts on books such as Why I No Longer Talk To White People About Race and Slay In Your Lane? And how, if they have, have these books come into play in terms of your thought process, what you write, and put out there with Postscript?
It’s wonderful that these books have been published and their sell-out successes prove just how needed they are. They reflect the voices of marginalised communities in this country and work to inspire personal progress. POSTSCRIPT aims to do similar, ensuring that everything we write about is thought-provoking and significant, and most importantly, taking a responsibility to adequately explore the perspectives and stories of women who are not regularly seen in mainstream media.
Who would be the ultimate cover person/person to collaborate (dead or alive) with POSTSCRIPT and why?
Personally, I’ve become a little obsessed with Serena Williams, so it would be incredible to have her as a future cover story. She defies the stereotypical notion of femininity in contemporary culture and pushes the boundaries of what it means to be a woman, POC and a champion today. She continuously reinvents herself, whether her come up from Compton or now as a working mother. I’m beyond impressed with her courage, resilience and influence!
POSTSCRIPT is a new publication, but what would you say has been your biggest challenge and highlight?
As the Features Editor for POSTSCRIPT, the hardest part for me was negotiating all the ideas we were presented with into the final copy of the paper. There are so many amazing stories and perspectives to share so narrowing that down into 68 pages was a big challenge. The highlights will always be seeing the paper in real life – the first day it arrived at my door, to seeing it in shop windows. It’s a beautiful thing to watch an idea come to into existence.
Where do you see POSTSCRIPT in five years and what conversation(s) would you like to continue with the publication?
We’d love to see POSTSCRIPT grow internationally, tackling issues abroad and opening up dialogue worldwide. Our paper will always centre around women, so whatever conversations we are all having in the future will continue to be reflected in the paper.
What do you ultimately want people to take away from POSTSCRIPT?
POSTSCRIPT ultimately asks about what we can learn from women across the globe. As such, we hope our paper sparks meaningful conversations and encourages our readers to develop a curiosity towards both familiar and unfamiliar concepts, questioning previously held opinions of our modern world.