It’s not every day you come across a publication like gal-dem. Founded by Liv Little in 2015, the independent London-based platform championed people of colour from marginalised genders and paid close attention to underrepresented community stories. But, at its heart, gal-dem was much more than an insightful resource; it was a thriving network of writers that banded together to carve out space for themselves in a largely white male-dominated industry.
So, when gal-dem announced its closure last week, writers across the industry felt the gaping hole that would be left behind. In a goodbye statement published on their site, the gal-dem team noted the difficulties of keeping an “independent media company that is reliant on partnerships afloat over the last three years”. As layoffs have rippled through the industry, the pressures of a global pandemic, budget reductions and an economic downturn proved too much for a small publication to fight against.
Small magazine fails is not exactly a new headline in the media biz. However, why did this one fail?
When I was starting out as a newbie journalist, gal-dem’s then music editor, Tara Joshi, gave me my first bylines, helping me find faith and belonging in my writing, whether it was about my love for Paramore as a South Asian listener or weighing in on the debated issue of queering white artists in the music industry.
Is this one of those things we might describe as a clue?