There is a fine art to writing a fine email and Jamila Prowse, has it down. When her name popped into our inbox, with a concise and almost perfect email we knew we were about to meet someone impressive.
Women and multi-tasking share a rich history (we would know) but imagine being 22, half-way through your Art History degree while also simultaneously managing to be Editor-in-Chief of Typical Girls, one of the most exciting, emerging, British feminist zines, a freelance writer and features editor at Thandiekay. Add then, please, add into that mix, the fact that our recently appointed Junior Online Editor has yet to graduate (bonus points for being Sussex Alumni, as we both are). Yes, this is multi-tasking Jamila Prowse style.
Jamila, has been founding Editor-in-Chief of Typical Girls, since it’s inception in 2015. The zine’s intersectional focus was born from Jamila’s own displacement, growing up as a dual-heritage women in a predominantly white area, to a single parent. Unable to see other black women being properly represented within mainstream media meant Jamila felt she quite simply had to start Typical Girls. Named so, because of The Slits punk anthem, and the idea that anything like a “typical girl” exists - the TG ethos is all about finding the beauty and integrity in difference.
It’s important too, to discuss the words in Typical Girls, as well as the wonderful images. Jamila is passionate about producing a publication that never patronises it’s reader. The features are lengthy, academic and challenging, as well as funny, spirited and refreshing, and all require your time and focus (something jamila is sure we’ve sacrificed in our current, clickbait climate). It is now a platform for emerging and established, female and femme thinkers and artists to express themselves and the roster of contributors is impressive. From Photographer Ronan McKenzie to interviews with the likes of Hollie Cook and Viv Albertine, a copy of Typical Girls on your bookshelf is mandatory.
Lying somewhere between a book, a zine and a journal Typical Girls distinctive look and feel (it’s divided into “volumes”) is partly down to whizz-kid Art Director Chani Wisdom (good name, right?). Jamila’s career highlight to date? “Getting to see mine and Chani’s faces blown up on a full page spread for i-D. I have the page framed on my wall at home.”
Issue 3, is about to land on coffee tables near you and promises to be the most exciting yet. With Art Hoe’s Gabrielle Richardson gracing the cover and Kate Tempest, Lynette Nylander, Joey Yu and Nakeya Brown making appearances.
Truly, we’ll feel privileged to have someone as smart, unique and kind as Jamila joining the Babyface team - the honour’s all ours.