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In Kenya, East Africa - these pressure of one’s skin tone have greatly intensified over the past decades, where lightness is favored over darkness, despite the huge percentage of Kenyans who are of dark skin tone. This idea of lightness, speaks directly to the influence of colonial obsession with fair skin, which today has helped to fuel the popularity of skin bleaching products among young people. Most young people in Kenya, like young people all over the world, want to fit it, to be seen as fashionable, stylish, and beautiful to those in their society. For many of these youth, this means having lighter or light skin tone, which has in turn led to a viable marketplace of skin bleaching creams and products. "Being Too Black” will first and foremost reflect the state of today’s world - how beauty is measured, defined, and described, and by whom. Sadly, from an African perspective, specifically a Kenyan perspective this reflection is often a sombre one, given the many pressures and the very real injustices to which women are subjected.
Asha Jaffar is a journalist and communications professional. She has contributed to international and local media and in 2014 won the Special Award of the Haller Prize for Development Journalism. Between 2013 and 2015, she worked in communications for the non-profit Action Aid. Asha runs a feminist vlog and has worked as an assistant producer, translator and editor for Clear WaterProductions and for the Foreign Correspondents’ Association of East Africa. Born and raised in Kibera, Asha is currently running her own street film school in Kibera- Shutter Film Foundation . She speaks fluent Swahili, Nubian and English.
Meghan Shea is a director & producer of films and documentaries. She specializes in amplifying the work of individuals, artists, and organizations that are creating positive social impact in the world. Meghan has over a decade of experience as a filmmaker. She is a co-founder of Persistent Productions, which has offices in Boston and in Singapore. She draws from a background in the arts to create work that examines issues from multiple viewpoints and global perspectives. Her work focuses attention on national and international issues, and she produces content for broadcast, streaming, social channels and educational distribution. Meghan’s documentary portfolio includes: “Under the Turban”, a feature-length documentary examining Sikhism, which premiered at The United Nations Film Festival; “In the Spirit of Laxmi”, a film about the rewilding of a leopard in Rajasthan, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, went on to win Best Short Documentary at The Gold Coast Film Festival, and screened at numerous festivals around the world. Her forthcoming film, “How I Live”, looks at the journey of four children with cancer in resource-poor settings; a preview clip screened at the United Nations General Assembly meeting on Global Childhood Cancer in Sept 2018. In her client-driven work Meghan creates strategic and long-term relationships. She believes that you cannot deliver intimate and rich stories unless you are thoroughly informed about your subject and your audience. Meghan has worked with BBC, Sony Music, The Rockefeller Foundation, USAID, Out Leadership, Dana Farber/ Boston Children's, JA Worldwide, Aman Resorts and Nikon, among others. Meghan graduated with a Master’s in Fine Arts from The George Washington University during which time she was a fellow for EJS Women’s Leadership Program. In the month of June, she co-teaches a class Modernism Then & Now in Paris with Mary Buckley and Bil Gillis for The George Washington University.