Allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Jeevan Sangha and I’m the new editor-in-chief of 5XPress. If my name sounds familiar, you might have read it as the author of some articles at the Press throughout the years.
5XPress has such a special place in my heart.
This platform has given voice to the stories that I often felt were missing from so many major news publications in the community. The stories, as well as the writers who gave voice to them are bold, brash and hilarious.
We’ve talked about everything under the sun. Our writers have interrogated the serious, pressing issues—including rampant misogyny, queerphobia and racism both faced and perpetrated by South Asian communities.
But at the same time, we’ve taken on fun, sillier stuff, too—whether that’s the TikTok trends that we’re desperately sick of, or truly ludicrous pop culture debates that never cease to infiltrate our timelines.
Since launching the Press in 2019, we’ve experimented with different kinds of stories. As we step into our latest era of storytelling, I thought I’d recap some of my all-time favorite stories from throughout the years.
Sparked by the brutal death of Priyanka Reddy, Rumneek shared her thoughts on what it means to be a woman in today’s world. What strikes me most about reading this piece back, is how similarly I feel about the state of the world now.
“[Women] are disregarded and stripped of their humanity at the whims of men who think they can get away with it—because they can and because they have,” she wrote. I think of the losses of Manpreet Kaur and more recently of the outrage sparked by the loss of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
These words unfortunately ring just as true as they did three years ago.
Ah the era of Zoom dating. I have to look back and laugh at how ridiculous navigating dating in 2020 was. This piece reminds me of being in the depths of the pandemic and hating how impossible dating felt. It’s definitely still impossibly bleak, but alas. We move.
“Brown TikTok and the troll industrial complex” by Anuja Bhatt
Unfortunately this buffoon (yes, I’m talking about TikTok menace and overall embarrassment Avaneesh) is still being discussed on social media. But this title still makes me cackle and Anuja’s words of wisdom when it comes to combating his clownery is evergreen: “...take a deep breath, roll your eyes, and just keep scrolling.”
“Media representation is meaningless when queer South Asians are continuously sidelined” by Karan Saxena
This piece came right as I was starting to rethink my entire view on representation, and the virtue signaling around it. Karan’s right, what does representation even mean when it continues to privilege the privileged? We’ve seen lots of “wins” for a certain kind of representation this year, but it’s nowhere near where we need to be.
“How Punjabi music videos fail brown models” by Monika Sidhu and Rumneek Johal
This one caused quite the stir, which is part of what makes me love it so much. Some of my favourite stories from 5XPress are the ones that made our community uncomfortable. It made people uncomfortable because it was touching on a truth that many were unable to accept or take any sort of accountability for. If you don’t want to support brown women, just say that and move on.
Returning myself to a soft, gentle kind of love by Pranjal Jain
I loved this piece for so many reasons. One of them being that I simply love to read about love. It’s so heartwarming to read about the way people articulate what such a big emotion like love means to them. Beyond that, I’m a huge fan of A Suitable Boy, and hearing how Pranjal resonated with Lata made me rethink my perception of the character all together.
Now there are so many other wonderful articles I can highlight from the Press, but we’d be here all day.
As we step into our fourth year, we’re going to keep our finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the community and continue to speak to the uncomfortable truths that many are not willing to face yet.
Thank you for rocking with us. We can’t wait to show you what we have in store for another year of 5XPress.
Oh, and while you’re at it… sign up for the 5XPress newsletter so you don’t miss out on a single story ;)
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