The Robeson is a PoC-led magazine that aims to amplify and encourage the voices of other PoC students at SOAS by providing a curated, creative space for their expression. In this endeavour we seek to foster open-ended and honest conversations about BME experiences on campus and beyond. The magazine will be published termly, with each new issue revolving around a theme that prompts the exploration of identity and the challenging of normative ideas about race. In doing so we hope to encourage students to engage critically with the legacy of imperialism at SOAS and to highlight emerging talent among the student body - be it artistic or academic. The Robeson will be a highly collaborative project and submissions will be open to any PoC student wishing to apply, in order to be faithful to the various student experiences found amongst the SOAS student body. Furthermore The Robeson will aim to be as accessible as possible, publishing a wide variety of written and visual material in a non-traditional format so as to allow for the widest remit of creative expression possible. As an additional forum for the expression of PoC voices The Robeson aims to hold a showcase/event/late license following the publication of the first issue to promote the zine itself and the talent of BME students at SOAS.
The Robeson is committed to encouraging the development of the capabilities of PoC students to discursively challenge the structures of oppression in which they are enmeshed, through the fostering and encouragement among students of the ability to speak critically, confidently and clearly through a number of mediums - both creative and academic. We find the uplifting of PoC voices to be especially pertinent in an environment where PoC students find their own subjectivities being discussed by the white academy, which often has the effect of silencing such voices. The emphasis on creativity, personal expression and the rejection of the academy’s focus on hierarchical attainment is crucial in allowing PoC students an accessible space that allows for them to be heard in the format of their choosing. In addition to this, the magazine’s namesake Paul Robeson exemplifies our strong belief in the value of using culture, art and sport in the fight against colonialism and for social justice. Paul Robeson was an exceptional athlete, actor, musician, scholar and renowned civil rights activist through which he expressed his adamant beliefs in socialism and anti-colonialism - at great personal cost. Ultimately The Robeson hopes to embody and build upon his legacy of creating art and culture for the empowerment of fellow PoC and solidarity with oppressed peoples around the world.