On November 13th Michelle Salvant had the pleasure of interviewing French native, Doria Adouke. Both spoke about the sad truth of being thousands of miles away but still facing the same racial issue. “In the UK there are also issues with the police in France as well,” Illustrator Doria Adouke said. “It’s not the only place, in Spain, 10 years ago they were beating up black people as well.”
While Adouke and Salvant spoke about how this has been an eventful year for everyone all over the world, they also talked about the positivity that comes from Adouke’s illustrations on black woman in her “Black Girl Magical” calendar, the reason why she started illustrating, and black woman in media and illustration. “They are not represented well, it’s just full stereotypes,” Adouke said. “They are over sexualized, they seem angry.” In the interview adouke touched base on her personal experience with racism and being the only person of color at school. “I came back to France and that is where I discovered racism.” Adouke said, “It doesn’t even make me angry anymore.” Adouke went on to speak about how she wants to see a more realistic image of black women.
Adouke enjoys illustrating and expressed that it helps her to relax, not overthink so much, and allows her to just be in the moment. “The only time I don’t think is when I draw,” Adouke said. “It’s personal therapy for me.” Adouke felt that at the age she is at now, she is more focused on the solution and not so much the issues.
“We will never end racism,” Adouke said. “The only way we can do something and can get respect is by the economy.” Salvant went over how the calendar is able to make an impact and bring a positive feeling to black woman. “I felt like I could relate,” Salvant said. “I just love the last image for December which is a beautiful representation of love.” Salvant went on to ask what Adouke’s hopes for the future are. Adouke hopes to inspire black owned business to keep going and help change the economy by focusing on bring forth more solutions.