meet the black punk collective that won’t allow the erasure of poc in canada’s punk scene

October 6, 2017
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Made up of talent bookers/promoters Nala Ismacil, Hana Jama and Melissa Vincent, Babely Shades is a creative-activist collective based in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto that ensures Black voices are heard in the punk scene. After bonding over a shared feeling of otherness within the punk scene, the three gathered Black punk artists and fans to form Babely Shades Toronto last summer.

“Even though these spaces are closed we are not going anywhere,” says Ismacil told Now Toronto. “We still need a space to engage with each other, otherwise that energy is going to be lost.”

They then decided to expand the project, screening of the documentary Afropunk by James Spooner for friends and fans, and creating their first zine called Black Punk.

“We felt a lot of Black sisterhood creating the zine,” Ismacil explained, and used that sense of community to organize a workshop with Toronto-based artist Heidi Cho in May, and then go on to host major Jersey Club talent UNIIQU3 of New Jersey, in collaboration with Fource Entertainment and Stacey Sexton at The Baby G in Toronto.

That’s just the beginning of the incredible work the collective is doing, and you can find out more of the amazing things they have planned here!