Aurelia is a vibrant and refreshing online magazine established in March 2018, created and written by self-identifying women, trans women and non-binary people. Each piece in centered around first-person experience, with the simply beautiful ethos that ‘no feeling is too small’. To find out more, we interviewed Nali Simukulwa, one Aurelia’s Liverpool based, talented young writers.
This interview was conducted by Ayla-Ray Cole during her week-long work experience placement with Culture Liverpool.
Hello Nali, it’s a pleasure to be able to hear from you. First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, my name is Nali, I’m 17 years old and at the moment I’m an A Level student. In my free time I love reading, writing, watching and listening to basically anything I can get my hands on. I particularly love lifestyle and culture articles and podcasts. I’ve been writing for Aurelia Magazine for around 9 months now.
Where did you first hear about Aurelia Magazine, and how did you get to become a writer?
I first heard about Aurelia on Instagram, where I saw a brilliant article ‘Scouse, depressed and out of depth’ being advertised. I was immediately attracted to the magazine, I’d never seen such relatable and honest stories shared in a public setting. To me, media and journalism seemed to be a place for the factual so the idea of there being a place for women to share their own lives and experiences was incredible. I became a writer for Aurelia when it was advertised that there was vacancy for the position of staff writer. I applied and thankfully, I got it!
So much more than an average blog, Aurelia is a creative hub for inspirational young women like yourself – for those new to Aurelia, how would you best describe it, and what does it mean to you?
I would describe Aurelia as diverse and truly a safe space. The magazine is deliberate in the stories chosen for publication and this shows, there’s a real breadth in the issues broached in different pieces, everything is covered with grace and tact; From touching poetry about heartbreak, to rousing political pieces about abortion laws. I think that the platform Aurelia gives to women and non-binary people is essential, especially in today’s political climate, and I’m so proud to say that I’m a part of this.
What inspires you to pick up the pen and create your content?
To be honest, I’m most inspired by feelings that I find difficult to process. Most of my writing comes from a place of anger or sadness or a want to express something which I feel I’ve been encouraged to supress in some way. My family and friends have a running joke that they don’t want to upset me because they’ll end up in an article, but I think that I’m inspired by these strong or suppressed ‘negative’ feelings because they inspire creativity in a way more seemingly ‘positive’ emotions can’t.
The recent introduction of podcasts (which we’re super excited to see more of!) make Aurelia more accessible than ever before. What main messages do you aim to put out in your work?
When I write I aim to try to share my lived experiences as well as my thoughts and opinions. The inspiration for my writing comes to me quite suddenly a lot of the time so I don’t think there are any recurring messages in my work. I try to be as honest and as open as I can be in my work, and I feel like this is when my work most flourishes- So I guess I’d like my work to convey the message that it’s okay to be honest, and to tell your truth.
From reflective thought pieces, to a series about forgotten women- Aurelia sisters are certainly doing it. It’s so fresh and empowering to see the growth of a creative, female lead cooperation. Aurelia Magazine reminds women that their voice matters, and that now is the time to #RISEthrough. What steps do you think women can make towards self-empowerment?
One thing I’ve been able to improve upon whilst working at Aurelia is being able to put myself out there and to have faith in my own ability. I think that this sort of self-doubt particularly affects women; We can all become more empowered and confident if we take risks and lean into feelings of fear and discomfort.
Finally, what advice would you give to any young woman reading this?
It’s strange for me to give advice considering how I feel I’ve still got so much more to learn. But to any young woman reading this, I’d encourage them to take up space and not be afraid of their own power and presence. The world is full of intelligent and capable women and we don’t need to hold ourselves back. Don’t mince words, give your honest opinion, you don’t need to quieten your voice when you speak to authority, you are allowed to exist as boldly and vividly as you wish. I am still trying to learn this, and think that when we as women start living by these rules, we will achieve a more equal society.
If you’d like to find out more about Aurelia Magazine, you can visit their website – aureliamagazine.com or follow their social media channels below.