Beauty is… a feature length film exploring the topic of beauty from a Pan African perspective through a candid collection of personal and group interviews.
Beauty is… includes an assortment of short films and animations through which we also explore the impact of education and schooling, confidence in dating and relationships, and controversial topics like skin bleaching and ‘light skin — dark skin’ preference.
Beauty is… examines the nature of our external features such as hair, skin and body shape, and then dives deep into investigating societal pressures from both our peers and a sexist global media that feeds insecurities about body image whilst perpetuating shadism and western ideals.
Beauty is… questions experts about the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry and reveals how the harmful chemicals in some skin bleaching creams and hair straightening products work.
Beauty is… also looks beyond the traditional “natural v processed” argument to engage with philosophical debates about the role of ethnicity, gender, culture and tradition in defining what beauty really is in a wonderfully diverse world of billions.
about the director..
oluwatoyin agbetu (toyin) is a father, writer, educator, artist-activist and Pan African community worker. He was born in London, UK and is an African of Yoruba heritage, Ogun spirit. As an independent film director his works include Maafa: Truth 2007, Maisha: Solutions and The Walk. He has participated in numerous panel discussions including the Oxford Unions’ This house would make reparation for colonialism debate and been interviewed for various TV, radio and film productions on community issues ranging from African history to home education.
During the 1980 – 90’s he formed his own record labels, Unyque Artists and Intrigue Records and became a prolific musician releasing numerous recordings on various major and independent labels. After his fathers passing in 1996, he founded the Ligali Organisation (2000) in his name, where as an educationalist and journalist he has published political, social and cultural media for African people worldwide.
As Head of Social and Education Policy for Ligali, Toyin has also been responsible for a number of initiatives including the Stuff You Should Know initiative aimed at informing young people of their rights around stop and search, the No N Word campaign focusing on stemming the rampant use and negative reclamation of the offensive ‘n word’ in media and social institutions and supporting calls for the establishment of a national African Remembrance Day in the UK every August (started by the African Remembrance Day Committee) and an annual three minutes silence to remember the Ancestors during Notting Hill Carnival in London (started by Phemy Williams).
Late 2007, he started writing a weekly column called Nyansapo for the New Nation, a national newspaper for the African community. In 2009, he begun broadcasting a weekly interactive community radio program called the Pan African Drum. On the 5 June 2010 he resigned as the head of the Ligali organisation to become its curator-administrator. He home educates his children on a part time basis with his wife and is a university student of Education and Community Development alongside Human Rights and Constitutional law.
Toyin is a published author, his books include Ukweli – A Political and Spiritual Basis for Pan Africanism, Revoetry – Poems form an African British Perspective and The Manual: The Rules for Men.
Through Ligali he has authored several reports including; Jesus Says Sorry: The Anatomy of a Political Apology for Slavery, Declaration of Protest to the 2007 Commemoration of the Bicentenary of the British Parliamentary Abolition, The Making of an Impoverished History: From G8 to Live8 and Addressing Maafa denial and slavery apologists.
Toyin believes that Pan Africanism only works when politics and spirituality is at the heart of its teachings and that its ethos of education and community development only occurs when the spiritual essence is peace making and the most political expression is that of progressive community building.
toyin bio: ligali.org