• Expert By Experience

Let The Trees Blossom - Expert By Experience, New Look, New Mission

Written by Taimour Fazlani - The Founder of Expert By Experience

When I started Experience By Experience in September 2019 I never imagined it would be what it is today.

At the start of the project my aim was simple: it was to commission monthly articles using my own funds. I wanted to keep the workload light enough so that I could manage EBE alongside my full-time day job, side projects and of course my personal life.

However, soon after launching I realised that my ‘simple aim’ wasn’t possible in the long run.

The day I started raising awareness about Expert By Experience my inbox was flooded with interest from contributors and collaborators. Not to mention, I received so much love and support from similar-minded organisations such as Taraki and people from many different communities.

The love and support has been real, and I’ll always be grateful.

It is only through the support of contributors and the community we have become a part of that Expert By Experience has outgrown its initial aim of one article a month.

Instead, since it’s launch Expert By Experience has averaged 2 articles a month - articles which have included important subjects such as body image, dealing with loss, to mental health amongst the elderly in South Asian communities.

Outside of single subject articles, we’ve also been fortunate enough to launch important series around overarching themes such as ‘Pets & Mental Health, A Love Story’. This series in particular enabled our contributors to simply write about their human experiences (and in this case their pets!) rather than having to consistently write specifically about navigating life as a POC - something that can be emotionally draining when consistently revisited.

Equally, another important series we’ve launched has been ‘Solidarity In Union’ - a series where we platform and support voices outside South Asian communities.

I’ve mentioned it many times before but I came up as a writer during the Media Diversified wave and I was heavily supported by my POC peers and mentors. As a result of the mentorship and solidarity I received during that period, I have become acutely aware of the importance of sharing resources and space as an ally with other communities - something which Expert By Experience values at its core.

What has solidified the future of Expert By Experience in my eyes is that it has become a safe space where people can talk about mental health without any fear of judgement. This sense of public service, especially in times of crisis, is also what has led to our ‘Desi Voices From Isolation’ series.

I’ve personally made every effort to ensure that whenever the community has needed its voice heard in relation to mental health that Expert By Experience has been there, willing and open to publish - without any barriers.

Today it is love and support from you all that we take Expert By Experience into a new period of growth - an exciting next step in our existence.

This new stage is firstly personified by our new logo, a beautiful sunflower which reflects the healing capabilities of nature. This is something that we want to convey in everything we do at Expert By Experience.

The decision to remove the old logo of a male figure is due to a couple of important reasons. Firstly, having a gendered male-identifying figure isn’t relevant to a publication that also speaks to women’s issues and is 99% led by women contributors. In our opinion, having a male-figure as the centre figure can feel alienating and off-putting to those who don’t resonate with it. Lastly, we don’t want any of our women contributors to feel as though their labour is being exploited by a male-led organisation - as is quite often the case in publishing and wider society.

From a publishing stand-point our aim in this new stage is to increase the volume of content published every month. This means getting creative - not just with the themes for articles and series, but also by expanding the forms of expression we publish.

As a result we’re looking to expand into content such as poetry, illustration and even musical pieces.

On a closing note, I’d like to thank our creative lead Ananya Rao-Middleton. It is her vision which has driven the feel and look of Expert By Experience - old and new. Expert By Experience wouldn’t be what it is today without her.

So please join us as we enter a new phase and continue to do our part for the communities.