Name: Alexandra Ampofo
Location: London, UK
Occupation: Events Curator & Creative Writer
SL: On Tumblr, you describe yourself as follows:
Cryptic souled and afro haired.
Defender of mankind.
Solitude became, for me, an interesting mosaic of broken pieces, a place where the neglected parts of myself get collected.
Why do you call yourself Ignorant Innocence?
AA: I should really change that, it doesn’t apply to the ever-changing Alexandra of today. But at the time when I started my Tumblr, about two and a half years ago, my mind was at a place I escaped to because it seemed almost free of corruption, which is in regards to the innocence part. I wasn’t sure if it was naïvety or a purposeful ignorance to some of the things that were around me, it just had a ring to it. I am very much a defender of mankind, that’s what my name means. I just want to help people and provide guidance wherever I can, even though I am still young, I really believe it’s my calling.
SL: Tell us about Acoustic Live UK.
AA: Acoustic Live UK (ALUK) is my company… my brand. I founded it with my business partner, Kweku. It’s a platform that aims to champion and nurture talent acoustically. We’ve been successfully up and running for three years. It was our third birthday last Sunday actually. There are so many goals for Acoustic Live UK that I want to reach, one of them being to empower young people through the arts. I’d like Acoustic Live UK to be the creative hub for Acoustic Music, a platform where artists of all genres feel comfortable coming to showcase their artistry.
At the moment, Acoustic Live UK is a provider of top quality acoustic music and we’d like it to always remain true to this. That’s the most organic thing about our company. our values. The aim of Acoustic Live UK was to hold free acoustic events around London and eventually expand to the rest of the UK. This was because of the love of the arts and acoustic music and the lack of free events for the youths. Acoustic Live UK was birthed from an authentic belief in empowering the youth of today, who are the leaders of tomorrow.
Since the start-up of Acoustic Live, we have been able to successfully hold events in Coventry, Birmingham as well as all over London, including our resident spot at the heart of creative arts, Boxpark, Shoreditch.
SL: Many people describe you as a beautiful, dark-skinned black woman with a gorgeous body. How does that make you feel?
AA: Naturally, it feels nice to be complimented! I have struggled with how to process compliments in the past, but I do appreciate the kind words.
SL: Recently, a black man commented on the color of your skin…insinuating that you would be prettier with a lighter tone. I, along with others, admired your response. How were you able to keep your response classy? And, was that your first time experiencing colorism?
AA: That tweet blew up really unexpectedly, I didn’t realize it would travel that far. It was uplifting to be held in such solidarity. I did go back and read his tweets afterward and he said he was “trolling” which I thought was a super wack excuse. Under no circumstance is it okay to take someone’s picture for trolling purposes, comment on their skin tone and expect no backlash. Feeding into colorism culture really sucks.
No, it wasn’t my first time experiencing colorism, I’m not completely numb to it but I would say I’ve experienced it so much that I try to just pay it no mind and educate people on this topic where I see fit…. If that makes sense. A lot of people hear us talking about colorism, but they honestly don’t hear what we’re really saying. It appears to be a joke to people who aren’t affected by it the same way black women are. I’m lucky I have thick skin because some of the responses were disgusting. I saw a few guys repost the picture with “satire” humour, which is still baffling to me, they don’t realize that they’re aiding the colorism culture, not everyone understands sarcasm or satire humour.
The internet is a dangerous and insensitive place, but the more you feed into the nonsense, the more it grows. That’s why I decided to keep my response so concise, it would have been a waste of my energy to argue aggressively. It’s not in my nature.
SL: What’s next for you?
AA: I’ve got lots of exciting things happening for me and Acoustic Live UK this summer. I’ve actually got my first interview of the year this Sunday with BBC Three Counties Radio. I suppose it’s actually my second since I’m actually doing this one first. Haha!
We’re bringing back our summer installment of #BuskTheBox, which is an event we curate in London. I also hope to tour the UK with ALUK closer to the end of the year. Lastly, I’ve got some cool creative pieces I’m due to upload in the next few weeks. Everything from my storytelling, to poetry to corporate advice blogging, it’s a lot!
To find out more about Alexandra Ampofo, visit her on Twitter, Tumblr, SoundCloud and Instagram.
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