I am the founder of the anti-racism platform TNKVRT (pronounced tänkvärt and means worth considering or food for thought). The purpose of the platform is to spread knowledge about human rights and raise minorities' voices that are otherwise marginalized. We collect stories about everyday racism, with the aim of publishing the stories in a physical book. I also write news, stories and important posts about different types of oppression on Instagram, now with over 78.000 followers.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
It was back in 2015. I was tired of racism and the injustice that many non-whites can relate to. Together with 12 others net activists, we decided to start gathering stories from people around Sweden that have been a victim of everyday-racism. We wanted to create a physical book where we put all of these stories to let other understand how racism looks like in one of the world's most human rights-friendly countries. See my TEDx Talk below.
We got over 100 stories and illustrations by people of color in Sweden. We got some help with forming the book, by creating nice layouts and fill the pages with stories, poems, illustrations and facts. Illustrations below are made by
Hadil Mohamed (@io_designstudio)
Since we couldn't find a book publisher who wanted to finance, market and create our book, we had to postpone the whole work to another time. The project were delayed and later put aside. I decided to start an Instagram account to write down my thoughts about these kinds of issues.
In beginning of 2017, I started to write daily on Instagram and upload at least one picture a day with my thoughts on current trends. TNKVRT became an interactive platform, where followers can be a part of the fight. Each week, I held a "story theme" for everyone. Example of story theme could be Homophobia, Antisemtism, Drug Addiction, Honor Violence where all stories sent in were uploaded anonymously.
You can follow the platform on Instagram by clicking on this link.
My work has been recognized by media and other organizations.
HONOR & AWARDS
I was nominated as The Diversity Inspirator of the Year in 2018 by E.ON. I won a certificate and an electronic bike at Universeum Awards in Stockholm.
"E.ON delar ut priset Årets mångfaldsinspiratör. Den lyckliga vinnaren blev Danny Lam som med hjälp av sitt interaktiva Instagramkonto inspirerat och skapat debatt."
The motivation can be found here.
Teskedsorden's scholarship of 50.000 SEK was awarded to me for my interactive Instagram account. The motivation were:
"Danny Lam is awarded this scholarship for his platform TNKVRT where he updates news and stories in an engaging and pedagogical way expose injustice. The account's many young followers are given weekly space to share their own experiences of exclusion and discrimination."
It can be found here.
Gothenburg's largest news magazine, Göteborgs-Posten, wrote about my work, the haters and the importance of a platform where minoritites can get their voices heard.
"Danny Lam möts av mycket kärlek från sina följare. Det känns mäktigt när 13-åringar skriver att han fått dem att tänka på ett annat sätt, berättar han, men nämner också det hat han möts av. Motståndare kallar honom för lättkränkt och känslig."
The article can be read here.
Tidningen Vi is a monthly newspaper focusing on cultural and social issues founded by Kooperativa Förbundet in 1913. They wrote about my work, my thoughts and my scholarship.
"Mitt sätt att hantera rasistisk mobbning var att själv skämta om mitt utseende. Om jag hade förstått att det inte bara var vanlig mobbning hade jag kanske kunnat hitta andra som upplevde samma sak, andra med ursprung från Östasien som också fick höra de här ramsorna och glåporden, och på något sätt finna gemenskap i våra upplevelser."
The article can be read here.
Ideellt Engagemang has also written about my work. You can read it here.
Two years ago, in autumn 2017, tens of thousands of women in Sweden testified about their experiences linked to sexual abuse by #metoo. From the frustration and willingness to change, an initiative called #NowWhat was born.
#NowWhat hackathon is an event where individuals come together to produce concrete and innovative solutions to how we can stop sexual harassment and abuse in our society. It is an innovative hackathon where more than just the tech scene is welcomed. Instead, teams will be created by combining individuals from the tech scene, entrepreneurs, as well as experts in basic problems related to sexual abuse and harassment. It is a social problem that can be solved by different skills and knowledge together. Diversity promotes creativity.
I attended the hackathon as a UX designer and joined a group of eight, including an expert in gender roles. Our category was "Redefining Masculinity" and we had three intense days to come up with a concept and solution.
We came up with a digital and cooperative roleplaying game as an educational tool in order to get young boys to empathize with other genders. We competed against 15 other teams, and by the end of the weekend, we came in first place!
Nyheter24, a Swedish news site, listed me in their list of 100 most powerful youths. I was ranked #63.
You can find Nyheter24's complete list here.
Resumé, one of Scandinavia's largest magazine in media and communication, just released a list of 100 young talents that will take power in 2020s. I was in the category "Networkers, influencers and activists".
You can find Resumés complete list here.
I have been in several podcasts.
Förebildspodden is a podcast where Simon Said interviews people that are some kind of role models. You can listen to me here.
FACK IT is a podcast driven by two youtubers with two completely different backgrounds. You can listen to me here.
Robin och Linnea's podd
Robin and Linnea are two friends who are talking about everything from sex to prejudice and mental illness. You can listen to me here.
Resan Hit is a podcast driven by Yasmine Sateei Berns. People with immigrant backgrounds share their stories. You can listen to me here.
Om min pappa
Vi måste prata
I have also been in talkshows and other media.
Dröm om demokrati by UR
Random Mix by SVT
Om min pappa is a podcast where men talk about their relationship with their fathers. You can listen to me here.
Vi måste prata is a podcast driven by Nikki Svärdsén, which is about feminism and body positivity. You can listen to me here.
I was in one episode of the education serie "Dröm om demokrati". You can watch the full episode here.
I was invited to a kids show called "Random Mix" to talk about the feeling of alienation. You can watch the full episode here.
Rasism mot östasiater by TÄNK TILL
I was in an episode of TÄNK TILL talkshow where we discussed about racism against East Asians. You can watch the full episode here.
Näthat by TÄNK TILL
I was in an episode of TÄNK TILL talkshow where we discussed about hate on social media. You can watch the full episode here.
P1 Dokumentär: Miniserie
I was in two episodes of P1 Dokumentär: Miniserie, where we talked about sexual harassment on social media. You can listen to it here.
THE BOOK 2.0
The book project is back!
But this time, Lilla Piratförlaget will help us with everything. If everything goes well, the book will be published under Bokmässan in Göteborg.
Meeting with Denusha Sharma, Kelly Tran, Ada Wester (publisher) and I.
PHASE 1: FIRST OFFICIAL POST
I posted on Instagram that we are officially looking for stories. I created five images that summarize what we want, how people can contribute and the rules.
PHASE 2: GATHERING STORIES
After the official post has been published, it's time to gather the stories. This phase can be done by either wait for the stories to be sent in or message people and ask if they want to share their experiences and stories with us.
PHASE 3: SORT, SELECT AND GROUP
We collected more than 100 stories from people around Sweden. We met each other one more time, discussed more and select the ones that we think suit in the book. Then we categorized them into appropriate themes, such as At School, At Work, On Social Media, In Sport etc.
Second meeting where we started to sort out the submitted stories.
PHASE 4: THE BOOK COVER
The book is almost done. The name of the book is Var kommer du ifrån, egentligen? (trnsl. Where are you really from?). Illustrations have been sent in and text including facts, statistics and a short dictionary are in place. The only thing left is choosing a nice book cover.
Denusha showing us the book cover, illustrated by Hadil Mohamed.
PHASE 5: RELEASE
After the Summer, the book was finally released!
At the Gothenburg Book Fair, we met our followers and signed the books. Our publisher bought many books to the fair, and all of them were sold out after 24h.
Kelly and I signing books at Bokmässan, 2019.
We also had a release party at Morfar Ginko in Stockholm.
PHASE 6: MEDIA
Denusha and I were invited to SVT Morgonstudion to talk about our book. We were nervous, but it went really great!
Danny Lam, Denusha Sharma, Ted Wigren & Karin Magnusson.
The book also received a prize by Adlibris. We won the Adlibris Prize 2019, category Youth. So cool!
We are so thankful for this gift!
Media wrote about the book.
Jönköpingsposten interviewed Denusha Sharma.
Lastly, we went and held on a lot of different seminars, presentation and workshops.