“Please remember, especially in these times of group-think and the right-on chorus, that no person is your friend (or kin) who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow and be perceived as fully blossomed as you were intended.”— Alice Walker, ‘In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens,’ 1983.
My name is Jasmine Isa Qureshi, and I am – I guess in all the many ways I have restructured myself throughout my career – a writer and a storyteller.
I am a Journalist (penning articles for a large variety of magazines, e-journals, blogs, etc. from Gay Times and Gal-Dem to Birdwatch and BBC Wildlife), a wildlife television/media researcher – previously working at Wild Space Productions on a series for Netflix, BBC Natural History Unit / BBC Earth, and Sound Off Films, a freelance wildlife film-maker, an Ambassador for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (a HUGE passion of mine is entomology and specifically pollinating insects), the Engagement Officer for the youth led organization A Focus On Nature (focussing on providing resources and gateways for young people to get involved with conservation and natural history), an Activist, a Marine Biologist, a Poet and a speaker/presenter.
I am absurdly passionate about wildlife, conservation and the environment, and if I can’t be found on the coast, combing for marine life washed up on the shoreline, and exploring the ruins and new builds of cities for signs of nature, I’m usually speaking and writing too much about insects and arthropods…or searching for them in the soil.
As a speaker and journalist I have also found a place for myself to share my passion for topics such as diversity in workplaces and in all the subjects I am involved with, politics and how it affects science and nature but also the social sciences, sexuality, identity and gender, particularly trans rights and the understanding of these; and have been able to contribute to events around the country such as Norwich Science Festival, Cheltenham Science Festival, etc. As a presenter I’ve been involved with CBeebies (talking about starfish funnily enough), Edinburgh Science Festival and VOX Media.
An example of one of the coolest things I’ve done is to have featured in Attitude Magazine on a 9-page piece on Ocean conservation, intersectionality and queer theory, alongside acclaimed drag artist Bimini, Activist Noga Levy Rappaport and wildlife broadcaster Dan O’Neill, which also included a fantastic film made with Freeborne Media, all done on the beautiful Dungeness Reserve coastline in Kent.
Quite recently I have had the honour of performing spoken word and poetry pieces for/at the Natural History Museum (a place I am SO proud to say I’ve spoken at TWICE now), and Mehfil Arts Centre, centring my own experiences and understanding of nature, sexuality and race, tying them together and at times…taking them apart.
Tying this all up is really the nuts and bolts of what I do…it’s all about intersectionality and the fact that I’ve managed to rack up all this experience I think demonstrates how varied and queer we can all be in our approach to anything, a sentiment I want to continue to explore as I grow and thrive.