Finally, we can announce it...
Yes, we renamed! We hope you love the name as much as we do!
We’ve been pretty vocal about the reasons behind the name change on our Instagram but we wanted to use this post as a means to really explain to you the reason behind it. We’ll dive straight into it..
Since the murder of George Floyd on 25th May 2020 - an innocent black man who was held down on his neck for almost 9 minutes by an armed white police officer - we have been, like many others, searching for answers; how is this still happening in 2020? How are the police able to get away with such acts of violence against innocent black people? And how are we, as so-called ‘expats’, integral to such insidious racism and, whether passively or not, potentially a massive part of the problem? It’s been difficult to know where to start with all of this but first and foremost it’s been about educating ourselves on the history of the Black Lives Matter movement, learning about the systems currently in place in the US, the UK and here in Singapore, listening to others, and then seeing where we can make changes, however small on an individual level.
This was the first time in our friendship that it sparked any kind of conversation around race but more specifically around Lizzy’s own experiences of racism growing up as part Japanese in a working class town in England. Thankfully the only incidences of this were name-calling at school, and her Japanese heritage is now such a positive part of her identity. But it did make me why we’d never had this conversation before.
As a reminder, our previous name for this blog was The Eco Expats. For some of you reading the name even now you might not see anything wrong with it, but this is exactly the problem. It was brought to our attention first by my (Sophie’s) Dad, and then secondly by a follower in our comments section that the term expat is actually extremely problematic. After spending time reading and researching online, and speaking to some of our Singaporean and fellow international friends, we learned that it is a word loaded with all kinds of assumptions, specifically around privilege, wealth and being white, that we were naive to.
Whether stupidly or not, none of this was known to us or had remotely crossed our mind when we called ourselves The Eco Expats. But, life is about learning and growth and we were determined to use this time to make a positive change, explain the decision behind it to you guys and hopefully educate people on the issue at hand here.
Why are some of us called expats and others are immigrants?
When you think of an ‘expat’ what image comes to mind vs when you hear the word ‘immigrant’?
The fact is that both pretty much mean exactly the same thing. However the way the words are used, especially when used as a political tool (which happens all the time btw), can be dehumanising. The very nature of the word instills a feeling of separation and elitism and that is exactly the opposite of what we are trying to do with this page. The content we create is for everyone; no matter your race, class, background or job title and so to have any kind of word in our name that someone contradicted that would be absurd.
We are so sorry if our old name had ever made you feel like our page wasn’t meant for you, but we hope you’ll stick with us on this journey as we commit our lives to continuously learning how to be a better ally to black people and other marginalised groups around the world. Racism has been a problem forever, the hateful crimes and unjust murders we’ve seen this year are nothing new, but it does feel like since 25th May 2020 that the world is finally taking notice, and so we must use this time to make all of this be for something.
Though a name change for an Instagram page with 2500 followers will have a tiny impact in the grand scheme of things, this is an immediate action we can take and that we hope will mean something to some of you and spark a fire within you to take action in your own lives, however small, however big that may be.
This can’t just be a black-square-IG-post-moment, this is a life-long commitment to fighting for social justice, equality and being anti racist each and every day. And we’re grateful that you’re on this journey too.
So why The Conscious Two??? Well, we wanted something that really felt like us; two best friends, trying to lead more thoughtful, slow and conscious lives, and something that could encapsulate more than just the eco and sustainability space - but also gave us room to include other things that we are passionate about, like social justice, feminism, activism and mental health. Plus lets not forget all the every-day fun and silly things that make up our lives here in Singapore. We hope we can continue to bring you fun, useful and entertaining content whether you follow us for our eco journey or you just like watching idiots out of ourselves dancing in our living rooms.
Sending love to you all,
Sophie & Lizzy x
Here are some really useful articles we found that influenced our name change and hopefully you will find insightful: