South Asians and Muslims across the world have been taking full pride after Riz Ahmed, Josh Patel, and Aneil Karia became the 9th and 10th South Asians to ever win an award at the 2022 Oscars Academy Awards, with Ahmed being the first Muslim to ever win in his category.

Brown pride and excellence has been on a rise, as this victory in the academy awards represents a significant change in the shift of representation in the film industry and the media in general. Having positive representation for marginalized communities in huge industries such as this and then having role models to uplift them while also winning awards this big would sound like an unachievable dream to most only a few decades ago. Now, the dream is coming true. And it will come true farther than imaginable, because the push for empowerment and representation has not stopped; it has just began to skyrocket.

Ahmed, along with Aneil Karia, won the Oscar for best live action short film for their film “The Long Goodbye”, which revolves around the story of a South Asian family living in London, preparing for their daughter’s wedding but end up being interrupted by violent white supremacists, as this short film explores the relationship between post Brexit UK and it’s South Asian community, and the telling of a story that most fear the very thought of coming true, but also protruding-ly seems “all too real in these times”, as mentioned in an interview with Ahmed.

Many reading this will know the extent of the increase in horrifying hate crimes in post-Brexit UK, whether it be the result of unfortunate experience or due to information being shared, while many do not understand the significance of what this truly means. Ahmed argues that while he does not wish for this type of story to be “relevant” to today’s social climate, he also states that “just the act of telling this story is a hopeful act”. His words in his acceptance speech had resonated with many, as he gracefully shines light on the fact that “In such divided times, we believe that the role of story is to remind us there is no ‘us’ and ‘them’. There’s just ‘us’”.

Joseph Patel’s victory, along with Questlove, highlights just as much significance in this overarching night of victory, as his win for “Summer Of Soul (… Or When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” was a major win for black pride and representation, as the documentary showcased unseen footage of the Harlem Cultural festival in 1969, celebrating the beauty of Black culture and music at a time so critical for social change in the US. Questlove highlighted how this win was so valuable for “the marginalized people in Harlem that needed to heal from pain”, and he couldn’t be more right.

To conclude, most reading this will know the Oscars have not been amazing with awarding pieces that revolve around stories of the marginalised, as the fact that there have only been 11 South Asian victories in the history of the Oscars is simply appalling. Regardless, this night was a massive win, however, it only highlights how much more change is needed in the entertainment industries and in society as a whole. The fight for empowerment and representation never stops.