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Janelle Monáe on the cover of Shape, September 2020.

Janelle Monáe on the cover of Shape, September 2020.

Promoting her new film, 'Antebellum', Janelle Monáe covers the September 2020 issue of Shape magazine, as photographed by Dana Scruggs and styled by Alexandra Mandelkorn.

On how she chooses her projects: "I can never as an artist think about, 'Are people going to be moved by this?' I have to be moved first. One of the things I’ve made a conscious effort to do, specifically with 'Antebellum', is to shed light on racial injustice. I’ve made it a thing to face discomfort. I think discomfort is part of everyone’s reality right now. White people are feeling discomfort in one way, Black people are feeling discomfort in one way, and I didn’t want to shy away from that. It’s time for us to get uncomfortable, because the real change requires an upsetting and a rerouting and a real commitment to look at ourselves. In this instance,I hope that more white people see this film and fix the systems that their ancestors created that continue to oppress."

On how she's staying strong mentally: "I realised that I was dealing with abandonment issues, and just last year, I started to really deal with it. My dad was in and out of my life growing up, and other instances where I felt abandoned were coming up to the surface. I started to write these things down, and I remember just crying like a baby. I will say that it is so freeing when you can identify your trauma. Knowing why you feel a certain way or why these feelings of being upset or angry or sad—why they’re happening, what the root of it is. It’s just so empowering."

Read the full interview here.

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