The Western Sydney-based collective Afro Sistahs, a group of young Afro Australian women from diverse backgrounds, is dedicated to developing and presenting the world as it is for those that live in Australia, while being black. Their current project- the self titled web series: Afro Sistahs —is a short form narrative dramedy (drama/comedy) series that explores the complex nature in which culture, gender, race, love and of course, hair, intersect.
Taking inspiration from international successes like Insecure and Chewing Gum, Afro Sistahs is humorous, thought-provoking and sassy. The experiences of young women from African backgrounds, is something new for Australian media. The everyday struggles of this millennial generation include sexuality and heartbreak, identity and ambition, and the ever-present scrutiny of social media. To top it off, the show’s unique blend of Australian-African sensibilities provides a lens into a world rarely seen. Steering away from the stereotypical views of Africans in Australia as victims and refugees with trauma, this web series captures the diversity of Africans in contemporary Australia from different backgrounds, faiths, sexual identities and cultures.
The humour is drawn from the everyday lived experiences of the young Afro-Australian writers who the web series is loosely based on. Combinations of comedic styles are employed, including black humour, sight gags, slapstick jokes and witty dialogue.
The collective consists of Hawanatu Bangura (Director), Luna Andom (Actor), Rebekah Robertson (Actor), Chidiebube Uba (Actor), Moreblessing Maturure (Actor), Safia Amadou Hamidou and Mumbi Hinga Esther (Producers). The series is co-written by the entire collective in assistance to a head writer and also features work from guest writers.
Afro Sistahs meet regularly at I.C.E. to develop the story and characters for this innovative new work. In addition to venue and facilities support, I.C.E is resourcing the Afro Sistahs collective to develop a pilot episode as a proof-of-concept. Afro Sistahs also work with the Multicultural Womens Hub on the development of their business plan.
Photos by Katrina James, Richmond Dido and Angus Bell Young