Who Are We?
Black Birds is a Sydney based co-operative which was founded in 2015 and is led by core members, Ayeesha Ash & Emele Ugavule. It is a response to the lack representation & misrepresetation of Women of Colour in the Australian arts. With each project, creatives are invited to collaborate on works that dissect and document the female Non-Indigenous Black and Brown diasporic experience in Australia through art and performance in a variety of mediums and spaces - both theatrical and non-theatrical. In the last year, Black Birds have performed as part of the Yirramboi Festival (SHORE: Story), with the Pan Afrikan Poets Cafe (Black Girl Magic), co-produced three theatrical performances (The Joan, Festival Fatale & The Community Reading Room), a visual art installation (AMbush Gallery) and an experimental short film (AMbush Gallery & Footscray Community Arts Centre).
Where does our name come from?
Black Birds is a both a play on the idea of feminine identity being framed through colour & a direct reference to the slave trade history in both Emele & Ayeesha's lineage. Emele is a descendent of the Peruvian Slave Trade that went through the Pacific (nicknamed Blackbirding) and Ayeesha is a descendent of the Transatlantic Slave Trade that went through the Caribbean. It is a reclamation of a name given to the thousands who were kidnapped, what was lost to us and our people's by force.