Sweet Sugar Rage (1985), with response from Gail Lewis

Founded in 1977, Sistren are a women’s popular theatre company based in Kingston, Jamaica, who use drama-in-education as a means of problem solving at a community level; questioning in particular society’s failure to value the work and skills of women.

DrHand drawn image of a working woman breaking a sugar cane

Sweet Sugar Rage explores the methods Sistren used highlight the harsh conditions facing female workers on a Jamaican sugar estate.

We travel from Kingston to the sugar cane fields of Clarendon and back again, guided by an infectious reggae rhythm.

Discussion with Professor Gail Lewis

We are delighted to welcome Dr Gail Lewis to discuss the film with us at Translation/ Transmission.

In oral histories conducted for the Black Cultural Archives‘ Heart of the Race project (2009-2010) and Sisterhood and After, Gail Lewis spoke about the importance of international networks for sustaining and shaping the politics of the UK Black women’s movement in the 80s. The discussion will be an opportunity for Gail to elaborate on this point through reflecting on her memories of Sistren’s visits to the UK.

Speaker biography

Gail Lewis was a long standing member of Brixton Black Women’s Group and a co-founder of the Organisation for Women of African and Asian Descent (OWAAD). With Shabnam Grewal, Jackie Kay, Liliane Landor and Pratibha Parmar she edited Charting the Journey: Writings by Black and Third World Women, published by Sheba Press in 1988. As an academic she has gone on to research and write in the field of welfare and social policy, and recently trained as a psychodynamic psychotherapist.

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