B(lack) A(frican) D(escended) Storytelling Group – a 2011 working collective manifesto
As of February 2011 (our second meeting) our inaugural women’s storytelling group (the BAD Storytelling Group) was still in the process of finalising a collectively written and agreed upon program of action. We call it the “Collective Manifesto” or a “Wom(b)anifesto”.
Nevertheless, by our third meeting, we had already agreed on some broad fundamental principles of participation and themes for group discussion and storytelling. Namely, in 2011 and perhaps beyond, under the Stillwaters! Women’s Storytelling Collective banner, BAD would:
- Continually rise to the occasion to workshop and tell our stories within our storytelling groups with a view to public performance. We hope that our work in this regard will speak for itself, encouraging other black African women to embrace storytelling and for all women to start similar storytelling collectives/groups within the Still Waters network.
- Support all members of the BAD group in their solo, collaborative and collective storytelling projects;
- Find and explore productive ways of dealing with offensive story content, social interactions or comments - both within and outside of the storytelling group;
- Explore and pursue intra-cultural and inter-cultural partnerships and collaborative projects with various women’s storytelling groups, particularly amongst our Indigenous Australian sisters and our African sisters (white, Indian, Caribbean etc);
- Produce stories and conduct discussions on issues including but not limited to the following topics: our identity as “creative black urban (African-descended) Australian woman” storytellers; the connections between Africans – particularly Africans from southern Africa, East Africa and the Caribbean; and the topic of “black beauty” etc
- Write for and publish our own anthology of short stories, blog etc;
- Continue to work for social justice while establishing ourselves as emerging or established storytellers, so that our individual journeys from inexperienced/aspiring/emerging to established writers can be a source of encouragement for women and youth to take back control and to tell their own stories for the purpose of producing a more just and equitable world.