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African-Australians can face prejudice in their everyday lives, whether it’s increased likelihood of harassment by police or lazy assumptions that they come from backgrounds of poverty or violence. But identifying as African-Australian is also a source of strength, providing community ties and connecting to a rich culture.
What does it mean to be an African-Australian? Who is an African-Australian … and why is it personally important for Australians with African ancestry to embrace and own it?
We’ll look at this subject from a range of African perspectives. Featuring host Santilla Chingaipe, with Hawiine, Kirk Zwangobani and Monica Forson.
‘Celebrities and corporations spew forth “smash the patriarchy” and benefit financially from that. You want to talk about boards? I want to talk about how some women can’t get a job.’
Santilla Chingaipe is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. Chingaipe created and hosted the Africa Talks series in partnership with the Wheeler Centre, which explored perceptions about African-Australian identity, representation and politics. She also curated Australia’s first all-day, anti-racism festival, Not Racist, But.... Her work explores contemporary migration, cultural identities and politics. She reports regularly for the Saturday Paper and is a member of the federal government’s advisory group on Australia-Africa relations.
Hawiine, known in equal fondness as Soreti Kadir, is a multidisciplinary artist. Most well known for her expression as a performance poet, writer, musician, organiser and speaker, her practice is always developing to better communicate her message.
A lover of storytelling, Hawiine recently released her second collection of written work, 167 Ways To Love, available as an ebook. Her most recent musical work is a compilation of poetry and music, titled Pride’s Claw, available on Soundcloud.
Monica Forson is co-founder and president of the Afro-Australian Student Organisation, a member of the Multifaith Multicultural Youth Network, and youth advisor for the Ghana Association of Australia.
Kirk Zwangobani was born and educated in Canberra, Australia where he now lives and works as an executive teacher. Kirk is an early career researcher who has theorised extensively on the formation of an African Australian identity and belonging, working across a number of fields including postcolonialism, philosophy, cultural studies and education.
People from Africa arrived in Australia with the First Fleet, but large-scale African immigration to Australia is much more recent – and is hugely diverse. While South Africa and Egypt top the list of African migrants to Australia, Melbourne’s largest African communities are from Sudan and Mauritius – and we’re home to more than half the arrivals from Ethiopia and Somalia.
How do we engage with the African community – or rather, communities? What do we know about the more than 50 countries in this vast – and diverse – continent? And what do we think we know, but actually get wrong?
Zambian-born Santilla Chingaipe, an award-winning SBS journalist, will explore the issues and challenge our perceptions in a series of events that tease out the complexities of African-Australian identity, representation and politics.