Ayeesha is a proud Māori Grenadian interdisciplinary artist who seeks to spark social consciousness through her work. In 2015 she co-founded the highly acclaimed creative arts company Black Birds, of which she is now the Artistic Director. Black Birds was created as a response to the lack of representation & misrepresentation of Womxn of Colour in the Australian arts. With each project, creatives collaborate on works that dissect and document Black and Brown diasporic experiences in Australia. Black Birds is currently creating Seen, a television show inspired by their sold out stage play Brown Skin Girl.
For the All About Women of Colour writing mentorship Ayeesha will be developing a short story which explores the breaking of a tether between two sisters and the grief that makes way for freedom.
What do allyship, friendship and community mean to you in 2022?
They mean showing up, showing love and practicing accountability with care. People and experiences come into our lives for a reason - it’s up to us to learn and grow from them. There is a time to listen, a time to speak and I time to hold, or be held; allyship, friendship and community offer this to us all.
What speakers at All About Women do you want to hear from?
So many! Roxanne Gay, Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Grace Tame, Rosie Batty, Chelsea Watego, Allison Whittaker, Amy McQuire, Jazz Money, FlexMami - this list goes on!
What book has had the most significant impact on your life or work – and why?
100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I was first introduced to this book in high school and since then have read it at least 5 times. I love the way that Marquez uses magic realism in his exploration of culture and people. There’s a beautiful poetic understanding of the complexity of familial relationships and intergenerational trauma. But there’s also something about this text that is very healing - like being submerged in saltwater.
If could have dinner with a writer or fictional character who would that be?
Coleson Whitehead (author of The Underground Railroad, The Nickel Boys + more). A phenomenal storyteller who weaves fiction and history so seamlessly.