Artist Sistren Theatre Collective

Sistren Theatre Collective, which means ‘sisterhood,’ was founded in 1977 in Kingston, Jamaica by working class women in the social, cultural and political context of Jamaica’s socialist experiment of the 1970s following the first decade of independence. Since 1977, Sistren has used art as a tool for social change for the discussion and analysis of gender-based violence and to provide solutions through organisational networks. The founding members included Vivette Lewis, Cerene Stephenson, Lana Finikin, Afolashade (then Pauline Crawford), Beverley Hanson, Jasmine Smith, Lorna Burrell Haslam, Beverley Elliot, Jerline Todd, Lillian Foster, May Thompson, Rebecca Knowles and Barbara Gayle. Assisted by the actor and director Honor Ford-Smith, the Collective was forged through a government initiative to improve employment in Jamaica’s poorest communities. Plays like Downpression Get A Blow (1977), Bellywoman Bangarang (1978), Nana Yah (1980), QPH (1981) and Domestik (1982) along with community drama workshops, presaged the documentary Sweet Sugar Rage in 1985.

42mins, 1985, Jamaica
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Sistren Theatre Collective