The #WeAreVisible photoshoot took place on Thursday 25 July at Shakespeare’s Globe in Southwark. This exciting event captured an epic moment, shining a spotlight on over 250 magnificent Black Womxn who work in theatre. Inspired by the iconic Great Day in Harlem image by Art Kane of living jazz legends, #WeAreVisible was an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of Black Womxn in the theatre sector. ‘Womxn’ is written as an inclusive word that recognises non-binary people and trans women.
The photo included broadcaster and journalist Brenda Emmanus, Natstaha Gordon (writer of the West End play Nine Night); actresses Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Judith Jacobs, Jocelyn Jee Esien, Sapphire Joy, Suzette Llewellyn, Josephine Melville, Cherelle Skeete and former Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Patricia Cumper MBE. Photo credit Sharron Wallace Photography.
Black Womxn in Theatre (BWIT) developed from a conversation that brought womxn closer together. Inspired by generations of talent and trailblazers, and a new generation of theatre makers, the events have been devised to create a space that encourages womxn to share and celebrate their experiences.
BWIT was originally billed as an intimate networking event for inspirational and intergenerational conversations between some of the great theatre giants. As the events became increasingly popular, it was clear that these important conversations need to take place.
Black Womxn in Theatre is less than a year old, with three events, 20 panel members and six guest speakers; the events were the brainchild of Stella Kanu supported by Monique Baptiste-Brown, Annika Brown and Titilola Dawudu.
Stella Kanu approached Dr Farah Karim-Cooper after participating in an event on Women and leadership, working with Dr Farah Karim-Cooper, the Globe’s Head of Higher Education & Research. Karim-Cooper researches Shakespeare, Race, women and performance. The Globe is committed to this research work and kindly donated their iconic outdoor theatre for the #WeAreVisible photoshoot.
‘WeAreVisible is something to celebrate, its unprecedented. We wanted to bring together all theatre staff and creatives across generations because we need to see each other, so many of us are experiencing isolation in our organisations and venues where we are usually just one or two. To be together in one moment in time is powerful for us and for our sector. We aim to drive a new conversation that celebrates and acknowledges the important role black womxn have played and continue to play in Theatre and its diversity’ Stella Kanu
The campaign intends to reclaim and takeover spaces where Black Womxn might otherwise not be seen and to celebrate black womxn who run venues. The next event will be this autumn at the Bush Theatre in celebration of Lynette Linton’s appointment as Artistic Director. Future events will take over theatre spaces across the country.
#WeAreVisible is a self-funded initiative that aims to bring Black Womxn together. If you are a venue interested in holding conversations or a donor to invest, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Images and further information on Black Womxn in Theatre and #WeAreVisble can be found at www.blackwomxnintheatre.com you can also find out about future events on the website. For further information you can email email@example.com to speak to the team. For further press information please contact Kim Morgan PR on 07939 591 403, firstname.lastname@example.org
See Sheffield 2019