Welcome to the website of My Sisters' Kitchen, a Darwin Community Arts project.
My Sisters' Kitchen (MSK) was a weekly Darwin Community Arts project where women and children from all backgrounds participated in arts and cooking activities, shared stories, recipes and food, skills and experiences.
In January 2008, Josie Mesiku and I agreed to pursue the setting up of "The African Kitchen", a mobile catering business and cafe that would operate out of the former Pizza Parlor at Malak Shopping Centre. Josie was a Community Arts Organiser for Darwin Community Arts and an African community leader. Josie had been working with a group of African women on the project since 2007; she was happy to work with DCA jointly to progress the project. Josie and I inspected the shop and had initial discussions with Henry Yap, the Shopping Centre owner, who was supportive of the project.
Malak is located in the northern suburbs of Darwin in the Northern Territory. Recently arrived migrants and economically disadvantaged people often settle in this suburb and in the past racial tensions have caused conflict between African and Indigenous people resulting in crime and vandalism. Malak, however, has another face. One that other suburbs in the Top End only envy – Malak Community Dinners. Every last Monday of each month, 200 hundred people gather in a local theatre to celebrate cultural diversity, artistic creativity and community.
Sandar Tun, DCA's dedicated volunteer & community arts organiser, speaks about My Sisters' Kitchen and Burmese cuisine in the interview on ABC radio 105.7FM. Check out the attached audio file.
7:23 minutes (6.75 MB)
What a wonderful time we've had at My Sisters' Kitchen over the years. With our funding from the Department of Social Services wrapping up at the end of February, it is time to reflect on the My Sisters' Kitchen journey and hopes for its future.
Our story began in 2008 when DCA worker and community leader Josie Mesiku wanted to bring women together to establish an 'African Kitchen' mobile catering business. Sadly, Josie passed away soon after.
Many of our group weren't able to make it today due to the torrential flooding! Those of us who managed to make it to the Underground before the skies opened up made some wonderful garments. Parmina and Sachi both made dresses, Chit Chit made shorts and Than Than made matching dresses for her twins. Next week will be our last week before going into hibernation for a few months to re-emerge as the 'Our Common Threads' program in May.
Well done to Sachi for finishing her beautiful bag. Also today Than Than whipped up two pairs of shorts for her twins, Parmina started and finished a frilly skirt, Sandar sewed a night dress and Kamali finished her wrap skirt. Such seamstresses we have here in Malak!
We're delighted to be working with Johanna from StoryProjects.com.au and Dixi (our multitalented sewing master and filmaker) to record the exciting journey of the My Sisters' Kitchen program and the stories of the wonderful women involved. For the next few weeks as our funding wraps up we'll be trying to document all we can about the program... stay tuned for updates.
Welcome back to MSK for 2015!
We had our first day of catering with the My Sisters' Kitchen caravan for City of Darwin's Pop-up Arts week. It was lovely to display our beautiful caravan at the Mayfair space in the city and sell delicious food. We look forward to more collaborations with CoD and Mayfair!
Today was the last session of the year before we break for Christmas.
We had a great little feedback session and brainstorm for next year. Overwhelmingly, the women said that they have loved doing sewing activities over the past few months. Weaving has also been pretty popular. Next year we'd love to get into some more jewellery making, fake flower making, applique, screen printing and maybe even try some hair styling!