Welcome to the website of My Sisters' Kitchen, a Darwin Community Arts project.
My Sisters' Kitchen is a fantastic and fun program of arts and cooking with women and children from all over the globe.
We meet every Monday in Chambers crescent Theatre in Malak Shopping Centre from 4.30pm - 6.30pm.
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)
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!
This week we were very lucky to have Patsy come and show us her how she crochets her beautiful Dili bags. Crocheting was a skill Patsy learnt from the nuns when she was a child and has perfected it over time to make amazing works.
Some of the women instead took advantage of Dixi's sewing talents to finish their beautiful outfits. Zahra finished her lovely mustard coloured salwar and kameez set and August completed her Loongi skirt and top.
Today was the final day of sewing for the year. Next session we'll have a planning brainstorm for next year.
Our sewing space keeps growing- as we have more participants each week, we gradually push the walls out further and take over more of the Underground Arts Space. Three lovely new faces joined us this week. Welcome!
A huge thank you to Glen from Cool Mob for his great presentation about the 'Smart Cooling in the Tropics' program. We especially appreciated the energy efficiency gifts we were given!
Welcome to the newest member of My Sisters' Kitchen- baby JC. Just one month old, he is happy to be lulled to sleep by the dulcet tones of his monther and friends sewing.
This week the women were so pleased to see a new pile of donations being left for our sewing group. Many eyes were glinting with the sparks of inspiration firing off in our brains!
Thank you to our very generous friend who continues to donate beautiful materials, vintage patterns and amazing craft books.
Thanks to the United Nations Association of Australia NT we celebrated 'United Nations Day' at our October Community Dinner. After a rousing speech by the president of the Liberian association of Darwin a huge fundraising effort was made with the Australian Red Cross collecting $1500 for the Ebola Crisis.
The four amazing visiting artists that DCA has been hosting (Jess Santiago and Joseph Purugganan from the Philippines, Tony Amaral and Etson Caminha from Timor-Leste) performed on the night. Beautiful songs and enchanting drumming!
More sewing today. We're talking about having a bit of a name change here at My Sisters' Kitchen and calling the sewing, weaving and textile arts nights 'Our Common Threads' and the cooking and gardening night 'My Sisters' Kitchen'. There are quite a few people around interested in having us sew some garments for them. We think that maybe a name change would have people better understand that we are an arts program as well as a cooking and storytelling one.