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Saga Sisterhood

Saga Sisterhood is a transformative performance project for women from communities who identify as South Asian that come from non-performer backgrounds but all have something to say about love, friendship, belonging, family and identity. We are now in the era of political wars against particular identities where the only thing we might have left is our human stories.

This project emerged from a creative development led by Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa with the valuable storytelling training by Sisonke Msimang and directing from Shirley Van Sanden. Funded by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries this project was designed to train women of South Asian heritage for live performance with the aim to support new and emerging performers and those who had never considered themselves as potential performers.

Four storytellers were chosen to perform their stories for the stage at The Centre for Stories and The Blue Room Theatre as part of the Winter Nights Festival in mid-2019. In November 2019, three storytellers performed at the Mapping Melbourne Festival.

We thank The Blue Room Theatre and photographer, Tasha Faye, for providing the photographs.

When Amarjit Kaur moved to New Zealand with a toddler and baby on the way, the last thing she expected was to develop a close friendship with a stranger at the bus stop. Adrianne Smith became a dear friend, but after Amarjit moved with her family to Australia, they lost connection. This story is about Amarjit's search to find Adrianne Smith.
Maya-Rose decided to go to India because she had a double-edged desire to be a hippie anthropologist and a technologically savvy Mother Teresa. Her idealistic efforts were soon turned upside down.
When Sankari moved away from home in her twenties, she quickly found her confidence through self-expression. A spontaneous haircut lead to another, and then another, and another more. It didn't take long before she realised the implications of her actions and had to deal with the consequences.
After her mother passed away, Asha dedicated her life to honouring her mum's memory and spirit. But she soon found herself stuck in a continuing cycle of trying to live up to her mum's expectations, or what she thought they were.
Anju Sivarajah was a witness to extreme violent genocide in Sri Lanka when she was five years old. The recent terrorist bombings in April 2019 have forced Anju to relive difficult memories. She reflects on how her mixed Sinhalese, Burgher and Tamil heritage has made her strong.
Nisha D’cruz moved from Malaysia to Perth, and then Kalgoorlie. Her new home was unfamiliar, cold yet bright and sunny. Nisha spent weeks staring at the ceiling trying to be anywhere but here, anywhere but her unfamiliar self.
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