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Sukrita Mahon is a spinner and knitter based on the Central Coast, a region in New South Wales Australia. Sukrita’s focus is on living sustainably and with intention. She revels in working with natural fibres and it was through a need to connect and unwind that she found her love of spinning which she shares with us in Part 1.

Sukrita is also one of the co-founders of a newly established community called Sydney is Cancelled. It’s a community open to people of colour within the knitting, crafting, and fibre community to have a safe space to interact and learn from one another

For those of us not involved in the fibre community you may be wondering; isn’t knitting and crafting a welcoming, apolitical and safe space ? In some ways it is and this is often why people are drawn to craft and maker communities. There is however growing concern that experiences are being erased, especially experiences of those who may not identify as being female, white, and middle class.

Sydney is Cancelled is a new movement that allows people of colour to bring their full selves without the colonial gaze. In Part 2 we chat more about what this space and community might look like with a small group of attendees of a recent event by Sydney is Cancelled. The event was held at the exhibition by the American artist Nick Cave.

The mesmerising exhibition Nick Cave: Until at Carriage Works serves up a world, inviting us to step in to see life from the perspective of the artist. His work is a response to the violence against black lives through police violence and other systems of oppression. More than a response, Nick presents a mirror for our own self-reflection and the role we might play to subvert or participate in these systems. Listen to Part 2 to hear what the founders of Sydney is Cancelled and the attendees thought of the exhibition and their commitment to anti-racism work in the fibre and maker communities.

Following are a couple of links of people who's work Sukrita admires, along with links to articles and profiles mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2.

Sukrita mentioned the work of Ocean, Grace Anna, and Korina. As a group also collaborate on issues within the fibre and maker community under the premise of diversity becoming inclusion at Unfinished Object.

Other links

Sukrita Mahon and the Fibre Community (Part 1)

Sukrita | Instagram | Etsy

Sydney is Cancelled and the Fibre Community (Part 2)

Sydney is Cancelled | Instagram | Facebook

Appearing in Part 2: Radhika, Aleesha, Erica, Ginevra, and Kelly

Recorded at: Nick Cave: Until at Carriage Works

A summary of the background discussed: 'The knitting community is reckoning with racisim', Jaya Saxena, Vox (with links to posts and discussions)

Updated: Feb 2, 2019

We wrap up season one of Brown Girl Pod on a beautiful bright note with the talented Elsz. Elsz’s journey has taken her from Australia to Sri Lanka and now New York. She practices as a dancer and self-taught musician and has used her experience to find a place of survival and acceptance through enchanting vocals.

Elsz started off in the world of ballet and through adversity found her voice and musical talents by exploring struggles while growing up, finding strength in personal upheaval, and eventually holding space in her creative practice. Her work continues as she builds her nest in New York and works with artists of diverse backgrounds representing experiences of gender non-conforming, trans, and people of colour.

Elsz shared some of the artists who inspire her to create the space to explore her work:

In episode eight, Elsz shares her track Bright Eyes with us. Be sure to check it out online and on Spotify.

Other links

Listen to Elsz's episode on iTunes, Spotify and Android.

For episode seven, we speak with Mim Rizvi - who ’s dance card is pretty full. She’s one part publicist, another part musical theatre performer, and all parts determined.

Mim shares how she arrived at a life changing decision at an early age to follow a career she always dreamed of. It took a big leap of faith and the kind of negotiation skills reserved for a seasoned diplomat.

When I asked Mim to share who her influences are she included women who’ve overcome adversity with spades of both grit and resilience. First up, Emma Watkins who is also known as the Yellow Wiggle from the popular kid's group The Wiggles. Emma overcame a serious health condition in the middle of performing and it led to making some big changes in her life. You can find out more about Emma on Australian Story. Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was also someone Mim included, and for many in Australia Julia Gillard being sworn in as Australia's 27th Prime Minister was a galvanizing moment in our history; our first female Prime Minister who was committed to social justice and change.

Mim is now part of widely popular childrens' music group called The Beanies; a pioneering Australia trio spreading the joy of music and dance with story telling and fun characters through their podcast and shows. If you have a kid in your life or are a kid-at-heart, you should definitely check them out.

Listen to Mim's episode on iTunes, Spotify and Android.

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