Who Are Ya?
“7 Black Women is a Black female collective aiming to create work in Film, TV, and Theatre.” With representation at the heart of everything they do this exciting collective are “striving to see more black women on screen and stage [as well as] behind the screen and stage.”
More specifically the brains behind the collective are founder/ lead producer Winnie Imara, and creative producer Kathryn Roth. And you better believe they have wasted absolutely no time in getting the ball rolling; “in just under a year we’ve been able to connect, create and collaborate with various black female creatives emerging in their careers.”
The good news is, ‘7 Black Women’ have no time for empty promises and their actions speak even louder than their words; “We’re currently in pre-production for our series of short stories written by 7 black and mixed- race female writers; Britny Virginia, Nikki Iyayi, Jazmine Greenaway, Busayo Ige, Kathryn Roth, Priscilla Krahn and Testimony Ogunrin [addressing] themes of adulting, sisterhood, friendships and living as a black woman in Britain.” They have recognised the power of feeling ‘seen’ and know how it can inspire and motivate; “We hope the stories will encourage other black women to make their own stories and tell them on screen in whatever capacity.”
Having been inspired themselves by the likes of Michaela Cole and Runyararo Mapfumo (director of numerous episodes of Sex Education Season Three) these women are certainly not afraid of aiming for the stars… as they should!
How did ya get here?
While some of us spent much of Lockdown binge watching Selling Sunset or nailing a banana bread recipe- Winnie Imara decided to make lemons out of lemonade; “I remember being at home during the pandemic and feeling this sense of frustration and the first thing that came to mind was, I feel like we’re waiting for someone to make things happen for us and I didn’t want to wait anymore.”
And that was all it took, using frustration as a catalyst Winnie headed to WhatsApp. “I messaged a few friends and told them about ‘7 Black Women’ they were happy to get involved and from there ‘7 Black Women’ began.“
“Representation – If you keep seeing something consistently you’ll start to believe you can do it and it no longer seems out of reach.”
What sets you apart?
“The amazing thing about our project is that we are being bold and stepping out of our comfort zone by doing something that could be seen as impossible.”
In fact, it’s hard to believe the word impossible is even in the ‘7 Black Women’s vocabulary. Phrases like ‘box ticking’ and old fashioned ideas about diversity are nowhere to be seen.
“…we aim to have a diverse cast and crew to truly showcase the diversity within this industry and with the opportunity of more funding we’d like to see more of this in the future. Some could say we are a small portion of a bigger picture of many creatives shining their light and making their mark. We hope we’re seen as an inspiration to others who will be encouraged to make their mark too.”
Next 5 years where are ya?
Their vision for the kind future they are creating is simple but effective; “I would like to see Black women represented in different genres such as sci-fi, fantasy, thrillers or period dramas and be the lead in TV dramas. One of the discussions we had early on in our writers programme was about representing all types of black women on screen. A black woman that is introverted, a black woman that is interested in science, a black woman raised outside of London.”
For the ‘7 Black Women’ collective specifically, first stop is the silver screen “I would like for us to have produced a TV show for a broadcaster. And to provide more opportunities where we can, this can be through our writers programme, connecting with more black female creatives and supporting them with any new fresh ideas they’d like to develop.”
“I would also love to give back, going out to schools and organisations through workshops, encouraging other young black female creatives looking to get into the industry. In other words, anything could happen! We’re on a journey of discovering what this exciting, fresh new collective will become, we’re open to the process it’s taking us on and look forward to sharing our stories with the world.”
How do we find you?