Black Brass is not looking to offer a tourist-like guide to the African migrant experience in Australia, rather it is a piece that tries to stay true to the complexities of each of our journeys here. The 20+ hours of recorded interviews that inspired this work are rich in diversity within diversity and they really are a tiny sliver of a testament to how varied our experiences of migration as Black Africans are.
I feel that it is important that artists from minority groups continue to inspire one another to create work that first and foremost speaks to us and the issues that are pertinent to our particular communities. On top of that, I firmly believe that it is crucial to create work that allows minority audiences to feel welcome to the theatre, worthy of seeing their stories brought to life and celebrated, and reminded that there is no narrative greater or lesser than another. Black Brass is my attempt to grapple with these issues and I believe that there is no surer way of growing as an artist than to have your work presented to an audience and allowing the work to speak for itself.
I think this is a story about the struggle to make art. The reason so few people pursue this way of life is because it is inherently risky. Mararo’s work asks big questions about why art matters. What drives someone to create? How does an artist balance their own material comfort with artistic risk and the desire to change the world? It’s full of big ideas that are not easy to resolve.
This story is different from the mainstream label and expectations for refugees or people of color. It is like someone threw a stone in a quiet lake. It creates multiple circles, and each circle tells a fabulous story.
This is one of the various ways to tell something about Africa I guess.