INTERVIEW: Sister Shack | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Big Joanie

If you’re angry about injustice, you need to redirect it at something that aligns with your values,” says Chantal Herbert, founder of Sister Shack. “I’ve always stuck up for womxn, and I’ve managed to redirect that anger and use it constructively.” Sister Shack, a Black-led, feminist organisation which aims to promote womxn entrepreneurs and creatives, was set up following an incident where a man challenged Chantal, a DJ, to set up her own platform – and that’s exactly what she did. “I first promoted Sister Shack on Facebook, and I was shocked by the massive response,” says Chantal, who spent years being mansplained whilst DJing. Aiming to create a safe space for womxn, Chantal stresses that Sister Shack is a collaborative and inclusive space. “There are really creative womxn out there who don’t get the marketing they should, and don’t have the same level of confidence as men,” she says. “Sister Shack is there to promote womxn, including non-binary people, and give everyone a chance.”

Promoting womxn is exactly what Sister Shack aims to do this International Women’s Day (Monday 8th March), by running a series of online events and artist spotlights from Saturday 6thSaturday 13th March. Events will kick off on Saturday 6th with a live set from Kintra, a Scottish twin-sister violin and DJ duo who embody everything Sister Shack believes in: talented womxn creating unique work. Sunday 7th will see Sister Shack hosting a four-round quiz based on womxn icons, which will be broadcast on Facebook Live.

If you’re angry about injustice, you need to redirect it at something that aligns with your values

On Monday 8th, Sister Shack will host a Q&A between grrrl punk pioneer Allison Wolfe, Scotland-based riot-grrrl duo Bratakus and Estella Adeyeri from Big Joanie, a Black feminist punk band. It’s an event that promises to be both inspiring and engaging, with Chantal noting that moving events online has enabled her to book such diverse guests, and will enable womxn to take up space in a different way. “Not having a physical space is sad, because you don’t get that collaborative feeling, but one great thing about moving to an online platform is that it’s available forever. The womxn will take up more space in that sense – as long as it is recorded, you can reach more people in the long term.”

Alongside the events, Sister Shack will be spotlighting the work of two creatives on their social media pages and website: Dami, founder of Visuals by J.O.D and Lewk Good, Do Good, and freelance illustrator Kerry-Anne Mayes. “I really respect Dami’s work, and think what she does is really interesting,” says Chantal. Dami’s brand is focused on representing minoritised communities and ensuring that the experiences of Black queer womxn are heard. Dami’s store has raised over £300 for Sistah Space, a domestic violence unit for Black womxn. Meanwhile, Kerry-Anne’s work focuses on drawing womxn. “I really love Kerry-Anne’s art, as she portrays womxn of different ethnicities. Her work is incredible and fits really well with International Women’s Day,” Chantal notes.

Sister Shack is a collaborative space, and Chantal is keen to thank everyone taking part. “Sister Shack wouldn’t be anything without the core people involved. Seeing the strength of womxn during Covid just shows how resilient womxn are.”

Sister Shack’s International Women’s Day events take place from Saturday 6th-Saturday 13th March. For more information and tickets, visit their website

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