Sweet Sugar Rage exposes the exploitation of women’s labour in Jamaica’s sugar cane fields and shares the themes and methods of Sistren’s workshops and theatre in the context of their wider efforts in education, employment rights and community activism. The film combines the testimony of women that work in the cane fields with evidence of their working conditions and their employers attitudes as the basis of drama workshops that bring rural and urban women into dialogue to analyse the exploitation of working class women’s labour and to challenge the patriarchal attitudes of employers and unions alike. Following the methods of Freire’s ‘conscietization’ and Brecht’s ‘alienation method,’ we see the women collectively take charge of staging and re-staging ways to challenge the systems that oppress them, which offers methodologies of learning together to acquire the feminist and decolonial tools to effect social change.
The film is part of the Cinenova collection: The Work We Share, which presents newly digitized films from Cinenova’s collection that address representations of gender, race, sexuality, health, and community.
Sistren Theatre Collective: Sweet Sugar Rage, 56 min, 1985
Cinenova volunteer member Moira Salt prepared the introduction to the film.
IN ENGLISH ONLY
Moira Salt is a multimedia artist, using film and sound, performance, found objects, printmaking, and installations. Her practice looks at black diasporas, particularly women, and their connection to memory, myth, and land. Her research looks more broadly at marginalization, structures of power, and the people who sit at ruptures of care. Recent works include: Needs and Freedoms, 16 Nicholson Street, Glasgow 2022; where the restless oceans pound, Bowling Harbour, 2021; and U Belong: Loving, Glasgow Zine Library, 2021. Salt lives and works in Glasgow.
The project was financially supported by the City of Prague, the State Cultural Fund, and the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.