Santilla Chingaipe

Film project: African migration to Australia: The untold story

Research for Santilla's visual arts project will look at the stories of African-descended migrants who came to Australia before Federation. The earliest recordings are of 11 convicts of African descent who arrived on the First Fleet.

Santilla seeks to uncover the stories of early settlement in Australia of the African diaspora, including those who came here as a source of labour. The years 1860 to 1890 marked an increase in labour shortages and increased migration.

This ambitious multi-screen project seeks to tell some of those untold stories, whilst connecting them to contemporary stories of African migration to Australia.

Santilla Chingaipe is a Zambian-born, award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker. She spent nearly a decade working for SBS World News, which saw her report from across Africa and interview some of the continent's most prominent leaders.

Her work explores contemporary migration, cultural identities and politics. In 2017 she presented a one-off documentary for SBS, Date my race, and directed Black as me as part of the Screen Australia initiative Doco180, which went on to screen at ACMI, HRAFF and the St Kilda Film Festival.

Santilla writes regularly for The Saturday Paper, and her work explores contemporary migration, cultural identities and politics.