Beam Talks: An Evening with Sierra Leonean Women

In 1991 a brutal civil war broke out in Sierra Leone, a country on the west coast of Africa. Since the war the narratives around the country has always been negative and often linked to the civil war, blood diamonds, child soldiers, amputations, sex slaves and the recent Ebola epidemic. The war left an indelible mark in our hearts and minds. Just as in other conflict regions, women in Sierra Leone bore the brunt of the atrocities committed. All the positive work amongst the community in the diaspora are often not spoken about or highlighted. Beam Talks is creating a platform in the UK to change this and share inspiring stories.

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Beam Talks is Smiling Through Light’s UK initiative which showcases the diverse career routes taken by Sierra Leonean women living in the UK. The event will provides a space where role models can discuss their achievements, experiences and challenges with a new generation of change-makers.

On Thursday 29th June Siana joined Mariama Kamara: Founder & Director, Smiling Through Light; Muriel Lamin: Head of Commercial & Operations, BBC; Lyande Kaikai: Director, My African Passport in conversation about careers and challenges.

Siana Bangura

Siana Bangura is a writer, poet, performer and producer hailing from South East London. She is the author of critically acclaimed debut collection, 'Elephant', a book of poetry meditating on Black British womanhood and life growing up in London and the founder and former editor of No Fly on the WALL. Siana is the producer of '1500 & Counting', a documentary film investigating deaths in custody in the UK. With experience in indie publishing, journalism, and campaigns under her belt, Siana’s wide portfolio of work focuses on bringing voices on the margins to the centre. To find out more about Siana's work visit: And catch her tweeting at @Sianaarrgh