Siana is the founder and former editor of Black British Feminist platform, No Fly on the WALL; 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 producer of ‘1500 & Counting’, a documentary film investigating deaths in custody and police brutality in the UK and the founder of Courageous Films. Siana works and campaigns on issues of race, class, and gender and their intersections and is currently working on projects focusing on climate change, the arms trade, and state violence. Her recent works include the short film ‘Denim’ and the play, ‘Layila!’. She was an artist-in-residence at the Birmingham Rep Theatre throughout 2019, a Jerwood supported artist throughout 2020, and is the co-host of ‘Behind the Curtains’ podcast, produced in partnership with English Touring Theatre (ETT) and host of ‘People Not War’ podcast, produced in partnership with Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), where she was formerly a campaigner and co-ordinator.
Siana has three TED Talks to her name, including a talk delivered at the University of St. Andrews in 2017 and at the final TEDxEuston Salon in 2019. She also co-curated the TEDxYouth@Brum conference at Birmingham’s Hippodrome in 2019, which included speakers such as Jamelia.
Her work has been featured in mainstream and alternative publications such as The Guardian, The Metro, Evening Standard, Black Ballad, Consented, Green European Journal, The Fader, and Dazed as well as the ‘Loud Black Girls’ anthology, presented by Slay In Your Lane.
She is also an international public speaker, public speaking trainer, workshop facilitator, and social commentator. Siana has performed and presented papers and presentations across the world, including in Germany, Portugal, Finland and Brazil.
Her past television and radio appearances include the BBC, Channel 4, Sky TV, ITV and Jamelia’s ‘The Table’, as well as headlining BBC’s Contains Strong Language Festival programme across 2021 as part of Coventry City of Culture. Siana has been recognised by MOBO, The Bookseller, VICE, Dazed, Elle, NU People Magazine, Hustle and Heels, The Voice, True Africa, Buzzfeed, and the BBC, among others, for her work, her powerful voice, conviction, and commitment to working towards meaningful radical change in Britain and beyond.
A multi-disciplinary leader, Siana is currently a producer at Catalyst, co-creating networks & ecosystems and Head of Phoenix Education‘s Changemakers Lab, focusing on setting the vision, strategy, and effectiveness of the programme, whilst supporting young people to co-create, launch, and sustain powerful campaigns. As of 2022, she is an Acumen Academy Fellow.
‘A powerful emerging voice on London’s poetry circuit… Bangura is making a path for writers who don’t want to compromise their creativity, championing a DIY path to getting work out there for people to read… Bangura’s Elephant is semi-autobiographical, covering the politics swirling around black womanhood, from childhood experiences of colourism to adult encounters with direct racial hatred, and the memory of immigration to London from Sierra Leone. Bangura explains the conscious link between forging a DIY route, and the experience of minorities navigating the traditionally white space of literary publishing.’ – Anna DeWolf, Dazed
‘These breath-taking, astute, fierce, resilient, considered sisters make me really excited about what the future for women of colour in the UK could look like.
‘[Siana’s] candid account of the incident on social media helped uncover the underbelly of the UK racism which is often swept under the ‘illusion of inclusion’ carpet. We have to keep telling our stories, to keep our humanity thriving and prevent others from overstepping our boundaries.’ – Simone Bresi-Ando, The Voice, January 2016
‘…as a debut work of raw emotion, style, the human condition, displacement, diaspora and the power of mothers in all of us, Elephant magnifies the flames within us that should not be merely existing but burning brightly. Most of all, what Elephant tells us is to never forget our past experiences; to never give up on our futures and most importantly: be thankful for our presents.’ – Alexander Holmes, May 2016