Liz and I are running a short course at Maribyrnong Community Centre! Best of all, it’s free for participants.
Over four fortnightly workshops, develop research and storytelling skills with community historians Liz Crash and Jinghua Qian (co-creators of Underfoot, a multimedia project uncovering Footscray’s history). Participants will learn how to write, produce and share their own stories, and contribute to a visual presentation displayed at the centre. This hands-on workshop series is open to participants of all ages and skill levels. Please note: participants will need to attend all four sessions.
Thu 18 Mar, 1 Apr, 15 Apr, 29 Apr 2021 2 pm to 4 pm Maribyrnong Community Centre 9 Randall St, Maribyrnong, Victoria 3032 free | booking required
Thrilled to announce that I’ve been selected for a Melbourne Press Club mentorship!
Over the next 12 months, I’ll be mentored by award-winning radio documentary producer Fiona Pepper, who presents and produces Fictions on RN and has also made a host of other audio documentary features. Fiona comes from a theatre background so we have a shared interest in all forms of storytelling.
This is such perfect timing given that Liz Crash and I are just starting to develop the second series of Underfoot too. More on that soon.
You can listen to my essay on the politics of changing my name here via Soundcloud. Kim Cheng Boey’s poem for Silent Dialogue is also available as audio, or you can order a print copy of the Silent Dialogue book here featuring Maria Tumarkin, Elizabeth Tan, Julie Koh and many more.
I grew up thinking there were seven fundamental flavours: suān, tián, kǔ, là, xián, xiān, má. The first five translate easily – sour, sweet, bitter, hot, salty – but the other two don’t own a home on the English tongue. It was a shock to realise that something as material as flavour could be coloured and even erased by language. But eating has many dimensions beyond what happens in your mouth, as Sam van Zweden chronicles in this thoughtful debut, Eating with My Mouth Open.
For the Guardian’s Stream Team column, I wrote about the 2004 romcom, Saving Face. Smash Valentine’s Day and the Year of the Ox with this gaysian classic that celebrates mothers and daughters pushing back on patriarchy, shame and prejudice.
There’s a book launch for Silent Dialogue 沉默的对话 tomorrow night in Collingwood if you’d like to join us in a celebration and meet some of the folks involved in the project. The book is an illustrated multilingual publication that accompanies the Silent Dialogue exhibition with images of original artworks and specially commissioned pieces of original writing by leading scholars and writers from across the country. I’ll be reading from my essay in the book, ‘We need new names’, which looks at the politics of changing your name.
Fri 5 Feb 2021 6:15 pm to 7:30 pm Art Echo Gallery, Collingwood free | booking required
Apologies for the super late notice but I’m doing a gig tonight! It’s part of Amplify, a series of live music and literary performances by local artists from the Western suburbs. Tonight is Tariro Mavondo, Gabriela Georges, Ruby-Rose Pivet-Marsh and me.
Mon 1 Feb 2021 doors at 6 pm, performances 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm live in-person at Bluestone Church Arts Space, Footscray, or livestream online tickets from $5 + booking fee | book here | more info here
‘[Evading censorship] felt a lot like a game, actually – a futile yet addictive game that made your heart race as you tried to jump from story to story, ducking and weaving, squeezing as much as you could through an ever-shrinking space.’
For The Saturday Paper’s culture section, I wrote about reliving the anxiety and adrenaline of working as a journalist in China while playing the dystopian newsroom simulation game Not for Broadcast. Read it here.
Are you a South Asian arts writer living in Victoria? Sangam: Performing Arts Festival of South Asia and Diaspora has put together this pretty incredible paid mentorship. You get:
a workshop with me and Sonia Nair on 6 Feb 2021
support to write a response to a work or works at Sangam 2021
assistance securing a publication outcome with Sangam’s publishing partners, Peril Magazine and South Asian Today
$300 participant fee
EOIs close this Fri 15 Jan so apply now! And follow Sangam on Facebook or Instagram for more info about the festival. The full program will be released 17 Jan and the festival takes place 20 Feb to 13 Mar at Abbotsford Convent, the Drum Theatre, Dancehouse Melbourne and Bunjil Place.