GriffinSpeak is a celebration of artists of diverse backgrounds and styles with a focus on creating space for their stories as they would have them told. Sign up for Open Mic at the door.
Across the Water - An oral history performance for cello and electronics
December 08, 2016
tickets: $10.50/$8 TFA supporters & OHV members
“the public nature of performance art provides a forum for the social acknowledgement, respectful attention, and cathartic empathy essential to both private and public memory and healing”
-Michael Kilburn Professor of Politics and International Studies -Endicott College
As part of Oral History Victoria's inaugural group show, The Foundling Archive is proud to present Across the Water - An oral history performance for cello and electronics.
While the issue of asylum seekers has had a substantial presence in national election campaigns, on media agendas and around dinner table discussions over the last 15 years, Australians collectively have not been very successful at engaging directly with asylum seekers. The conversation has tended to be about asylum seekers rather than with them. This 'about' rather than 'with' is problematic. Failing to acknowledge asylum seeker perspectives as part of the national discussion takes away the control and authority they have over their story.
Across the Water is a collaboration between cellist Stephanie Arnold and composer Dr Robert Davidson. It was made using oral history interviews between Ms Arnold and Melbourne-based asylum seekers. Through the use of the contemporary compositional technique of speech melody, the performance is imbued with those conversations and recounts the interviewees journeys and arrival in Australia. This musical form of storytelling the project gives a space for the complexities and subtleties of emotion and expression behind the often unheeded words of asylum seeker to be heard, not through the noise of politics or media but on the terms and through the voices of asylum seekers themselves.
The project simultaneously draws our attention to the power of the dominant narrative in the suppression of the voices of the marginalised while attempting to support the agency of the asylum seeker within Australian discourse.
It aims to signify listening, understanding and respect.
Following the premier performance of this important and moving composition, Stephanie will be joined by author and Open City Stories project co-ordinator, Rajith Savanadasa and Dr Alistair Thomson, president of Oral History Victoria and professor in history at Monash University, for an open forum discussion around the nature of the interview, the role of music, literature and the arts in facilitating difficult discussions and how we, as outsiders, can learn to listen better.
ABOUT STEPHANIE ARNOLD
Stephanie Arnold is an Australian cellist working as a freelance performer and instrumental teacher. Since studying both in Australia and in Germany, Stephanie now performs in a variety of orchestral and chamber groups in Melbourne.
In Europe she worked with Christina Vantzou and performed throughout Belgium and Germany, supporting artists such as Nils Frahm and Max Richter, taking part in several contemporary music festivals. Stephanie has a broad interest in experimental and contemporary music, and a particular interest in performance works with a focus on storytelling and community engagement.
ABOUT RAJITH SAVANADASA
Rajith Savanadasa was born in Sri Lanka and now lives in Melbourne. His first novel, Ruins, was published in 2016 and shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction. Rajith also runs Open City Stories, an oral history project documenting the lives of a group of asylum seekers in Melbourne.
MIDSUMMA EVENT: It's Who We Are - encore film screening and panel discussion on community film making
January 21, 2017
5pm - 7.30pm
Tickets: $7 general fee, $5 concession/ TFA members
Celebrating 20 years of The Jewish Lesbian Group of Victoria
Words like "lesbian" and "Jew" were still whispered back in 1992, when three Jewish lesbian friends organised a workshop for Jewish lesbians. The turnout exceeded all expectations. As the full room buzzed with excitement and connection, the Jewish Lesbian Group of Victoria was born.
As the first Jewish group to march in Pride March Victoria, and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parades, as well as being the first LGBTQI group at the Jewish community's "In One Voice: Concert in the Park", the Jewish Lesbian Group of Victoria turned the whispers into roars of pride. Along the way, this group of women has created a community that honours their Jewish and Lesbian cultures. In changing their communities, these women have also been changed.
"It's Who We Are" shares the remarkable story of a group of women who dared to change their worlds...
In a changing world, it is important to record our bold beginnings and remarkable achievements.
"It's Who We Are" mixes archival footage, current day conversations with Jewish Lesbian Group of Victoria members, and in-depth interviews with founding members of the group.
Join us for a special encore screening of this locally produced documentary at The Good Room Brunswick East, 390a Lygon Street Brunswick East. The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion by its makers around the process of documenting personal experience and the practicalities of community documentary film-making.
Producers: Rilke Muir | Lisa Mann
Scripting and direction: David Muir & Kate Lefoe
Additional direction: Olivia Olley
Camera: Kate Lefoe | David Muir | Olivia Appleby | Rilke Muir
Editor: Paul Sutherland
Sound mixing: Fabrice Galli