Thinkers & Makers #1: MARCH
And our first T&M was a doozy!
Fiona Boyd, Ghassan Hage, Nazid Kimmie & Ms. Saffaa, plus impromptu readings and performances by YOU.
Hari Vrndavn Sivanesan, one of the UK’s most acclaimed Veena artists popped into our Thinkers & Makers Salon as our very special muso guest.
Hari was chosen by Pandit Ravi Shankar to collaborate on numerous projects, worked at a young age with George Harrison in producing Raviji’s CDs and was invite to play at Concert for George after his passing.
Ghassan Hage is an academic serving as Future Generation Professor of Anthropology and Social Theory at the University of Melbourne.
Hage works on the comparative anthropology of racism, nationalism and multiculturalism, particularly in Australia and the Middle East. He has written and conducted fieldwork on the Lebanese transnational diaspora in countries such as Australia, the US, Europe, Canada and Venezuela. He also researches and writes in social theory, particularly the work of Pierre Bourdieu.
A high-profile contributor to debates on multiculturalism in Australia and has published widely on the topic, his most influential work, White Nation draws on theory from Whiteness studies, Jacques Lacan and Pierre Bourdieu to interpret ethnographic work undertaken in Australia. The book has been widely debated in Australia, with many of its themes picked up by anti-racism activists in other countries. The follow-up Against Paranoid Nationalism is an analysis of certain themes in Australian politics that became prominent under the government of John Howard. His current writing is concerned with the intersection between racism and the ecological crisis. Is Racism an Environmental Threat?
Fiona Boyd is a former teacher and musician - she was one of the original members of Rabbits Wedding before they emigrated from Perth to Sydney to seek fame and fortune. Later she joined ABC Radio, managing projects such as the launch of Triple J in Cairns, and hosting the ABC’s live national Christmas Day program two years in a row. Boyd co-founded and led the online arts business network Artshub then managed the sale of the company to private investors in 2006. The exit led Fiona to be featured in the book 50 Great eBusinesses and the Minds Behind Them (Random House, 2007). Fiona is an long time runner, and completed her first 50km ultra marathon in late 2013. She ran the full 42km Melbourne Marathon in October 2014.
Miss Saffaa is a Sydney based artist, researcher, and a self-proclaimed cultural activist. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Sydney. Her creative practice and research engage with culturally specific notions of gender politics. She employs her own experiences, personal reflections, and artistic expressions as forms of cultural activism. Her art practice is devoted to dispelling misconceptions and to offering firsthand insights into the often mystified and misrepresented lives of Saudi women and men. Saffaa aims to explore different strategies for social change through her art in order to enrich the understanding of Saudi women and men in Australia and beyond.
Nazid Kimmie is a South African born Melbourne based poet, writer, multi-media artist and film maker. His work spans over 15 years with involvement in many exhibitions of his own poetry and performances. Among his televisual works is his involvement with the first Muslim based variety TV show in Australia, ‘Salam Cafe’. Starting with the production crew on Channel 31 out of RMIT, Nazid worked behind the scenes on camera and sound, then with the single season on SBS TV as sketch co-writer and Assistant Director.
Nazid’s poetry is inspired by classical and modern, eastern and western poets, from Donne, Keats, Blake, T.S Elliot to Gwendolwn Brooks, Ginsberg, Whitman, Rumi, Attar and Darwish. He is particularly interested in themes of spiritual alienation, the psychology of race and the challenge of individual freedom and religious identity in a modern, consumerist age.
White-Washed part 1 (Fanon’s lament), is one of Nazid’s most well-known poems and is featured as a permanent display in the Art Gallery at the Islamic Museum of Australia. The work sets out to identify and excoriate that most insidious aspect of racism; the psychological ‘inner colonisation’; one that overwhelms every dimension of the individuals being – from soul, to cells, to speech. Like the geo-political landscapes that leave devastation and cultural wastelands in the wake of colonialist ideals, the colonised ‘self’ is also scarified and under siege, only self-knowledge and inner wisdom can preserve one’s spiritual and cultural identity.