Creative expression is a way to think through the seemingly insurmountable challenges of our world today. As Guy Abrahams, co-founder of Australian organisation CLIMARTE observes, the power of the arts lies in their ability to question the values we take for granted. ‘The arts is about posing questions, it’s not necessarily about providing answers. But you’ve got to pose the questions to start off with, and pose questions which aren’t about facts and data, but are about our values, how we want to live, how we feel, what’s important in our lives – those values that are fundamentally important to us but that we take for granted on the day-to-day.’ Creativity is a way to open a discussion about the things we take for granted in our everyday lives.
Through my creative practice I endeavour to engage critically with the everyday, questioning cultural assumptions and values in order to think about ways of living in the world. I have often looked at this through the prism of migration and translocality.
In 2014 I undertook a creative writing fellowship at the Wheeler Centre Melbourne to develop a group of poems inspired by visual art that explored ideas of movement and migration. The project asked questions such as: what are the impulses behind why people feel the need to move from one place to another? What do they leave behind? What do they take with them?
Since 2016 I have been a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra, Australia and my thesis examines creative writing as a tool for understanding the process of settling in to a new country. As part of the research I am developing a collection of poems that explores themes of place and dislocation.
I am currently the creative writing editor at Right Now, an independent not-for-profit media organisation focused on human rights issues in Australia. Right Now‘s work begins with the belief that creating a positive, rights-respecting culture in Australia begins with the flow of information. Previous contributors have included Abe Nouk, Sukhjit Khalsa, Julian Burnside, Michael Kirby and Shaun Tan.
I also worked on a special edition of Double Dialogues, collaborating with Catalan poets and editors in Melbourne to produce a bilingual selection of poems.
‘Hunger Games’ participatory chair at the Emerging Writers Festival, Melbourne, Australia, 16 June 2017
‘Everyday Objects’ at the Noted Writers Festival, Canberra and online, 3-7 May 2017
Reading at ‘A Celebration of Poetry’ as part of Poetry on the Move festival, International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI) at the University of Canberra, Australia, 16 September 2016
‘Writing from the West’ at the Brimbank Writers & Readers Festival, Melbourne, Australia, 10 September 2016
‘Footscray Tales Trail’ at the Emerging Writers Festival, Melbourne, Australia, 15 June 2016
Poems published in journals such as: