Unspoken Words

Sun Jun 4 2017

A festival of stories

Come and listen to the best of storytelling from a range of voices and communities. This is about spoken word and unspoken words. Writers show their craft, and direct their own discussions about it.

What is overlooked or silenced when it comes to poetry? Who’s there, and who’s missing? How can we broaden the range of stories we’re engaging with? How can we ask the uncomfortable questions? How does our storytelling and storylistening affect the way we do other things? This is a kind of fringe SWF.

Doors open 10:00AM. Sessions start 10:30AM and finish at 8:45PM.
Optional and free documentary screening (Guarding the Galilee, 30 mins) at 9PM. Tickets https://chuffed.org/project/a-festival-of-stories

Questions of CultureQuestions of Culture: How accepting and safe are our poetry communities?

Gabrielle Journey Jones

10:30 – 11:15am, backstage

A discussion workshop with Gabrielle Journey Jones (Creative Womyn Down Under). How much do we censor our performance poetry either in slams, open mics or paid gigs because of perceived and learned boundaries around feeling safe? What do we choose to leave unspoken within one of the most open and vulnerable of all performing arts?

How much of ourselves do we feel safe to share within our poetry community? And how, in turn, do the minority communities that we identify with influence the culture of our mainstream poetry community? How do we contribute to building performance poetry communities in which we all feel safe to leave nothing unspoken?

Defining Ourselves for OurselvesDefining Ourselves for Ourselves

Maryam Azam, Winnie Dunn, Robin M. Eames

11:15am – 12:15pm, main stage

Can we define ourselves by writing ourselves? We write ourselves, in whatever way possible for our individual needs, so as to create alternatives to single narratives. We need to see ourselves represented by people like us. Too many stories filter the whole world of experience through the gaze of cishet white people. This panel discusses the resistant power of telling our own stories, through the symbolic dialogue between living, visibility and text. We ask if and how we can write despite and beyond the dominating gaze of dual invisibility / hypervisibility that often occurs around politicised bodies.

Genre PoetryGenre Poetry

Margarita Tenser

12:15 – 1:00pm, backstage

Learn and discuss how to make use of the shared dialect of fiction genres in the medium of poetry. How do genres like sci-fi, fantasy, noir, etc. apply to poetry? If you write poetry that uses (or subverts) genre tropes, bring it along.

00910 Years of the Intervention and Current Atrocities

Elizabeth Jarrett

1:00 – 1:45pm, main stage

Details TBA.

It's 2017 Aren't I Still a WomanIt’s 2017, Aren’t I Still a Woman?

Stephany Basia

1:45 – 2:15pm, main stage

A lecture about the invisibilities of black women in mainstream representation. False ideas on a ‘post-racism’ society present diverse friendship groups of women to suggest all women are now equal in Australia. Stephany Basia will discuss how this preserves the invisibility of black women and their needs in the social performance of gender identity. The limitations of professional identity deem non-white images (such as Afro hair) as inappropriate and unprofessional. This lecture will dismantle the concept of one ‘acceptable’ image.

Cripping the Literary: Finding Crip Culture, Learning Crip Language
Robin M. Eames

2:30 – 3:00pm, main stage

A fifth of Australians are disabled. So where the fuck are they? Are they at your poetry events? Are you reading their work? Are you listening to their communities? Are you fighting alongside them for their civil rights? If not, why? How do we change that? How can a gig, or space, or culture, be accessible (or not)? What are we overlooking? Why aren’t wheelchair users coming to our non-wheelchair-accessible events? How does disabled culture & community even manifest itself? For few answers & more questions, come to this lecture by Robin M. Eames, a disabled queertrans warrior poet who is only mostly dead.

The Creative Mind and Chronic PainThe Creative Mind and Chronic Pain: Can we create in an altered state?

Candy Royalle

3:00 – 3:45pm, main stage

This intimate discussion and reading by Candy Royalle will explore the challenges artists face when physical or mental health reduces our capacity to create. Candy will talk about how living with a health condition can influence the ways in which we create. How is communication shaped by bodies and minds? What happens when the stories dry up? What does health have to do with creativity?

The Art of InclusionThe Art of Inclusion – Survival Stories and Strategies

Maryam Azam, Stephany Basia, Gabrielle Journey Jones, Candy Royalle

4:00 – 5:00pm, main stage

This panel is about combatting conscious and unconscious barriers to participation in storytelling communities. Poetry is sometimes called a ‘democratic’ art form: in part because it costs little to make, it doesn’t depend on communities being physically gathered together, and it can tell stories in a personal and direct way. But that doesn’t mean poetry communities are welcoming to all people. It also doesn’t mean that everyone’s story is told, or that the barriers to participation have been removed. Panellists talk about acceptance, inclusion and compromise in poetry circles and the role of storytelling in community.

Queering PoetryQueering Poetry: Writing Ourselves Into Existence

Margarita Tenser, Isaac Green, Robin M. Eames

5:00 – 5:45pm, main stage

Three trans, queer, & disabled panellists speak about queering poetry, trans retrohistories, art & intersectional identity, living in ill-fitting worlds & bodies, finding ourselves in stories not made with us in mind, and writing ourselves back into the narratives.

026The Black and Deadly Women’s Poets

Vanessa Lee, Michelle O’Hara, Elizabeth Wymarra

5.45 – 6:15pm, main stage.

The Black and Deadly Women’s Poetry group take to the stage to present their writing. This group of Aboriginal women poets meet regularly to share and workshop their poetry, and have been given mentorship by some of today’s leading Indigenous writers.

Unfinished Business 1UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Doors open (and dinner served) from 6:30, performances start 6:45. Main stage. Facebook event.

Hani Abdile, Winnie Dunn, Isaac Green, Robin M. Eames, Lorin Elizabeth, Dan Hogan, Elizabeth Jarrett, Gabrielle Journey Jones, Ella Skilbeck-Porter, Margarita Tenser, Auslan Stage Left

Come one and all to the biggest session of Unspoken Words! Hosted by the wonderful Lorin Elizabeth, this night will feature poetry readings by Winnie Dunn, Isaac Green, Robin M. Eames, Dan Hogan, Elizabeth Jarrett, Gabrielle Journey Jones, Ella Skilbeck-Porter and Margarita Tenser.

Hani Abdile will then present Absent Souls: A conversation with imprisoned souls. This new performance will be accompanied by a Q&A session and Hani’s performance of her own poetry.

This session will feature live Auslan interpretation thanks to Auslan Stage Left! Get in touch for more information. Here’s our policy on accessibility.

Dinner will be available thanks to Parliament on King, the social enterprise caterer. Beautiful food made with love. Proceeds from the catering are reinvested into hospitality training programs for locals with asylum seeker / refugee backgrounds at the King St café. Prebook your dinner when you get a ticket here.

Guarding the Galilee Screening

9:15 – 9:45pm, optional stayback

Guarding the Galilee is a 30-minute documentary about the battle to stop the biggest coal mine in Australian history, Adani’s Carmichael project.

The award-winning documentary team capture the raw beauty of Central Queensland where Adani’s mine threatens essential water resources, and follow the water to the Coral Sea where the Great Barrier Reef is in peril from coal port dredging, increased coal ship traffic and burning of coal for electricity, the biggest contributor to climate change.

Social enterprise catering; beautiful food made with love. Proceeds from the catering are reinvested into hospitality training programs for people with asylum seeker / refugee background at the café (Parliament on King).

All welcome. Humans aged under 7 get in FREE.

This festival takes place on Gadigal land, where sovereignty was never ceded. The festival organisers wish to pay respects and ask permission for storytelling to take place here. Always was, always will be.

Please respect the presenters and the space. No tolerance for disrespect / discrimination. There will be folks on the door and the floor taking care of things. If you need anything, please come to us. Here's a policy on safety and respect from the Rat:http://www.redrattler.org/sydn ey/Policy+.

Here's our info on accessibility: https://unspokenwordsfest. wordpress.com/accessibility/. If there's something else you need, please let us know!