The Colour Cycle Podcast

A podcast to challenge cultural whitewashing

Listen to an intro here!

“We want our podcast to open up the conversation about why our arts and screens don’t reflect Australia’s real cultural diversity. We’re also showcasing some brilliant artists and creative workers along the way.”

Lena Nahlous

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The Colour Cycle aims to disrupt cultural whitewashing and examines whether Australia’s Arts and Cultural sector looks like Australia.

Guests include writer and actor Benjamin Law, writer and performer Sunil Badami, writer and educator Zainab Syed, Australian Human Rights Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommosane, refugee arts worker Carolina Triana and artists from the refugee community.

Each week Lena Nahlous asks the questions: does our arts sector reflect the cultural diversity we see on our streets? What does it feel like if your culture is largely invisible on stage, on screen and in our galleries? And what are strategies for change?

Lena Nahlous interviews Benjamin Law

Growing up without seeing yourself reflected back in your nation’s stories is a quietly dehumanising thing.”

Benjamin Law

Covered in the podcast:

  • In ‘Creating new reflections’, hear how Benjamin Law dealt with the challenge of casting his Asian-Australian family in The Family Law.
  • In ‘Making spaces for refugee artists’, Carolina Triana describes how the first New Beginnings festival helped launch many refugee artists
  • In ‘Identity politics for creatives’ Lena talks to Sunil Badami about labels and why David Malouf is never referred to as a Lebanese Gay author, merely a great Australian author.
Lena Nahlous interviews Zainab Syed


  1. Creating new reflections

  2. Making spaces for refugee artists

  3. Identity politics for creatives

  4. Making art in exile

  5. What we can learn from the diversity of Australia’s First Peoples?

  6. The new frontier

  7. Changing the narrative

  8. Bonus episode: Arts as human right

  9. Bonus episode: Are we there yet?

  10. Bonus episode: Where are the teeth? Arts leadership