The Colour Cycle podcast SEASON 3 is here!
This new season of The Colour Cycle is centred around “Concrete Strategies for Racial Equity.” We cover a huge breadth of content: the impacts of Covid-19 on artists, global anti-racism movements such as Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate, the necessity of diversity standards, the power of Indigenous music in retaining language, and the importance of allyship and leadership networks. The season also features a series of conversations with UK creative industry thought-leaders, in partnership with British Council Australia. Featuring: Writer/ broadcaster Benjamin Law; Executive Director, Creative Diversity Network UK Deborah Williams; Noongar singer/songwriter Gina Williams; Head of Inclusion, British Film Institute Jennifer Smith; artist and refugee advocate Safdar Ahmed; writer/performer Moreblessing Maturure; Senior Manager, Aboriginal Strategy and Engagement at Create NSW Peter White; Asian Australian Alliance Founder Erin Chew; local media legend Sunil Badami + MORE.
The opening and closing track “You know What” was written by UK based musician Spider J. Heartfelt thanks to Information and Cultural Exchange for providing us with a recording studio.
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The Colour Cycle – Season 3
Episode 1: How to be Anti-Racist in the Arts
In 2020, Diversity Arts Australia and British Council launched the Creative Equity Toolkit (www.creativeequitytoolkit.org), a how-to resource that supports organisations in reaching diversity goals. This episode was filmed at the Toolkit launch at Sydney Opera House. It features conversations about the global anti-racism movements of 2020, allyship, building alliances between the culturally diverse immigrant space and First Nations movements and practical strategies for making change in the creative sector. Panel: Peter White (Senior Manager, Aboriginal Strategy and Engagement at Create NSW), Benjamin Law (writer and broadcaster) and Mikala Tai (Head of Visual Arts, Australia Council for the Arts). Spotlight: Writer-filmmaker Katrina Irawati Graham.
Episode 2: I Am Not A Virus – anti-Asian Covid racism
The Covid-19 pandemic saw a surge of Anti-Asian racism. In response, Diversity Arts Australia launched I Am Not A Virus, an artist-led project that provides powerful counter-narratives to xenophobia and racism. This episode spotlights interviews from Asian artists, partners and curators from the I Am Not A Virus project, along with two spoken word pieces that were commissioned as part of the project. Featuring: Erin Wen Ai Chew (founder of Asian Australian Alliance and Being Asian Australian), artists Jacqueline Pon, Sean Stephen Ryan, Jayanto Tan, Andrea Srisurapon, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art curator Reina Takeuchi, and works by Kelly Huynh and Jasper Lee-Lindsay.
Episode 3: Gina Williams – Reviving and celebrating Indigenous languages through music
What is the power of language? How does the language we speak inform artistic practice? What do you do when the State has historically attempted to erase that language? Our special guest this episode is singer-songwriter and British Council ACCELERATE alumni Gina Williams, who creates contemporary music in her Indigenous Noongar language with her musical partner Guy Ghouse. Gina talks about the power of music to celebrate culture and pass it down to future generations. Support Gina and buy her albums HERE. Learn more about British Council Australia HERE.
Episode 4: Global Conversations – giving audiences the screen and stage diversity they want
The past two years have seen worldwide changes in the ways we talk about racial and cultural representation. Contemporary audiences are increasingly seeking out and demanding greater diversity in our screen and performing arts sectors. Writer/broadcaster Sunil Badami talks to CEO of Creative Diversity Network (UK) Deborah Williams about how things are shifting globally. As the former Diversity Manager at the British Film Institute (BFI), Deborah designed the diversity standards for film and broadcasting in the UK and has a wealth of insight when it comes to the creative sector. We also speak to Refugee Art Project’s Safdar Ahmed about the impacts of Covid 19 on his artistic practice and the communities he works with. Thank you to the British Council, Creative Victoria, Screen Australia, Belvoir Street Theatre and The Wheeler Centre for hosting and supporting Deborah’s visit to Australia in 2019.
Episode 5: Cultural Markers and Visibility in the arts – a UK/Australia conversation
Diversity Arts Australia and British Council joined forces to run INTERSECT, a knowledge-exchange program between Australia and the UK which connected culturally diverse and First Nations arts and screen leaders from both countries. This episode we talk to INTERSECT participants about how they “put down cultural markers” in their respective sectors to affect long-term change, making diversity a vital part of core business rather than just a “side dish.” Featuring: INTERSECT participants Abdul Shayek (Theatre Director and Artistic Director of FIO), Nike Jonah (Executive Director of the Pan-African Creative Exchange) and Mikala Tai (former Director of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art). Spotlight: Sydney-based artist Ayebatonye. The INTERSECT program is a joint program between the British Council and Diversity Arts Australia with support from Creative Victoria and Create NSW. Alison Tanudisastro’s interview with Ayebatonye was recorded at a We Are The Mainstream event. Thank you to all our partners!
Episode 6: Screen Targets and Standards – do they work?
Can we increase cultural diversity on and behind our screens through official diversity standards? How necessary and effective are standards and targets? Lena Nahlous explores these questions by speaking to the Head of Inclusion at the British Film Institute (BFI) Jennifer Smith and Australian filmmaker Pearl Tan, a participant in British Council’s INTERSECT program. Spotlight: writer and co-founder of The Pvblication Lamisa Haque
Episode 7: The Importance of Physical Spaces to Create and Connect
The creation of physical spaces — theatres, film companies and galleries — is integral to showcasing the work of culturally diverse artists and true pluralism of Australia. This episode explores the need for these spaces, with a particular focus on a diverse creative hub in Adelaide called Nexus Arts. We also ask: what happens when a global pandemic shuts down these critical centres for creation and connection? Featuring: Refugee Art Project’s Zeinab (Sara) Mir, the Diverse Screens panel discussion at Adelaide Fringe Festival, poet and painter Elyas Alavi, and emerging artist Yusuf Ali Hayat.
Episode 8: Overcoming the Imaginings of Others
Lena Nahlous talks to multidisciplinary artist, activist, Ted x speaker and creative director of FOLK magazine Moreblessing Maturure about fighting erasure, the importance of having spaces to experiment and create, and the need for critics of colour. Spotlight: singer-songwriter and performer Zaya Barroso. Thank you to the Future Women, the City of Parramatta and Parramatta Artist Studios for hosting the talk! Alison Tanudisastro’s interview with Zaya was recorded at a We Are The Mainstream event.
Bonus Episode: How to Engage Diverse Audiences
This panel was a part of the 2020 Australian Performing Arts Exchange (APAX), and was facilitated and recorded by Catherine Conner and the team at PAC Australia. At the time of this interview, Zainab was creative producer at Performing Lines WA and is now producer at Belvoir Street Theatre in Sydney.