Following on from the success of last year's Brow Talks public talks series, which included talks from Jessica Wilkinson/Bonny Cassidy and Paola Balla as well as talks from Simona Castricum and Chad Parkhill, we're chuffed to announce a new season of talks that will be taking place at this year's Melbourne Writers Festival (24 Aug–2 Sep). Co-curated with RMIT's non/fictionLab and sponsored by Young Henrys, Brow Talks promises to ignite discussion about everything from sex stigma and activism to laughter and rage.
This year's distinguished speakers are these erudite legends: Michelle Law, Nic Holas, Evelyn Ida Morris and Nayuka Gorrie. All four events are free and are being held at Belleville.
‘Fire and fury gets the job done!’Sat 25 Aug, 3pm
Anger gets a lot of negative press—we’re told it’s bad for our mental and physical health and it can make us look like the grumpy person in the room that nobody wants to talk to. But as a writer, anger can be one of the most constructive and mobilising tools in your creative arsenal. Join Michelle Law as she speaks about embracing anger, its values and its uses, so your writing can rise from any ~ intense emotions ~ like a phoenix from the ashes.
Michelle Law is a writer working across film, theatre and print. Her debut play Single Asian Female was staged at La Boite Theatre Company and Belvoir St Theatre Company to sold out audiences. She has also been a recipient of the Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award. Homecoming Queens, the web series she co-created, co-wrote and stars in, premiered on SBS On Demand this year.
‘Sex cells’Sun 26 Aug, 3pm
A talk to get the blood pumping. HIV activist, writer, and former sex worker/pornographer Nic Holas reflects on how far we have come in depathologising but not depoliticising our sex lives. Nic will take a moment to reflect on our recent LGBTIQA progress (or is it regress?), and ask what is left to do, what is getting left behind, and what is just too Left to go anywhere near.
Nic Holas is an activist, writer, and co-founder of The Institute of Many (TIM), Australia's largest grassroots movement for People Living with HIV. Nic has been published in two recent anthologies, Queerstories and The Best of The Lifted Brow: Volume Two. His other writing on HIV, queer issues, human rights, and pop culture has appeared online and in publications by the ABC, The Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald, The Lifted Brow, Archer Magazine, Hello Mr, Junkee, SBS, and the international queer press.
Evelyn Ida Morris
‘New structures’Sat 1 Sep, 3pm
What stories do we use to talk about music, art, feminism, and gender? Can we replace our patriarchal binary norms with new metaphors? In this talk, Evelyn Ida Morris will look at stories they've used to make sense of their music, art, and activism, and try to find new structures for living and making.
Evelyn Ida Morris released their first album as Pikelet in 2007, and has since released four albums under that name. They have won the Age Music Victoria Award for Best Experimental Musician and been shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize. They have toured extensively as Pikelet, and with other projects. They have a long history with the piano and improvised music, and recently released their first album of piano compositions under their own name with Milk! Records to much critical acclaim.
‘How to laugh at your oppressor’Sun 2 Sep, 3pm
The world might be run by hostile gronks but looking on the bright side hostile gronks are a lot of fun to laugh at. The internet means there are seemingly endless ways to make fun of them. Join Nayuka as she explores a history of laughing at people in power and different ways to do it today.
Nayuka Gorrie is a Gunai/Kurnai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta freelance and comedy television writer. Her writing centres on black, feminist and queer politics. She wrote and performed in the upcoming Season Three of Black Comedy.