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Photo by Indiah Money. Designed by Alex Margetic.

Poetry of the Personal and Political

Jeanine Leane, Tim Buchanan, Dale Collier, Jenny Fraser, Declan Fry, Elia Harding, Neika Lehman, Jazz Money, Rebeka Morrison, Tace Stevens, Beau Windon

22 Jul–8 Aug 2020

In a time marked by rage and mourning over recent tragic deaths and ongoing police and state violence against Black and Indigenous people both at home and abroad, this is a writing program for Indigenous poets of Naarm to take stock and respond through the activism of poetry. It is a time for the language of immediacy and urgency; a time to ask: If not now – then when? And, if not you – then who?

Three writing workshops will study historical and contemporary examples of poetry of protest and activism ranging from the personal (activism on the home-front, body politics, black bodies, queer bodies and their intersections) to big picture public activism and protest. The curriculum covers the radical writing of Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Lionel Fogarty, Romaine Moreton and Jack Davis, as well as contemporary poets; Ellen van Neerven, Alison Whittaker, Evelyn Araleun, Samuel Wagan Watson and more.

In this violent rupture, we draw connections across space and time via a reckoning of history. Dismantling colonial relics and harbouring future refusals and resistance, we deconstruct the colonial mythscape of peaceful settlement and a united nation. From the storytellers and song-makers of ancestry to contemporary protest language, writers look at how activist poetry is at once deeply localised, personal and highly political.

First Nations writers from any State or Territory develop a piece of writing for digital publication on BLINDSIDE and Free Association’s websites. Writers participate in workshop sessions via Zoom and present their work in development.

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Online, Workshop, Residency, Co-Presented

Poetry of the Personal and Political is a First Nations Writing Program led by Dr. Jeanine Leane.

Co-presented by Free Association and Blindside

Published by RABBIT Journal

The annual Blindside First Nations Project is supported by the Victorian Government through the City of Melbourne through their Triennial Grants Program. This project is supported by Creative Victoria.

This First Nations writing project is supported by the City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grants.

Workshop: 20 Jul 2020, 8am–10am
Workshop: 27 Jul 2020, 8am–10am
Workshop: 3 Aug 2020, 8am–10am

This program takes place on the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We recognise that sovereignty was never ceded - this land is stolen land. We pay respects to Wurundjeri Elders, past, present and emerging, to the Elders from other communities and to any other Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders who might encounter or participate in the program.