You might remember that, a few weeks ago, we featured an interview with Sarah Gory, Director of the Queensland Poetry Festival, looking at that festival’s engagement with Asian Australian writers and audiences.
From Peril’s perspective at least, there was a lot to commend in the honesty and reflection that Sarah provided in her responses and acknowledgement that it is “important for the arts to support diverse representations of Australian culture for a number of reasons, not least because failing to do so means that the arts, and hence it audiences, will miss out on a wealth of artistic talent if they fail to engage with and support artists of diverse cultural identities.”
This month, we had hoped to feature the Brisbane Writers Festival, which runs from 4-8 September, with the support of Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts.
An approach was made to the festival in mid-August to respond to the same questions posed to the Queensland Poetry Festival, however, due to time constraints, the festival has declined to respond. Wherever possible, we at Peril will try to give festivals due time to respond to questions, but equally, we’re committed to the openness with our readers about those festivals who are unable to consider these questions.
If Peril readers are interested in profiling another festival or event, please let us know and we’ll endeavour to connect with festival organisers and open dialogue about Asian Australian creative producers and audiences!
Equally, perhaps readers can let us know if there are aspects of the BWF program that are of interest to them? Or otherwise?
Walt Whitman once said “To have great poets, there must be great audiences.” Perhaps this is a chance for some audience involvement and feedback?
How do you think BWF rates in terms of its critical engagement with Asian Australian writers and audiences?
Editorial note: Eleanor Jackson is appearing as a artist at the Brisbane Writers festival in an unpaid capacity. Eleanor Jackson is also a volunteer announcer with 4ZZZ fm and the BWF’s Associate Producer, David Burton, spoke with Eleanor on At the Local with regards to the festival’s ability to reflect diverse community groups and interests.