A dear, Jewish friend of mine once spent a long half hour trying to explain the notion of “nachas”, a Yiddish term for the pride and happiness you feel when you observe the achievements of another. While typically used to describe the joy of parents and grandparents at the feats of children and grandchildren, I loved the idea of pure joy for another, the ability to celebrate someone else’s achievements almost as if they were your own, without ever taking credit, merely relishing their success.
So it is a Peril-version of nachas to see the WrICE (Writers Immersion and Cultural Exchange) program from RMIT University going from strength to strength since its beginnings in 2014. Each year, we’ve been able to feature elements of the program, interview writers, share the odd selfie (see Michele Lee and Fan Dai’s offerings above!) and generally cheer on from the sidelines of this residency, which brings together extraordinary writers from the region for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
This year, the program features emerging and established writers from all around the region to share process, thinking and inspiration.
Fan Dai and Michele Lee are just two of writers taking part in this incredible program and featuring in a range of events across the weekend. Fan Dai is a Chinese writer and professor of English in the Department of English, School of Foreign Languages, Sun Yat-sen University. We have been lucky enough to feature Fan Dai’s longer prose work, Reflection on Bitterness and Sweetness in Peril, which also considers elements of the residency process. We’ve been lucky enough to review and interview Michele Lee in Peril previously too, so we’re very excited to see these two fine writers live and in the literary flesh!
Having completed the China-based component of the residency earlier in the year, the group is now in Melbourne showcasing a suite of events that will make your eyes pop. Full program lives pdf fabulous here. While some have already passed, there are three full days of magic still to come where you too can share some of our nachas.
For those keen to join the WrICE festivities today, Protest & Rebellion (1pm ACMI the Cube) features as a part of MWF with Eliza Vitri Handayani (From Now On Everything Will Be Different) and artist, Molly Crabapple, who came to prominence when she was arrested during the Occupy movement. From Now On Everything Will Be Different caused controversy in Indonesia for its critical stance on the government. Eliza and Molly will be discussing the power of art as a protest tool.
Then, later in the day, you can catch Writers Across Borders (5:30pm ACMI the Cube), Fan Dai, Eliza Vitri Handayani, Michele Lee, Alice Pung, Maggie Tiojakin, Xu Xi and Larry Lacambra Ypil sharing their experiences of WrICE, an immersive intercultural program.