Decolonising <span class="search-everything-highlight-color" style="background-color:orange">Gender</span> and Contending with Legal Systems

Decolonising Gender and Contending with Legal Systems

The cis-sexist and white supremacist textures of colonisation has created and supported a gender binary system that has led to the discrimination and systemic oppression of trans, gender diverse and two-spirit people. How do we push back? What are the tools and frameworks we need right now? How might trans politics use legal systems as a tactic for survival and dismantling structural violence whilst ensuring that our transformative demands are not watered down? Join us as Philip Marrii shares a First Nations perspective on gender diverse identities. Then Matilda Alexander & Sujay Kentlyn will discuss new anti-discrimination laws that have significant implications for the rights of trans and gender non-binary people. These 3 speakers will share first, then there will be time for Q&A and discussion. People of all genders and allies are invited. Please share with your trans, gender non binary and ally friends. We can all be better Read More »

Decolonisation and the ‘Black’ Pacific: Gender, Race and the Pursuit of Consciousness

Via Melbourne Feminist History Group We are looking forward to our next seminar, when we will be hearing from A/Prof Tracey Banivanua Mar on the circulation of the word ‘Black’ around the Pacific during the 1960s and 1970s. The abstract is below. As usual, we will be having dinner after the seminar. All welcome. If you can make it to dinner please let us know by Wednesday 11 May ( Hope to see you there! MFHG. Decolonisation and the ‘Black’ Pacific: gender, race and the pursuit of consciousness Associate Professor Tracey Banivanua Mar, La Trobe University This paper tracks the mobility of the transformative word, ‘Black’, as it circulated the Pacific’s oceanic world during the 1960s and 70s. Carried in the minds, words and pamphlets of radically mobile Indigenous peoples it wove a web that eroded colonialism’s power to isolate and marginalise. As such it confounded the covert circuits of Read More »

no image

Not femme, just Asian: my nerd gender.

I read a version of this last week for Queer Nerd, a Midsumma event curated by Lisa-Skye. There’s a lot more I could say about how East Asians are feminised (while other people of colour are masculinised) but maybe I’ll continue that rant later. I think when I was a kid, I thought my gender was nerd. Of course that’s not all there is to it – I was a girl too. And I think it’s pretty silly when cissexual people like me deny their privilege just because we’re not all quarterbacks and cheerleaders. Besides, I don’t believe that it’s the soldiers and sportspeople who have the most male privilege; I think it’s often the scientists and statesmen, the judges, the economists – the nerds. But if boys play with trucks and girls play with dolls, I was the nerd with five library cards who wanted to read just one more Read More »

Interview with Shahmen Suku

Shahmen Suku is a performance artist born in Singapore and based in Sydney who explores ideas of racial and cultural identity, religion, gender, the home and the kitchen, food and storytelling in his performances. As his alter ego Radha, he has also hosted many events and parties in Sydney and has become an important figure in the Queer and alternative communities. Radha has presented works for Liveworks at Performance Space, Liquid Architecture, Cement Fondu, appeared in The Set on the ABC as a recurring host in the kitchen. Growing up in a modern matriarchal Indian family in Singapore, Shahmen processes his sense of displacement from home as Radha, the Diva from India. Moving to Australia has given Shahmen multiple perspectives on migration, culture, race, colonisation and gender identity. Some of these issues cannot be discussed openly in Singapore or as himself and finds expression in his alter ego. Radha’s performances Read More »

Brisbane Street Art Festival

Brisbane will welcome a plethora of acclaimed local, national and international street artists from around the globe this May, as the city opens its door to Australia’s biggest street art festival program – Brisbane Street Art Festival (BSAF) from May 4 – 19. This free public art event has 46 commissioned artworks across Brisbane CBD and surrounding suburbs. With a program of live music, panel talks, exhibitions and workshops, BSAF will have something on offer to suit every age group over the two-week period. Festival Director Lincoln Savage said the public can expect to see more diversity and creative license for artists in 2019, with the program doubling in size from 2018. Savage said, “Our goal is to help create one of the most vibrant and culturally rich cities in Australia that supports the development of emerging artists and continues to empower its creative industries through BSAF.” BSAF has support Read More »

The Search for Balance

Or, why we’re talking about men, to men and with men this International Women’s Day.   This year’s United Nations International Women’s Day theme is think equal, build smart, innovate for change. Hear that, team? Get cracking. So, what will you be doing on this day designed to celebrate women (in the complexity and difference that “women” must now imply), to recognise the barriers which continue to impede equality, and to mobilise for a better collective future? Will you attend a breakfast, or a community celebration, sport a purple ribbon or otherwise virtue signal with a nifty hashtag or purchase of a suitable t-shirt? These are all options. Indeed, many of our team will be doing likewise, with sincerity, cynicism, clarity, reflexivity and hope. Yet in many ways, it’s International Women’s Day every day at Peril. So it feels strange to mark this day out more than others. We were Read More »

I’m dancing on the D-Floor too

Let’s imagine for one moment that the powers in our universe were battled out on a disco dance floor. What would it look like if there were no women? But first, I want to ask the question on a smaller, but equally important, scale – why is it so difficult to find women in positions of leadership in politics, the corporate sphere and tech start ups? How do we become leaders, and get on the proverbial D-floor? And why is it so often that we just aren’t considered on the guest list in the first place? There have of course been movements toward change – take popular politics, all of the ‘firsts’ in female leadership in Investment Banking to Aviation Australia, and the most recent effects of Australia’s version of the #TimesUp Movement. But why are so many jobs still asking women to choose between her career and raising a Read More »

Looking back to look forward

This is a very particular time in the Australian calendar. Here, Christmas holidays and summer combine to create an extended feeling of languor and disorientation; the flurry of December’s capitalism cedes to subdued streets and a succession of sporting fixtures. In many of our coastal capitals, people flee to the beaches. Around about now, however, as children return to school and traffic mounts, it is clear the year has begun in earnest. And so it is for Peril. After a break in December and January, our team has been working on what 2019 looks like for Peril – our strategies and publication plans – all of which are filling us with excitement, and a certain amount of nerves. We have three exciting editions planned for this year, and we can’t wait for you to be a part of creating them. In the early part of 2019, for Edition 35: Man Up, Read More »

Playlist: A Year Gone By

There was a mind-blowing amount of incredible music released in 2018. This week, You Don’t Sound Asian takes a look back on a killer year with our second instalment of a year gone by. You’ll tap your toes, you’ll sway, you might even shed a tear – these are some multidimensional AF tunes. Get ready for all sorts of You Don’t Sound Asian gold in 2019! To keep yourself posted on all new playlists (and other goodies), follow us on Soundcloud.

Anita Ratnam: Bringing Neo Bharatam to Australia

I first watched Dr. Anita Ratnam perform when I was seven years old. Over the last two decades, I have followed her trajectory as an artist and went on to write a PhD about her work. Fifteen years ago, my mother commissioned a tour of Ratnam to the Middle East for a fundraiser. In less than two weeks, she will be sharing her craft on Victorian shores in a tour steered by NIDA in partnership with Multicultural Arts Victoria, and supported by Arts Centre Melbourne, St. Martin’s Youth Arts Centre and Chunky Move. I, for one, am personally very excited for Melburnian audiences to experience Ratnam’s aesthetic, and in this essay I provide a birdseye view of the breadth of her repertoire. You can purchase tickets to her solo performance of Ma3Ka and artist talk on December 1st at Chunky Move here. Showing for one night only followed by a Read More »

Exponential becomings: Daniel Kok and Miho Shimizu’s xhe

Stepping into the fantasy of Daniel Kok and Miho Shimizu’s xhe beholds an immediate amplification of the senses. Their world borders between the vicissitudes of childlike fragility and maximal emotion, one where you can’t – even for a second – look away. Its psychedelic surfaces thrive with toys and objects ordinarily found in a kindergarten, suddenly made strange in its divorce from such context. Geometric cardboard cut outs, stick pyramids, plushie toys, foam wedges, and blankets fashioned into avant-garde dress splay in wild colours across the stage, a space enclosed by two walls patterned in similar frenzy. As audience members, we are invited to walk through the mix, to touch and play with the items laid out if the desire strikes, or otherwise, free to sit in the sidelines to observe the action unfolding. At a certain point during xhe’s debut performance at Performance Space’s Liveworks Festival, Kok whips a Read More »



  MELODRAMA / RANDOM / MELBOURNE! is an experimental feature film, part two of a Fil-Aus (Filipino-Australian) trilogy. All three films use the sentimentality of cinema to explore Filipino identity in Australia. Part one, I am JUPITER I am the BIGGEST PLANET, is a silent film; part three, MAGANDA! Pinoy Boy vs Milk Man, is a Filipino exploitation film. MELODRAMA / RANDOM / MELBOURNE! is a documentary, drama and ‘glorious cinema-o-ke’, that explores the intersection of gender and race through fragmented images set to pop-punk tunes.   My work has always been about the marginalised and those on the fringes. I wanted to highlight a side of Australia not shown in film narratives. I wanted to show the CBD of Melbourne and all its Asian influences. I wanted to take a pencil to the jugular of broken masculinity and highlight the long-suffering experiences of some of the women of my heritage.   Aries Santos says Read More »

Midsumma Festival

Midsumma Festival Announcement: Midsumma Festival is proud to announce the recipients of Midsumma Futures. It’s a nine-month development , and mentorship program for emerging artists and culture-makers, kicking off in October 2018. Besides, Midsumma-Futures provides opportunities for early-career-artists for advancing their skills, deepening practice, gaining exposure and leading the future of queer-culture. Moreover, the program brings together a range of emerging cultural-practitioners, creating a unique space for the intersection of ideas and modes of practice. Undoubtedly, the artists range from producers, socially engaged practitioners, community leaders, and culture-makers. Midsumma Festival 2019: Midsumma Festival will reveal itself in all its finery once again. Yes, it’ll bring a kaleidoscope of preeminent queer arts and cultural festivities from 19 January to 10 February 2019. It’s since 1988 that Midsumma Festival has been celebrating LGBTQIA+cultures. It’s been offering Melbourne audiences a diverse array of performances, talks and social events with leading local and global artists. Read More »

Playlist: In The Club

To celebrate the live debut of You Don’t Sound Asian at our Sydney event Peril Presents: Ritual / Resistance, we’re dancing up a storm with our latest playlist. This one will keep you going throughout the week and can also soundtrack any given weekend with its strong beats and toe-tapping hooks, featuring a bunch of You Don’t Sound Asian favourites’ latest bangers. Catch you on the dancefloor? x

Who’s our Knight in Shining Armour?

‘Who’s our Knight in Shining Armour?’ is republished here courtesy of the author. Click here to view more of Genevieve Craig’s work. Warm plum flowers caress you as you move through the bustling Jianguo Holiday Markets, surrounded by the seventeen female and one male journalist who are ready to receive the gender equality committee of Taipei and listen to NGOs on a five- day press tour. These powerful women use their voices to report on injustices and political affairs as their life’s work. So we ask: why is gender inequality still an issue? There is a thought that inequality is linked to the feeling of being powerless, where that voice is often a muted noise eventually fading to nothing. Thus, disempowered women say nothing and stop breathing life into their story. But how do we unpack power? Who is deciding the structures of power? Simply, let’s start with equality and Read More »

no image


Many of the writers and works featured in Peril have been subject to low, medium and high-brow study and review. Below is a selection of media and academic reviews and responses to our work over the years, as well as a selection of festival and event appearances. 2019 ‘How The Family Law normalised cultural diversity on Australian TV’, Nathania Gilson, SBS Writer Nathania Gilson quotes current Editor-in-Chief, Mindy Gill, and Board Chair, Eleanor Jackson, in her article about how Benjamin Law’s The Family Law has changed the landscape of Australian television. 2018 ‘Defying the moment’, Beejay Silcox, Australian Book Review issue no.400 Writer and literary critic Beejay Silcox analyses Australia’s contemporary literary culture, discussing how magazines negotiate the opportunities and pressures of the current political and media climate. Silcox interviewed Peril‘s current Editor-in-Chief Mindy Gill, among other Australian literary journal editors.   Lunchtime Lit: Online Publishing Futures, Emerging Writers Festival Current Editor-in-Chief Mindy Gill appears with Mascara Literary Review editor Read More »

no image

Express Media Tracks: Bendigo

Express Media is delighted to present Tracks a travelling pop-up program for young writers that brings the best of Express Media’s workshops, masterclasses, networking opportunities and special events to communities across Australia. On Saturday August 11, we’re bringing the Tracks program to Bendigo, partnering with Writers Victoria and Bendigo Writers Festival to take the best of Express Media right to your backyard. If you’re aged 14 to 25 and have a love of writing and storytelling, Tracks: Bendigo is an exciting day-long event just for you. 9am to 5pm, Saturday August 11 Bendigo Trades Hall 34-40 View St Bendigo, VIC 3550 The Bendigo Trades Hall is wheelchair accessible with a ramp at the entrance, and accessible bathrooms. BOOK YOUR SPOT NOW Tracks is free for Express Media members to participate in and attend. If you’re not a member already, Tracks: Bendigo costs $25 and includes membership to Express Media (normally $25) and Writers Victoria (normally Read More »

Interview with Kevin Bathman

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Kevin Bathman is a visual designer, storyteller, curator, writer and social change advocate. He is interested in using creativity to address environmental, cultural and social justice issues, and believes that the arts is an untapped avenue for catalysing change. Kevin Bathman speaks with Tanushri Saha about representation in the arts, and the importance of creating spaces that reflect diverse cultural perspectives. Recently, Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr. Tim Soutphommasane said that those who are invested in cultural diversity and leadership “do so because they usually have ‘skin in the game’”. Do you think this is true of the arts? Personally, the reason I am invested in cultural diversity and leadership is because I live with this reality every day. It is not just a mantra that some people or organisations talk about achieving. When Dr. Soutphommasane says ‘skin the game’, I believe that those fighting for their Read More »

Queer Lady Magician

Can an overly honest person be a good magician? If you failed at something once should you never try again? And what’s with all these straight White men in Orientalist drag? Queer Lady Magician tells the story of my first love of stage magic, losing the love from failure, and revisiting my childhood passion as an adult. In the process of doing so, I am forced to confront my demons: impostor syndrome, fear of failure, trauma from emotional abuse. Interwoven with autobiographical storytelling are acts that politicize stage magic to question norms about magic and society: assumptions about people’s identities based on their appearance, gender stereotypes of (male) Magician and (female) Assistant, cultural appropriation in magic, and much more. Serious social and personal issues are tackled with humour, silliness, saltiness, and heartfelt sincerity. Through this show, I learn what it means to be a Queer Lady Magician, eventually taking ownership Read More »

Playlist: To Dream

It’s wrap-yourself-up-in-your-doona weather, and we at You Don’t Sound Asian have got your listening sorted for this chilly long weekend. Our latest, ‘to dream‘ is full of tunes that evoke that odd, liminal space between awake and asleep. Are we dreaming the same things? Is this a dream? These tunes are equal parts cosmically in sync and deeply disconnected, you can be productive to this playlist or you can hardcore relax – it’s perf for all occasions. If you’re looking for more tunes to wrap your ears around, check out all our You Don’t Sound Asian playlists here. If you like ’em, please share your fave, and chuck us a cheeky follow on Soundcloud while you’re at it.

One Point Five: Reflections on Chindia

Chindia was a project that comprised an exhibition, short films and an artist talk that was hosted as part of Sydney Chinese New Year Festival 2018 and presented across Gaffa Gallery and 107 Projects from 15 – 26 February 2018. The project addressed themes of culture and migration, particularly the experiences of the Chinese and Indian diaspora communities. The exhibition presented six artists, Anindita Banerjee, Anurendra Jegadeva, Guo Jian, Lilian Lai, Lucy Wang (Ru Xi) and TextaQueen who all featured in the artist talks. The program was accompanied by a screening of four short films around the same themes. The following is a conversation that occurred online between Sydney-based creatives, Sasanki Tennakoon and Tian Zhang in the weeks following their experience of Chindia. Both consider themselves 1.5 generation migrants, born elsewhere and migrating to Australia when they were quite young, and reflect on their own experiences through the scope of Read More »