Yellow Peril to Asian Century


feast asia

When I am invited to panels to discuss “Asia”, and particularly Australia’s relationship to Asia, I often wonder if it is like asking the eyelash what it thinks of the body. Perspectives are, by definition, relative and we know that the direction of the gaze, and the size of eyeball, are fundamental to what we see.

And so, as a part of Feast Asia, Peril is delighted to invite you to two incredible panels discussing race, memory, immigration, identity and what it means to be a #dangerasian. We will be looking, questioning, provoking, giggling, challenging, delighting and welcoming your thoughts.

Delving into our upcoming edition theme (don’t forget our current call for submissions!), the conversation would not be complete without you. And so, at 12:30pm, I will be moderating the panel:

Asians to Watch Out For: from Yellow Peril to the Asian Century

Peril Magazine takes its name from Yellow Peril, a term coined in the 19th century, to describe the perceived menace of Asian migration to Western countries and colonies, including Australia. But are Asians still dangerous in Australia? Or is the Asian diaspora an example of the “model migrant effect” writ large?

In recent years, we have seen people from Asian backgrounds in Australia take their place as leaders in their fields, recognised for their contribution to the arts, sports, music, politics and other fields of endeavour. While Lee Lin Chin is shaking up the Logies, Dami Im warms up her pipes to represent Australia at Eurovision. Senator Penny Wong remains a leading political figure, just as Jason Day tops the world golf rankings, and Dr Tim Soutphommasane leads the national debate on human rights issues.

Do we no longer “watch out” for Asians in Australia? Are we “watching out”, instead, for the game changers, play makers and thought leaders who will come from, connect with and understand Australia’s place in the Asian Century?

Members of the Peril Magazine and Asian Australian Democracy Caucus discuss those Asian Australians who are moving and shaking, making and doing in ways that inspire them, against the contemporary and historical context of Australian multiculturalism.

We are particularly excited to be bringing together the team from Peril, who so rarely get a chance to be IRL in such numbers. Please welcome to the e-stage:

  • Nikki Lam, Visual Arts Editor, Director of Channels Festival, and contemporary artist.
  • Angela Serrano, Guest Poetry Editor, Asians to Watch Out For, writer and creative dynamo.
  • Shinen Wong, Asian Australian Democracy Caucus Co-Convenor and editor and passionate public health and education advocate.
  • Allison Chan, Writer at Large, and live-tweeter extraordinaire.

Then, at 2:30pm, as if it couldn’t get better, join Peril founding team member, and academic whipcrack, Tseen Khoo as moderator for:

Identity and Belonging: Finding Mine – Featuring Jessica Walton and Dominic Golding developed with reference to Identity: yours, mine, ours permanent exhibition on Level 2 of the Immigration Museum.

We would welcome your voice into that conversation and hope to see you there!


Tickets are $17 adults, freebie for kids and members. Details via the Immigration Museum website.

Author: Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer and community radio broadcaster. Eleanor Jackson is a former Editor in Chief and Poetry Editor of Peril and currently Chair of the Board.

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