Who are you? Who are we?
The theme of this year’s Festival is ‘identity’. Our identity allows us to think of ourselves as part of a group of similar people, locating us within communities of affinity. Our beliefs, our characteristics, our life experiences and our values inform our identity. Our identities can bring us together or set us apart.
Whether you’re looking to understand someone else’s experience better, or to hear from your own community, we’ll be exploring identity across the 2016 Festival program. Gender, sexuality, class, family, race. Health, education, migration, economics: it’s all interconnected, and at this year’s Festival, in the aftermath of a landmark national election, we’ll explore it all.
On 3 September, join journalist, critic and fiction writer Juliet Jacques as she shares the personal journey explored in her recent book, Trans: A Memoir. She’ll be looking at the ways that transgender identities fit into the world today, and her own experience of asserting her true identity.
Also on 3 September, Abdi Aden, Peter Mares and Fatima Measham will come together for Australian Citizenship, where they will discuss the meaning and significance of citizenship in Australia, sharing their own experiences as well as a critical discussion of citizenship and equality.
We all belong to a family, and they contribute a great deal to who we are and how we think of ourselves. Whether genetic or environmental, much of our family experience sets us up for what happens later in life. In Writing Family, Freeman’s: Family contributors Angela Flournoy and Tracy K Smith chat with Freeman’s editor John Freeman about families and how they shape who we are.
And of course, we want to hear from you. At the Right to Belong Forum (26 August), we’re excited to hear what you think about multiculturalism and inclusivity in Australia. What does it look like now, and what will it look like in the future? What’s working, and what needs to change? How can we do better?
Right throughout the Festival, you’re invited to visit the Belonging and Place installation at Fed Square. This installation has been curated by leading museums, and shares stories of cultural diversity in Victoria throughout history and today.
There are so many voices, and so many stories on offer. We look forward to sharing them with you at the Festival!
Writing Family is supported by the US Consulate General.