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Festival Program

City Program

PEN 100: Freedom to Write

Sat 4 Sep, 2pm
State Library Victoria, Create Quarter

First Nations writing extends a millennia-strong tradition of storytelling and makes space to rewrite the whitewashed narrative of our colonial past. Torres Strait Islander man Thomas Mayor—a writer, leading Uluru Statement from the Heart campaigner, and advocate for constitutional recognition of First Nations people—reflects on his practice as a form of self-expression, act of self-determination, and political tool in conversation with Declan Fry. This event celebrates the centenary of PEN International, the global association of writers advocating for free expression.

In partnership with PEN Melbourne

Duration

1 hour

Event artists

Born on Wongatha country in Kalgoorlie, Declan Fry has written for The Guardian, Saturday Paper, Overland, Australian Book Review, Liminal, Sydney Review of Books, Cordite, Kill Your Darlings and Westerly. His Meanjin essay ‘Justice for Elijah or a Spiritual Dialogue with Ziggy Ramo, Dancing’ received the 2021 Peter Blazey Fellowship.

Thomas Mayor is a Torres Strait Islander, a wharfie and National Indigenous Officer for the Maritime Union of Australia. He has tirelessly advocated for the proposals in the Uluru Statement since 2017, using the skills that he learnt as a union official and activist. Dear Son is his fourth book.

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