FWF Round-up: Friday 1 July 2016

Ursula Yovich. Image credit: Laura Murphy-Oats

When award-winning performer Ursula Yovich found herself back in her estranged mother’s hometown in Arnhem Land, in charge of the complex arrangements for her mother’s traditional funeral ceremony, the distance that had come between them over the years weighed heavily. In this article for the NITV news, Yovich describes how her own unfamiliarity with the rituals that form such an important aspect of Indigenous culture became the starting point for her play concept, which has won the Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award.

The play will adapt her personal journey for the stage, exploring the ways that her identity as both Aboriginal and Serbian has shaped her, and how traditions and ceremonies form an important part of her cultural heritage.

Feminist Writers Festival deputy chair Nikki Anderson speaks to Feminartsy about the festival’s genesis, which sessions she’s particularly looking forward to, and why the act of writing as a feminist is intrinsically strong. Read the full interview here.

As more and more celebrities take up the feminist cause, does feminism continue to mean anything? Or is it being used lazily and disingenuously, as a badge of honour and a commodity? Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen writes about the commercialisation of feminism for i-D, asking whether the celebrity feminist phenomenon has helped or hurt the movement.

Overland is looking for fiction for its next special issue, ‘The idea of women’, to be edited by Mandy Beaumont and Craig Bolland and published in October. This edition will explore how women are often treated as an idea rather than as individuals. Entries for the special issue close 11.59pm, Wednesday 31 August. A fantastic opportunity for feminist writers!

‘Whether scorching through the desert in a car or just wandering quietly through the streets, to be out and visible in the world as a woman is to claim space and power.’ Joanna Di Mattia writes for Kill Your Darlings about feminist filmmaking and the ideologies of female agency and resistance presented in Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang. She explores the way this film uses the concept of space to represent the way women are seen in the world. Mustang is currently showing in selected cinemas.

Congratulations to Katy Warner, who won first place in the 2016 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction for her piece ‘One Hundred and Fifty Seconds’, which is now available to read on LipMag alongside an interview with the author. Interviews with the 2nd, 3rd and highly commended place winners are also online.

Adelaide-born writer turned Hollywood film producer Bruna Papandrea wants to make sure we’re seeing real women’s stories on the big screen. With her business partner, actress Reese Witherspoon, she’s always on the look-out for the next big thing. And for her highly successful production company, Pacific Something, there’s already been plenty of big things. Check out her interview in The Saturday Paper, where you can read her rags-to-riches tale, complete with its deliciously distinct lack of prince charming horse-back rescues: it’s all self-driven smarts and gritty girl-power for this Aussie.

According to Eva Cox, our upcoming election ‘fails the feminist test’, and feminist issues aren’t gaining as much public traction as many people believe. This examination of where the major parties stand on major feminist and social issues may be a very useful read ahead of the polls this weekend!


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