FWF Round-up: Friday 5 August 2016

Betty Musgrove 'Pattern and the Personal'
Betty Musgrove, ‘Pattern and the Personal’, 2016. Image via Footscray Community Arts Centre

‘Taking the songs from the vault of their minds to an archive radically changes tradition. Yet they recognise it is crucial to do so, as the knowledge may well be lost if they don’t. These women are our professors, and there are very few Arrernte women who still hold this knowledge.’ Rachel Perkins reports on The Arrernte Women’s Project, based just outside Alice Springs, where Arrernte women are working to preserve vital songs and culture that might otherwise disappear from living memory.

“I think our culture’s disrespect of art for children is a feminist issue.” This week Feminartsy spoke to Ailsa Wild, author of the Squishy Taylor series and a FWF artist, about her creative practice and what she’s looking forward to most at the festival.

This week saw the release of the 2015 Stella Count of Australian book reviews, with often disappointing results. The count surveyed a total of 13 publications, including national and state newspapers, review journals and magazines. The Stella Count assesses the gender of authors reviewed, the gender of reviewers, the size of reviews, and the genre of reviews – and examines the ways these aspects intersect in review coverage.

Aileen Palmer was an Australian poet, translator and activist who translated the works of Ho Chi Minh and participated in the Spanish Civil War. Biographer Sylvia Martin, in her new book Ink in Her Veins, explores the life of this talented woman who was slowly unraveled by war, family expectations and mental illness. Join Sylvia for a talk on Aileen Palmer’s story. Tuesday 9 August, Sydney.

On Feminartsy this week, Sharona Lin muses over the trials and tribulations of being a vocal feminist. How do we navigate the tension between wanting to be liked and have pleasant interactions, and the need to stand up for our beliefs? Should we ever avoid contentious topics in the name of friendship? If you’ve ever had to listen to that misogynistic rant by the guy on the bus, or watch someone’s eyes glaze over when you mention the word feminism, you’re not alone.

The Footscray Community Arts Centre opens Mother Yarns this week, a collaborative exhibition featuring new and retrospective textile works that celebrate the creativity, wisdom and family history of artists Betty and Sue Musgrove. Inspired by old photographs and stories, these beautiful pieces include digitally printed textiles, hand and machine embroidery, applique and soft sculpture. Until Saturday 3 September, Melbourne.

When Linda Tirado, an American working-class mother of two, wrote a message in response to the question ‘Why do poor people do things that seem so self-destructive’, her response went viral and earned her a book deal and $60,000 worth of donations. She wrote her book, Hand to Mouth – Living in Bootstrap America, while working at the International House of Pancakes in Utah, and in it she addresses the ignorant questions that middle and upper class people have about the working poor, such as why they drink, have kids and eat junk food. Tirado will speak at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre on Monday 15 August, Melbourne. This is a free event but bookings are essential.


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