Being Feminist, Staying Bold


1.30-2.45pm AEST

With Anna Spargo-Ryan, Laura La Rosa and Wendy Mocke

Activism can come at a cost. How do we stay strong, take care of our mental and physical health, and keep the trolls at bay? How do we guard the intersections of our beliefs, but remain open? What are the ways of getting involved, especially with so many barriers to access? We discuss modes of self and community care, avoiding burnout and creating sustainable forms of activism.

Anna Spargo-Ryan is the Melbourne-based author of The Gulf and The Paper House, and winner of the 2016 Horne Prize. Her work has appeared in The Big IssueIslandThe Saturday PaperMeanjin, The Guardian, and many other places. She is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Deakin University and her new book, a nonfiction work on mental illness, is forthcoming from Picador.

Laura La Rosa is a proud Darug woman, published writer, emerging critic and graphic designer. She has been heavily involved in a number of grassroots activist initiatives, including the original Sydney Women’s March, the AACTAs ‘Sausage Party protest’, and numerous ongoing projects that seek to deconstruct issues spanning white feminism.

Wendy Mocke (chair) is a Papua New Guinean interdisciplinary storyteller. She is a NIDA Acting graduate and has been an emerging writer at Sydney Theatre Company. Wendy’s visual arts project, ‘m e r i’, a collection of photographs and stories that recontextualises contemporary PNG women, is currently being exhibited virtually at North Site Contemporary Arts Gallery in Cairns. One of Wendy’s quests as a writer and artist is to make alive what is quiet and asleep in Melanesian stories and unpack the myriad layers of black Pacific Islander identity.