Marvellous, Electrical: Future Sea Punks

This week’s Marvellous, Electrical explores the Brisbane suburb of West End and its annual Kurilpa Derby, street art, social justice, censorship, and the ways communities get inside your head – for good and ill.

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Read Marvellous, Electrical: Future Sea Punks here.

Marvellous, Electrical and the Black Prince

Sidewalk in the Brisbane suburbs

What does a man have to do to be accepted as a true Australian?

We took a walk through the suburbs to Brisbane’s Toowong Cemetery, exploring the legacy of the 19th century champion boxer – and adopted Aussie – Peter Jackson.

Read more at Marvellous, Electrical: Sweet Science.

Marvellous, Electrical: Eustress

“Dance, whatever you say, it’s mostly all about me: its own kind of hedonism. You look in the mirror and judge yourself. You entertain the audience, maybe you inspire one or two kids who’d like to be dancers themselves, but that’s about it. It can be overwhelming to focus on yourself that way.”

“What I do now, I don’t stop people getting sick, I don’t fix every problem, but at least I know I’ve helped.”

Queensland ambulance

A classic Queensland amublance. Image from Queensland State Archives.

This week’s Marvellous, Electrical tells the story of a top-flight contemporary dancer turned Brisbane paramedic.

Read Curious, Mysterious, Marvellous, Electrical: Eustress here.

New Adventures at the Brisbane Writers Festival

This weekend, join me for two events at the Brisbane Writers Festival.

On Saturday 10th September at 4pm, I’ll be on the Rules of Engagement panel with Kate Pullinger and Caroline Heim, talking about the shifting relationships between institutions, artmakers, scientists, audiences, and participants.

Then, on Sunday 11th September at 11.30am, join Ellen Van Neerven, Maggie Hardy, Tamara Davis, and Maree Kimberley for Science and Belonging, a special presentation by the State Library of Queensland.

Instead of the usual panel discussion, we’ll be running a Beyond Panels session which maximises your chance to talk to our guests.

Our panel of scientists and speculative fiction writers will talk about their work with Festival  visitors before leading a discussion exploring the collisions, contrasts, and common ground between speculative fiction and scientific practice.

Find out more about Rules of Engagement and Science and Belonging at the Brisbane Writers Festival website.

Marvellous, Electrical: Consider the Ravens

“Take only what you need…share what you have. The idea is not that radical. We teach sharing to our kids but it gets lost somewhere along the way.”

In this week’s Marvellous, Electrical, Brisbane activist Andy Paine tells of a life spent striving to live without money.

Consider the ravens over at Marvellous, Electrical.

Write Here: The Worst Song I Ever Loved

In Library Journal this month, Henrietta Verma discusses writers’ groups and gives a shout-out to The Worst Song I Ever Loved, a writing project I ran for the Parkes Shire Library in New South Wales.

Library Journal calls me an “Australian librarian”; I’m neither of those things, but will let them off as the project was devised for a creative residency in public libraries Down Under.

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The Worst Song I Ever Loved was based on a university task created by Daniel Nester.

You can find out more about the project here at The Signal In Transition.

Brisbane Writers Festival

Brisbane Writers Festival Logo

I’m appearing twice at the Brisbane Writers Festival this September.

The program is out today in papers across the city and you can see it online at the website of organisers UPLIT.

On Saturday 10th September from 4-5pm, I’ll be at Queensland Art Gallery speaking on “The Rules of Engagement“, a panel with Kate Pullinger and Caroline Keins exploring the changing ways that artists, institutions, and communities interact.

Then on Sunday 11th September, I’ll help a panel of scientists and science-fiction writers to explore science, imagination, and identity. Join Dr Maggie Hardy, Prof Tamara Davis, Ellen van Neerven, and Dr Maree Kimberley for “Science and Belonging“, which I’ll be moderating from 11.30am-12.30pm at The Parlour in the State Library of Queensland.

Find out more at the UPLIT / Brisbane Writers Festival website.

Curious, Mysterious, Marvellous, Electrical: Move

The people who made me came to England from Germany, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and other places besides. My parents met in Spain, a country where I would work in my early twenties. From my first year of life, Germany and Spain were as important to our sense of family as the green fields of England.

I was born in London, that great world city, and I moved straight back there from the country when I turned eighteen. I was a student and a barista at the Soho YMCA. The people around me were from Finland, Austria, Colombia, Ireland, Brazil. I kept studying: my doctorate looked at refugees, exiles, and émigrés who came to Britain fleeing the Nazis, and from that I went on to work with asylum-seeking children.

Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to travel and work overseas.  I’ve been made welcome in communities thousands of miles from where I was born, found new family, found new friends; I hope I’ve done that, in turn, for people who have come to live and work alongside me.

It wasn’t so much a choice as a vocation. Everything in my life has involved crossing seas, crossing borders. So much of who I am is founded on a sense that our lives and identities are about routes more than origins; time more than territory. That freedom of movement is vital.

This week’s Marvellous, Electrical finds hope and horror and secret identities in an ordinary-looking Queensland cafe.

Marvellous, Electrical: Think of the Tender Things That We’ve Been Working On

This week’s Marvellous, Electrical covers the opening night of Brisbane’s Cabaret Festival and an uncomfortable flashback to the winsome days of the early 1980s.

There’s also gender-flipped Spice Girls, paleobotanists, and a fumbled double-bass solo that grips like wet rope.

Check out Curious, Mysterious, Marvellous, Electrical here.