This week Diversity Arts Australia have announced the launch of their new podcast, The Colour Cycle. The podcast aims to disrupt cultural whitewashing and examines whether Australia’s Arts and Cultural sector looks like Australia.
The Colour Cycle Podcast is a seven-part series by Diversity Arts Australia, Australia’s key national organisation advocating for cultural diversity in the arts. The podcast is hosted by Lena Nahlous, Executive Director of Diversity Arts Australia (DARTS).
“We want our podcast to open up conversations about why our arts and screens don’t reflect Australia’s real cultural diversity. We’re also showcasing some brilliant artists and creative workers along the way,” says Lena Nahlous.
The 2016 Census data shows that Australia is increasingly diverse with almost half the population first or second generation migrants. Yet Artists of non-English speaking background account for just 10% of artists compared to 18% of the workforce, according to the Australia Council’s 2017 Making Art Work report.
What effect does this have on non-White Australians? As Writer Benjamin Law has said “Growing up without seeing yourself reflected back in your nation’s stories is a quietly dehumanising thing.”
These are some of the issues tackled in The Colour Cycle. We talk to artists and arts workers from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds about their experiences of trying to break into the sector, dealing with stereotypes and changing the dominant narratives.
Each week Lena Nahlous asks the questions: does our arts sector reflect the cultural diversity we see on our streets? What does it feel like if your culture is largely invisible on stage, on screen and in our galleries? And what are strategies for change?
“We hope our podcast will challenge cultural whitewashing and the idea that you can just tick a box and tackle the ‘diversity issue’. The issues are not only attitudinal but also institutional and structural, and things can only shift when all of these elements change. We also intend to have a lot of fun and be a little provocative along the way,” said Nahlous.
Some of the podcast episodes to come include:
- In ‘Creating new reflections’, hear how Benjamin Law dealt with the challenge of casting his Asian-Australian family in The Family Law.
- In ‘Making spaces for refugee artists’, Carolina Triana describes how the first New Beginnings festival helped launch many refugee artists
- In ‘Identity politics for creatives’ Lena talks to Sunil Badami about labels and why David Malouf is never referred to as a Lebanese Gay author, merely a great Australian author.
To arrange an interview with the host Lena Nahlous, please contact her on +61 416 020 384 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact Monique Choy, Content Producer, M: +61 438 449 196 | E: email@example.com.
Lovelly Communications has been proud to work with Diversity Arts Australia on the launch and publicity for this wonderful new podcast.