It's time to talk.

Revisit this series of critical conversations and stirring ideas chaired by incoming Artistic Director, Annette Shun Wah. In OzAsia Talks, artists from across Australia and Asia connect without borders to discuss the role of arts and culture - and the future of cultural engagement - in a society under near-constant threat of lockdown.


Session #1 – OzAsia Talks (Live)

In front of a live audience at the newly redeveloped Her Majesty’s Theatre, OzAsia Festival Artistic Director Annette Shun Wah asks the question - how has cultural engagement between Australia and Asia shifted since the pandemic, and how are artists responding?

Hear from cultural leaders Dr Sadiah Boonstra (Jakarta), Rhana Devenport (Adelaide) & Kee Hong Low (Hong Kong).


Session #2 – In Conversation with Ong Keng Sen

Internationally renowned director Ong Keng Sen is the founder of performance company Theatreworks in Singapore, now known as T:>Works, where he has recently returned as Artistic Director. He is well remembered for his work Desdemona staged at Adelaide Festival in 2000. Keng Sen joins Annette from Berlin to discuss his past and future works, and how the pandemic has led to a major re-thinking about how and why art is made.

Session #3 – No (Under)Standing Any Time

Communication is key in any relationship, yet cross-cultural engagement is rife with “lost in translation” moments. Three panellists working across cultures, languages (and time zones) connect to discuss miscommunication, freedom of expression and censorship. Featuring leading subtitler and translator of culture Professor Jing Han, playwright and screenwriter Anchuli Felicia King and actor, writer, director Jo Kukathas.


Session #4 - In Conversation with S. Shakthidharan

In 2019, a play by a western Sydney storyteller of Sri Lankan and Tamil ancestry won seven Helpmann Awards, Best Mainstage Production at the Sydney Theatre Awards, the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Drama, and Australia’s richest literary award, the Victorian Prize for Literature. This epic work is the brainchild of S. Shakthidharan, who joins Annette in a conversation exploring the depth and range of contemporary Asian Australian works, and refuge, a persistent theme underpinning the cultural engagement between Australia and Asia.


Session #5 – JLF Adelaide: Drop the Mic

Weaving questions of politics, religion, love and identity through their words, poets make powerful storytellers and commentators. Manal Younus’ first book of poems Reap was published in 2015. She is also the founder of Soul Lounge, a monthly open mic night that centres the voices of people of colour. Novelist, translator and radiologist Amit Majmudar is the first Poet Laureate of Ohio. His poetry has appeared in The Best of the Best American Poetry 25th Anniversary Edition as well as the Norton Introduction to Literature. Singer-songwriter Gina Williams has won Australia’s prestigious Indigenous Act of the Year for five years. Writer, illustrator and poet Jasmin Kaur is a spoken word artist who explores the themes of feminism, womanhood, social justice, and love. Together, they bring the intensity and passion of the spoken word to this vibrant session of readings and performance.


Session #6 – Moon Lantern Parade: Lantern Making Workshop

Join us from home or your classroom for a digital lantern making workshop by artist Paula Gallagher. OzAsia Festival’s Moon Lantern Parade has a very important history, founded in the traditions of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Each year, tens of thousands of people come together in one magnificent day-long celebration that culminates in Australia’s largest lantern parade. Now you can design, make and decorate moon lanterns of your own with the help of this online video! 


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