‘Show me the receipts where it says Hermione is white,’ says Indigenous activist and self-professed Blerd (Black Nerd) Nayuka Gorrie. From the newest incarnation of Marvel’s Spiderman to groundbreaking series such as Cleverman, the Blerd movement is gathering momentum. It’s recasting cultural themes and turning stereotypes on their head. Join Cleverman creator Ryan Griffen and an all-star cast including Roxane Gay, Nayuka Gorrie, Miranda Tapsell and Colson Whitehead for a not-to-be-missed celebration of the exciting Blerd movement.
Roxane Gay (International)
Roxane Gay is the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times bestselling Bad Feminist, Difficult Women and Hunger (forthcoming in 2017). Her writing has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Best American Short Stories, Best Sex Writing, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel. Roxane was the 2015 winner of the PEN Center USA Freedom to Write award, a prize given to those who write in the face of extreme adversity or demonstrate exceptional courage defending free expression.
Colson Whitehead (International)
Colson Whitehead is an author and essayist. His most recent work, The Underground Railroad, won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction. A #1 New York Times bestseller, it was on President Obama’s 2016 Summer Reading List and was the selection for Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club. He is also the author of five other novels and two works of non-fiction, including Zone One; Sag Harbor; The Intuitionist, which was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway; and John Henry Days, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. His reviews, essays, and fiction have appeared in a number of publications, such as the New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Harper's and Granta. He has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Whiting Writers Award.
Nayuka Gorrie (Australian)
Nayuka is a Gunai/Kurnai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta woman. She is passionate about climate justice, the rights of women and the self-determination of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Nayuka works across the youth sector as a program manager, facilitator and consultant.
Miranda Tapsell (Australian)
Miranda Tapsell is a proud Larrakia Woman from Darwin who grew up in Kakadu National Park and began performing at the age of seven. Miranda graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 2008 and since has built a strong career in film, theatre and television.
Ryan Griffen (Australian)
Ryan Griffen is the producer and original concept creator of ABC TV's Cleverman. Ryan is a recipient of the AFC (Screen Australia) Producers Initiative Program and has worked at the ABC across shows including Good Game, Playschool and Message Stick. Ryan's goals in the industry are to bring the rebirth of genre back to Australia and to tell similar stories to those he was drawn to growing up. Ryan wrote and directed the short film You Turn that received a special mention for screenwriting at the Sydney Film Festival.