Five writers. Five electronica artists. Listen. Move. Talk. Watch the stars. Let the power of storytelling in all its forms, transport you through the secret gardens, deconsecrated churches, crumbling and renovated sandstone buildings of the Parramatta Female Factory and Institutions Precinct. Featuring sounds by The New Age Noise Collective, words by The Finishing School and special guests, in one of Australia’s most significant and spellbinding historical site.
This free event is delivered in partnership with The Finishing School (a collective of women writers) and supported by The City of Parramatta with help from The Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University. Venue support has been provided by the NSW Government through the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
Presented by the City of Parramatta.
Liana Molina (Australian)
Liana Molina explores sounds and experiences through their project known as ‘Milkffish’ where they capture audible textures, such as cadences of language and wind, using laptop and field recordings to make noisy, fuzzy soundscapes. They have released an EP called ‘Kiss me Ketut’ on Club Moss and are currently involved in the Arterie program at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, the New Age Noise Collective (NANC), G.A.N.G. GANG (Radio Skid Row's BIPOC Youth Collective) and the Powerhouse Youth Theatre Ensemble.
Liliana Occhiuto (Australian)
Liliana Occhiuto (A.K.A Okuesha Kills) is a Western Sydney based sound artist who works across numerous artistic disciplines to create evocative and immersive pieces. Blending the sounds of electronica, progressive rock as well as the beauty in the sounds of everyday life, Liliana constantly works to create fully realised sonic visions fit for theatre, film, art shows, live performance and more.
Xiaoran Shi (Australian)
Xiaoran Shi is a writer and organiser based on unceded Gadigal land.
Ailsa Liu (Australian)
Ailsa Liu is a hustler that creates work across experimental fiction, poetry, sound, sculpture, film and sound. She is exploring liminal spaces and identities, strongly conflicting feelings and discordant sounds. She has worked closely with Western Sydney collectives: Finishing School, All Girl’s Electronic, Curiousworks and Urban Theatre Projects. She has been published in UNSWeetened, Mascara Literary Review and Westwords Jr. She can sometimes be spotted catnapping at UNSW as she gets through a Bachelor of Fine Arts/Arts.
Brittany Searle (Australian)
Brittany Searle is an English Teacher from Campbelltown. She began her writing career as a journalist and spent time in Nepal where she discovered her passion for teaching young people the power of words and their own stories. Brittany’s first love is performance poetry but she is currently working on a collection of personal essays about female transformation and postnatal depression from the unique perspective of a young woman raised in Western Sydney. She is a current member of Parramatta's Finishing School where the female writers of Western Sydney are given opportunity take part in a number of projects and workshops to hone their craft and share their writing.
Hajer is an Iraqi-Australian writer that is trying to figure it all out. From screenplays to short stories to essays, she explores themes of womanhood, dysfunctional families and every now and then she’ll tell you how she feels about that trending topic on twitter. She has had her writing published and featured in an installation for Parramatta Lanes Festival, an audio installation for Unspoken Words Writers Festival, at Seventh Gallery and Queerstories. She's also been featured in Mudgee Readers Festival and was a writer and actress for ABC webseries Halal Gurls. Most recently, Hajer produced and featured in an anthology webseries called This is What an Iraqi Looks Like featuring video works from Iraqis all over the world. Hajer is also a member of the Finishing School Collective and the founder of the Iraqi Diaspora Creatives Network.
Yumna Kassab (Australian)
Yumna Kassab is a writer from Western Sydney. She studied medical science and neuroscience at university. Her first book of short stories, The House of Youssef, has been listed for prizes including the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, Queensland Literary Award, NSW Premier's Literary Award and The Stella Prize. Her writing can be found online at Kill Your Darlings, Sydney Review of Books, Peril Magazine, Meanjin, The Sydney Morning Herald and Mascara Literary Review.
Sara Tamim (Australian)
Sara Tamim is Tru. Tru is the newest project by vocalist, songwriter, engineer & producer, Sara Tamim. Sara has performed at events hosted by THE PLOT/Cattleyard, Girls Rock & The Art Gallery of New South Wales as well as alongside producers and musicians such as Rainbow Chan, Jake Howden, Clarissa Mei DROVES and Bec Sandridge. Hailing from Western Sydney, she was lucky to be a member of 'All Girl Electronic/ New Age Noise Collective' which saw her improve her skills with mentors such as Kücka, Rainbow Chan, Antonia Gauci, Lupa J, Hannah Lockwood and many more.
Zarlasht Sarwari (Australian)
Zarlasht Sarwari is a PhD Candidate at Western Sydney University in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology. Her research involves exploring the transnational and intersectional dimensions of Afghan Australian identities. She has formerly undertaken roles within government and the higher education sector, and is currently focusing on research and writing. Zarlasht is creating work inspired by the lived realities of Afghan Australian women and how disrupted connections to place and culture impact upon the sense of self.
Vivian Pham (Australian)
Vivian Pham is a fiction writer, part-time poet, university student and aspiring folklorist. In 2018 and 2019, Vivian was a delegate to the International Congress of Youth Voices. Her debut novel, The Coconut Children, was published in March 2020 and was shortlisted for The Victoria Premier’s Literary Awards.
Kavita Bedford (Australian)
Kavita Bedford is an Australian-Indian writer with a background in journalism, anthropology and literature. She is the 2020/21 Westwords Writer in Residence at The Writing and Society Research Centre at Western Sydney University. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, the Guardian and Griffith Review, and she was a recent Churchill Fellow exploring migrant narratives. Her first novel, Friends and Dark Shapes, will be published by Europa Editions (USA), Text Publishing (AUS) and Edizioni E/O (Italy) in 2021.
Felicity Castagna (Australian)
Felicity Castagna’s most recent novel, No More Boats, was a finalist in the 2018 Miles Franklin Literary Awards and is published internationally. She is also the author of Small Indiscretions and The Incredible Here and Now, which received The Prime Minister’s Award for Literature. Her next book Girls in Boys’ Cars will be released in 2021. She publishes essays on home, suburbia, art-making and literature in many different places and reviews books for ABC radio and television. She is very interested in cross-artform collaboration and has worked with artists in many different fields to produce work for The Sydney Festival, The National Theatre of Parramatta, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Four Winds Festival, Parramatta Lanes and many other places. She holds a PhD from The Writing and Society Research Centre, WSU and teaches creative writing at universities, schools and many other places all over Australia.
Faith Chaza (Australian)
Faith Chaza is a reluctant adult. Having grown up in Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa, Faith now finds themselves in Sydney - learning how to be a real person. Faith's works spans music, stage productions and prose. As part of the Finishing School Collective, Faith has found out that they thoroughly enjoy community in arts and baddass women writers. Some of their work can be found in Itch, Aerodome, and The Ghost Eater and Other Stories collection. Faith also wrote for and directed Bodies - a stage production, which premiered at Sydney Writers' Festival in 2018.