Throughout human history, literature has always played a significant role in shaping our perceptions of race – both fuelling racism and working to end it. To celebrate the release of Racism, the groundbreaking new anthology from Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement, award-winning author Michael Mohammed Ahmad leads an urgent and critical discussion with writers and editors from Aboriginal, Asian, Pasifika and African-American backgrounds: Winnie DunnSydnye AllenMark Mariano and Phoebe Grainer.

Presented in partnership with Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement.

Sydnye Allen (Australian)

Sydnye Allen

Dr Sydnye Allen is an African-American writer. She holds a PhD in Human Development and Family Sciences. Her short stories, essays and poems are featured in Red Room Poetry, SBS Voices, The Lifted Brow and Sweatshop Women. Sydnye is currently developing a series of podcasts with Sweatshop Literacy Movement that showcase the stories of young Indigenous writers and writers of colour from Campbelltown.

Winnie Dunn (Australian)

Winnie Dunn

Winnie Dunn is a writer of Tongan descent from Mount Druitt. She is the General Manager of Sweatshop Literacy Movement and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Western Sydney University. Winnie’s work has been published in the Sydney Review of Books, The Saturday Paper, Griffith Review, Meanjin, SBS Voices, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Southerly and Cordite. She is the editor of several critically acclaimed anthologies, most notably Sweatshop Women, which is Australia’s first and only publication produced entirely by women of colour. Winnie is currently working on her debut novel as the recipient of a CAL Ignite grant.

Mark Mariano (Australian)

Mark Mariano

Mark Mariano is an Australian-born Filipino editor, writer, speaker, content producer and social media whiz from Doonside, western Sydney. Proudly queer, Mark has worked as an editor and contributor for prestigious organisations including the United Nations, SBS, ABC, StoryCasters and Netflix ANZ. Mark is also part of the Sweatshop Western Sydney Literacy Movement and currently volunteers as Editor for The Western community online magazine. He appeared at the 2020 National Young Writers’ Festival and performed for Queerstories: Western Sydney in 2021.

Phoebe Grainer (Australian)

Phoebe Grainer

Phoebe Grainer is a Djungan woman from Far North Queensland. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 2016 and is a Creative Producer at Sweatshop Literacy Movement. Phoebe has performed in Saltbush (2017), Two Hearts (2018), Serpent’s Teeth (2018), Doing (2019) and Rainbow’s End (2019). Her essays, poems and short stories have appeared in The Lifted Brow, SBS Voices, Red Room Poetry and Sweatshop Women. In 2020, Phoebe was the recipient of a Griffin Theatre Studio Fellowship.

Michael Mohammed Ahmad (Australian)

Michael Mohammed Ahmad

Dr Michael Mohammed Ahmad is the Founding Director of Sweatshop Literacy Movement and Editor of the critically acclaimed anthology After Australia. His debut novel, The Tribe, won the 2015 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelists of the Year Award. His second novel, The Lebs, won a 2019 Premier’s Literary Award and was a finalist for the 2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award. Mohammed completed his Doctorate of Creative Arts at Western Sydney University in 2017. His forthcoming novel, The Other Half of You, will be published in June, 2021.