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Language demands that we put things in neat, normalised categories. Words like ‘fat’ become shorthand for unattractive or lazy. Labels like ‘black’ or ‘Asian’ are applied to people who may identify simply as Australian. Too often, we make assumptions about sexuality and gender based on how someone dresses, speaks or styles themselves.

But bodies resist being pigeonholed by language. Words don’t neatly define who we are: identities are usually messier, more complex – and ultimately, more interesting – than a snap judgement based on what our bodies communicate.

We’ll look at what the body can realistically tell us about identity, what we can’t assume – and the space in between. We’ll open a space for all different kinds of bodies – fat bodies, fit bodies, old bodies, diasporic bodies, even absent bodies – to communicate their true identities.

Join us to chew the fat and get the skinny on bodies, language and communication, in an event that mirrors The Malthouse’s Body/Language, the first chapter of its 2015 season.

Presented in partnership with Malthouse Theatre.

(Image: Kelli Jean Drinkwater. Photographer: Toby Burrows.)


Quinn Eades

Quinn Eades is a researcher, writer, and poet whose work lies at the nexus of feminist and queer theories of the body, autobiography, and philosophy. Eades is published nationally and internationally, and is the author of all the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body, and Rallying. Eades is ... Read more

Kelli Jean Drinkwater

Kelli Jean Drinkwater is a filmmaker, artist and activist recognised internationally for her creative practice and voice in radical body politics. Kelli Jean uses the body as a site to explore themes of identity, queer and feminist theory and society’s obsession with ‘perfection’. Ofte... Read more

Clementine Ford

Clementine Ford is a Melbourne-based writer, speaker and feminist thinker. She is a columnist for Fairfax’s Daily Life and is a regular contributor to the Age and Sydney Morning Herald. Through her twice-weekly columns for Daily Life, Clementine explores issues of gen... Read more

Alice Pung

Alice Pung OAM is the author of the bestselling memoirs Unpolished Gem and Her Father’s Daughter, and the essay collection Close to Home, as well as the editor of the anthologies Growing Up Asian in Australia and My First Lesson. Her debut novel Laurinda won the Ethel Turner Prize at the 2016 NSW ... Read more


Malthouse Theatre

113 Sturt Street Southbank Victoria 3006

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