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In an increasingly connected world where the question of immigration is often an anxious or heated one, being a newcomer can be uncomfortable, funny and weird. But it also makes for some great stories.
Each month at Joe's Pub in New York, This Alien Nation stages a celebration of immigration – inviting a handful of interesting, talented writers and performers to present stories about migration. Typically, those stories run the gamut from heartbreaking to hilarious – encountering language barriers, cultural missteps, rumbles, romance and more.
For the first time in Australia, host Sofija Stefanovic welcomes some of her favourite outsiders for a celebration of elsewhere and right here. Come for the stories and leave with some feelings – with restaurateur and Speed Date a Muslim founder Hana Assafiri, writer Khalid Warsame, TV and radio funny guy Sam Pang, journalist George Megalogenis, author and lawyer Alice Pung, musician Vahideh Eisaei and cultural historian and critic Maria Tumarkin.
This event will be Auslan interpreted.
Paperback will be our bookseller at this event.
Sofija Stefanovic is a MothStorySLAM winner and a founding faculty member of The School of Life in Melbourne. She hosts This Alien Nation and the popular literary salon Women of Letters New York, and her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Elle and the Guardian. Her debut memoir Miss Ex-Yugoslavia (April 2018) is a sometimes funny sometimes dark story about being an immigrant kid during the Yugoslavian Wars.
Maria Tumarkin writes books, reviews, essays, and pieces for performance and radio; she teaches and translates, and collaborates with visual artists, psychologists and public historians. Her work has been published, performed, carved into dockside tiles and set to music. Maria holds a PhD in cultural history and teaches creative writing at the University of Melbourne. Her next book Axiomatic is out with Brow Books in May 2018.
Sam Pang is a writer, presenter and broadcaster. His television credits include the hugely popular Santo, Sam and Ed’s Cup Fever and SBS’s coverage of The Eurovision Song Contest.
Alice Pung is the bestselling author of Her Father’s Daughter, which won the 2012 Western Australia Premier’s Literary Awards, and Unpolished Gem which won the 2007 Australian Book Industry Newcomer of the Year Award; and is also published in the UK, Germany, Indonesia and the US. She is also the editor of Growing Up Asian in Australia.
Khalid Warsame is a writer, editor, and arts-worker who lives in Melbourne. He is a Creative Producer at Footscray Community Arts Centre, Fiction Editor for the Lifted Brow, and Co-Director of the National Young Writers Festival. His short fiction and essays have appeared in a number of publications, and he was recently awarded a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship.
George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with three decades' experience in the media. His books include The Australian Moment, which won the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for the ABC documentary series Making Australia Great. George is also the author of Faultlines, The Longest Decade, Quarterly Essay 40: Trivial Pursuit – Leadership and the End of the Reform Era, Australia’s Second Chance and Quarterly Essay 61: Balancing Act: Australia Between Recession and Renewal.
Hana Assafiri has dedicated her professional and private life to removing barriers that prevent women from living prosperous lives. By opening her first restaurant in 1998, the popular Moroccan Soup Bar in North Fitzroy–now an institution for many Victorians, Hana has provided employment opportunities for marginalised members of the community. In 2015, she was awarded TimeOut’s Legend Award for her flair for innovation and entrepreneurship. Internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei also chose to include Hana in his famous collection of portraits of local social activists.
Vahideh Eisaei grew up in an artistic family with a love for the arts, music and poetry. She completed her musical training in Tehran, and subsequently achieved a Master of Music at the University of Western Australia.
For more than a decade, Vahideh has been playing the ghanun/qanun, an instrument rarely heard in Persian music, in different ensembles – performing in Europe, Australia and the Middle East. Besides this, she has been conducting research projects on children's music among new and emerging communities in Perth, Australia.
A collision of writers. An explosion of ideas. This May, explore old and new stories through great conversation: from revitalised classics to cutting-edge fiction, incisive memoir to razor-sharp perspectives on the world of today.
Take your brain out for a spin. Come face to face with Mayhem!
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