Rapper, poet and speaker Omar Musa is releasing a new novel later this month.
Here Come the Dogs follows the lives of three friends from different ethnic backgrounds living in a small town in Australia.
This is Omar’s first fictional novel, following his two poetry books Parang and The Clocks.
Omar’s writing is drawn from his experiences in his own life: his Malaysian background, and the block of flats in the multicultural neighbourhood he grew up in, within his small hometown of Queanbeyan in regional Australia.
He is an award-winning slam poet and has collaborated with hip hop artists around the world. You might have seen him perform Slam Poetry from the Streets at TED Talks Sydney, where he received a standing ovation from the audience.
Omar chatted to us about writing Here Come the Dogs, the culture of a small town and the changing, multicultural face of Australian poetry.
It’s Harmony Day on Friday, a day of cultural respect for all the people who live in Australia. There are celebrations nationwide in schools, art galleries and businesses highlighting the rich diversity of the people in Australia.
One of these celebrations is Colourfest, a short film festival showcasing stories from Australia’s migrant communities made by culturally diverse emerging filmmakers. Outside of the events are networking events and training to help these filmmakers achieve their goals.
I talked to Colourfest founder Gary Paramanathan about making multicultural films in Australia.
Kashif Bouns, AFL Multicultural program coordinator
Kashif Bouns came from Pakistan as an international student and started his career path from TAFE and progressed to Swinburne University in Melbourne. He is now very deeply involved in the AFL Multicultural program recruitment programs and many other AFL activities to create cultural awareness, support and encouragement.
The MDA Diversity Choir are putting on their annual Big Sing this Saturday at the Brisbane Multicultural Centre. One of the choir members, Malcolm Carrol, tells us about the choir that welcomes migrants, refugees and people in the community to sing at local events.
After the voting, sausage sizzles and bake sales wrap up on Saturday, you can catch a dazzling French can-can performance at Musgrave Park in West End. The Big Bambusa, a bamboo tent venue set up for the Brisbane Fringe Festival, will be transformed into Moulin Rouge-era France.
The Can Can Cabaret comes to us courtesy of the Evoke Dance and Theatre Company, who specialise in dance and performances inspired by cultures around the world. We talk to Angelique and Christopher about bringing international performances to Australian stages.
Multicultural communities and LGBTIQ communities both face their own challenges, but there’s little conversation around the challenges of being an LGBTIQ migrant. The Centre for Multicultural Youth’s Animate Change project created a short film, In My Shoes. In my Shoes follows the story of an African family migrating to Australia, and the conflict that arises when their son comes out as gay.
Where are you From? talked to Cici Zhang, a Chinese-American living in Australia, about how she and her fellow team members drew from their own life experiences to create this film.