Talking Difference Studio to tackle racism

Article image - Talking Difference Studio to tackle racism The Talking Difference Portable Studio currently on display Hobsons Bay City Council’s libraries will be hosting the Talking Difference Portable Studio until June 10 in an effort to address racism.

On loan from the immigration museum, the Talking Difference portable studio is an opportunity for people to respond to questions about diversity, belonging, difference or racism through audio, video or drawing.

Mayor of Hobsons Bay Councillor Sandra Wilson said the studio is a welcoming space, which offers people a chance to talk about what’s important to them.

“While cultural diversity is central to our national identity, the reality is that too many people in Australia experience discrimination and racism on a regular basis.

“The Talking Difference Studio uses new media to create a dialogue about cultural identity, difference and racism.

“There is a pod where visitors can view the pre-recorded questions and are able to respond via video, drawing, audio and text. They can also view responses from other participants and respond directly.”

Late last year, Hobsons Bay City Council signed an agreement with the Australian Human Rights Commission to endorse and support the national anti-racism campaign ‘Racism. It stops with me’.

The strategy aims to address racism experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

This year, the campaign continues with a range of supporting activities over the coming 12 months.

“Racism locks people out of social and economic opportunities. It costs workplaces and our economy and it works against our goal of building fair, inclusive communities,” said Mayor Wilson

Hobsons Bay City Council will also celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) by raising the rainbow flag on Monday, 19 May.

“IDAHOBIT is an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come, and indeed how far we still need to go as a community in accepting differences that touch us all,” said Mayor Wilson.

“While Australia has come a long way, unjust laws and unfriendly attitudes mean that discrimination against GLBTIQ [Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer] people is still widespread.”

IDAHOBIT celebrations will continue with the WESTANDPROUD film premiere at the Sun Theatre in Yarraville.

WESTANDPROUD A series of short films will be screened on the night of the 19th featuring the lives and stories of eight individuals documented by filmmaker Caitlin Bryan.

The WESTANDPROUD project documents the lived-experiences of GLBTIQ individuals living in Melbourne’s Western Region, and aims to expand understandings of local history, by incorporating the voices of GLBTIQ people, who have often been excluded from traditional narratives.

Caitlin Bryan is the writer and producer of the independent short film ‘The Outside Light’ which was selected to screen at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival and the St Kilda Film Festival 2013, as well as a number of international film festivals.