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On Power | With Great Power

October 18, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Free – $10

How do we grapple with power?

How do we grapple with power? Our present moment feels defined by a dystopic rise of political and economic power in the hands of the few – and a concomitant rise of attempts to bring about collective action, hope and alternative futures. Hear writers respond to questions of power – on decentring it, burning it down, or generating it somewhere else.

Join us for a night of spoken word and performance with writers including Neika Lehman, Sumudu Samarawickrama, Manisha Anjali, Abdulrahman Hammoud and Piri Altraide.

Hosted by Khalid Warsame.

18 Oct 2019
Fri, 6-8 PM,
Schoolhouse Studios,
81 Rupert St, Collingwood

Tickets via Eventbrite

*For more information on our new Ticket to Solidarity ticketing policy, click here.

Commitments to diversity have become a catchcry, with a noticeable shift in programming happening in many of our cultural spaces. How much has really changed over the past few years, and where are we heading? Has the way diversity is framed left us just performing a feeling of otherness, and how do we move beyond it?

This series of events will consider ways we might come together to amplify and support the voices of those around us, and how art can help us make sense of a world that is rapidly shifting.



Neika Lehman is a writer and artist living and working on Kulin Country. Neika works in freelance and institutional spaces across publishing, academia and film. Their recent work has featured in Australian publications such as The Saturday Paper, The Lifted Brow, un Magazine, Island Magazine, Art Almanac among others. Neika grew up in Tasmania | lutruwita and descends from the Trawlwoolway peoples of north east Tasmania, whose ancestral and contemporary stories inform their written and visual practice.



Sumudu Samarawickrama is from Werribee. Her work has appeared in Boston Review, Overland, Meanjin and The Lifted Brow.  She has co-produced Sidekicked which won 2017 Melbourne Fringe Category Award Best Words and Ideas. She is fascinated with the structures that underpin our society and how to use art to powerfully challenge the status quo. As part of FCAC’s West Writer’s Group, she is interested in how anger can be a tool towards community. She is on a journey to decolonise her soul. Her first chapbook, Utter the Thing is published by Vagabond Press as part of its deciBels 3 project.

She is currently writing a collection of surrealistic sci-fi.


Manisha Anjali is a writer, performer and dream archivist. Her debut poetry collection Sugar Kane Woman is about the dreams and hallucinations of exiled Indo-Fijian women. She is the creator of Neptune, an audio dream archiving project. Manisha has performed at Melbourne Writers Festival, Queensland Poetry Festival, Emerging Writers Festival, Bendigo Writers Festival and in a number of curatorial projects and workshops. She has been a Writer in Residence at Incendium Radical Library and a Hot Desk Fellow at The Wheeler Centre. Manisha is currently the Poetry Editor at The Lifted Brow.



Abdulrahman Hammoud is a spoken word artist based in Melbourne by way of Lebanon. He teaches writing classes and workshops for schools and organizations that are looking to explore new avenues of expression. His art has taken him as close as New Zealand and as far as the United States, as well as to his beloved home country. In 2013, he became founder of The Dirty Thirty online writing platform, an ever-growing group for writers to challenge themselves every April. He is now also editor and compiler of The Dirty Thirty Anthology, a collection of poetry from the page he coordinates. Volume 2 of the Anthology is currently for sale on The Book Depository and Amazon. He recently completed his first season as an actor in a lead role for the play “THEM” which sold out all 13 shows and received critical acclaim in the press. Most of his work revolves around current issues including the constant state of war in the Middle East, racial divides, as well as the portrayal of masculinity. He is also an avid purveyor of starting books but never finishing them.

Piriye (Piri) Altraide is a Nigerian-born Christian writer of poetry, short fiction and hybrid creative non-fiction. After escaping Perth, her work has been published in Cordite, Djed Press, Milk Crates, Folk Magazine and The Lifted Brow. Singing is sometimes included.





Khalid Warsame is a writer and critic who lives in Melbourne. His essays, criticism and fiction have appeared in the Lifted Brow, Overland, the Big Issue The Saturday Paper, Cordite Poetry Review, and LitHub. He has previously edited fiction for the Lifted Brow, worked as a creative producer at the Footscray Community Arts Centre and Co-Directed the National Young Writers Festival.




This event is a part of Emerge in Yarra 2019.


CALD, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, LGBTIQA+ people, People with disability and concession card holders will have FREE access to all events. (self-identification required only)

We ask all non-identifying allies to pay the ticket price of $10.

More information about MAV’s trial ticketing policy here.

Image Credits: Courtesy of the artists


October 18, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm