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March 27 - April 21

Visual Identity by Clitories (Rukaya Springle).

It’s on your streets. It’s on your screens. It’s a group of women, femmes and gender diverse artists of colour speaking back to the racist patriarchal nonsense they experience with fire, wit and imagination.

This is TAKEBACK!, a new multi-platform arts project examining and dismantling the racialised gaze.

Presented by MAV in collaboration with Darebin FUSE FestivalTAKEBACK! brings performers, visual artists, writers, theatre-makers, cabaret stars, poets, lyricists, videographers and filmmakers together to create a fierce, full-bodied response to the everyday aggression of patriarchy and white supremacy.

It comes to you in March 2021 with both live performances and digital content.

There will be digital content available to view, so more people can experience TAKEBACK!
Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or subscribe to our e-newsletter to stay updated.


We know that women, femmes and gender-diverse people of colour often experience harassment, verbal abuse and intimidation in public spaces, both digital and physical.

Racism, sexism, ableism, transphobia and other ideologies of hate entwine to target our bodies, our lives, and our agency. It could be comments on our clothing or appearance, people getting up in our space, or online trolling and doxing. All of these are acts of aggression that aim to take away our right to be part of public discourse – to live out loud and in full colour. TAKEBACK! is a collective intervention taking it back.

TAKEBACK! is about reclaiming space, voice, visibility, and truth-telling.


MAV put out an open call for expressions of interest in TAKEBACK! in October 2020. We invited women, femmes and gender-diverse artists – young and old, trans and cis, with and without disability – to imagine what they would say or do if they could talk back at a perpetrator.

From 1 February 2021 the group will take workshops and build the show with a swag of accomplished WOC designers and directors. The artists will work together to produce a live and digital performance outcome in March 2021.


The group of artists in the program don’t share a single perspective. They have diverse identities, experiences, and outlooks; they work in various art forms.

We can’t wait to see what they’ll do.

Angelita Biscotti

Angelita Biscotti is a mixed-race Spanish-Filipinx non-binary feminine polymath who wears many hats as a journalist, poet, model, astrologer and visual creative. Her academic training empowers her to straddle theory, research, art, and activism, while her work is inspired by queer, anti-racist and anti-oppressive thinking.

In 2017, she was a Hot Desk Fellow at the Wheeler Centre, and her poetry collection Else But A Madness Most Discreet was published in 2018. Her writing has also appeared in The Saturday Paper, ABC Life, Overland, Archer, Peril, Cordite and Djed Press. Her self-portraits have been exhibited at Midsumma Festival and BlackCat Gallery.

Words that describe me:
Uncompromising | Unforgettable | Expressive

Words that describe my practice:
Writer | Artist | Astrologer

Photo by Oksana Westfield Samusenko.

Ashleingh Black

Ashleingh Black is an emerging Black writer.

Words that describe me:
A curious eccentric seeking truth in the nuances.

Words that describe my practice:
Writer | Academic | Social Commentator

Image by Ashleingh Black.

Ashleyrose Gilham

Ashleyrose Gilham is an actor, writer, spoken wordsmith, comedian, dancer, and singer. Her life as a femme black artist with a disability informs her artistic expression, and her art reflects her value system: it’s decolonised, multi-layered, and continually expanding.

Ashleyrose earned her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from the University of California, San Diego, before moving down under. She recently performed in the black radical feminist hip-hop fairy tale, One the Bear, at Arts Centre Melbourne and Sydney Opera House. She delights in storytelling collaborations with fierce full-hearted artists who disrupt the status quo and highlight those who have been marginalised for far too long.

Words that describe me:
Intergablacktic Dreamer | Adventurediva | Exquisitely Introverted

Words that describe my practice:
Actor | Thought Poker | Movement Artist

Photo by Jayden Course, JLC Productions.

Bexx Djentuh

Bexx Djentuh is a Maori (Tainui, Ngati Maniapoto) and Ghanaian woman from Aotearoa whose artistic practice focuses on digital media and queer and trans people of colour (QTPOC). She creates video works to accompany grassroots QTPOC events. Bexx has also programmed and curated QTPOC-centred arts, performance and community events on both sides of the Tasman, including Box Oceania, Alterity Collective, and events for Melbourne Fringe and Darebin Feast.

Whether working in digital media or programming, Bexx prioritises consent, safety, and inclusion, especially for young people, people of colour, people of faith, those with accessibility requirements and those who aren’t out as queer or trans.

Words that describe me:
XXXL | Aqua | bb

Words that describe my practice:
Digital | Visual | Editor

Photo by Flossy Roxx.

Bianca Pardo
Set Design

Bianca Pardo is a designer and maker. Passionate about both set and costume design, she endeavours to create visceral storytelling experiences through her craft. Her credits include costume construction roles on The Gallery Workout with the National Gallery of Victoria, The Dressmaker musical, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The School of Rock. She has also completed internships with Semafor Theatre and Česká Televize in Prague, and with Melbourne designer Christina Smith, working on Ragtime with the Production Company and Salome with the Victorian Opera. During COVID-19, Bianca has been volunteering her skills by making scrubs, hospital gowns and masks.

Words that describe me:
Vivacious | Passionate | Strong-willed

Words that describe my practice:
Textural | Sustainably-focused | Vivid

Photo by Amanda Hitten (nee Carr).

Candy Bowers

Candy Bowers is a producer, writer, performer and radical mischief-maker whose wild and dynamic career has taken her around Australia, to Hollywood as a screenwriter, and to the UK as part of the Intersect peer mentorship program.

Born of South African political refugees on the lands of the Bunurong People in the Kulin Nation, Candy has worked in a community context at Footscray Community Arts Centre and Arts Centre Melbourne as well as organisations in New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Queensland. At MAV, Candy is leading a bold artistic program that challenges and reimagines our prevailing cultural narratives together with artists and communities.

Words that describe me:
Multi-Hypho | Lover | Fighter

Words that describe my practice:
Bold | Radical | Comic

Photo by Hana Schlesinger.

Chichi Nwokocha

Chichi Nwokocha (aka Cheech) is a Nigerian British director and producer. She grew up immersed in theatre, spending summers at the National Youth Theatre and Saturdays at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. In London, she produced and assistant produced several events at Theatre Royal Stratford East, including an evening with Wole Soyinka. Since moving to Australia, Chichi has thrown herself into arts opportunities, working with Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, Theatre Works, and Ararat Youth Hip Hop Festival.

Words that describe me:
Cheeky | Passionate (my mother just says I am stubborn) | Loud – in that Nigerian way

Words that describe my practice:
Artmaker | Producer | Charity Work

Photo courtesy Chichi Nwokocha.

Claudia Sangiorgi Dallimore
Video Design, Direction and Choreography

Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore is a multidisciplinary creative artist working in film, photography and dance. Her diverse range of skills includes art direction, editing, producing, cinematography, choreography, costume and set design.

Claudia was the Aria award winner for 2019 best album cover artwork for Thelma Plum album “Better in Blak”. Claudia’s music videos for Mojo Juju’s ‘Native Tongue’ received the J award for best music clip of the year in 2018. That same year Claudia also received the Canon Australia film maker award in acknowledging her ongoing contribution to filmmaking within the Australian music industry.

Words that describe me:
Obsessive | Genuine | Generous 

Words that describe my practice:
Rhythmic | Thorough | Energetic 

Self portrait by Claudia Sangiorgi Dallimore.

Clitories (Rukaya Springle)
Visual ID Designer

Rukaya Springle is a Zanzibari/Australian digital artist whose artwork focuses on Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC), highlighting issues of racial politics, gender equality, and social justice. Her artwork was accepted into the 2017 Top Arts exhibition hosted by the National Gallery of Victoria where she was also awarded the People’s Choice Award. Rukaya has worked with Be Collective Culture magazine, Melbourne Fringe, Afrohub, Lindberg Galleries, Arts Centre Melbourne, Immigration Museum, One Beat One Love, Oz African TV, The Old Bar, FOLK Magazine, 3CR Community Radio, the Victorian Multicultural Commission and Multicultural Arts Victoria.

Words that describe me:
Kind | Justice seeking | Blerd?

Words that describe my practice:
Artist | Intersectional Feminist | Activist

Artwork by Clitories (Rukaya Springle).

Demi Sorono

Hailing proudly from the Philippines, Demi Sorono, a self taught B-girl (breakdancer) and Hip Hop dancer, definitely made her mark as one of Australia’s favourite dancers on “So You Think You Can Dance 2008”.  When it comes to performing on stage, she is a force to be reckoned with.  A devoted mum to her 10 year old son, she still manages to teach, perform, barber and massage.  Demi is a pocket rocket who exudes an energy that is infectious and a commitment to her craft that can only be described as utterly fearless!  Ps. You might’ve seen her as the ‘Ninja’ on PRANK PATROL!

Words that describe me:
Warrior| Jack | Energiser 

Words that describe my practice:
Artistic | Healer | Fun

Photo courtesy Demi Sorono.

Emma Valente
Lighting and AV Design

Emma is the co-artistic director and co-CEO of feminist theatre company THE RABBLE. She is also a freelance director, lighting designer, dramaturg, video designer and occasional troublemaker.

As a lighting and video designer, Emma has worked for major theatre companies including Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre, Malthouse Theatre, Fraught Outfit, Sisters Grimm, Belvoir, La Mama and many more. She is an advocate for gender parity for lighting and sound designers across the sector. Emma also teaches dramaturgy, performance making and design at Monash University. She is a Sidney Myer Fellow, and the recipient of Creative Victoria’s Creators Fund initiative.

Words that describe me:
Queer | Bookloving | Artnerd 

Words that describe my practice:
Experimental | Feminist | Rainbowsplosion

Photo courtesy Emma Valente.

Fozia Akalo (aka Goldstank)

GOLDSTANK is a multidisciplinary artist and designer, and the daughter of Ethiopian refugees. Her work explores themes of feminism, sensuality, empowerment and heritage through digital illustration, textiles and apparel design.

After graduating with honours from RMIT’s Bachelor of Fashion, she established her women’s streetwear label Shio in 2013, which attracted a cult following. After dissolving the brand in 2016, she expanded her design practice beyond fashion, collaborating with local and international brands, musicians and influencers including MDMFlow (UK) and The Social Studio. More recently, she established socially-minded agency, Side Eye Creative, with a mission to promote symbiotic relationships between businesses and BIPOC creators.

Words that describe me:
Eccentric | Opinionated | Jill (Jack) of all Trades

Words that describe my practice:
Fun | Female Focused | Self-Endulgent

Photo by Nynno Bel-Air.

Gracieuse Amah

Gracieuse Amah (aka Kwabo Grace) is a curator, producer, dancer, choreographer and the creative director of social enterprise Kwabo Events. With Beninese, Togolese and French origins, Grace is a cultural broker who has been practising African dance since she was 8, performing internationally and teaching since 2002. She performed her piece Afrodance, Who Are You? – an embodied declaration of love to Afrodance – at the African Music and Cultural Festival 2020 and has also worked with Drummond Street Services, Outer Urban Projects, City of Yarra Arts, Bastille Day Festival and many other organisations in presenting artistic programs and community dance workshops. Collaboration and community development is the cornerstone of her arts practice.

Words that describe me:
Positive | Energetic | Cultural Ambassador

Words that describe my practice:
Experiential | Community | Happiness 

Photo by Cameron Cope.

Hyra Usman
Advisory Support

Hyra Usman is a mother, homemaker and fashion designer who launched her own brand in 2019. A Muslim woman from Pakistan, Hyra moved to Australia 11 years ago and has volunteered with many multicultural organisations and events. As a public speaker, Hyra speaks out against racism and the stereotyping of ethnic and religious groups and advocates for the rights of minorities. She has worked with MAV and Emerge in Bendigo, and since moving to Melbourne recently, she is excited to stay connected with MAV and to contribute however she can.

Words that describe me:
Artistic | Feminist | Free soul

Words that describe my practice:
My work is a part of my soul | Very passionate about what I do and whatever I do | Purposeful and fulfilling 

Photo courtesy Hyra Usman.

Jessica D’Cruze

Jessica D’Cruze is a storyteller, advocate and photographer. A Bengali Catholic – an identity that is the direct legacy of European colonisation – Jessica moved to the working-class suburb of Frankston when she was 15. This process of displacement from the so-called developing world to the ‘lucky country’, both with their colonial hangovers, informs her work, which uses food as a medium for exploring trans-migrational experiences. By drawing from recipes, family memories, and the meaning of food, Jessica captures her continually evolving third identity at the crossover of two distinct cultures.

Words that describe me:
Intuitive | Empathetic | Advocate

Words that describe my practice:
Photography | Storytelling | Writing

Photo by Chait D’cruz.

Joshinder Chaggar

Joshinder Chaggar is a dancer, choreographer, actor, teacher, writer and filmmaker whose work centres around the themes of freedom and transcendence. Being of Indian heritage and having lived in many countries (Nigeria, Australia and Pakistan), her performance style has continually evolved, influenced by physical theatre, Indian folk and classical dance, meditation, and a political view of a no-border world. Joshinder has performed in many festivals locally and internationally, and is the studio manager at Studio J Dance in Melbourne. She is currently undertaking a PhD at Deakin University, researching transcultural identity through dance.

Words that describe me:
Explorer | Lover | Open

Words that describe my practice:
Dancer | Actor | Writer

Photo by Jamal Ashiqain.

Kiki Dévine
Runway/Catwalk Facilitator

Kiki Dévine is a performance artist and an emerging arts manager. Born in the Philippines and migrating to Australia in 2010, Kiki has explored various forms of street dance before turning full-time to New York ballroom. Kiki is the mother of the House of Dévine and a pioneering creator in the Naarm ballroom scene, producing or co-directing events including FAFSWAG and Sipat Lawin x House of Dévine at Asia TOPA and the House of Dévine Housewarming Ball and Relief Ball. Kiki’s practice is focused on continuing the growth of ballroom culture and exploring its intersection with Indigenous and non-Indigenous queer and trans experiences in Australia.

Words that describe me:
Powerful, Unapologetic but still Kind.

Words that describe my practice:
Liberating | Fierce | Expressive

Photo by Parker Blaine.

Loz Sorono

Loz (Lorraine) Sorono was born in Cebu city in the Philippines. Born hearing, Loz became deaf as an infant and learned Auslan after moving to Australia. Thanks to watching MC Hammer and the Jacksons on TV, she was inspired to dance and started training with her brother Carlo Sorono and the Wicked Force Breakers. She has performed at Melbourne Fringe Festival, Moomba, Coonawarra Festival and the 4th World Congress on Mental Health and Deafness, and taught dance in school and community settings.

Words that describe me:
Expression | Passion | Inspiration

Words that describe my practice:
Break dance, | Performance | Battle Jam

Photo courtesy Loz Sorono.

Mama Alto
Advisory Support

Mama Alto is a jazz singer, cabaret artiste and gender transcendent diva. She is a transgender and queer person of colour who works with the radical potential of storytelling, strength in softness and power in vulnerability. Best known for her velvet vocals, triumphant cabaret performances and illuminating writing, she is also the co-creator of the highly acclaimed variety cabaret Gender Euphoria.

Mama’s awards include the 2019 Australian LGBTI Awards Music Artist of the Year and the 2014 Best Cabaret Weekly Award at Adelaide Fringe. She is the recipient of a 2019 Creative Victoria Creators Fund fellowship, and a 2020 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship.

Words that describe me:
Fierce | Femme | Fabulous

Words that describe my practice:
Transcendent | Transformative | Triumphant

Photo by Alexis Desaulniers-Lea .

Maylei Hunt
Documentary Filmmaker

Maylei Hunt is a photographer and filmmaker whose career spans more than 21 years. A graduate of Sydney University and the National Arts School, Maylei has worked as a commercial portrait and documentary photographer as well as in community arts teaching creative workshops. As a visual artist, Maylei’s works appear in private and public collections including the State Library of Victoria, State Library of NSW, University of Technology and Albury Regional Art Gallery. With a documentary shooting style and focus, Maylei is interested in the unique stories we all have and the importance of authoring our own histories.

Words that describe me:
Generous | Optimist | Observer

Words that describe my practice:
Storyteller | Herstory Documenter | Activist

Photo by © Maylei Hunt, 2019.

Muma Doesa

Muma Doesa is a vocalist, rapper and producer working in hip-hop, reggae and dancehall. In 2004, she joined the all-female crew, Ladies Luv Hip Hop, performing at Big Day out 2007 as part of a 10-woman crew. She dropped her first mixtape in 2009 and followed it up with her debut album, Ms Fortune, in 2013. Muma Doesa has performed in numerous venues and festivals across Australia and New York, collaborating with Psycho Les of The Beatnuts and G.E.D. She has also taught songwriting workshops for young people. Muma Doesa is currently working on new songs and producing her own beats.

Words that describe me:
Serious and deep topics with splashes of sarcasm and hope.

Words that describe my practice:
Vocalist| Rapper | Producer

Photo courtesy Muma Doesa.

Music and Sound Design

MzRizk is a DJ, event curator and radio presenter whose work is known for its distinct blend of music knowledge, creative diversity and cultural and community engagement. As a DJ, she has performed at festivals such as Glastonbury (UK), Soundwave (Croatia) and Big Day Out (Australia) and supported artists including Public Enemy and The Internet. As an event curator, MzRizk showcases emerging and established artists in her renowned Rizky’s Block Party series. In 2020, MzRizk’s soundwork and installation – a tribute to Lebanese hospitality – appeared in the Biennale of Sydney. She also presents Boogie Beat Suite Radio on PBS 106.7FM, delivering sweet global sounds to music-loving folks everywhere.

Words that describe me:
Passionate | Bold | Rhapsodical

Words that describe my practice:
Creative | Multifaceted | Knowledgeable 

Photo by Nicola Dracoulis.

Neda Rahmani
Advisory Support

Neda Rahmani is a seasoned performer inspired by the queens of carnival. Born in Iran to Persian and Mauritian parents, her family came to Australia during the 1979 revolution – giving Neda the freedom to perform. Her live shows with Tumbarumba, All Colour Project and Adrenalina Drumline are spectacular and generous, known for fabulous costumes, immersive percussion, and an instant carnival atmosphere. Neda is also an in-demand public speaker and master of ceremonies, and is the co-director of Goodworthy, a social impact media production company.

Words that describe me:
Extravagant | Celebratory | Independent

Words that describe my practice:
Rhythmic | Spectacle | Inclusive

Photo by Adrian Tuazon.

Nel Mama Boho

Nel Mama Boho (Janelle Da Silva) is a multi-disciplinary artist, TED presenter, art therapist, birthworker, scholar and philanthropist. Her performance and broadcasting work has featured internationally on the BBC, and in print media, as well as on national networks, stages, festivals, radio stations and podcasts. She is currently occupying an 18-month residency at the Brunswick Town Hall through The Projects for her ongoing decolonising fundraising campaign RunBitchRun. Combining social education, poetry and activism, Nel runs marathons for educational opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in remote communities supported through the Cathy Freeman Foundation.

Nel’s drag king persona, Noel, will also première his show ‘Tonight Live with Noel’ at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this Easter weekend. A proudly independent, decolonising queer, intersectional womxn of colour Nel is a passionate advocate for social change through the arts.

Words that describe me:
Spicy | Indomitable | Matriarch 

Words that describe my practice:
Decolonising multi-hyphenated Artist | Art Therapist | Philanthropist

Photo by Jayden Course.

Sapidah Kian
Devising Theatre Facilitator

Sapidah Kian is a director, actor, theatre maker and dramaturg, working across theatre, film, television, and radio, and an Azeri-Iranian Australian artist living on the lands of the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation. Her practice advocates for visibility and representation of marginalised peoples in the performing arts sector.

Sapidah works across a range of settings, including major and independent theatre companies, television networks, dance, visual art and contemporary performance. Since 2014, she has been a lecturer in acting and directing at the Victorian College of the Arts. She was Director in Residence at Malthouse Theatre for 2017/18 and currently, she is co-president of the Green Room Awards Association.

Words that describe me:
Curious | Receptive | Intersectional

Words that describe my practice:
Collaborative | Enquiring | Embodied

Photo by Amanda Macri.

Senuri Chandrani
Stage Manager

Senuri is an actor, writer and theatre maker of Sri Lankan Sinhalese heritage. She recently graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) and has played lead roles such as Hester from Suzan-Lori Park’s play Fucking A to Shakespeare’s iconic Lady Macbeth. Her short film Six Weeks BBY won the 2020 People’s Choice Award for Cinespace’s 123 Film Competition, and she was a finalist in the Melbourne City of Literature 2020 Slam-O-Vision competition. She is the co-founder of SPICE COLLECTIVE, a network of young artists of colour.

Words that describe me:
Passionate | Chaotic | Dirty

Words that describe my practice:
Raw | Vulnerable | Instinctive

Photo courtesy Senuri Chandrani.

Shantel Wetherall

Shantel Wetherall is a writer, producer and radio host. Her practice is focused on women, culture and change, prioritising the voices and experiences of black women. As the producer and host of Hey Aunty Podcast, a series of fireside chats with black women, fems and non-binary fam, she has interviewed luminaries like Dr Chelsea Bond, Tarneen Onus-Williams, Namila Benson and Fatu Sillah. She has also written for The Guardian, SBS Voices, Sydney Morning Herald and other publications.

Words that describe me:
Irrepressible Aunty Energy

Words that describe my practice:
Slyly radical vulnerability  

Photo by Atong Atem.

Suzan Dlouhy (SZN The Label)

Suzan Dlouhy is a fashion designer and the founder of the label SZN. With an ethos of ‘fashion is art’, SZN uses reductive pattern-making to produce soulful and intelligent garments in organic and sustainable fabrics with minimal waste. Suzan completed a Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at the Canberra Institute of Technology in 2012 and has worked in a range of professional contexts, designing for opera, theatre, dance, exhibitions and music videos. She won the inaugural Best in Category Fashion Design Award at the Victorian Premier’s Good Design Awards, and SZN recently featured at Melbourne Fashion Week 2020.

Words that describe me:
Chatty | Open | Problem solver

Words that describe my practice:
Slow Fashion | Considered | Craftsmanship

Photo courtesy Suzan Dlouhy.

Taga Barrio

Taga Barrio is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores identity, belonging, post-colonialism, sex and sexuality. A design graduate, Taga Barrio works in sculpture, mixed media, printing, illustration and photography, as well as performing spoken word poetry. They also host a trilingual podcast, UsapangX, about working in a sex shop.

Taga Barrio is a community arts worker and a volunteer at Connection Arts Space, an arts organisation in Dandenong that supports people from diverse backgrounds (BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ and Disabled). They have exhibited their work in several group shows, including the City of Greater Dandenong’s 2020 exhibition, Unwrapped: Celebration of LGBTIQA+ Arts and Culture.

Words that describe me:
Conversationalist | Curious | A work in progress

Words that describe my practice:
Multi-Disciplinary | Conversationalist | Intersectionality

Photo courtesy Taga Barrio.

Yumi Umiumare
Movement Facilitator

Born in Hyogo, Japan, Yumi is an established Butoh Dancer and choreographer and creator of Butoh Cabaret works.She has been creating her distinctive style of works for 30 years and her works are renowned for provoking visceral emotions and cultural identities. Yumi’s works have been seen in numerous festivals in dance, theatre and film productions throughout Australia, Japan, Europe, New Zealand, South East Asia and South America, and have received several Australian Green Room awards. As a choreographer, Yumi has worked with many socially engaged theatre projects, with Australian indiginous communities, Asylum seekers and refugee communities, culturally diverse groups and inclusive dance and theatre companies. Yumi is a recipient of a fellowship from Australia Council (2015-16) and the winner of the Green Room Geoffrey Milne Memorial Award in 2017 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Contemporary and Experimental Performance. Yumi is an artistic director of ButohOUT! Festival, activating local and international Butoh communities in Melbourne and teaches nationally and internationally.

Words that describe me:
Open | Optimistic | Odd

Words that describe my practice:
Dance of Darkness (Butoh) | Spirit | Tea

Photo by Mathew Lynn.

Banan Mahmoud
Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist

Banan is a queer woman of colour born and raised in Egypt, she began her career in hair after recognising how little space and opportunities were afforded to women of colour with textured hair.

Her repertoire includes hair cutting, hair styling and make up artistry for film, television and editorial. Some of her work can be seen in Wentworth, Preacher, Vogue Italia and for 66 Records.

Banan’s style is influenced by natural textures and effortless shapes that work to enhance natural beauty. She offers a space where hair is accepted in its true form, so her clients can love themselves authentically. Banan is part of a thriving queer community and always strives to create safe and inclusive spaces.

Words that describe me:
Brazen | Golden | Radical

Words that describe my practice:
Inclusive | Collaborative | Evolving

Instagram: @ba___nan

Photo by Bronte Pleasance.

Feven Ghebreigziabher
Hair Braiding Specialist

Feven Ghebreigziabher is a self-taught hair braiding specialist based in Melbourne. Born and raised in Eritrea, Feven has been braiding hair since the age of 10. She has continued her art of braiding since moving to Australia and now has become a go-to braiding stylist based in Melbourne.

Over the past 10 years, Feven has worked to establish ‘The Braid Bar Melbourne’ and has built a wide clientele including professional sports athletes, musicians, models and creatives. She is known for her confidence and uplifting spirit with a dedication to making her clients feel and look their best.

Words that describe me:
Kindness | Ambition | Dedication

Words that describe my practice:
Patient | Consistent | Precise

Instagram: @thebraidbarmelbourne


Nisal Atapattu
Hair and Makeup Artist

Nisal Atapattu is a hair and makeup artist. He first started experimenting with make-up on himself in his early teens when he discovered his mother’s very old and very expired makeup palette. In 2020, he decided to pursue makeup and hair artistry professionally and turn his passion into a career and he’s been loving it ever since. He loves the way in which makeup can amplify and add detail to a face and body, and that you can always wash it off at the end of the day and create something all over again the next. He is a very big believer in self-expression, self-love and individuality and feels so lucky to be able to help accentuate these qualities through his art and skill.

Words that describe me:
Understanding | Caring | Spicy

Words that describe my practice:
Innovative | Accepting | Fun

Instagram: @nisal.mua

Photo courtesy Nisal Atapattu.

Kaysia-Joy Fair
Makeup Artist

Kaysia-Joy Fair is a freelance makeup artist of 11 years.

Words that describe me:
Meticulous | Explorative | Empathic

Words that describe my practice:
Beauty Direction | Creative | Mixed Media

Instagram: @kaysiajoyfair

Photo courtesy Kaysia-Joy Fair.

Wendy Nguyen
Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist

Wendy Nguyen is a hairstylist, makeup artist, lash artist and nail artist. From Minneapolis, Minnesota then relocated to Los Angeles for more creative opportunities after beauty school. She then worked all over LA with celebrities such as Jennifer Garner, Alicia Keys, Jessica Alba, and Mandy Moore. An experienced beautician who has worked on sets, with worldwide brands and also working in an upscale salon between Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. After 5 years, moved to New York City where she continued her career in beauty.

Beauty is much more than skin deep, it’s having a moment with people from all over the world where they can feel safe and express things they have never told anyone else. It’s about empowering each other, giving a shoulder to cry on, someone to laugh with, someone to confide in without judgement. You come in to get a beauty service/therapy session, that’s what being a beautician means to Wendy.

Words that describe me:
Compassionate | Generous | Open-minded

Words that describe my practice:
Safe | Growth | Raw | Self love

Instagram: @wendos_

Photo by Deshani Berhardt (Wild Hardt).

Zian Watene
Makeup Artist

Zian Watene is a New Zealand born Melbourne based freelance makeup artist.

Words that describe me:
Interested | Honest | Intuitive

Words that describe my practice:
Creative | Warm | Feminine

Instagram: @zianreynmakeup

Photo courtesy Zian Watene.

Sunanda Sachatrakul
Stage Manager

Sunanda is a comedian, writer and producer born in Delhi, raised in Bangkok who has lived in LA and NYC before Melbourne. She unapologetically makes comedic content inspired by her life and perspective and doesn’t have the time to explain all the cultural references to anyone who doesn’t get it.

Words that describe me:
Cheeky | Fun | Sincere

Words that describe my practice:
Proud | Honest | Playful

Photo courtesy Jesse Dockery photography .

MAV Team
CEO: Veronica Pardo
Producer: Candy Bowers
Marketing and Communications: Sneha Varma
Administration, Photography and Design: Deshani Berhardt

TAKEBACK! is produced by MAV in partnership with Darebin Council for FUSE Festival.

Supported by:


March 27
April 21