Artists at the Threshold:Culture, Community, Change



Immigration Museum
400 Flinders Street
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000
What's On

Join us as we launch Generations with ‘Artists at the Threshold’, an inter-generational panel of diverse artists including Maxine Beneba Clarke, Jason Tamiru, Leah Jing McIntosh, Pi O, Thando and Mamo Alto as they consider the role and influence of those who’ve come before and those who follow, in their work and culture.

Culture can be a powerful connector, affording communities social, cultural and economic benefits. Situated as they are – at the threshold of past, present and future – artists are powerful creative forces in continuing, remaking and challenging cultural and community practices.

Hear how these artists found their voices within their own communities and Australian society at large, and how they shape the future they want to see.

Maxine Beneba Clarke is the author of the ABIA and Indie award winning short fiction collection Foreign Soil, the critically acclaimed memoir The Hate Race, the poetry collection Carrying The World, which won the 2016 Victorian Premiers Award for Poetry, and several picture books, including the Boston Globe/Horn Book Prize winning The Patchwork Bike. She is the editor of Best Australian Stories 2017, and Growing Up African in Australia, and Poet Laureate for The Saturday Paper.

Jason Tamiru is the Indigenous Engagement Producer at Malthouse Theatre. He is the producer of Blak Cabaret, and the associate producer of The Shadow King. Jason was the founder and producer of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Deadly Funny program, and the associate producer of the inaugural Melbourne Indigenous Arts Festival. He is a member of the City of Melbourne IAAP Indigenous Arts Advisory Panel, the Circus OZ Indigenous Advisory Panel and the Yarra Arts Advisory Committee. Jason was the recipient of the VIPA 2012 Uncle Jack Charles Award and the British Council’s National Indigenous Leadership Award.

Leah Jing McIntosh is a writer and photographer. In 2016, she founded Liminal magazine, a space for the exploration of the Asian-Australian experience. In 2019, she is launching the Liminal Fiction Prize for Australian Writers of Colour. Her essays and fiction have appeared in the Saturday Paper, the Lifted Brow, Swampland, and Archer. Recently, she was awarded a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship, and has completed the FCAC Emerging Cultural Leaders program. She is a 2019 Victorian Nominee for Young Australian of the Year.

Thando is a singer, song writer and actor. She has performed a slew of festival appearances such as BIGSOUND (2016), Strawberry Fields, Woodford Folk Festival and NYE on The Hill, opened for Leon Bridges, R&B master Maxwell, and collaborated with Australian Hip Hop greats, REMI and Sampa the Great. Thanks to her luscious vocals and electric presence on stage, she is well on her way to solidifying her status as Australia’s first lady of RnB.

Pi O (π.ο) is an anarchist poet and a founding member of the Poets' Union. He has edited numerous books of poetry, represented Australia at the International Poetry Festival in Medellin in Colombia in 1997, the Weltklang Festival in Berlin 2003, Bangkok 2004 + 2005, and toured the USA (16 cities) in 1985. He is currently editor of the experimental magazine UNUSUAL WORK and recently released his latest book HEIDE.

Mama Alto is a jazz singer, cabaret artiste & gender transcendent diva. She is a transgender & queer person of colour who works with the radical potential of storytelling, strength in softness and power in vulnerability. She has been awarded the 2019 Australian LGBTI Awards Music Artist of the Year, the 2018 City of Yarra Contributions to the Arts Award, the 2017 GLOBE Melbourne LGBTI Awards Artist of the Year, the 2016 Outstanding Access & Inclusion Award at Melbourne Fringe, and the 2014 Best Cabaret Weekly Award at Adelaide Fringe. In 2019, Mama Alto is one of the Creators recognised and supported by the Victorian Government through the Creative Victoria “Creators Fund.”