Blak voices responding to Blak work.
Blak Critics addresses the need for the inclusion of robust, and culturally informed dialogue from Blak voices around performance, practice and methodologies in the public domain.
The project supports Victorian-based Indigenous writers with a public platform for creating critical review and conversation, from their perspectives.
During APAM, Blak Critics will review Showcases and performances which audiences can read in the days following via YIRRAMBOI’s Facebook page and website and APAM's social media. Daily reflections can also be found on APAM’s daily email to delegates.
Image: James Henry
MEET THE CRITICS
bRyan Andy is a Yorta Yorta man, born on Boonwurrung country and raised largely at Cummeragunja on the Murray River, his Mother’s country.
bRyan is a lover of the arts. Unlike sport, which is an area he has never understood. “Being Aboriginal always meant having a football flung my way with the expectation I was going to do something ‘magical’ with it. I never did; invariably the football would clock me on the head or bound around me like an enthusiastic pooch wanting to play. But the arts have enriched my life in so many ways. Art has allowed me to see beauty, gain insight, understand, celebrate, empathise, laugh, cry, suspend disbelief, see the world, witness magic, create magic. It’s a world I’m comfortable in; and I acknowledge it is also a vital forum for our survival as Aboriginal Peoples. Aboriginal Peoples have endured and survived attempted genocide – let’s call a spade a spade – and the arts offers a space where we can own our culture and identity in one long continuum and maintain our agency, authority and voice. There’s something deliciously exciting about that. That’s why I applied to be a Blak Critic, that’s why I am a Blak Critic.”
bRyan is a broadcaster and publisher with local radio Joy 94.9 and convenor of OUTBLACK a support group that caters to Indigenous Australians / Torres Strait Islander Gay & Transgender Sister Girls living in Victoria.He has held roles in Government organisations and NGO’s as a policy writer with focus on Human rights education.
Kerri-Lee is a proud Bindal - Juru / KOA woman and at the young age of 11 years of age, Kerri-Lee won her first National writing prize, a $1000 scholarship which enabled her to pay for her first year at high school. Since that time Kerri-Lee has been more than passionate about Indigenous storytelling across various Australian media platforms. Kerri-Lee’s media career began at ABC RADIO 774 ABC Melbourne in 1998 as Aboriginal Radio Cadet Broadcaster. Her media career spans more than 20 years, having spent time working in a variety of Multimedia roles across the industry as a Content Maker, Writer, Researcher, Presenter, Narrator, Producer, Photographer, Film Producer and a Director.
Kerri-Lee is passionate about sharing Indigenous stories from the community direct to audiences and believes strongly in sharing the microphone with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people whom voices and stories are not usually heard across the mainstream Australian media outlets. In 2017 Kerri-Lee’s writing featured in the Time Out magazine DEADLY Melbourne and is proud of her role as one of the YIRRAMBOI Blak Critics. Kerri-Lee appreciates her role with this group of talented Blak writers and will continue to share Indigenous people’s stories through her writing.
Previous to her current role, Kerri-Lee spent time working at the ABC Radio’s ‘Speaking Out’ radio show, as the National Producer & Editor - ABC Radio website program. Kerri-Lee is now currently the producer / presenter of a local Indigenous Arts and Culture radio program ‘BLAKNOISE RADIO’ broadcasting each Thursday live from 3CR Community Radio Fitzroy and at 3CR Radio Kerri-Lee also enjoys her time working as a producer / presenter of Environment program ‘Earth Matters’ program and is broadcast Nationally across the Community Radio Network . Each year, Kerri-Lee works as a Broadcaster across the Youth and the Adult justice systems in Victoria with Indigenous inmates and is passionate about her work in prisons with the unique radio project ‘Beyond The Bars’ and each year works closely with Indigenous inmates on a series of unique radio workshops and radio shows delivered to audiences for NAIDOC week.
Jane Harrison is descended from the Muruwari people of NSW and is an award-winning playwright and author. Her play Stolen was co-winner of the Kate Challis RAKA Award 2002 and has toured across Australia and internationally. Rainbow’s End has been produced in Tokyo and has toured across Australia, winning the 2012 Drover Award. The Visitors was part of the Melbourne Theatre Company 2014 Cybec Electric series.
Her novel Becoming Kirrali Lewis won the 2014 Black & Write! Prize and was shortlisted in the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. She has written for the children’s television series Little J and Big Cuz. She was the Festival Director for Blak & Bright, the Victorian Indigenous Literary Festival in 2016. She has an MA in Playwriting from QUT (2010). Jane believes strongly in the value of stories in strengthening cultural connection.