• EVENT TYPE / Talks Series
  • WHEN / 7pm, 2 March
  • WHERE / Merlyn Theatre

Subtexts: Body // Language

An ideas series co-presented with The Wheeler Centre


  • EVENT TYPE / Talks Series
  • WHEN / 7pm, 2 March
  • WHERE / Merlyn Theatre

Subtexts #1 explores the ideas behind Season 2015's first Chapter – Body // Language.

Language demands that we put things in neat, normalised categories. Words like ‘fat’ become shorthand for unattractive or lazy. Labels like ‘black’ or ‘Asian’ are applied to people who may identify simply as Australian. Presumptions about sexuality and gender are often based purely on outward appearance. 

But bodies resist being pigeonholed by language. Words don’t neatly define who we are: identities are usually messier, more complex – and ultimately, more interesting – than a snap judgement based on what our bodies communicate.

We’ll look at what the body can realistically tell us about identity, what we can’t assume – and the space in between. We’ll open a space for all different kinds of bodies – fat bodies, fit bodies, old bodies, diasporic bodies, even absent bodies – to communicate their true identities.

Join us to chew the fat and get the skinny on bodies, language and communication, in an event that mirrors Malthouse Theatre’s  first chapter of Season 2 Body//Language.

Featuring Clementine Ford (moderator), Alice Pung, Kelli Jean Drinkwater and Karina Quinn

Clementine Ford as moderator
Clementine Ford is a freelance writer whose feminism leads her to affectionately refer to herself as a ‘boner killer’.

Alice Pung
Alice Pung is the bestselling author of Her Father’s Daughter, which won the 2012 Western Australia Premier’s Literary Awards, and Unpolished Gem which won the 2007 Australian Book Industry Newcomer of the Year Award. She is the editor of Growing Up Asian in Australia and is also a member of Malthouse Theatre's Artistic Counsel.

Kelli Jean Drinkwater
Kelli Jean Drinkwater is an artist, performer and filmmaker. The main focus of her creative practice is to critique society's perceptions of people of size and to encourage a diverse, body positive visibility. Kelli Jean is a co-creator of Nothing to Lose.

Karina Quinn
Karina Quinn is a Melbourne-based poet, writer, spoken word performer and researcher and is the managing editor of the gender, sexuality and diversity studies journal, Writing from Below. She is the 2013 Hare Hole Grand Slam winner.


General admission / $10
Members / Free
Subscribers / Free

Presented in association with The Wheeler Centre.