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BEMAC Discussions: Cultural Rights (Live and Streamed)

30/10/2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

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Join us on Monday October 30th for the next instalment in the BEMAC Discussions series; a free panel discussion tackling the important topic of Cultural Rights. This discussion will be exploring the nuances of avoiding cultural appropriation and establishing an artist’s ‘permission’ to partake in a particular cultural or traditional practice.

As musicians and artists in our interconnected world, it’s crucial to navigate the complexities of cultural rights and appreciate diversity respectfully. BEMAC and QMusic are coming together to explore the artist’s role in respecting cultural practices.

Joining us for this conversation will be:

  • Menaka Thomas: Menaka is an award-winning singer-songwriter, hailing from musical family deeply rooted in South Indian (Carnatic) music. Her unique sound is an intersection of East and West. After a deterioration in health that nearly claimed her vision, Menaka found herself writing songs to help her overcome her challenges. Menaka launched her debut solo album, “My Eyes Can See” in 2019 at the Queensland Multicultural Centre to a sold-out audience. Menaka has featured on many musical platforms, including Woodford Folk Festival and Brisbane Powerhouse’s “Women In Voice”. Menaka has received a Queensland Music Award for Best Song (World), alongside collaborators.
  • Dr. Kent Windress: Kent Windress is a musician, scholar and educator who was the first Australian-born person to be initiated into the Afro-Cuban religion of Santería as a babalao. While travelling to Cuba in 2005 to study its percussion traditions, Kent was introduced to Santería and the world of the orichas and underwent a number of initiations over the following years. Since that time he has committed to studying not only the religious philosophy of Santería but also its associated musical tradition of batá drumming, and is also initiated into the fraternity of ceremonial batá drummers known as omo añá.
  • Takako Nishibori: Takako Nishibori brings the classic sounds of Japan alive through her mastery of the koto, being the greatest exponent of this ancient instrument across Queensland. She performs classical Japanese pieces while exploring new boundaries and creating new styles fusing the koto with other instruments. Takako is a regular performer as both solo artist and in various ensembles.
  • Alyson Joyce (Moderator): Multidisciplinary artist, artivist, author and serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across the creative arts and entertainment industries. As a BIPOC bi-racial woman, with Papua New Guinean, Irish and Australian heritage, Alyson’ s identity infuses her work with a rich tapestry of perspectives. Her magnetic presence has graced stages across Asia, the Pacific, the US, UK, and Europe, captivating audiences with her commanding presence and exceptional talent. Alyson’s visionary leadership shines through her role as the founder of BIPOC Arts Australia. This groundbreaking initiative is a beacon of change within the Australian creative arts industry , addressing the glaring diversity gaps that persist. Through her tireless efforts, Alyson is reshaping the narrative and fostering a more inclusive and equitable creative landscape.

BEMAC Discussions is a series of free monthly panel discussions tackling key topics relevant to creators and artists from diverse artistic practices, backgrounds, and cultures. These discussions will be held at House of Vincent in Woolloongabba on the last Monday of each month and will be followed by our BEMAC Discover open mic and performance evening from 7:30pm to 9:30pm.

Please note that House of Vincent is not wheelchair accessible. We apologise to anyone with accessibility needs for the inconvenience. However, in order to provide access to those who are not able to physically attend the sessions, BEMAC Discussions will be live streamed on BEMAC’s Facebook page facebook.com/BEMACpresents

Proudly Presented by BEMAC, in partnership with QMusic and BIPOC Arts Australia.

BEMAC Discussions: Cultural Rights
6:00pm, Monday October 30
House of Vincent
7 Jacob Lane, Woolloongabba
Free entry. Please register.

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6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


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House of Vincent
7 Jacob Lane
Woolloongabba, Queensland 4102 Australia
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