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Opening doors and minds
Next of kin
Connecting the country
My essays Steel Springs in Meanjin; Opening Doors and Minds in Limelight; and Letter from Dunkley in The Monthly.
Elly-May Barnes loves all things that sparkle. “I really do; it’s a problem,” the 34-year-old laughs when asked about her glittery cabaret costumes. “I try to be reasonable, but I’m not.” Rhinestone exuberance on stage makes the personal political; she will sing for you despite the barriers society flings in her way.

Barnes delivers a fierce vocal on the Radiohead song Creep in the visually arresting video for the first single from her forthcoming debut album.


The artist Archie Moore cuts a shy figure in the small gathering at his gallerist’s warehouse in an inner-western Sydney industrial park. It is a humid February, with planes whooshing overhead on the Kingsford Smith flight path. Moore is being announced as the artist who will represent Australia at the Venice Biennale next month.

Self-deprecating and softly spoken, Moore is known for tactile works that reconcile landscapes, lineages, cultures, visions and truths. He is bringing a new work, kith and kin, to the biennale.


For Broome-based dancer and choreographer Dalisa Pigram, Indigenous dance has a vital role to play in healing a divided Australia.

After the failed referendum for a voice to parliament, she says First Nations arts must continue to bring to the surface “the hidden histories, the untold stories, the truth-telling” of Australia’s history, “acknowledging there’s more than one side to a story”, and win public “hearts and minds”.


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