Arts as diverse as our people.

MAV has a profound commitment to arts and artists shaping the narratives that define who we are as a multicultural nation.

Ahead of the Curve

The Ahead of the Curve Commissions was a call out for young and emerging artists of colour living around Melbourne, to create new digital artworks that responded to social challenges, including COVID-19.

These works show the artists’ strength and resilience in the face of adversity, explore health and wellbeing, and draw from their lived experiences.

These commissions are now live on our website!

Digital Commissions and Women's Businesses

Duniya Behter is a project that involves women and young people from many ethnicities in Bendigo and Shepparton building creative businesses and producing new digital creative work. This is a project focused on shifting the mainstream narrative about people from a migrant and refugee background from vulnerable to capable

Shepparton Culture Kitchen

Celebrating two years of working together, the women of the Shepparton Culture Kitchen offer this special opportunity for community to share in a diversity of flavours, stories and food cultures.

Creatives

Meet the artists and communities

Camp Mana

Camp Mana

Camp Mana is a creative development program that supports young people as they transition away from the Youth Justice System and back into community. Led by a small yet powerful team of culturally responsive mentors, Camp Mana delivers specialised music workshops, creative business development and vocational preparation as we prepare our young people for the world.

Matisse Laida + Nisha Hunter

QPOC Multi-disciplinary Creatives

Matisse and Nisha are both QPOC multi-disciplinary creatives who share a love for food and cooking. Matisse Laida (she/they) is a 23 year old, queer, mixed race multidisciplinary creative with a cooking show and collaborative food platform @we.eatin.good.bitch. They have experience in film, theatre, event curation, writing, podcasting and radio. Her podcast Braided (Produced by Artful Dodgers Studios), has appeared on ABC and 3RRR. Matisse is currently working on a play to be shown in June, a film to be screened in August, and starred in a queer documentary for DELL X PEDESTRIAN TV. As an Afro- Mauritian and Venezuelan queer person , Matisse has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and actively ensure that all spaces she works and creates in are as culturally safe as possible. Nisha Hunter (they/she/he) is a 23 year old, queer, mixed South Asian artist based in Naarm. Their practice is an exploration of identity, informed by their queerness and cultural background. Nisha has experience as a studio - based and exhibiting artist, specialising in video, photography, textiles and installation. They have also worked in the commercial industry, allowing them to build pre and postproduction skills. Nisha has applied their artistic skills in their role as producer and director of photography for We Eatin’ Good.

Below The Surface

Multidisciplinary Creatives

Exploring the world using different forms of expression

Jazba Singh

Actor, Writer and Director

Jazba Singh is an Indo-Canadian-Australian filmmaker and actor. She is an artist of colour currently living in Naarm/Melbourne. With a background in critical race/gender scholarship, Jazba is a passionate advocate for representation both on and off screen. Credits include Impact Producer for the AACTA winning documentary “In the Shadow of the Hill”; South Indian feature film “Hippi”; and a theatrical run as Princess Sophia Duleep Singh in “The Regina Monologues”. Jazba wrote, co-produced, directed and acted in EATING THE OTHER along with a team of majority BIPOC and female collaborators.

Aroha Pehi

Dancer

Aroha Pehi is a proud Darrriebullum, Kuku-Yalnji, Ngāphui and Ngātiporou woman from South-East Queensland with strong ties to the Shepparton community. A graduate of NAISDA Dance College, she works as a freelance dancer based in Sydney. She co-founded ‘Lost All Sorts Collective’, a contemporary dance theatre collective producing works focused on Indigenous issues. Aroha has started to explore new art expressions, such as writing and dance on film.

Angelita Biscotti

Writer, Performer, Editor and Filmmaker

Angelita Biscotti is a writer, performer, editor, and filmmaker excited by experimental, non-linear investigations into eroticism, queer embodiment, wellness and social justice. Her interviews, essays, reviews, fiction, and poetry have appeared in respected global and Australian publications, including Jacobin, Overland, Cordite Poetry Review, and elsewhere. She has studied at the Ateneo de Manila University, Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, and La Trobe University. She was a 2017 Hot Desk Fellow at the Wheeler Centre, a 2021 Making Space resident at Siteworks, a 2020 Fellow at Democracy in Colour and coHealth’s Create Change Fellowship for young BIPOC campaigners, and a 2020 mentee for the Progressive Tech Network. She is a Melburnian of Filipinx-Spanish descent, based on unceded Boon Wurrung Country. Pronouns: She/they

MAV Arts

Explore the works

Conquering The Demons by Beven Elankumaran

Beven Elankumaran

“Conquering the Demons” is the creative development of a programmatic work that is designed to musically exhibit an artist’s mental struggles in life, especially in the context of this pandemic. If the emotions of depression and anxiety were recorded and programmed as sounds, what will it sound like? Can such a narrative be portrayed musically? To what extent can Indian Classical Instruments be coerced to create sounds that depict disease, unease, uncertainty and chaos? These are the questions we seek to answer through this project.

Canción de Despedida by Vanessa Estrada

Vanessa Estrada

Cancion de despedida, the song chosen to create this piece of work is an intimate and personal experience, which tells my story of love, farewell, letting go and moving on. It is the story of a woman having to overcome a rupture, a loss, being away from home. It is a story of resilience that I needed to tell through image as well as music. and movement, as I wanted to express the feeling with my whole body and create a real ritualistic experience of healing and empowerment. The song itself is a South American rhythm which mixes elements of the Chilean cueca and Argentinean Chacarera, since the moment I decided to produce a video, I had the idea of including the dance and the handkerchief as a symbolism of my own culture. With the director (Gabriela Gonzalez), and the choreographer (Kathleen Gonzalez) we explored the ideas of different and symbolic ways of saying good bye to a loved one. Through empowerment, movement, and specific elements of my own culture in the clothing, accessories and choreography. We had weekly meetings with Kathleen Gonzalez (choreographer) to produce the choreography, we studied the elements of the "Cueca" and the "Chacarera" dance, we created our own version of them and incorporated contemporary movements. We decided to use the hood and handkerchief symbols as a way of representing the "letting go" and "liberation" feelings. With Gabriela Gonzalez (director), we had weekly meetings to decide the location (Blue lake in Bundoora) and work on the script, the story, the outfits, the art. Gabriela and I share a strong connection with my story, and we knew what we wanted to express, therefore it was easy to make decisions. Neisha Smith did a fantastic work in creating the outfits and having an incredible input in the art of the project. The rest of the production team did an amazing work in understanding the needs of the work, the expectations and the sentiment in general. I am very thankful of every single person involved in this project. This work exceeded all my expectations, I am incredible grateful for receiving the support to create this beautiful piece of art. This project gave me healing, a voice, a space and opened so many new doors in my artistic career. I am extremely happy to be one of the artists of AHEAD OF THE CURVE program and have this extra support to exhibit my work alongside many other amazing local artists. Its so important for us independent artists to have this spaces and opportunities. Thanks to MAV and my amazing team for making this possible and believing in my art.

Becomes by Miss Cairo

Miss Cairo

"Becomes is an exploration of self. It’s an intimate moment of self discovery in nature, taking and holding my own space in my own body. The piece allows the viewer into a moment of care, love and kindness as I shed the expectations of how my trans body moves through the wold. Originally part of a comedic piece, through therapy, coaching and the stars aligning I realised I needed to hold space in my own body without using my body as a punchline. I have been supported and guided by Sapidah Kian in reconnecting to my body as a dancer/mover to fully take ups space and release the burdens society has put upon me. The cinematographer, Adam Lee, held space for me to explore, giving me full agency in this moment. He provided a space between us of voyeur and participant and captured a part of my beauty I didn’t realise existed."

Reverberation by Quynnn

Quynnn

Reverberation is a series of digital illustrations representing the complex emotions and inner conversations young people of colour are having during the pandemic. "I explored new techniques using high contrast colours with organic, curvy lines to create visual patterns and form the human silhouette. These wavy lines symbolise the reverberation of self-expression to the outer world. Inner thoughts and self reflections are illustrated through the eyes inside. These illustrations show how young people carried themselves differently through the pandemic world while navigating their own identity journey."

Ali Diri by Taga Barrio

Taga Barrio

Ali Diri (Come Here) is an immersive space composed of resin sculptures, spoken word poetry, music, soundscape, online booklet, curated smells, UV/Invisible painting and UV light interaction.

claustrofobia by Ana Maria Gomides

Ana Maria Gomides

clautrosfobia is an experimental short film set in a share-house bathroom during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Who we are

We make art as a visceral response to the forces of bigotry and intolerance, which seek to undermine the hard-fought battle for pluralism.

We make art to understand who we are as migrants on Indigenous land.

We make art to draw attention to the work that is still needed to future proof our identity as a society that deeply values its diversity.

Vision

Arts as diverse as our people.

Purpose

We champion culturally diverse artists and communities to create systems of cultural production and participation that uphold equity and self-determination.

MAV Values

We champion culturally diverse artists and communities

Diversity

We privilege non-western ways of doing, knowing and being, to tell stories that illuminate our humanity and improve intercultural understanding;

Equality

We strive for cultural democracy, sharing our knowledge and skills with partners across the arts and cultural sector to build platforms for engagement and visibility;

Trust

Diverse communities see themselves represented in and by us, in work that resonates with their truths, underpinned by shared values and dreams of new futures; and

Courage

We are outspoken in our support of cultural participation as a human right, from which we derive social, cultural and economic benefits for the development of individuals and society.