Politics I Watch: The Arts (Music & Theatre) – Dr. Nela Trifkovic

I wrote about three versions and then realised that there is really very little, or rather that I can actually say it succinctly. 

I pay very little attention to politics, but here are a few things that I do pay attention to: 
1) immigration/refugee policies 
2) funding cuts and improvement (mainly cuts) in the arts  
3) info about climate change/sustainable living 
4) gay/transgender policies and rights in Australia / the world 
Must say, Australia is not looking great on any of these fronts. Time after time we continue to show various racist and non-tolerant tendencies that are not properly picked up or addressed as we seem to take them as normal and don’t really address them. Recently there was an awful incident with a young girl calling an African Australian athlete an ape during the game. I probably don’t even need to mention that gay/lesbian marriage is now legal in NZ but not yet in Australia. On the sort of upside, the arts funding is sort of
steadily low. It is nowhere enough to make us really propel some serious new work in Australia, but it is steady. (i.e.: there are two bursaries for up to $20 000 twice a year with multicultural arts Victoria) as well as some good scholarships/grants for indigenous artists.Why these things? They Are significant to my personal context: immigrant/refugee background, independent artist with predominantly gay/lesbian friends. My music and theatre work often deal with issues and challenges of expressing cultural and spiritual identity, but does so in a poetic, metaphoric and slippery way that is more akin to meditation rather then to explore literal specifics. And say this slippery metaphoric realm of art work requires for the artist to be alert awake and present with the every day changes in the society.

Nela describes herself as a thirty something perpetual child and a never-ending student trying to make sense of the world through song, chamber music, languages and performance art. She holds a masters degree from WAAPA and PhD from Victorian College of the Arts. Composes sings, hula hoops, belly dances and, above all, lives. In Melbourne. And is called Nela Trifkovic. Over and out. With a kiss.

Nela and her husband James founded the Eagles Nest Theatre Company in 2006, home of the celebrated touring show Charles Dickens Performs a Christmas CarolThe Nest place the highest value on the simple craft of telling a story. We tour to schools, regional and metropolitan venues, and internationally, producing a range of classics and original Australian scripts.

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