Supporting Refugee and Indigenous Writers and Performers

Live Crossings is an online open-access magazine of creative practice and live performance events supporting the work of refugee and Indigenous writers and performers.   

Launched in 2018, Live Crossings is made up of a network of creative practitioners working together to generate new forms of expression, critique, and social dialogue. We strive to develop alternative ways to pursue questions about differences and diversity. 

Live Crossings is run by the UNSW School of the Arts & Media and supported by our very own UNSW Creative Practice Lab. We bring together established and emerging figures from a range of different fields and community contexts to produce new, creative work around the pressing social questions of sovereignty, migration, refugees, and cultural dislocation. 

Examine Race, Gender and Sexuality Through a Critical Lens

Based in Australia, we have a local focus but also look at points of connection and a wider dialogue. We approach these questions through the critical lens provided by ongoing debates and activism around race, gender and sexuality. We feature the work of Indigenous, refugees, and diasporic writers, artists and performers, and provide an opportunity for diverse practitioners to lead debates. 

Live Crossings takes the statement by refugee writer, Behrouz Boochani, regarding the importance of literary expression as its model for public and creative debate: 

I publish a lot of stories in the newspapers and in the media about Manus, but people, really, they cannot understand our condition, not in journalistic language. Where we are is too hard. I think only in literary language can people understand our life and our condition. 

- “For Six Months I was Jesus” in They Cannot Take the Sky: Stories From Detention ed Michael Green, André Dao et al., 2017

Boochani’s compelling insight is that literary language is fundamental to the expression of difficult truths and that creativity can ground social and political transformation. Literary language is not confined to print, or to writing or speaking in English. We aim to include work in diverse languages, including Indigenous languages. We also focus on questions of translation and aim to create points of dialogue across different media and performance platforms, which is achieved through live events that mark the launch of each issue. 

Enjoy Workshops Led by Distinguished Editor-curators

Live Crossings invites guest editor-curators to envisage and compile work from a range of creative practitioners working across different languages. The distinguished Community Cultural Development worker Paula Abood and Indigenous poet, activist and critic Evelyn Araluen, produced the first issue. The editor-curators also hold workshops for writers and performers to work together on content, themes, and protocols for each issue. 

As a project, Live Crossings draws on UNSW’s strong international profile in Australian Literature, particularly in contemporary writing, Indigenous and refugee writing, and women writers. It develops substantial and long-lasting forms of social and community engagement that will help lead the debate on fundamental issues and challenges. 

Provisional Steering Committee  

Brigitta Olubas 
Ramaswami Harindranath 
Elizabeth McMahon 
Anne Brewster 
Tanja Dreher 
Roanna Gonsalves 
Caroline Wake 
Zora Simic 
Laetitia Nanquette 
Paula Abood 
Su Goldfish 
Paul Matthews 

Organisational units