In 2013, we initiated B-SIDE, a fast and furious week of writing for Aboriginal artists produced locally with a national and international reach. The artists work in close collaboration with one another and industry professionals to develop a short fictional essay/monologue, which is then recorded, post-produced and published on iTunes. B-SIDE addresses the fact that there are no specific initiatives in Western Sydney for Aboriginal artists to seed and develop new writing, thereby paving the way for new work. B-SIDE is like a fire-starter, giving artists the opportunity to tease out an idea on the page in a professional, supported environment with a direct and immediate outcome.
The 2016 b-side writers group has just wound up workshops and will be going into the studio at the University of Western Sydney to record four new Aboriginal short works for Radio. The works include:
A little Piece of Ash by Megan Wilding – a story of a young Aboriginal girl coming to terms with the loss of her mother with the assistance of her helpful best friend.
Mandy’s Gift by Fern Martins – a coming of age story about a young Aboriginal girl growing up in in Paddington Sydney during the 1960s.
Eddie by Sonny Dallas Law – a story about a young Murri boy struggling with addiction who finds his inner spiritual guide who comes to his aid during a particularly low point in his life.
Happy Puppies by Terry Mitchell – a story about three dogs which escape from a holiday doggy lodge on a deserted country highway and find themselves rescuing various distressed animals and a human along the way.
Since its inception, B-SIDE has commissioned new writing from 12 Aboriginal artists at varying stages in their career and from different artistic disciplines. The works written during this time can be found on our iTunes podcast channel (2016 stories uploaded as soon as possible).
Listen now to a selection of stories from our 2013 and 2014 B-Side artists:
GIRL FROM COOTAMUNDRA by Robyn Schmitz
CUZ by Billy Mac
THE UMBRELLA by Vicki Van Hout
THE DEBUT by Gayle Kennedy
DAVE by Travis Cardona
IT’S JUST DAD AND ME (excerpt) by Katie Beckett