It was a fabulous experience to prepare a conversation for the AFTS 2022 conference in Brisbane.
Inspired by the Flesh to Fossil theme, Lauren and I discussed the idea of ancestry as fossil and thinking of our audience not just ourselves from the very beginning, our discussions began.
Through the course of our preparations, we had zoom conversations, which were transformed into a collaborative slide presentation with pertinent images of our own choice.
At the same time I was conversing with Roselle and Sharon, and finding that in Lauren has a deep understanding of many cultures and backgrounds which she is able to respect in the editing process and was equally helpful to bounce ideas off.
Lauren is a true sister of the Diaspora, as an American in an Australian environment, and our conversations were so interesting for both of us. She has learnt to embrace the feelings of ‘otherness’ she sometimes has as an American, and to see what this gives her as a lens to understanding that process which often disempowers the recipient.
We found the conference itself to be so inspiring, and found that there were some unforeseen challenges during the months of preparation which included the loss of friends and relatives.
This led us to reflect on the portal between this life and the next, and the nearness of ancestors, friends and family gone before us, to help us understand and make those journeys, as well as the role of stories in looking at future and past worlds.
It has been an honour to work with dear Lauren, as well as Roselle and Sharon. And to think we have future collaborations in mind, is just the best feeling. You know a team is a fabulous one, when people wish for a continuation of the journey.
Many thanks to the AFTS conference for providing the opportunity for us to share our thoughts on ways forward in the creation of Australian fairy tales – utilising respect and honouring as lenses, to put our processes of research and storytelling through.
So inspired by this conversation, and the response of the audience to our storytelling, analytical and emotive compassionate thinking, we feel that we would further like to develop our presentation into a workshop to inspire others to engage with their ancestry as a source of inspiration – a fossil maybe to give flesh to, but more to breathe respectful soul into, where the ancestors will be happy with us.