Finishing School presents Talking Bodies as part of the 2018 Sydney Writers’ Festival

Finishing School members ( from left) Chloe Higgins, Faith Chaza and Eda Gunaydin

Part of this year’s Sydney Writers' Festival, Talking Bodies is a night of storytelling, performance and spinning turntables with writers Faith Chaza, Eda Gunaydin, and Chloe Higgins. The trio are part of Finishing School, an all-female collective based at Western Sydney University’s Writing and Society Research Centre, supported by The Parramatta Artists Studios, Create NSW and The Crown/Packer Foundation.

Held at the Parramatta Artists’ Studio, the night will use visuals and soundscape to explore the women’s experiences with sex and grief, morphing genders, moving countries and taking back their lives.

Co-Founder of the collective, Dr Felicity Castagna, says the night not only celebrates the talent and craftsmanship of these emerging writers, but also provides a platform for an important exploration of ideas and topics “often reduced to soundbites”.

“Ideas relating to race, identity and gender are so often explored without real depth, especially in the news. Fiction provides a space where these issues can be explored with fitting complexity. It’s here that we can consider things like, as these women have, the various ways to ‘be’ in a women’s body,” says Dr Castagna.

Director of the event, Faith Chaza, hopes the night inspires attendees to think differently about bodies.

“Beyond people really enjoying themselves and actually moving their own body to music, I hope the works presented make them think differently about their own body, and how other people walk around in their body.

“I think fiction is a great way to make people stop and think about things in different ways. It can allow you to show ridiculous versions of things, put two spheres together that don’t normally align and say things that are just as true as non-fiction,” says Faith Chaza says.

Faith Chaza, who grew up in Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa, is an extraordinary storyteller, performer and DJ who has delighted audiences all over the world with her work, which explores non-binary genders, music and her work as a data programmer.  
Also presenting work on the night will be widely-published Turkish-Australian writer and researcher from Doonside Eda Gunaydin, who was recently awarded the WestWords CAL Western Sydney Emerging Writers' Fellowship and Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund grant. As well as Hoxton Park writer Chloe Higgins, who is the founder of Wollongong Writers Festival, winner of the inaugural Feminartsy Memoir Prize and who has recently been agented with Jane Novak Literary Agency for her memoir The Girls, which is forthcoming.

The event is being sponsored by Western Sydney University and The Parramatta Artists Studios with the support of Create NSW and The Crown/Packer Foundation.

Event details

What: Talking Bodies

Where: The Parramatta Artists Studios, level 2, 68 Macquarie Street, Parramatta.  
When: Thursday 3 May, 6:30pm - 8:30pm.

Admission is free and no booking is required to attend.


1 May 2017

Emma Sandham, Senior Media Officer