CuriousWorks is an organisation working to support creators of diverse backgrounds and will present their work at Boundless.
When you walk down the streets of Cabramatta, Liverpool or Parramatta, are you struck by their vibrant cultural diversity? Is that the Australia you are seeing on your TV, or in films and theatre? CuriousWorks is a unique, innovative arts and social change company celebrating cultural diversity, from our Indigenous people to those who have recently settled here. Using film, theatre, digital technology and education programs, we collaborate with communities so they can tell their own stories and leave them with the skills to continue doing so for future generations. Our first step is designing grassroots workshops in arts and digital media with young people. We develop long-term partnerships embedded in the community creating long lasting scaffolding for participation. Our second step is identifying cultural leaders and intensively building their capacity to be creative and community leaders. We run a leadership program comprised of a group of young people called the Curious Creators who are creating work that speaks to their own personal stories.
In 2014, CuriousWorks produced its first feature film. Inspired by true events and set in the dynamic, multicultural mix of Western Sydney, Riz is a coming-of-age story and an entertaining portrayal of life for young people in Western Sydney that comes from the heart of the storytellers. Raw and authentic, Riz lays bare the rarely crossed divide between the West and the city’s more affluent suburbs and challenges us to think about how we create leaders, our responsibility to community and everyday barriers to opportunity and change. CuriousWorks is currently in post-production on Laka: a large-scale audio-visual artwork that follows the story of Lily, a Yolngu Indigenous woman who leaves her husband and her life in Sydney in the last days of her pregnancy to answer the call to home. During the long journey to remote Arnhem Land, Lily draws on her ancestors for the strength to overcome her fears and carry her safely home to have her baby. Laka’s story has been developed out of an intercultural creative process between CuriousWorks’ artistic director, S. Shakthidharan, acclaimed First Nation performer, Rosealee Pearson, and their respective Sri Lankan and Yolngu communities. CuriousWorks’ next project in the pipeline is Las Rosas — a web-series developed by the Curious Creators — the story of two sisters waging an epic battle over Ana’s coming of age.
CuriousWorks aims to celebrate Western Sydney’s contemporary, intercultural way of life — and Australia’s largely unknown intercultural histories.