Dear friends,

Community-making matters. IPCS has been bustling with activity throughout Autumn. Our Naarm/Melbourne-based members, visiting fellows and friends have transformed Curzon St into a creative hub.
In early April, we welcomed a group of emerging artists, architects and researchers for 
Counter-Cartographies: The Absent Map, for a three-day program of workshops, supported by the City of Melbourne – part of a collaboration with Riwaq, the Palestinian Centre for Architectural Conservation. Work emerging from the residency and collaboration is ongoing and a collective publication is developing.
Also in April, Paul Carter, Suzi Hutchings and Kim Mahood joined Melinda Hinkson to explore the challenge of difficult intimate cultural writing in the present. If you missed it, you can catch the recording of 
Writing Close to Life: Perils and Possibilities on our website, marking the publication of Melinda’s latest book See How We Roll.
Later today, Friday 13 May, at noon (via Zoom) we turn to the Solomon Islands to learn about
truth-telling work undertaken in the global South with Sofia Macher, Joseph Foukona and Daniela Gavshon, and convened by Vanessa Barolsky at ADI/Deakin. In the coming months we’ll be learning about experiences on Turtle Island and South Africa. You can catch previous sessions of Decolonising Truth Globally on our website.
Next month, we are thrilled to be holding performances of Mammad Aidani’s collaborative theatre project. Watch out for an event notice and register for 
I said this to the bird: Displacement and Isolation in the time of Covid. Performances will take place on June 16-17 and June 24-25. 
In the lead up to these performances, please join us on Thursday 26 May for a
panel discussion with Mammad, Reza, Mehrfam, Mahdi and Ramin who will talk about the process of conceiving, developing and staging I said this to the bird.

We are also delighted to be rescheduling Danish Sheikh’s 
Love & Reparation after having had to postpone it during the extended lockdown last year. 
With a number of events and performances scheduled in the coming weeks, there’s still plenty more to come!
If you are not yet a 
member, consider joining us, paid membership is a substantial way to support the independent public education project that is IPCS.

And as the end-of-financial approaches, if you are in a position to contribute beyond membership, consider making a tax-deductible donation. 
Donations of any size make a concrete difference to what we are able to do.

Stay well, 
Melinda and Carlos

The Institute of Postcolonial Studies
Image courtesy of the International Center for Transitional Justice.

Truth-telling in the Solomon Islands
Decolonising Truth Globally Seminar Series

Online via Zoom
Friday 13 May, 12.00-1.30 pm

Join Sofía MacherJoseph Foukona and Daniela Gavshon, with Vanessa Barolsky as chairas we explore the work of the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the horizons opened up through the truth-telling process. 

Launched in 2008 by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Chair of the South African TRC, the Solomon Islands Truth and Reconciliation Commission was the first TRC in the Pacific. It was established to investigate the violence in the Guadalcanal Province between 1997 and 2003. Access to land, and social and political economy issues shaped the tensions leading to armed conflict between settlers from the Malaitan Province living on Guadalcanal and the island’s Indigenous residents. 

Decolonising Truth Globally
Sovereignty & Reparations through Truth-telling

The Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI) and the Institute of Postcolonial Studies (IPCS) are running a series of seminars on international experiences of truth-telling with particular relevance to the unfolding conversation in Australia following the release of the Uluru Statement calling for Voice, Treaty and Truth in 2017.

The seminars have sought to foster a conversation about the possibilities and challenges of truth-telling by drawing on the experience and processes in other relevant contexts. The series has focused particularly on truth processes that have impacted on Indigenous communities in order to share knowledge that may help inform an Australian truth-telling process. 

I said this to the bird
A panel discussion
Thursday 26 May, 7.30-9.00 pm

Four strangers, all Iranian men, congregate in the hall of a migrant resource centre somewhere in Melbourne. In their coming together they take the audience through a rollercoaster of emotions. Join playwright Mammad Aidani, and collaborators Reza Kaviani, Mehrfam Naimi, Mahdi Gholamshahidani and Ramin Montazeri who will talk about the process of conceiving, developing and staging I said this to the bird.

Performances will follow on Thursday June 16, Friday June 17 and Friday June 24, Saturday June 25. 

I said this to the bird

Four strangers, all Iranian men, congregate in the hall of a migrant resource centre somewhere in Melbourne. Their meeting coincides with a lifting of public health restrictions that have prohibited social gatherings and kept the city silent and in lockdown, for many weeks. While all residents of the city have suffered during this unprecedented period of immobility, for recently arrived asylum seekers and refugees, the enforced isolation has been an especially gruelling and emotionally turbulent ordeal. 

In their coming together at the migrant resource centre, Arjang, Wahid, Hamed and Noshan take the audience through a rollercoaster of emotions, from anxiety, to hostility, paranoia, alienation, anger, cut across by brief moments of hope and exhilaration. I said this to the bird confronts its audience with the destabilising experience of being displaced and othered, the frailty and thinness of friendship, and the challenges of enduring unrelenting loneliness and abandonment. Amid such psychologically unsettling circumstances, there is palpable relief in small moments that dissolve this anxious intensity—in recalled memories of home, in glimpses of laughter and love, in wrestling with writing to give voice to unspeakable experiences, and for one man, in conversations with a bird who provides a constant ear at a time when there is no one else to listen. 

In this one-act performance, playwright Mammad Aidani brings to life the culmination of two years of therapeutic improvisational work and writing workshops he has undertaken with the project’s participants, Reza Kaviani, Mehrfam Naemi, Asgher Mirhoseini and Farhad Bakhshi. The play will be performed by Reza Kaviani, Mehrfam Naimi and Ramin Montazeri, and Mahdi Gholamshahidani.

Love and Reparation
Friday 27 May, 7.00-9.30 pm

Love & Reparation is a theatrical response to a decades-long litigation battle in India that ultimately resulted in the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 2018. 

Danish Sheikh is a PhD Candidate at the Melbourne Law School, exploring the intersections of law and performance. Prior to this, he worked as a human rights lawyer and theatre practitioner in India.
Five Realities
Averroes Centre for Arab Culture
Thursday 19 May, 6.30-8.30 pm

A talk by Yousef Alreemawi on the plight of Palestinians on the occasion of the Nakba.
Writing Close to Life: Perils and Possibilities

Suzi Hutchings, Kim Mahood, Paul Carter and Melinda Hinkson explore what is at stake in committed, difficult, intimate cultural writing in the present. A panel discussion to mark the recent publication of Melinda Hinkson’s new book See How We Roll: Enduring Exile Between Desert and Urban Australia (Duke University Press, 2021).


Postcolonial Studies

Open Access Articles

Postcolonial Studies does not confine its attentions to any single place, region or discipline. It publishes original and challenging contributions from all over the world, informed by a variety of theoretical perspectives. Its aim is to generate a productive dialogue and exchange between theorists and writers in disparate locations.

- Josias Tembo (2022) Do African postcolonial theories need an epistemic decolonial turn?Postcolonial Studies, 25:1, 35-53.

- Gianmaria Colpani (2022) 
Crossfire: postcolonial theory between Marxist and decolonial critiquesPostcolonial Studies, 25:1, 54-72.

- Katrine Smiet (2022) 
Rethinking or delinking? Said and Mignolo on humanism and the question of the humanPostcolonial Studies, 25:1, 73-88.

- Sara de Jong (2022) 
Writing rights: suturing Spivak’s postcolonial and de Sousa Santos’ decolonial thoughtPostcolonial Studies, 25:1,89-107

- Joseph Confavreux (2022) 
Decolonial anxieties in a postcolonial world: an interview with Achille MbembePostcolonial Studies, 25:1,128-135.

- Sanjay Seth (2022), 
Beyond belief: secularism, religion and our muddled modernity, Postcolonial Studies.

2022-2023 MEMBERSHIP
Institute of Postcolonial Studies

The Institute of Postcolonial Studies brings together scholars, artists, activists and larger publics to explore and respond to the colonial encounter and its aftermath in Australia and globally. Become a member and be part of a growing community of creative and critically engaged people.

IPCS Reading Group
Theory, Politics, Knowledges

Tuesdays 4.30 pm, next 17 May
Our reading group works through influential and contemporary texts on postcolonialism, settler colonialism, and decoloniality, together with other work essaying critical and creative approaches to theory, knowledge and politics. If you would like to join, please write to Jasmine Barzani or Carlos Morreo.
The Institute of Postcolonial Studies is an independent not-for-profit public education project with deductible gift recipient status. Donations will support a range of emerging activities — public forums, a visiting scholars and writers/artists in residence program; performance-based workshops; practice-based community engaged research, and reading and discussion groups.

All donations to IPCS are tax deductible.
Our mailing address is

Institute of Postcolonial Studies
78-80 Curzon Street
North Melbourne, Victoria 3051

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We acknowledge the Wurundjeri owners and custodians of the Eastern Kulin nation. We honour the distinctive cultures, histories and aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We stand with Indigenous struggles for social justice and empowerment, in Australia and globally.

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