It may not look like much right now, but this blank whiteboard and bare desk will be the home of some serious research for the next nine months as I begin my creative fellowship with the State Library of Victoria. I’ll be using my time at SLV to research a new project, Six Days on a Leaky Boat.
Follow updates on the project here:
Announcement from the State Library of Victoria:
Set in Melbourne's western suburbs during the early 1980s, Nikki's stage musical centres on a Chinese-Vietnamese refugee family who are beginning their lives as new Australians after receiving their citizenship.
The matriarch, Phuong, is a woman who eventually learns that in order to prevent her family from languishing under the enduring trauma of displacement, she must first open herself up to new people and new experiences.
Nikki's project will draw on the experiences and memories of her family and friends who arrived in Australia as refugees from Vietnam. For Nikki, as a second-generation Australian, the project is not only an opportunity for her to personally reflect on her heritage and document a part of her family's history, but also to produce creative work that is accessible to a broader audience, adding to the multitude of Victorian and Australian narratives in an entertaining, emotive and recognisable form.
During the fellowship, Nikki aims to complete an outline and first draft of the script. She will also begin collaborating with a composer to experiment with ways to adapt the traditional musical form into a project that also incorporates the music and culture of Vietnamese and Chinese diaspora.