[csaa-forum] Cultural Representations of Adoption / Beyond Celebrities

Indigo Willing i.willing at uq.edu.au
Wed Jun 3 12:25:44 CST 2009

Please share with your networks interested in films and cultural  

Touring Transcultural Adoptee Films


First host event is in Melbourne at the 'Transcultural Adoptee Films  
and Seminar Event'

with special reading of 'Umbilical' by Dominic Golding and 4 short  
films by transcultural adoptees.

13 June, 2009 at 10am - 5pm at Mercy Lecture Theatre, Australian  
Catholic University, Melbourne.

Presented by Adopted Vietnamese International (AVI) and the  
Intercountry Adoptee Support Network (ICASN) in association with The  
School of Social and Political Inquiry, Monash University, Australian  
Catholic University and the Asian Australian Studies Research Network.

Free event. No registration required.

About the festival tour

Welcome to a tour that is the first of its type in Australia. In  
recent times an intense amount of media attention has surrounded the  
inter-country adoption of ‘Third World’ and Non-White children by  
wealthy White celebrities such as Madonna and Angelina Jolie.  Stories  
about these famous personalities’ adoptions appear almost daily.  They  
peer at us from magazines in the shopping aisle, the doctor’s waiting  
room, the Internet and television. Yet little is understood of what  
impact such reportage has on the lives of non-famous or ‘ordinary’  
transnationally adoptees whose own presence in the practice is far  
less exposed yet far more common.
This is a tour of films by transcultural adoptees (we use  
'transcultural adoptees' as an umbrella term to cover International,  
Indigenous, Transracial and Domestic adoptees whose cultural  
backgrounds are different to their adopters). These films will be  
screened at various adoptee-run events held in major cities across  

Our Debut

This tour is a ‘debut’ in various senses. It is the first adoptee- 
organised tour of transcultural adoptee films to be launched in  
Australia. The talents and perspectives of transcultural adoptees are  
to be found in every facet of this tour: the filmmakers film booklet  
authors and journalists, and volunteer committee members/event co- 
ordinators are all transcultural adoptees. In addition, most of the  
films are making their Australian debut. These new perspectives are  
all the more significant because, to date, most commentary on and  
representations of trancultural adoption have been made by people who  
have not been adopted. In this festival, the adoptee gaze is revealed  
and celebrated.

Our Aim

Our aim is to highlight the new perspectives that mature-aged  
transcultural adoptees have on the practice of transcultural adoption.  
Whether in documentary form, straight narrative or as experimental  
exploration of adoption, each film offers a unique window into what it  
is to be adopted across cultures, and very often transracially as well.

The Format: ‘A Tour of the Tour’

Each stage of this tour is programmed by an Adoptee Committee. There  
are five committees spanning the following geographical areas:  
Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and with Perth and Adelaide to follow.  An  
international tour may also follow.

Each committee will create a unique program for its area. Committee  
members will select a variety of films for each individual program and  
may also produce associated events. The resulting program for each  
area may take the form of a one-day film festival, a one-day mixed- 
cultural event with artistic performances and panels featuring  
adoptees, monthly film nights, etc. Panel sessions held at various  
events will feature adoptee guests from a range of professions  
including adoption educators, authors, visual and theatre artists,  
musicians and academic researchers.

Want to know what films and events are touring to your area? The  
specific program for each area (including times for films and all  
associated events, along with biographical information about relevant  
speakers and committees) is available on the ICASN website in the  
'news' section www.icasn.org

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