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Prompted by their recent discovery of a migrant literature archive at Deakin University, Daniella, Michelle, and Safdar come together to explore how art and ‘the digital’ can be used to find new points of connection between diasporic narratives. With reference to various forms of ‘autographics’ (web comics, social media stories, and zines), the panel will discuss how contemporary forms of storytelling might enable archival migrant experiences to be reactivated in the present moment, considering:

  • What does an Australian migrant collection like this reveal about forms of belonging that go beyond national origins or even diasporic communities?
  • How can the disruptive possibilities of the digital be utilised in affirmative ways, for example, by drawing attention to gaps in the archive and/or the dominant story of ‘Australia’ and its place in the Transpacific?
  • What new understandings emerge if contemporary stories of diaspora are brought into conversation with archival diasporic stories–both of which continue to be marginalised?


Rachel Ang (comic artist, co-curator of Comic Sans, Melbourne)

Dr Safdar Ahmed is an artist and academic, and co-founder of the Refugee Art Project, Sydney

Leah Jing (writer & photographer, co-curator of Comic Sans, Melbourne)

Dr Michelle O’Brien teaches postcolonial literature at Central Washington University and is a visiting scholar at the Institute for Transpacific Cultural Research, Vancouver

Dr Daniella Trimboli is a postdoctoral fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University

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