A citizens’ assembly.
A curatorial match making project across words, intention and representation.
A series of first speeches from those often unheard.
Personal visions for our collective future.
In Australia, fuelled by conservative politicians and media commentators, the darkest side of nationalism has led to the public vilification of immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, Muslims, First Nations People, and – by extension – anyone considered ‘foreign’ or ‘other’.
Congress, intentionally works against stereotypical representations of the ‘other’ by providing a platform for direct address to the public. It puts faces and names and stories to ‘difference’, subverting dominant narratives of what it means to be living in contemporary society and our hugely inter-connected world.
This citizens’ assembly connects the personal with the political. Community citizen Speakers are matched with professional Wordsmiths. Together, they collaborate to write and deliver ‘first political speeches’; personal visions for our collective future. Taking the form of a ritualised performance, intersected with community and cultural dance, this project unashamedly encourages citizens to agitate for change and transformation.
Read the Congress Wyndham Publication here: Congress by All The Queens Men (c) Wyndham City Council 2019.
All The Queens Men will present Congress as part of the UK/Australia Season 2021-22, the largest ever cultural exchange between the two nations, which launched last week. The programme of over 200 live and digital events will celebrate the diverse and innovative artists and cultural sectors of each nation. The theme of the Season is ‘Who Are We Now?’ and will reflect on the shared history, current relationship and imagine the future of the two nations. Find out about the UK/Australia Season HERE.
Presented in the Salisbury Cathedral, Congress is a citizens’ assembly; a series of first speeches from voices often unheard; personal visions for our collective future. Congress intentionally works against stereotypical representations of the ‘other’ by providing a platform for direct address to the public. It puts faces and names and stories to ‘difference’, subverting dominant narratives of what it means to be living in contemporary society and our inter-connected world.
Watch previous Congress presentations HERE. #UKAUSeason
The UK/Australia Season 2021-22 is a collaboration between the British Council and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Congress is presented by Wiltshire Creative supported by Australia Council for the Arts.
2019 – Wyndham City Council Chambers. Presented by Wyndham City, Arts and Culture
Featuring – Hannah Bradsworth, Les Sanderson, Aimee McCartney, Pamela Kennedy, Erum Ali, Damon Paraha, Jack Measham, Jumess Dinanga, Words by – Fatima Measham, David Wells, wāni Le Frère, Grace Vanilau, Paola Balla, Eugenia Flynn, Roger Monk and Demet Divaroren. Dancers – Brent Watkins, Anosha Ali, L2R Dance, Nga Uri Whaioranga, Tama Tatau, Georgette Mofalesi (Afro Fever), Bec Reid and Tristan Meecham
CREATIVE TEAM Composer, Lighting and Sound Designer: Nick Roux, Production Manager, Lighting Designer, Consultant: Ben (Bosco) Shaw, Stage Manager: Leo Gester, Audio Description: Will McRostie, Description Victoria, Auslan Interpreters: Benji Hoopmann and Glenda Judd, Auslan Stage Left, Wyndham City Council: Trish Carlon, Photography: Bryony Jackson. Filming: Singing Bowl Media
2018 – Darwin Festival, Northern Territory Parliament
Creative Team Tristan Meecham, Bec Reid, Nick Roux, Bosco Shaw, Vanessa Wright. Stage Manager Rory Cadman
Speakers: Charlie King, Evan Keith, Jade Jones-Cubillo, Mark Brustolin, Nadem Turkia, Rebecca Hell, Rosa Norman Muller, Sophie Kuswadi, Wordsmiths: Roger Monk, Jill Pope, Matt Heffernan, Philip Tarl Denson, Sam Carmody, Tania Lieman, Thomas Moorhead, Varunika Ruwanpura, Dancers: Express Studios, Kayoko, Sytha Routh, Ryoko Jones, Kayoko, Erma Muller
2017 – Melbourne Fringe Festival / Darebin Arts – Closing Event Northcote Town Hall.
Creation / Direction: All The Queens Men (Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid).
Lighting / Sound Design: Nick Roux.
Speakers: Vidya Rajan, Keira Leike, Helen Bayes, Ethan Pham, Davey Thompson, Hannah Murphy Walsh, Buster Murphy, Geraldine Cook, Ezeldin Deng, Barry T. Nguyen. Wordsmiths: Benjamin Law, Suzie Miller, Melanie Joosten, Richard Watts, Roger Monk, Carly Findlay, Alia Gabres, Cynthia Troup, Solomon Salew, Terry Barnes. Dancers: Lorna Hannan, Tama Tatau, Jungle City Studios, Orlando and Juno de Zwart, Wade Sera-Matiara aka Flyoi.
Stage Management: Rory Cadman.