>Report on "AAI 2: The 2nd Asian Australian Identities conference" – June/July 2007

>This is by no means an official report – it’s just me catching up on blogging and trying to appease the three people who regularly read “The Banana Lounge” (though, can I just say again how fun it is to find out that other folks are reading this blog when I had no idea? Just in these recent few weeks, I’ve heard about another three people – big whoop, I hear you say? Well, c’mon, this doubles my imagined readership!).

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was back at work in the week beginning 18 June – that meant that the conference was the week after. Oh, how mad was it to plan a return to work after 6 months off a mere week before a major conference? Plenty mad, I tell you. The lead-up was a blur and thank god for the help of certain people who regularly diss RMIT.

The whole family (Shayne, Evie, myself) checked into the hotel room as I figured having bubs around would be a major weight off my mind when I was running around for the next 3 days straight (and I was right – never will I have second thoughts about having my partner and baby to stay at events again! Why did I have 2nd thoughts in the 1st place? It’s that professional/domestic dichotomy. If you let the domestic seep into the professional then that’s UNprofessional, so my psyche tells me. The glee with which most people met my partner and baby told me otherwise so I’m not sure where I got that hang-up from).

… … I started this entry on 7 July and now it’s almost August and it’s still unposted. Oy.

So, all you get now is the AAI 2 conference in summary:

  • Excellent fun to meet up with old buddies in the AA network, as well as put faces to names of folks I’ve ‘known’ on the asian-australian_discuss for years. So often, working in this growing but small field, it’s easy to feel isolated and wonder what the point of it all is. While the latter still occupies me regularly, the isolation dissipates at conferences such as the one just gone, and it’s a real treat to hang with people I genuinely like and have designs on working with.
  • When I think back on the keynotes we had, I realise how cool a combination they were and how lucky we were to have them all come through in the end. Ditto the range of speakers who populated the program. So often with conferences, you’re at the mercy of who chooses to come along, and – especially with keynotes – whether they decide that your conference is funky/important/interesting enough for them to attend. Reminds me of a high-flier who was invited onto a keynote panel at an overseas conference (not something I was organising) and she insisted on knowing who else was on the panel before she committed to the event. Hmmm. Needed others to bolster her reputation much? Rreowr. Anyway, enough of that. I specifically didn’t want any divas as keynotes because, y’know, we all know life is too short.
  • Had a bit of a disastrous last day in terms of a/v screw-ups, but many delegates assure me that they weren’t aware of them. Bless their little hearts for saying so even though I don’t think that’s entirely true. My hunt for the conference that doesn’t have an a/v stuff-up goes on…
  • One of the plenaries that was utterly last minute was Tony Ayres’ short session at the end of the conference. He’d provided a sneak peek at his new film Home Song Stories on a DVD compilation and generously filled us in on his perspective on the film’s marketing, funding and creation. The film looked FAB. So slick, and beautifully shot as all Tony’s stuff is (if you haven’t seen his other flicks that fall into the AA category, check them out: China Dolls, Sadness. IMDb is such a goldmine – who knew that Tony worked on Dogs in Space?).
  • The cabaret on the first night of the conference was fantastic fun. It was an event at which visitors and locals got to strut their stuff and, boy, was stuff strutted. The conference report that’s going out to all delegates will also include info re the photos that we’ve managed to gather. Must say that recording of the event was last-minute as other things overtook us, but I’m not too cut up about it because some things remaining ephemeral are just fine with me. It’s a bit of exclusivity and freshness in this overly-podcasted world. No, you can’t watch it 100 times or on-post it to YouTube. No, you weren’t there and you missed out; make sure you come along next time. Too harsh? Possibly. Satisfying? Oh yes.
  • Sounded like the conference gave people heaps to think about, as well as spurred them to apply ideas and confront issues in their own work. I’ve had a fair amount of follow-up with various folks and it’s been gratifying to see how these conference influences have worked.

Right now? I’m back at work 2 days a week and realising how short 2 days a week really is. This is not all doom and gloom because it also makes me realise how lucky I am to have 3 days a week at home with bubs. No complaints there.


Oh, and after maundering on about having no time to finish this post before today, many of you will know that I’ve been bitten by the Facebook bug. Utterly. Tragically. The only thing keeping me happy about this obsession is the fact that I’ve taken so many of you with me. Bwahaha. And, indeed, you should be thankful that things like fluff(Friend) racing have entered your paltry lives.


3 thoughts on “>Report on "AAI 2: The 2nd Asian Australian Identities conference" – June/July 2007

  1. Lisa Gunders 31/07/2007 / 3:22 am

    >Hi Tseen,Your willingness to tackle the professional/domestic dichotomy has been an inspiration to me. Keep it up, girl! Make it work for you!

  2. Kirsty 02/08/2007 / 11:08 pm

    >I now realise that my existence could not be called ‘living’ before you introduced me to(fluff) races.

  3. Tseen 03/08/2007 / 12:02 am

    >Hi LisaThanks for your comment – I’m grappling with this so-called ‘balance’ at which we’re meant to arrive and I’m not sure I’ll get there! I’ll keep blundering along as I usually do and maybe it’ll look like I have a plan… ;)Tseen—————Hi KirstyHAHHAH. fluff-racing is the silliest thing I’ve used the internet for since I first got an email address in 1994, and that’s saying something.See you at the starting line!T.

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