Dr Michelle Aung Thin has been awarded both the National Library of Australia Creative Arts Fellowship for Australian Writing and an Australia Council grant for $27,366.
The Ausco grant is to support Michelle’s book, provisionally titled 70 Days in Dagon, which will examine Yangon, Myanmar’s major city, on the cusp of democracy, and colonial Rangoon prior to Japanese occupation. Drawing from personal experience and the history of her mixed-race family – her ancestors were Burmese, Indian, Sri Lankan, Dutch, French, Irish and German – her project will examine what ‘home’ means in the context of identities that are in between ethnic limits.
For her fellowship project, titled Cosmopolitan Rangoon through the eyes of Gordon Luce or, how the politics of authenticity shape the intimate, she will examine private papers from the National Library of Australia’s Luce Collection to research Rangoon during the lead up to World War II. Gordon Luce was one of Europe’s foremost scholars on Burma and lived in Rangoon from 1912 until 1964. His letters and diaries cover the period of high colonialism, the moment of Japanese occupation, Burmese independence and military rule.
Michelle’s first novel, The Monsoon Bride, (Text) was also set in colonial Burma. This project continues her interest in spliced identities and states of transition.
Assoc Prof David Carlin has won an Australia Council grant for $24, 976, with his colleague Sosina Wogayehu, for a project to develop a theatre production as an adaptation of David’s creative nonfiction book The Abyssinian Contortionist.
David is currently writing the script for the production. The funding, together with a competitive grant of $66,000 funding from Adelaide Festival and Major Festivals Initiative, enables creative development including a four week workshop/rehearsal period with actors and creative team in March/April. The project is planned to premiere at Australian festivals in 2018.