Pegboard: Cyborg presidents and hopes for the future


At Next Wave’s Festival 2020 Program Launch, artist Roshelle Fong introduced us to the nation’s 2050 presidential candidate, Poona Li Hung. Together, they addressed xenophobia’s past, present & future.

“As part of Next Wave Festival’s ‘Government of Artists’ my co-creator and playwright Keziah Warner, our co-director Alice Qin and I are on a war-path of love, demonstrating how hate speech can be flipped on its head to generate ideas and solutions to shape a more tolerant society.

"You may remember back in 1997, One Nation supporters published a book 'Pauline Hanson: The Truth’. If you never got round to reading the 234 page masterpiece, it features a delightful morsel of creative writing which imagines Australia in the year 2050, ruled by Poona Li Hung – a ‘lesbian Chinese-Indian cyborg’ President. Using this source material as inspiration, we’re creating an immersive political dramedy theatre show called ‘Poona’.”


Next Wave Festival 2020 artists share what’s inspiring them.

Lyndon Blue (VIC)
"I’ve been listening to this new podcast called Beyond Belief created by LA-based, Australian Egyptian writer / tarot reader / spiritual practitioner Jerico Mandybur.

What’s really fascinating is how this translates to not only personal ritual, but also pointed political protest - they discuss how Satan is still used as a tool by hegemonic powers (e.g. patriarchal churches and governments) and how that can be flipped on its head."

View their project White Line Fever (in collaboration with Matt Aitken) here

Moreblessing Maturure (NSW)
“I’ve been watching A LOT of streamed content as I’ve mused about digital literacy and our responsibilities as citizens and creators to be well-versed in what opportunities, challenges and questions the ~digital sphere~ presents. My top picks are all 4 seasons of Mr Robot (Foxtel) and a British series, The Capture (ABC Iview).”

View their project Milk & Honey & Lemons here

Rachel Meyers (TAS)
“I just heard about the public release of the Soundscape app this morning, it looks terrific. They’re featuring the work of some excellent field recording artists.”

View their project Southern Ecophony here

Belinda Locke
"My book recommendation is Say Hello by writer & appearance activist Carly Findlay.

I’m also watching video documentation from my sister Lana Locke’s exhibition Mother’s Milk in London, released online due to COVID-19 early closure."

View their project Under My Tongue here

A selection of digi-things to break the working-from-home mundanity. Get dressed up (or down) and scroll with us, read with us, dance with us, stay home with us. ❤️

Alec is reading,
Simon Hanselmann’s COVID comic series
Priya is reading,
Inventory by Carmen Maria Machado
Bron is reading,
Glenn Henn design the Melbourne Dance Company – Delving into Dance
Sully is reading,
What’s Your Most Important Memory of Touch?
Nikki is watching,
Namila Benson | Behind the Biennale Podcast | Episode 1
Lujayn is listening to,
Start Breaking My Heart

  1. Poona Li Hung at NWF2020 Program Launch