MAV launches Mapping Melbourne Festival 2020-21

MAV-Mapping-Melbourne-Jonathan-Homsey-photo-by-Shannon-May-PowellMapping Melbourne – an annual artistic exploration of Asian Australian identity presented by MAV is set to return on Thursday 3 December 2020 with an inspiring two-month program of free virtual events and premieres of creative works by talented, self-determined artists.

For the first time in its celebrated history, Mapping Melbourne will be entirely virtual; broadcasting vibrant and uncensored new works to the world and placing a spotlight on the unique experiences of Asian Australians.

While the festival’s presentation has changed in its eighth and final year, a dedication to placing agency in the hands of culturally diverse artists and being artist-led remains at its core.

This year’s program will explore thought-provoking themes of diaspora, connectiveness, global relationships and the power of the creative voice. The festival will also respond to the challenges of 2020, the impacts of COVID-19 on international collaborations and the racism that has been magnified by the pandemic.

MAV CEO Veronica Pardo reflected on the challenges of this year and how they have enabled MAV to find the essence of what makes Mapping Melbourne so valued by communities.

“Investing in artists and artistic practices that speak to the importance of our identity as a society that deeply values its diversity has been the driving force behind Mapping Melbourne this year,” said Pardo.

“Even as the spectre of racism has raised its head in the context of the pandemic, it has been drowned out by citizens whose attitudes and beliefs have been, in significant ways, shaped by diverse artists and creatives.”

“We hope that our program reflects the strength and resilience of diverse communities, the value of investing in culture to connect and heal, and the importance of family and community to get us through difficult times.”

Mapping Melbourne has been instrumental in platforming, profiling and creating far-reaching opportunities for Asian Australian artists. Since 2015, over 530 culturally diverse artists have been involved in the festival, many of which going on to find industry recognition, both locally and internationally.

The festival will open with a spectacular virtual launch event featuring official proceedings, the short film premiere of Joelistics Presents Film School by acclaimed Malaysian-Australian Producer Joelistics and live interviews with festival artists. Additional highlights of the festival include:

  • Soyoun Kim: Accomplished Korean-Australian visual artist, Soyoun Kim, will exhibit a series of self-performed images that refute fixed identity based on ethnicity, with interpretations of a mask on a performing body. Mask is premiering 10 December 2020.
  • Creature Creature: Artist duo Ambrose Rehorek and Chanel Tang of Creature Creature will create a collaborative work titled Forever Dance that will pay tribute to those who show resilience, and explore persistence, moving forward and the beauty of coming together. Forever Dance is premiering 10 December 2020.
  • Jonathan Homsey: Born in Hong Kong, and raised in the US, Jonathan Homsey is an arts maker interested in the intersection of street dance, visual art, and social engagement. Jonathan will premiere a short film titled Not Your Zaddy, Not Yet Your Asian Fantasy that is aimed to motivate Queer People of Colour (QPOC) to brush off people who implicitly and explicitly project oppression and sexual racism. Not Your Zaddy, Not Yet Your Asian Fantasy premieres 17 December 2020.
  • Adolfo Aranajuez: Adolfo Aranjuez is an editor, writer, speaker and dancer whose interdisciplinary practice focuses on queering and ‘collisions’ of word and movement. Adolfo will premiere a short film titled Borealis that explores disconnection, interaction and vulnerability through words and movement. Borealis is premiering 17 December 2020.

Mapping Melbourne 2020 runs from 3 December 2020 until 28 January 2021. For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: Jonathan Homsey – photo by Shannon May Powell