In 2014 Michelle spent 70 days in Yangon, the city of her birth. It was the first time she had been back since she left as an infant. Michelle wanted to find out something about the place that was part of her identity. She found herself a witness to the aftermath of 50 years of oppression. Around her, people were grappling with who they were and what they might become in a new political era. Fascinating as this was, what Michelle longed for was the city of her family's past. The Rangoon she knew from second-hand memories was a sticky, cross-cultural web of religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation and affiliation, home to economic migrants from across Asia and Europe. Michelle’s current project is a portrait of Yangon in 2014 and cosmopolitan Rangoon of her family's past.
Michelle Aung Thin is a novelist, essayist and academic. She was born in Burma (now Myanmar) in the year of the coup and left soon after. Her first novel, The Monsoon Bride,was published by Text in 2011 and is set in Burma during the colonial period. In 2014, Michelle was the first Asialink resident to Myanmar, funded by Arts Victoria. Her current project explores connections between place and identity.
Abbotsford Convent Writers in Residence Christine Kenneally, Tony Birch and Professor Marcia Langton AM are also presenting as part of Open Spaces. There is a special ticket price to see all four talks for $30 - you can select this option when you purchase your ticket. For more information about the talks, visit the event listing here.
This talk is presented as part of the Abbotsford Convent Foundation's flagship multi-arts event, Open Spaces 2016. Tickets to talks include general entry to Open Spaces – simply show your tour ticket at the gate upon arrival. Without a prepurchased ticket, general entry to Open Spaces is $2 at the gate (children under 5 are free). For more information, please see the Abbotsford Convent's website.