Backstories 2021

Backstories is a multi-sited storytelling festival located in backyards across Perth and regional Western Australia. In 2021, it featured locations in Margaret River, South Fremantle, Midland, Quinns Rocks and more, and was funded by Lotterywest, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, City of Mandurah, City of Bayswater, and the Centre for Stories Founders Circle.

Follow Backstories on Instagram @backstoriesperth


For Martha, the pandemic was an opportunity to change her approach to establishing herself in a new country.
Feelings of isolation during the pandemic reminded Carolina of her earlier days settling in a new country, and how she longed for that sense of community.
Alana sees her relationship with her sister echoed in that of her daughters. This is a story that celebrates the complexities and joys of sisterhood.
After packing up and moving back to Perth in 2020, Rita found unexpected joy and opportunity.
For Ryan, learning to love what he sees in the mirror was a journey with many obstacles along the way.
As a man who has spent his life in camouflage, hiding from others who he really is, Ron was surprised to learn that sometimes things do change.
Childhood memories of her grandmother in Jamaica provided Khaseta with a sense of grounding during the pandemic.
Just before the pandemic hit, Prunella took a trip around Japan with her son. She realised that just as he was changing, so was she.
After a heart-wrenching experience of loss and against the backdrop of Black Lives Matter, Valerie found strength through grief.
Like many people in 2020, Saadia experienced the sudden grief of not knowing when she would next be reunited with her family.
What would you take if a bushfire threatened your home? This is a question that Mikaela asks herself regularly, but isn't so easy to answer.
After losing her job in 2020, Kristen embarked on a seven-day hike.
When Eduardo began working as a criminal defence attorney in Brazil, he noticed something striking about his clients – they reminded him a lot of himself.
At one of the lowest points in his life, Kosta found himself at a 'health retreat'. He quickly realised the retreat was something more sinister.
Andrew speaks about the love and complexity of a relationship that he found himself in after moving back to Perth from Singapore.
Brigitte had always wanted to be a dancer. When her dreams finally started becoming a reality, she discovered more about herself than she anticipated.
When Nadia moved to Perth ten years ago to learn English, she didn't expect so many curveballs along the way. But now, she looks back on her journey with pride.
When Rafael most needed a hug, he couldn't get one. From stressful overseas travel to social distancing, Raf shares his deepest emotions from times when he's been closest to his family, and most isolated from them.
Garick had always been a shy and introverted kid. It wasn't until he got a bit older that he realised there was a name for what he was experiencing.
In 2020, Simone faced both personal and professional challenges that pushed her in new directions, including working as a speech pathologist with people recovering from COVID-19.
Min's 2020 brought him from New Zealand to Australia – with nothing short of literal (and metaphorical) shit-throwing along the way.
Stevie talks about their journey coming to terms with who they are, and the year of physical, emotional and mental healing that was 2020.
Illustration of Liu Xiaobo
A PEN Perth collective reading of the work of writers who are or have been imprisoned. Featuring work of writers from Afghanistan, China, India, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Book Online
An illustration of a person wearing a headscarf sitting at a table writing. By their desk is a pot plant and flowers.
This popular 6-week course offers an intimate, safe and relaxed environment in which to begin, or reinvigorate, your life story - all online! Book Online
A photograph of Robert Wood reading to an audience.
Josephine Clarke will teach you the techniques and processes of reading your work to an audience using a microphone. Book Online
An illustration of books, cups of cofee, a clock, a candle, and a lamp floating in a light sage green background
Do you struggle to carve out distraction free writing time? Are you looking for a safe group environment to work on your writing? Would you like to meet other writers in your community? Then this group is for you! Book Online
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