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Backstories

Backstories was a one day multi-sited storytelling festival located in the suburbs of Western Australia. Reaching from Mandurah to Wanneroo, the Backstories festival provided new opportunities for storytellers to share stories in local backyards.

Funded by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Healthway, Backstories was held on March 2020 to book-end the festival season. Locals were invited to bring a picnic, join their community and neighbours, and hear stories from a range of different people, including some of our seasoned storytellers.

The Aussie backyard is an important part of our national identity and we’re keen to share familiar cultural icons, such as the hills hoist and cricket stumps, to spaces where people come together to celebrate what matters here.

Follow Backstories on Instagram @backstoriesperth


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Anju reflects on the effects of Sri Lanka’s civil war, and her mixed Sinhalese, Burgher and Tamil heritage.
A migrant family in a new city, a mad dash from a group of bullies, and a conversation with a stranger on a plane. Shamit shows us three moments across time that come together to form a bigger picture.
Born in Sri Lanka, Shenali grew up in the suburbs of Gosnells and Southern River, and remembers a time when her life in Australia stretched only as far as the Carousel Shopping Centre and Gosnells Library.
"Despite society’s expectations, which disabled me far more than my body did, I have outlived my expiry date many times over." Sandi shares her story of her battle with Cystic Fibrosis.
Ron shares the story of a West Australian and a Victorian – an unlikely friendship and its impact across a lifetime.
“When I realised I was attracted to blokes, I found it impossibly out of sync with every aspect of my identity as a man.” Holden takes us from Geraldton to Europe and back again, with much to say in between.
According to Saadia, in Pakistan a student has three options for their future: to become either a doctor, an engineer, or a disappointment. Her story is one of hope, passion, and picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and getting on with it.
‘I’m fifteen years of age and I turn to my mother and say, “I wish I was white.”’ Colin shares his experience of growing up in 1980s London as a young black man.
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