Meet Steven! He’s a Perth creative who’s passionate about sustainability, Earth’s future and Australia’s literary community, and he’s one of DWF 2017’s Creative Producers.
What drew you to apply to be a creative producer at DWF, and what aspect of the position are you most looking forward to?
I love the idea of an online-based festival, and I love the Emerging Writers’ Festival too. I was drawn to apply out of a curiosity – to see how both the festivals work. I would also really like to make some interstate connections. I have been active in the Perth literary community for some time, but it’s an isolated city. I think DWF could potentially be a great thing for the scene here, and vice versa, the Perth lit scene could be great for DWF, and I’d love to help make that connection happen.
Do you have any personal projects you’re working on at the moment?
I’m currently the Community Engagement Officer with Paper Mountain. I’m co-curating, with Lisa Max, a fan art exhibition called For We Love. I’m the current Sweet Seat resident at the PVI Collective, developing an augmented reality app called Oriel. I am working on a novel manuscript called Trap God.
What does the future hold for you?
I built and lived in a yurt (nomadic tent-like structure) for 15 months, traveling around backyards. In that time, I thought and read a lot about the future of the Earth. I’m not exactly a doomer, but what the future holds for all of us should be a matter of concern. I hope to work towards being completely sustainable in every way, and to be part of a free and creative community when I get there.
What are you reading at the moment?
I am currently reading Rubik by Elizabeth Tan, a Perth writer who featured at the last DWF.
What is your advice for other aspiring writers?
I feel like I’m an aspiring writer myself. And no advice is going to be as good as simply doing the thing, whether that is writing, reading, editing, or reviewing. It’s not easy, but it is simple. Hold on to your dreams, but be practical too. Practice. Stoke your passions. Be organised and productive. There is better advice from more successful people than me. But again, no advice is as good as simply doing the things.
You’re in a battle for survival in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Which three characters, including fictional and real people, alive and dead, would you choice to have with you?
I think we’re already in a post-apocalyptic wasteland – certainly for the species that have recently gone extinct, and the cultures and nations experiencing food shortages, or who have experienced colonialism, the apocalypse has come and gone. Post-apocalyptic thinking is a part of Afrofuturist thought, since for African Americans the trans-atlantic slave trade was an apocalypse that destroyed their names, their way of life, and their world. I’m interested in ways of positioning people (including myself) to better live and provide life for others – to cultivate attentive practices of thought, love, rage, and care. So in the battle for survival I would just try pick as many species as I can. Wait, I am taking this question too seriously. Sorry. I’d pick Princess Bubblegum, for the science, Ana Mendieta, for her art, and Aloysha Karamazov, for his feelings. Honorary mentions to Hayao Miyazaki, kindred doomer and animator, ol’ pal George Sanders for his hope and craft, Pony Express, the artists behind ecosexual bathhouse, and my pal Mike Bianco, with whom I’ve had many discussions about life after the apocalypse. Also, I’d recommend Donna Haraway, for her book Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chuthulucene for anyone who is just generally concerned about things.
The 2017 Digital Writers’ Festival will run from October 26 – November 3. Steven is working on what is sure to be an incredible event, find out details when the program launches on October 2!