My mum and I attended the Modern Greek Conference at the University of Sydney on the 4th of December 2014 to meet Helen Nickas, Publisher of Owl Publishing, and to further discuss the work-in-progress publication of her upcoming anthology, that I was invited to contribute a memoir piece to. The conference was eye-opening about the topics discussed on Greek culture and Greek-Australian Identity. I was particularly interested in Anna Dimitriou’s presentation on Comparing Contemporary Greek-Australian Writers: Mediators between cultures, or desiring something else. Since completing my creative thesis on Australian-Greek identity, I’ve realised there is further research I would like to undertake, learning more from first and second generation Greek-Australian writers, but most importantly for myself, third generation Australian-Greek writers, children born of Migrant children, as I call them. I believe there is a voice of this third generation lacking in contemporary Greek-Australian writing, but as was discussed at the conference, the only way for this type of work to be critiqued, is if there is work published. Furthermore, the interest of research mainly focuses on first generation narratives, especially now since a lot of first generation Greek-Australians are much older, and also going through dementia. Their stories are coming back to them, allowing them to reminisce, and open up about their experiences growing up. But it is hard to start critiquing third generation writing, when there hasn’t been a full scope of the first generation Greek-Australian writers documented and published, and now the second generation.Also, during the lunch break my mum and I went to the Nicholson Museum to see the exhibitions currently showing.
- Actors, Athletes and Academics: Life in Ancient Greece
- Egyptians, Gods and Mummies
- The Etruscans
The layout of the exhibitions was well-presented and I was surprised to see mummified hands and feet and skulls and cats, and mummified bodies in the Egyptian section (but I should have known better). And then the Ancient Greece section was breathtaking. It almost felt like I was back in Greece from my holiday in 2013. I loved the marble statues and faces, and the beautiful black and red figured pottery. I took so many photos of the scenes on the pottery for inspiration for my creative writing. Hopefully soon, after I finish my second novel, I’ll be able to start on a new historical fiction short story or novella, and use these photos I took today.
It was a wonderful and productive day, besides trying to find parking for half an hour around the University of Sydney campus, and then having one of the parking machines munching down $15 and ripping us off. Note to self – take the train next time!