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Open Right

Sarah Ayoub: Nevertheless, She Resisted

Session Info:

In 1998, a Korean schoolboy was stabbed to death by a gang of youths outside a party in Punchbowl, in Sydney’s South-West. I had just started high school but was suddenly aware – although I couldn’t articulate it at the time – of the way that the media contextualised the crime around the ethnicity of the perpetrators, who like me, were the children of Lebanese migrants. In the years that followed, many local and international events ‘othered’ Arab-Australians, and I moved through the world constantly fearful of how I would be received and treated because of the intersections of my race and gender. My session will explore what it is like to be an intersectional adolescent growing up in a White Australia, to resist the stereotypes that are often thrust upon you as a female and as a raced subject, and how writing was the catalyst for me moving forward in my life and becoming not just content with, but proud of, my identity. I will take my audience through the benefits of reading and writing as a means of understanding how the world works and our role within it as people.


Topics covered:

  • How writing helped me understand who I was
  • The role of books + media in my life
  • How my journey evolved
  • Choosing my subjects and storylines
  • What role my heritage plays in my career


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