Unwrapped gifts at home

Jonathan Homsey is one of the highlights of a vast Unwrapped festival. Picture: MONICA GUITTI


Greater Dandenong Council’s showcase of local LGBTIQA+ artists will be ‘unwrapped’ in the comfort of viewers’ homes due to Covid-19.

Unwrapped is an expansive, inclusive program of free activities, such as a Digital Dance Club, exhibitions, performances and workshops.

A highlight is award-winning arts maker Jonathan Homsey, who specialises in street dance, visual art and social engagement.

His performance ‘….now I love the smell of roses explores how cultural tensions against his queerness and unrequited love accumulate in his physical body.

It will be available as an audiobook to create a “journey through meditation, movement and playtime”.

Non-binary writer, activist and public speaker Nevo Zisin will lead a panel discussion Artistically Queer on what it means to be a queer artist in 2020.

Satellite events will be staged by headspace Dandenong, Chisholm Tafe and Connection Arts Space.

The festival’s forced change of format was something of a “silver lining”, says Greater Dandenong chief executive John Bennie.

“People can join in from the comfort of their own home.

“This is particularly beneficial for those members of the community who might be unsure about attending an event in person – they are able to choose their level of engagement.”

The event also came at a vital time when many people needed connection and support.

“LGBTIQA+ people experience disproportionately higher rates of anxiety, depression, suicide and self-harm when compared to the rest of the population.

“For individuals who are already under stress, COVID-19 has prevented many from accessing community and cultural spaces which provide a level of protection and connection for people seeking support.”

Unwrapped runs from 18-30 November.

Details: greaterdandenong.com/section/34060/unwrapped-celebration-of-lgbtiqa-arts-and-culture