Meet The Team Behind FAMILI
A spellbinding evening of queer Pasifika and First Nations music, installation and connection.
We Take Back Our Mother Tongues is a massive project, only made possible because of the brilliant minds behind its creation. FAMILI brings together 15 artists whose bloodlines hail from Pasifika, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, weaving together some of the most essential queer and Bla(c)k voices across Australia.
Let us to introduce you to them!
The Creative Team
Ripley Kavara is a transdisciplinary practitioner with a deep grounding in musical forms destined to be liberatory. He believes in the power of music as a conduit for black queer spirituality and dedicates his time to coaxing the spirits to dance. Born in Papua New Guinea and living in so-called Melbourne, he embodies an artistic practice that is generative, community based and attuned to a sense of place where he creates on Wurundjeri Country. He has worked extensively for the past six years as a musician, producer, DJ, educator, event organiser, youth worker, curator and project lead. He works to create spaces for emerging underground performers and artists, focusing on elevating underrepresented voices in music and arts.He has supported notable acts including GAIKA, Kojey Radical, Elysia Crampton, Klein, at events such as Dark Mofo and Liquid Architecture. Kavara’s work as an artist has been exhibited in Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Performance and Musical Co-Director
Bella Waru (Ngati Tukorehe // Te Ati Awa) is a movement and sound artist, cultural producer, performer, weaver, community arts facilitator and body worker living, listening and responding across sacred, unceded Indigenous lands, currently those of the Kulin Nation in so-called-australia. A diasporic Indigenous Sovereign and queer femme, Waru creates stories and spaces to honour, uplift, protect and nourish the vitality of their communities, ancestral knowledges, cultures and lands. They create, emerging from and returning to the body as a vessel of personal, ancestral and earth memory, invested in embodied experiences of connection, healing, incantation, transmutation and celebration.
Guy Louis Faletolu
Technical Production Manager
Guy Faletolu is a Naarm based sound engineer with more than a decade’s experience in a large variety of audio disciplines. Coming from DJing, playing in bands and working in a high end personal hifi retailer, Guy has built an impressive streak of work as a FOH engineer to mix and tour with the likes of Queen P, CJ Ramone (RAMONES – USA) and Amyl and The Sniffers. In the studio he’s also engineered and mastered albums for the likes of June Jones, Racerage and Papaphilia and through the pandemic he’s captured live lockdown performances for the likes of Tones and I, Kaiit and Amyl and The Sniffers. In his spare time he’s into cooking, and eating and makes a mean pani popo.
Guy’s role in FAMILI as an engineer is to help facilitate performances and recordings of the projects artists. He has a keen interest in the projects ability to hold space for Pasifika, First Nations and QTPOC voices and allowing artists a place to comfortably explore their work, learn and start dialogues with access to high quality tools, production and stages.
Art Director & Installation Artist
Mossy 333 (Mossy Jade Johnson) is a multi-disciplinary artist working in performance, painting, sculpture and tattoo. Across these mediums she adopts abstraction as a tool to navigate her body in biology and spirit, and explore public and private spaces as a trans woman. Her work seeks to bring trans people and their narratives into conversation through representation in hopes to combat the ongoing violence of transphobia. Mossy has performed and shared work at Arts Centre Melbourne, ACCA, M Pavillion, RMIT Design hub and PICA.
Monikha Aryal’s Nepalese-Egyptian heritage has influenced her focus on providing exceptional hospitality to those around them. This, combined with their skills in client relations, organisation, and love of two-way radios make them well suited to the role of company manager. In their spare time, you will find Monikha creating something new and never not multitasking!
Artists & Performers
Lay the Mystic
Lay the Mystic is a Naarm (Melbourne) based lyrical poet, musician and multi-medium performance artist. His work explores themes of diaspora, transient belonging and the feelings in between. Reaffirming the opinion that we are defining the cultures we are born into by simply existing, Lay interrogates his position within that publicly through performance. His current works explore what it means to be a queer, trans, femme- boy of Tongan and Lebanese descent, who is learning his ancestors through his own body.
Kalyani Mumtaz is a Trawlwoolway musician, curator, and DJ living in so-called Melbourne on Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Lands. Kalyani is Associate Producer at Arts House, former Producer at Brunswick Mechanics Institute and a core member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts collective, this mob. They worked in the experimental pop duo Willow Beats for seven years producing three EPs and an album, a record deal with Warner Music, and tours with major festivals such as Clockenflap (Hong Kong) and Falls Music and Arts Festival (Australia). Kalyani currently performs as a solo artist and released an EP, a leaf a flower, with her project Kalyani & Isha. As DJ KYAANZ, she has shared music inside ACMI, Melbourne Museum and at festivals like Sun Cycle and Dark Mofo. Kalyani’s work as an artist and curator centres truth and responsibility.
Lonelyspeck is the project of Adelaide-based singer, songwriter, producer and visual artist Sione Teumohenga. Freely yet cohesively mixing eclectic styles, their distinctive sonic palette emphasises a morphing, hyperreal sense of space and texture while remaining grounded in a strong pop sensibility.
Paul Gorrie (Gunai/Kurnai/Yorta Yorta) is an emerging filmmaker, musician, DJ, producer, youth project worker and radio presenter based in Naarm on Wurundjeri Country. He has performed with acts such as Drmngnow and Kee’ahn.
Geryon is an electronic producer, screen composer and guitarist based in Naarm on Wurundjeri country. Their work aims to deconstruct the role texture, sound and the voice have in forming narrative and gender expression within electronic music. Having scored music for a range of film, TV and dance productions, Geryon’s work has seen their compositions screen at film festivals including Frameline, Melbourne International Film Festival and Salento International Film Festival as well as Netflix and ABC.
Iki Finau is a Queer singer/songwriter and performing artist of Tongan descent currently residing in Melbourne. He has been in amongst the music and performance circles here in Melbourne for the past three years predominantly performing as a vocalist and a dancer. Iki has been seen in such creative art works as Põuliuli for the YIRRAMBOI First Nations art festival & Midsumma: Cocoa Butter Club. Recent musical performances include The Sunset series and Jazz Out West – Melbourne International Jazzfest.
Kalala is a singer/songwriter based in Melbourne. She is of Samoan-Chinese and Fijian heritage. She has performed extensively in Melbourne including Melbourne Music Week, The Sunset series and most recently at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. Kalala features as a frequent live performer on PBS and RRR on a number of radio shows, which has seen her gain popularity. She has a stage presence to be reckoned with and a unique song-writing voice.
Porobibi is a West Papuan artist, currently based in Naarm. He uses storytelling through music, spoken word and community organising to highlight movements of resistance and the continuity of culture, particularly of First Nations people and people from migrant and refugee backgrounds like himself. He has a background in grassroots advocacy work and is passionate about using creative projects to develop accessible opportunities, engage in collaborative works, and share cross-cultural storytelling through people’s lived experience. Some of Porobibi’s works include; leading production for the United Struggle Project theatre, having poetry published in A Voz Limpia vol.4 and being a performance artist in FAMILI.
We Take Back Our Mother Tongues – FAMILI
Fri 6 & Sat 7 May, 2022, 7.30pm
GA $20 / BLAKTIX $10
Images courtesy of the artist.