Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature

A new international language festival celebrating the changing relationships between writers, readers and translators in Australia and China will visit Melbourne next week.

Hosted in Australia by La Trobe University, the Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature’s Melbourne stopover will conclude the international festival three month run taking in events in China, Australia and the UK since May.

Headlining the Melbourne program is local writer and lawyer Alice Pung (pictured), who will lead a two-hour workshop and seminar on the challenges and processes of writing your own life story. The Growing Up Asian in Australia editor and author of My Father’s Daughter is no stranger to the genre, having regularly drawn inspiration from her own upbringing as the child of Chinese asylum seeker parents in her work.

Pung is joined by a range of writers, poets and translators immersed in the digital world including May Hu, Senior Producer of SBS’s Mandarin broadcast team, Melbourne freelance pop-culture journalist Mel Campbell and Jiamin Zhao, co-founder of Yeeyan, China’s largest community translation site.

The festival’s focus on digital literature will draw on how technology has reshaped geographic and linguistic differences between China and Australia, from gaming culture to sites such as Yeezan which in 2012 successfully translated Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography through crowdsourcing. 

Not content to simply talk about the digital world, the Festival also features a range of online events including a live instant messenger conversation on social media and poetry between Writers Victoria Director Katie Keys and multi-disciplinary Chinese academic and author Yisha.

Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature

August 23 to September 1


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