‘Find your voice!’ There is no more emphatic demand in contemporary literature, or the education system that feeds into it. But what do we mean when we insist on this? Where do our voices come from, and under what conditions do we speak?
One of Australia’s best-loved intellectuals, the late poet, critic and philosopher Martin Harrison, sought to transmit an extremely nuanced approach to voice, and a sense of the broader possibilities and implications of writing, to a generation of Australian poets and artists. The Distribution of Voice will explore these complex processes of transmission, examining the ways in which teaching and mentorship open spaces for individual writers to flourish, for creative communities to be established, and for a ‘national’ literature to emerge. Part biopic, part film-poem, part documentary essay, the film will draw on Harrison’s own work, on archival material, and on original interviews with colleagues, friends, students and critics, as well as painting cinematic portraits of the locations, both Australian and international, that feature in and occasioned Harrison’s work. But it will also pursue its own philosophical inquiry into a set of questions about the relationship between poetry, ideas and pedagogy; about the communities that can develop around writers and teachers; and about the state of the institutions that underwrite them.
Click here for a more detailed description of The Distribution of Voice.
Click here to learn more about the filmmakers behind this project.