Making the Margins


We'll return in 2021


Making the Margins (MtM) is a collaborative creative research collective that attends to the themes of 'body, time, place' in order to map and connect artists, writers, readers, scholars, and makers.The collective is interested in the ways we make with and for each other when we live 'in the margins'; the ways that collaborative creative practice can strengthen and support brittle relations in communities-under-fire; how we can tend to each other with an ethics of care and consent, and how the creative and cultural outputs that come from our makings might proliferate inwards, to the centre, to bring new knowledges, possibilities, and ways of being to those of us with privilege/s (we attend, always, to power and its machinations, know that it is fluid, that it passes through, but does not live in, bodies). We are the beginnings, too, of a queer (strange, unusual, odd) archive that includes artists, ideas, objects, estuaries, legislation, poetry, toilet doors, piercings, a blue wren, books, murals, music, the people writing this…


It’s a mouthful, but it’s the best way to describe what it is we’re setting out to do… We want to link together artists, researchers, creative practitioners, community organisations, universities, students, teachers, and thinkers who identify as coming ‘from the margins’ in digital and embodied spaces to make new collaborative work that attends to the themes of 'body, time, place'.


When we use the word 'margin' we do not think of it as something small (so, not marginal). We think of what’s at the edges, what’s yet-to-be-seen, and how margins might multiply to affect change in the centre. We are collection of artists, thinkers, ideas, objects, archives, and creative outputs that already exist. We are the margins, the edges, an exquisite network of thinkers and makers who cluster around three core themes of 'body, time, place'. We find ourselves at the intersections of multiple and different lived experiences and our creative practices, projects, collaborations, and outputs are intricately linked to the communities we come from, live in, and will make in the future. We cluster around the themes of 'body, time, place' in order to move past/with/through identity politics and attend to an ethics of care, resilience, and inclusion in our research, creative, and teaching practices. We have multiple interests, skills, capacities, and creative practices and come from many different areas of interest and fields of research in performance and poetry, everyday media production, zine cultures, queer, trans, and crip theory, and de-colonising practices that interrogate body, time and place.


Our physical location is based at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. However our network extends much more broadly to encompass all folk who work creatively at the margins of mainstream. We do this via a virtual network, sharing our processes and practices and co-ordinating around embodied events.


We are planning a range of events and collaborative opportunities, the first of which took place at Arts House, on 10-13th July, 2019. This event included an audio-visual exhibition of QUEERDOM, an in-conversation with ALGA (the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives) on the theme of 'archiving the margins', and a Making/Reading room in which participants were invited to engage with a range of art, poetry, photography, and theory books; have conversations with artists and researchers in the room about these materials; and explore cut and paste poetry, badge-making, zine-making, and contributing to a 'mapping wall' of intersecting ideas, issues and interventions. Further iterations of Making the Margins will take place in January 2020 with a range of workshops that bring people together to explore creative practice. In 2021 we are planning an international conference to share our various projects and processes. This will be the conference that you have dreamed of attending, with dance party, exhibition, collaborative presentation formats and quiet time for retreat and reflection.


Quinn Eades

Quinn Eades is a Tracey Banivanua Mar Research Fellow and Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies and Gender, Sexuality, and Diversity Studies at La Trobe University, Melbourne. A writer, researcher, editor, gutter philosopher and poet, his book Rallying was awarded the 2018 Mary Gilmore Award for best first book of poetry. Quinn is the author of all the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body, and the co-editor of Going Postal: More than ‘Yes’ or ’No’, and Offshoot: Contemporary Life Writing Methodologies and Practice. He is currently working on three books: a collaborative photographic/poetic text called QUEERDOM with photographer and partner Jamie James; Going Homo—an autobiography from the transitioning body; and a sole-authored essay collection, Gender is Burning. When he’s not working, Quinn is hanging with his kids, cuddling his pups, watching reruns of Star Trek Discovery, and writing/dreaming utopic decolonial transqueer futures.

Son Vivienne

Son Vivienne has over 30 year’s experience in media production and research in digital self-representation, online activism, queer identities, and rhetorical strategies/feminist practices for speaking and listening across difference. Their current research explores the many ways that we ‘code-switch identities’ as diversely abled, classed, raced and gendered bodies, online and off. Their work on digital storytelling is published as Digital Identity and Everyday Activism: Sharing Private Stories with Networked Publics (Palgrave, 2016).

Anna Poletti

Associate Professor of English Language and Culture

Trained in literary studies and philosophy at La Trobe and The University of Newcastle (Australia), Anna's research focus is contemporary forms of life narrative, with a particular interest in youth cultures, ephemera (both digital and analogue) and the role of mediation and materiality in autobiography. Drawing on feminist and queer theory traditions, Anna's published work examines how the materiality of media forms - from handmade postcards, to the selfie - inform the presentation of stories from lived experience. They have expertise in research methods that engage with ephemeral materials, queer and feminist theory, and comparative media studies.

Nemeton. Garth Knight. Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art, Performance Space, Carriageworks 2015, photographer Jamie James


Watch this space! We are working on developing a digital map of our archive from the margins, where you will be able to register your project, collaboration, or organisation as a ‘node’, map this entity to other nodes and lab themes via keywords, and become part of an extensive, already-in-existence, network of artists, researchers, and organisations.

Current collaborators include La Trobe University and Arts House, and we are in the process of developing a range of partnerships and collaborative connections.

Key dates

July 10-13 2019
Arts House
North Melbourne
Come join us

Making the Margins

Join the lab

At this stage this simply means staying in touch for monthly news and an opportunity to share any of your own creative practice and research updates. If you have something coming up, send us a message.