Traversing movement, music, and art, Latitudes weaves together nine artistic commissions from A.Girl, BLESSED, Claire Cao, Eda Gunaydin, Gillian Kayrooz, Mo Aung, Nerdie (1300), Sela Vai, and Serwah Attafuah in three dynamic short films that explore themes of audibility, distance, and perspective.
In anticipation of Powerhouse Parramatta, this project trials new ways of working with over 100 artists and creative industry leaders to bring the stories of Western Sydney to an international stage. Latitudes premiered at Sydney Festival at Granville’s iconic cinema, Blouza Hall and was then released exclusively to international audiences on Nowness.
Latitudes is directed by Tanya Babic and Jason Sukadana (VERSUS) and is commissioned by Powerhouse.
|Video 01||Sometimes to One Hundred|
Sometimes to One Hundred
A lonely protagonist wanders Western Sydney, monitoring the audio levels of various everyday occurrences. Exploring what it means to give voice and to listen in all its messy and wonderful forms, this film features prose from Eda Gunaydin, animation by Serwah Attafuah, and score by Nerdie (1300).
“This work was inspired by speakers. I grew up going to the drive-in movie theatre in Blacktown and looking at the old drive-in speakers held in the museum’s collections made me think about the way sound operates in Western Sydney. I grew up in a time when the discourse around this region has often skewed negative, focusing on young people and how noisy they are and how much space they take up. It has made me think about the ways in which sound is political. Sound – music, talking, parties – is a big part of what make suburbs vibrant, and the script of this film is designed to honour that.”
– Eda Gunaydin
“Eda’s words were the first thing that prompted me to create a soundtrack for the Western Sydney experience. I tried to use textures that evoke feelings of turmoil, ecstasy, and nostalgia from my life experience in the area. I hope the film and soundtrack will capture some of the essence of the streets in which we grew up. I think there’s a lot of strong emotions tied to the images and sounds featured in the short.”
– Nerdie (1300)
“My main point of inspiration was the old Wonderland theme park ruins in Western Sydney. Whilst I never got to experience the park or the ruins for myself, it’s a place I think about often. I wish I got to experience the ruins, looked like a magical place. I hope it inspires people to explore the unknown, whether that’s a physical place, or perhaps somewhere in the mind and heart. I think there’s still a lot of misconceptions about western Sydney, it’s a place full of culture and diversity where no suburb is the same.”
– Serwah Attafuah
Exploring the need to travel and the formation of identity as an artifact of this process. Focusing on themes of distance, travel, and journeys, this film features prose by Claire Cao, video work by Gillian Kayrooz, and score by BLESSED.
“My piece was inspired by my exploratory and playful upbringing in Canley Vale and, in a broader sense, the ghosts that haunt every pocket of Australia. Growing up, I was sequestered in my neighbourhood due to the difficulty of mobility and travel — by trying to find beauty and joy in my surroundings, I instead stumbled upon the dense histories of how people came to be here, and the lives of those who came before. I hope people realise that their surroundings are infinitely more mysterious and energising than they know, no matter how your postcode is characterised.”
– Claire Cao
“Leave Your Shoes at the Door is an intimate video work made with my closest friends and family. The expression ‘taking a walk in someone else’s’ shoes’ is what came to mind when wanting to explore the myriad of journeys that those closest to me have taken. The act of cleaning sneakers acts as a gesture of thanks for the travels I’ve witnessed, whether it be through our family lineage and a necessity to migrate, the daily act of commuting between the suburbs and the city for uni, or within Greater Western Sydney itself due to it’s vastness and lack of public transport.”
– Gillian Kayrooz
“The inspiration for the sonic bed was a combination of the visual tone and pace mixed with Tanya and Jason’s thematic message behind this creation. I want people to feel the blend of emotions, whether consciously or subconsciously Western Sydney is truly the heart and hub for culture in Australia.”
Perspectives shift when lenses tilt. Playing with physical and metaphysical concepts of perspective, this film features spoken word from A.Girl, choreography by Sela Vai and score by Mo Aung.
“‘Window’ is an unfiltered poem about my life in Western Sydney. I was inspired by the idea that windows can make you feel boxed, trapped, but they can also frame your perspective. It took a while to get the idea but then it was like laser focus and the words just flowed out of me like water. I want people to think about the things they’ve seen and heard that have helped mould them to be the unique person they are today. I hope they ask themselves: “how has my window shaped me and is it time to find new windows to look through?” If there was only one thing I would want people to know about Western Sydney it’s that in 10 years time Australia’s Drake or Beyonce will come from West Sydney! There is a pool of world class talent here.…and that’s facts.”
“The process of creating choreography was inspired by the dance culture and sports culture out in the West. I had the vision of a large cast of dancers on netball courts during lockdown, where I’d go on sunset walks to netball courts one minute from my house – we may not have a beach out west, but we certainly have a widescreen view of the best sunsets. My main inspiration for the choreography was ‘Shuudan koudou’, the Japanese art of precision walking, where they create intersecting formations in synchronised walking groups. From here, I began to workshop the choreography on a dance crew that has pioneered dance culture out in the West called Kingdom Culture Company (KCC for short). It was incredible working with the young people of KCC, and I’m so glad their portraits were shown in the film as well to show the diversity and beauty of the people in Western Sydney.”
— Sela Vai
“Western Sydney is not a subculture, but rather a reflection of the multiculturalism in modern Australia.”
– Mo Aung