03 May, 2012 Last updated: 17 Jul, 2015

An exciting project to encourage conversations about cultural difference is giving people in East Gippsland the opportunity to view and create multimedia content about their experiences.

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An exciting project to encourage conversations about cultural difference is giving people in East Gippsland the opportunity to view and create multimedia content about their experiences.

Museum Victoria’s Talking Difference Portable Studio at Bairnsdale Library (2 – 14 May) and Lakes Entrance Library (16 – 28 May) offers members of these local communities an opportunity to share ideas about cultural identity and tolerance during the be inspired Arts festival Gippsland 1-31 May.

Talking Difference is an online media project aimed at promoting diversity and challenging discrimination by encouraging people to create film, sound, images and text. The project is expected to help strengthen the community and promote understanding and acceptance of cultural differences.

The Studio is part of VicHealth’s Arts About Us Roadshow touring regional Victoria in 2012. VicHealth has funded 18 Arts About Us projects over three years to develop arts-based programs, shows and exhibitions that celebrate cultural diversity and help people understand the harmful impacts of race-based discrimination.

The Talking Difference studio is a welcoming, enclosed space, where people are drawn into virtual discussion about cultural difference and diversity. The studio features a touch screen, HD camera, microphone and lights, to allow people to view each other’s work and to respond via video, audio, text and drawing. A team of locals will record video questions about what it means to live in East Gippsland and the challenges people face in a workshop at the beginning of the tour and invite others to create content in the Portable Studio.

“The strength of Talking Difference is that the communities involved are effectively taking charge of new technologies to create their own conversations about diversity and difference,” Tatiana Mauri, Community Engagement Manager of the Immigration Museum, said.

“Through the project, people not only become new media makers but also become champions for sharing ideas and dialogue about cultural identity and intercultural understanding.”

Member for Gippsland East and VicHealth board member Tim Bull encouraged local residents to visit the Talking Difference Studio at Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance Libraries to share their thoughts, experiences and ideas.

“VicHealth is really excited to support the Studio to encourage dialogue about the benefits of cultural diversity and the harm caused by race-based discrimination. We hope East Gippsland residents embrace the chance to have their say in this unique and creative way,” he said.

Talking Difference is a partnership between VicHealth’s Arts About Us Program and Museum Victoria.

For more information about VicHealth’s Arts About Us Program visit www.artsaboutus.com.au

Talking Difference Portable Studio will be at Bairnsdale Library, 22 Service St, Bairnsdale (2 – 14 May) and Lakes Entrance Library, Mechanics St, Lakes Entrance (16 – 28 May).