‘We cannot begin to talk about freedom and justice in any culture unless we are talking about mass-based literacy movements. Because degrees of literacy so often determine how we see what we see.’ bell hooks
Sweatshop is a literacy movement based in Western Sydney which is devoted to empowering culturally and linguistically diverse communities through reading, writing and critical thinking. Our movement provides research, training, mentoring and employment opportunities for emerging and established writers and arts practitioners from Indigenous and non-English speaking backgrounds.
Sweatshop’s annual program includes workshops and residencies in schools and universities throughout Australia and ongoing masterclasses in Western Sydney, which are facilitated by a collective of award-winning authors and artists. Sweatshop initiatives result in publications, films, podcasts, plays, performance readings, exhibitions, and cultural seminars. Our movement aims to create new, complex and alternative forms of artistic representation which are produced by the culturally marginalised members of contemporary Australian society.
Sweatshop is run by a team of culturally diverse arts practitioners including general manager, Winnie Dunn; director, Dr Michael Mohammed Ahmad; creative producers, Phoebe Grainer, Shirley Le and Stephen Pham; and graphic designers, Elaine Lim and Henry Lo.
Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement is supported by Information + Cultural Exchange (I.C.E) and the Western Sydney University Writing and Society Research Centre. Sweatshop proudly works in partnership with Campbelltown City Council, SBS Voices, The Lifted Brow, the Sydney Writers’ Festival, the Emerging Writers’ Festival, Affirm Press and Diversity Arts Australia.
Funding for Sweatshop is provided by the Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW, the Packer Family Foundation and the Crown Resorts Foundation.