Culture

Lena Nahlous: My Favourite Things

Diversity Arts Australia's executive director has been fighting racism and elitism since she was small. Here, she talks podcast obsessions and the power of persistence.

By Emily J. Brooks

Culture

Diversity Arts Australia's executive director has been fighting racism and elitism since she was small. Here, she talks podcast obsessions and the power of persistence.

By Emily J. Brooks

Lena Nahlous wants to see a true representation of Australia’s multi-cultural society on the walls of our art galleries, our screens and the shelves of our book stores. “Art reflects who we are as a society,” she says. “It tells our collective and individual stories, and creates archives that document our histories, so if some of us are absent or erased from this, it isn’t telling the full story. Erasure also impacts on our sense of identity and individual and collective self-esteem.”

Her commitment to “telling the full story” started young. Growing up, Lena experienced racism first-hand as the daughter of Arab immigrant parents. This spurred a career dedicated to fighting for social justice, tolerance and human rights, and a passion for amplifying underrepresented and marginalised voices in literature, art, film and theatre. Now, Lena is Diversity Arts Australia’s executive director and the presenter of their brilliant podcast The Colour Cycle.

You’ve hit the glass ceiling. And our paywall.

Help us smash it by becoming a Future Woman for as little as $4 a month.

Join the club

Already a member? Sign in

Lena Nahlous will be speaking at the next Future Women Social Club, in partnership with the City of Parramatta and Parramatta Artists’ Studios, on October 21 at 5:30pm. She will be joined by Zimbabwean/Australian advocate, artist and TEDx speaker Moreblessing Maturure in the heart of Western Sydney, as they explore how the arts community can enrich its diversity of cultural expression. For more information and to RSVP click here. 

You’ve hit the glass ceiling. And our paywall.

Help us smash it by becoming a Future Woman for as little as $4 a month.

Join the club

Already a member? Sign in