A RADAR workshop about working with personal biography over time

The Right to Change Your Mind – working with personal biography over time with Melanie Jame Wolf

14 July 2021


Led by artist Melanie Jame Wolf (she/her), this workshop is for artists who have made, or who are developing work, based on their own biographical material and stories, particularly in live art and performance contexts.

Artists often begin to make their own work by drawing on their personal biography. There is often encouragement from institutions, mentors, teachers, producers and peers to ‘tell your story’ or ‘speak from what you know’. For people from marginalised backgrounds and experience, making these works can provide more platforms and opportunities for their work. The market for personal biography also creates vulnerabilities for artists as these stories become public.

Some of these vulnerabilities might include: presenting solo work to communities very different from your own, being asked to speak on life experiences and political questions that have nothing to do with the work, the tabloidisation of your biography by theatre and venue press departments, the failure of press and institutions to understand that a marginalised experience isn’t necessarily a traumatic one, that an artist’s story is prioritised over their art.

What will you do?
The workshop will focus on creating press riders, holding a space to consider the vulnerability and discomfort of presenting to audiences both on stage and in talks, and mapping your boundaries around your work. We will also build a sense of entitlement to shift those boundaries as you desire across time, as much as you like. The aim is to equip artists with a practical tool kit for identifying and protecting their boundaries around their life stories across their careers as artists.


The Right to Change Your Mind – working with personal biography over time


Published on:
16 Jun 2021


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