In 2021, RISING, Melbourne’s new arts and culture festival, will take art and performance from behind closed doors to unexpected public places.

In a post-Covid world, artists have recalibrated their ideas to reach audiences in new and challenging ways. The RISING podcast asks artists to unravel the concepts that drive their work by engaging their audiences on a sonic platform.

The six-part series is hosted by award-winning writer Mahmood Fazal of Litmus Media, whose Audible podcast No Gangsters In Paradise was awarded a Walkley Award for Media Diversity in 2020. “This is new territory for podcasting in Australia because we’ve been given the freedom to experiment with how art can play out on the format,” says Mahmood. “We want audiences to feel the same responses, questions and ideas that spring from the festival. At Litmus we’ve had a lot of conversations about how we can simulate the energy of these artworks with audio.”

The series will feature artists Patricia Piccinini, Prof. Deborah Cheetham AO, Back To Back Theatre, Mohamed El Khatib, Sandi Sissel and The Necks. Their ideas will be challenged and illuminated by academics and makeshift art critics such as sexologist Annie Sprinkle, media personality Johan Safran, musician Jim White and RRR radio host Woody McDonald.

You can find the RISING 2021 podcast series from Wednesday 5th May at Litmus.Media or wherever you get your podcasts.