It is clear to me that my guest today Siân Darling who is also a dear friend and the partner of my dad’s cousin Paul Kelly, has lived a life impacted by the stories and memories of her families past. She is a little bit magic, deeply feeling, highly creative, a champion of people who make things, of artists and musicians. Siân was also a little girl who spent much of her childhood on her own in the bush with her dog noticing the tiny but really huge parts of our existence on this planet.
She shares fragments of her family’s story in this interview and I wanted to give you a little context here too.
Siân Darling’s grandfather was an opera singer, a kickboxer and a diplomat. One morning he went in search of food. When he returned his wife and and six year old son had been taken, later confirmed murdered. There is a song called The Partisan that is one of her favourite songs. When she hears it she sees them running through a dark forest towards a spark of their living legacy Siân herself. Her family’s life was forever changed by the events of the Holocaust and it is clear that Sian’s work now as an advocate, curator, film maker and producer is informed by her family’s jewish heritage and the shared trauma of the 11 million lost. Siân is co-Chair of human rights media organisation, Right Now Inc. , an ambassador for Groundswell and also the founder of the museum of Inherited Memories that curates exhibitions and events in response to inherited memories of cultural survival, inspired by Holocaust memorial and the value of ‘never again’. The Museum supports curators to work with contemporary artists to unravel and understand the layers of stories from collective memories to inform a more empathetic reality.
Siân is also manages esteemed Australian songwriters Paul Kelly Kev Carmody and Jess Hitchcock. In 2020, she produced the charting Kev Carmody tribute album, Cannot Buy My Soul (2020 Edition), released by EMI. The album features 42 songs of Aboriginal truth-telling sung by some of Australia’s greatest musicians.
Siân has also created both in 2021 and very recently in 2022 two concerts Uprising: Songs of Resistance and Songs and Survival boasting a powerful line-up of performers uniting against racism & antisemitism.
You can email the show at [email protected]
Editing – RAW Collings and Claire Tonti
Theme music – Avocado Junkie