On the Couch with Vidya Rajan

Vidya-Rajan-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Vidya Rajan?
I’m that terrible term – a multidisciplinary artist. My work is often across screenwriting, theatre, comedy and digital art.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I feel like I should be paying you an hourly rate if I’m going to start talking about this! One of my simplest regrets though is minoring in French at uni – I’ve retained none of it, have no desire to live in France and can watch Emily in Paris just fine without it.

Who inspires you and why?
I really love people who care about the people they make art with, and see it as a material process and not about their own ego. People who aren’t afraid to be that annoying fly in the ointment about changes needed in the industry or the world.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I used to work in community law, so I feel like I’ve done enough for the world. Just kidding – I’m still figuring this out. As artists, I guess you always hope your work starts conversations or gives people some sense of respite or connection to others? If I had some kind of magic power, I suppose I would abolish billionaires. My secret nerdy activist interest is around data rights and tech access and that’s something I’m keen to work on more.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I love going back to India, which is where I’m originally from. I went to New Zealand recently and had to leave the country due to a Category 4 cyclone but before that it was probably my favourite holiday destination in a while – I’m really into staring at nature and climbing things and it has a lot of that.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I’ve been recommending the new ACMI. The permanent exhibit is so interactive and interesting. I also take people to Brunetti’s in the city because it feels quintessentially Melbourne and the people watching is class.

What are you currently reading?
I’m reading The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh and You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman.

What are you currently listening to?
Saint Levant, Caroline Palochek.

Happiness is?
Getting to live a life of connection and curiosity.

What does the future hold for you?
I will hopefully merge with the Great AI (praise Him) before the climate wars begin.

Vidya is the Playwright of the new black comedy, Crocodiles, which makes its premiere at the Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre, as part of Darebin Arts Speakeasy, from 24 May 2023. For more information, visit: www.arts.darebin.vic.gov.au for details.

Image: Vidya Rajan (supplied)