Maddie is one of the Content Coordinators for the 2019 Asia Pacific Week Conference.
She is currently in her third year and studying a combined double degree in Asian Studies and International Security Studies.
Who is your favourite musician/author/poet etc. of the Asia Pacific region?
I was blown away by Yosano Akiko, who is a poet from post-classical Japan. She took this widely assumed role of a woman as being gentle and modest, and flipped that around to present women as liberated, independent, sexual and assertive individuals - which had never been done before in Japan. Naturally, she was criticised for her work, but she stuck by her values. It is also fascinating to explore the way that people have translated her work and the underlying problems that arise when translating such complex pieces that explore the female identity. To sit there and pull apart every word and possible translation is pretty captivating but also incredibly frustrating - as it is never going to be perfect.
What language/s can you speak? Or what language/s would you love to learn?
I'm a big fan of languages - although that certainly doesn't mean I'm good at them, quite the opposite actually! Aside from English, I speak German and I am studying Mandarin. I've also suddenly had this massive urge to learn Spanish again, so we'll see how that goes. I can also speak low-quality conversational Greek - which is embarassing considering I'm half Greek. If I could dedicate my time to just pulling apart languages - I would!
What is your favourite country in the Asia Pacific and why?
I definitely don't have a favourite - but I recently just returned from a study trip in India that I absolutely loved. I can safely say it was one of the most intense 6 weeks I've experienced, but it was incredibly rewarding! I spent three weeks studying at a university - which resulted in my mind being constantly blown by how intricate India is. Then it was three weeks interning at Carnegie, India - which again, resulted in my mind being constantly blown as I picked the brains of people who were ridiculously talented. I also met some amazing people who are now very close friends of mine!