Performer Candy Bowers
Photograph by Adam Gibson

ACMI presents

The Personal Response series



20 & 21 Feb 2021

11.30am, 1pm & 3pm

See below for additional related events

Join us in celebrating the opening of our centrepiece exhibition with a very special series of performances.

The Personal Response performances respond to a key work or object within The Story of the Moving Image. The series kicks off with activist, writer, performer and musician Candy Bowers, and cabaret diva Mama Alto to follow in coming weeks.


FREE (museum entry ticket required)

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Gandel Digital Future Lab 1, Level 1
ACMI, Fed Square

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Candy Bowers

Performing at 11.30am, 1pm & 3pm on Sat 20 & Sun 21 Feb

Candy Bowers is a radical mischief-maker born of South African political refugees.

The youngest of three talented sisters, Candy was accelerated into coolness by being left in the band vehicle throughout her formative years. Her sisters played in an indie group in the 90’s called SPDFGH and supported the likes of the Breeders, Elastica and Porno for Pyro’s. Mobile phones weren’t a thing back then, so she spent her time practicing Shakespearean sonnets and reading Jane Austen novels, or as she puts it “exploring her whiteness.”

Candy went on to study acting at NIDA, and consumed the syllabus of almost exclusively white European, American and Australian, mainly cis-male, theatrical giants with some dismay.

Full bio
Candy Bowers - photoshoot

Mama Alto


Mama Alto is a jazz singer, cabaret artiste & gender transcendent diva. She is a transgender & queer person of colour who works with the radical potential of storytelling, strength in softness and power in vulnerability.

Best known for her velvet vocals, triumphant cabaret performances and illuminating writing, she is also the co-creator of the highly acclaimed variety cabaret Gender Euphoria. She has worked with luminaries such as burlesque production house Finucane & Smith, playwright Declan Greene, visual artist Brook Andrew, and performance artist Taylor Mac.

Mama has received the 2019 Australian LGBTI Awards Music Artist of the Year, the 2018 City of Yarra Contributions to the Arts Award, the 2017 GLOBE LGBTI Awards Artist of the Year, the 2016 Outstanding Access & Inclusion Award at Melbourne Fringe, and the 2014 Best Cabaret Weekly Award at Adelaide Fringe. She is the recipient of a 2019 Creative Victoria Creators Fund fellowship, and a 2020 Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship.

Full bio
Mama Alto - performing

The Story of the Moving Image

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Journey through the past, present and future of the moving image through interactive experiences, digital innovation and captivating stories.

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ACMI staff give their own Personal Response to the objects in our new exhibition

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