Manal Younus is a storyteller who believes that language and stories are the very fabric of our existence. Originally from Eritrea now based on Kaurna Country in South Australia, she uses her writing and performance to create experiences that encourage audiences to join her in asking questions of themselves and the world around them.
Manal is the Associate Director at ActNow Theatre and serves as the Deputy Chair of the Writers SA board. The young artist also develops and facilitates workshops in writing, performance, public speaking, youth empowerment and intercultural awareness for schools, community groups and professional environments to encourage others to develop their own voices.
Since making the Australian Poetry Slam National Finals in 2013, Manal no longer competes in slams but has gone on to perform around the country and the world including at the Jaipur Literary Festival and Georgetown Literary festival. In 2015, she released her first book of poetry called ‘Reap’ and launched it with a national tour with official launches in Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth and feature performances in Queensland and New South Wales.
As the founder and former director of monthly Open Mic night Soul Lounge, Manal was responsible for programming, budgeting and sustaining a culturally inclusive art space that fostered development of local Artists in Adelaide. Since passing the project on to a new leadership, she has continued to lend her expertise on creating culturally inclusive spaces and events to to various organisations.
With Act Now Theatre, Manal has written and co-produced educational theatre pieces for schools. This includes the award winning play, Responding to Racism which has toured South Australia for 7 consecutive years and Jumu'ah (Friday Prayer) both of which are set to tour across schools nationally in the coming year. More recently she wrote two monologues that featured in The Decameron 2.0 and is now working on her first feature length play incorporating spoken word, hip hop and physical theatre.
She has been featured on ABC's QandA, presented at the Adelaide TEDx Conference in 2016, the National Multicultural Women's Conference of 2016, the Adelaide Festival of Ideas and Open State Festival, the Halogen Foundation's Young Leaders Convention, The Council for International Schools Conference 2017 and James Cook University's Young Language Ambassadors Conference of 2018 and much more.
Acknowledging that I was raised on Aboriginal land where sovereignty was never ceded.