Shahmen Suku





$5 (booking required)

Ages 4+

Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by a ticketed adult


1.30pm session will be Auslan interpreted.


Bananas are an integral part of the Indian culture. This plant is considered sacred and is a part of various customs and rituals. The leaves are used as natures biodegradable plates and almost every part of this tree can be eaten if cooked the right way. The flower of the Banana tree is an amazing sight, its deep purple petals opens up to reveal hundreds of white flowers that eventually turn into bananas.

Preparing the banana flowers for consumption is a tedious and laborious process but highly rewarding. This process is also done communally with the family/extended family. Cooking with his family is how Shahmen heard many stories from his mother and family and history of migration and his ancestors.

Immersed in a jungle of banana trees, Radha will perform and guide audiences in preparing the banana flowers while regaling stories from their ancestors.

Image: Courtesy of the artist

artist bio

Shahmen Suku was born in 1987 in Singapore and arrived in Australia in 2009. He is a performance artist based in Sydney who explores ideas of racial and cultural identity, gender roles, sexuality, the home and the kitchen, food and storytelling.

Growing up in a modern matriarchal Indian family in Singapore, Shahmen processes his sense of displacement from home as Radha La Bia, the Diva from India. Moving to Australia has given Shahmen multiple perspectives on migration, culture, race, colonisation and gender identity. Some of these issues cannot be discussed openly in Singapore or as himself, and finds expression in his alter ego. Spiced with family stories, Radha’s shows range across pop culture, social media and an understanding of Australia as a foreign body.

Want to knOw what else is On? Check out the full program nOw.

Fambo would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which the Festival is held; the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. Indigenous sovereignty was never ceded and resistance to ongoing colonisation continues. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. 

Fambo is supported by the City of Sydney through its Culture and Creative Grants program and the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. Fambo is auspiced by 107 Projects and an initiative of their 107 Presents annual program.