The Religious Education That You Never Knew You Wanted
A raw and completely accurate re-telling of The Bible by queer Australian feminist BibleGirl_69? Yes please.
A new web series based on a chapter by chapter re-reading of Genesis by queer, Australian feminist video artist Xanthe Dobbie is the religious education that you never knew you wanted.
Each episode delves into a highly accurate but wildly profane Bible classic. Dobbie presents the greatest hits of Genesis, blow by blow.
Produced by Media Creatures, and released on their Buncha YouTube platform, The Good Book is a tongue-in-cheek look at the wild things that happen in the greatest international seller of all time.
We sat down with Xanthe BibleGirl_69 herself to chat all things The Good Book
Xanthe, we love what you’re doing with this series! Who is your target audience? Are you looking to have an impact, or to just entertain?
Xanthe: Thanks! We love it too. Target audiences are a difficult thing to pin point when you're casting your net into the World Wide Web, especially when you're talking about universally controversial texts like the Bible. You can't take on The Good Book lightly - people have real feelings about this text. I think at this moment, taking into account this ridiculous postal plebiscite, the audience would be open to learning more about what the bible actually contains. The tag line is "the religious education that you never knew you wanted", so we would love to reach people who have a culturally acquired knowledge of the Bible but have never actually delved into it themselves. Almost everyone involved in the show is queer and based in Melbourne so the bulk of our current audience exists within a self-gratifying echo chamber. It's really beautiful and supportive, but at the same time, it would be good to reach beyond that. I didn't read 5 versions of the Bible every week for 3 months for a simple pat on the back - this is important, and hopefully passably entertaining web content. Jk we know it's brilliant.
Obviously this is very timely, with the postal vote inducing such a divide between LGBTI folk and religion- did that play into your decision to start the series?
TOTALLY! I mean, this is something that has lingered in the back of my little gay head for a number of years, but this postal vote certainly added fuel to the BibleGirl_69 flame. The show really kicked off at Easter this year, when the Director, one of the Producers and I were hungover after a dinner party and I decided to tell the story of Noah, which includes the first rainbow (super gay) and also some other pretty dark stuff. Not long after that, the postal vote was officially confirmed and we all knew that we needed to get the good word out there ASAP - nobody could have foreseen this real life collision of queerness, religion and the internet coming. It's a ~hell~ of a time to be releasing a show where a feminist lesbian schools you about the Bible.
How do you think religious Australian culture intersects with queerness?
Right now, in the midst of this "debate", that intersection is very tangible. It's unfortunate that there seems to be an us vs. them mentality because, of course, there are loads of religious queers, and trust me, there's also loads of queer subtext all over the Bible - so much same sex "feet washing". There are so many people missing in this debate - it, like so much of Australian politics, is suffering from a weird religious conservatism and seriously lacking in the intersectionality department. I'm not saying "let's all just get along", I'm saying "read a damn book (or watch a damn show) and try to understand everybody's perspective". Then, once you've gained all the knowledge and compassion that you possibly can, go and post your Yes vote.
The Good Book with BibleGirl_69 is currently streaming on Buncha
Xanthe Dobbie: video artist, feminist, lesbian and ex-theatre captain with a penchant for a good sci-fi epic.