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By: Soseh Yekanians

The Special Team Elite

Pages: 23 Ratings:
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The Special Team Elite is an endearing story that deals with the adolescent themes of bullying, racial discrimination and ultimately appreciation of individualism in a world that, at times, is unforgiving of ‘the other’. The story reflects the real-life experiences of writer Dr Soseh Yekanians, who struggled to find her own identity as a young Armenian immigrant in Australia.The story follows Siran, a young girl who is faced with the struggles of loving her individual qualities or conforming to the pressures placed upon her by others. The question for her is: what is the ‘ideal norm’? Whilst on this journey of self-discovery, Siran finds a unique camaraderie with Soraya, who is a recently arrived refugee from Afghanistan, and Sinéad, who is a feisty red-head from Ireland. All three young girls instantly develop a unique bond through commonality of their differences and eventually embark on a lifelong friendship.

Dr Soseh Yekanians is a director and theatre lecturer from Sydney, Australia.

In 2012, Soseh was awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship, where she embarked on a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), in Perth. Her practice-led research titled ‘Creatively Pursuing Persona: Finding Identity Through Directing’ investigated how theatre directing and performing arts could provide culturally displaced individuals with a sense of identity and belonging.

The Special Team Elite, which emerged from her research, is Soseh’s first children’s book and was inspired by her own upbringing in Australia as an Iranian-born Armenian and the struggles often faced due to bullying – either loving your differences or conforming to the pressures placed upon ourselves by others on what is considered to be ‘the ideal norm’.

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