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The Interrobang

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When is Australia racist? Questions of difference and fairness

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Australian racism is a slippery thing. We’ve seen it (at the football, on a bus with a singing French tourist, in select policies of successive governments, at anti-something protests). We know it exists. But as a nation – a deeply multicultural one, arguably defined by migration – we haven’t progressed to a realistic understanding of who we are, what that means and what we thus expect of ourselves and each other.

The panel: Benjamin Law, Voranai Vanijaka, Nakkiah Lui, Gregory Phillips and Abdul Abdullah

The panel: Benjamin Law, Voranai Vanijaka, Nakkiah Lui, Gregory Phillips and Abdul Abdullah

When is Australia racist? Questions of difference and fairness

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How do we distinguish our ideals from the real world? Is mainstream Australian – whatever that means – capable of living up to its own myths? Let’s not let subcultures off the hook, either. What draws our meanest impulses out of hiding? When do we laugh about our differences … and when do they come to define us?

With artist Abdul Abdullah, writer and comedian Nakkiah Lui, Aboriginal health expert Gregory Phillips, journalist and political commentator Voranai Vanijaka and Gaysia author Benjamin Law, we’ll explore Australian equality on a number of fronts: representation, social support, sex and decision-making. Our panellists consider what it might take to achieve a culture that reflects a true picture of Australia back to itself – and what we’d be losing if we didn’t.

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The Interrobang

Catch up with the best discussions and reflections from The Interrobang: a new festival driven entirely by your questions, from the Wheeler Centre.