The Fifth Estate
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Secretive, ambitious and often hostile, the Islamic Republic of Iran looms as an inscrutable presence on the world stage. Following the 1979 revolution – which saw Iran become the first revolutionary theocracy in the modern era – it’s proved difficult for outsiders to get a handle on the unfolding drama of the republic and the vigorous, often deathly, debates between the country’s religious thinkers, political operatives, dissidents, artists and intellectuals.
Journalist Laura Secor has spent many years researching and reporting on post-revolution Iran for The New Yorker, The New York Times and other publications. In her book, Children of Paradise, Secor provides a detailed portrait of this fascinating, often brutal republic. Focusing her research on activists, journalists and reformers, she shows how Iranian intellectuals have worked to maintain a rich political discourse in a country where voicing your opinion can lead to imprisonment or even the death penalty.
In conversation with Sally Warhaft as part of Melbourne Writers Festival, Secor will discuss Iran’s turbulent political past, present and future.
Laura Secor is the author of Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran. Her journalism has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Foreign Affairs, and other publications. She has worked as a staff editor at The New York Times op-ed page and as a reporter for the Boston Globe. She has taught journalism at New York University and at Princeton, and has been a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin and at the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.
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This long-running series is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre’s programme, and of public conversation in Melbourne. Our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft hosts guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations to dissect pressing questions of policy, power and public affairs. It's a chance to give complex local and global issues the thoughtful discussion they deserve.
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