The Fifth Estate

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at ACMI Cinema 1, Australian Centre for the Moving Image

Laura Secor on Iran

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.



Portrait of Laura Secor

Laura Secor

Laura Secor is the author of Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran. Her journalism has appeared in The New YorkerThe New York Times MagazineForeign 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.

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, the Fifth Estate, now in its sixth year. 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.

The Fifth Estate

Sally Warhaft has been the Wheeler Centre’s in-house news anchor since 2012. In 2018 – over 100 episodes in – the anthropologist, broadcaster and intrepid interviewer’s fortnightly live series continues, as she responds to the most important debates of the day and reignites stories that have fallen off the front pages.

Every second Tuesday, Sally hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs. It’s an event series and a live podcast taping rolled into one. Topical guests are announced in the weeks prior to events: keep an eye on our website (or in the Wheeler Weekly) for updates.


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