The Festival of Questions
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Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Our diverse line-up of intellectual heavyweights will go to the mat and wrestle with some of the biggest, ugliest and toughest philosophical dilemmas facing Australians today.
Host Geoffrey Robertson will thoroughly grill our panellists, delving into questions of cultural memory, citizenship, populism and more. Join us for a session of scrutiny, speculation, supposition and squabbling as we delve into the spikiest moral problems of our time.
All sessions of The Festival of Questions will be Auslan interpreted.
Presented in partnership with Melbourne Festival and City of Melbourne.
Anna Krien is the author of the award-winning Night Games and Into the Woods, as well as two Quarterly Essays, Us and Them and The Long Goodbye. Anna’s writing has been published in The Monthly, the Age, Best Australian Essays, Best Australian Stories and The Big Issue. In 2014 she won the UK William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, and 2018 she received a Sidney Myer Fellowship. Act of Grace, her debut novel, is out now.
Julian Burnside is a Melbourne barrister. He joined the Bar in 1976 and took silk in 1989. He specialises in commercial litigation, and has acted in many very contentious cases - the MUA Waterfront dispute; the Cash-for-Comment enquiry; cases for Alan Bond and Rose Porteous - but has become known for his human rights work and has acted pro bono in many refugee cases.
He is an outspoken opponent of the mistreatment of people who come to Australia seeking protection from persecution. His latest book is Watching Out: Reflections on Justice and Injustice (Scribe).
Quinn Eades is a researcher, writer, and poet whose work lies at the nexus of feminist and queer theories of the body, autobiography, and philosophy. Eades is published nationally and internationally, and is the author of all the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body, and Rallying.
Eades is a Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies at La Trobe University, as well as the founding editor of Australia's only interdisciplinary, peer reviewed, gender, sexuality and diversity studies journal, Writing from Below. He is currently working on a collection of fragments written from the transitioning body, titled Transpositions.
In 2015 Quinn Eades changed his name and gender. Prior to 2015, he was writing and speaking as Karina Quinn.
Jordan is a world class comedian, actor, singer and digital content creator. She is best know for her work as the front woman for comedy rock band The Axis of Awesome.
Jordan has written about transgender issues and spoken about her personal experience for numerous publications and media programs, including The Project, Archer Magazine and JUNKEE, and is an outspoken voice for trans rights and representation. She has become an inspiration to young LGBTQIA+ people by living her genuine life, openly and publicly, and being an outspoken campaigner for progress and understanding.
Geoffrey Robertson QC is founder and head of the world’s largest human rights practice, in London. He has prosecuted Hastings Banda, defended Julian Assange and acted for Human Rights Watch in the proceedings against General Pinochet.
Celeste Liddle is an Arrernte woman (traditional owner in Central Australia) who was born in Canberra and has been living in Melbourne since she was a teenager. She is a trade unionist, an activist, a feminist, a social commentator and an opinion writer. In May 2021, she was announced as the preselected Greens candidate for the seat of Cooper in the upcoming Federal Election.
George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with three decades' experience in the media. The Australian Moment won the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for his ABC documentary series Making Australia Great.
Kenan Malik is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster. He is a presenter of Analysis on BBC Radio 4, and a panellist on The Moral Maze. He has taught at universities in Britain, Europe, Australia and the USA, presented many TV documentaries and writes regularly for newspapers across the world including the New York Times, the Guardian, Göteborgs-Posten and the Australian. His books include The Meaning of Race, Man, Beast and Zombie, Strange Fruit: Why Both Sides are Wrong in the Race Debate and The Quest for a Moral Compass.
Treat yourself to The Festival of Questions – a series of thoughtful, quick-witted and exhilarating discussions that will change how you see the world. It’s one whole day of querying, questioning, wondering and asking why.
In four sessions across one day, we’ll bring together some of the sharpest and funniest thinkers we know. They’ll wrestle with the big questions facing Australia, and the world, today. Think: culture, class and climate; politics and punditry; philosophy and feminism. What are the issues that divide and unite us? Do terms like ‘right wing’ and ‘left wing’ still have meaning today? Is the world changing too fast, or not fast enough?
Join us for a day of storytelling, comedy, debate, discussion and ... possible disarray. We’ll open our minds and mind the whole world’s business. #festivalofQs
Catch up on some recordings
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