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The Edge of the World: Australia and Globalism


Event Status

Australia has long been haunted by the spectre of ‘cultural cringe’ – nowhere more so, perhaps, than in our arts.

But in the globalised new millennium, has all that changed? Have we finally stopped waiting with baited breath for international tastemakers to tell us what’s worth celebrating – or are we developing a confident new swagger of our own?

Gina McColl, arts editor of the Age, will be talking to a panel of decision-makers from our leading arts festivals: Carrillo Gantner, president of the Melbourne Festival, Josephine Ridge, creative director at Melbourne Festival and Emily Sexton, artistic director at the Next Wave Festival.

They’ll consider whether globalisation has meant opportunities for Australian artists working overseas – and to what extent Australian culture has won over audiences beyond our shores.

Are there first, second and third world cultural economies? And what does this mean for indigenous art and artists – and for the concept of the cultural cringe?

Co-presented by the Melbourne Festival and the Wheeler Centre.


Carrillo Gantner

Carrillo Gantner is President of the Melbourne Festival and chairman of the Sidney Myer Fund. His many achievements include being the first drama officer at the Australian Council for the Arts (1970-1973), general manager of the Melbourne Theatre Company, and being founding director, executive direc... Read more

Josephine Ridge

Josephine Ridge is one of Australia’s most experienced and internationally respected arts identities. Earlier this year, she began her tenure as Creative Director at Melbourne Festival, planning the Festival program from 2013. From 2003 to 2012 she was at Sydney Festival as General Manager, follow... Read more

Gina McColl

Gina McColl is The Age’s arts editor. Before becoming a journalist, Gina taught fine arts and cinema studies at the University of Melbourne. She joined BRW in 1997, where she edited, flagship issues, and covered cultural and social trends. Previously the visual arts feature writer for T... Read more

Emily Sexton

Emily Sexton is a former Head of Programming for the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas. She was the recipient of a prestigious Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship in 2014. Previously, she was Artistic Director of Next Wave (2010–14), where her key achievements were a radical rethink of an ar... Read more


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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.