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The Politicians Have Lost Us: Art, Apathy and Hope


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The events in Australia and internationally on Wednesday 26 June demonstrated just how much of circus contemporary politics has become. What next for democracy? What role do artists play in making social change – or just making sense of it all? Join us as we unwind and try to understand our contemporary political landscape, and its effect on creativity, culture and our city’s artists.

Joining us for this discussion are guests Brienna Macnish, Georgie Mattingley and Ben Eltham. Your host will be Emily Sexton.

The Breakfast Club

Breakfast Club is a platform that interrogates how the world and art collide.

Following a highly successful series at the Wheeler Centre during the 2012 Next Wave Festival, your early morning shot of artistic and intellectual insight is back. Every Wednesday morning for four weeks this June, we’ll explore different issues that stimulate our artists and creative thinkers as they develop new work.

We’re not interested in expert-led formats or a room full of people thinking the same things; we want big opinions, good discussion and personal stories. And coffee (that’s important). Each event runs for one hour, and will be punctuated by a series of provocations from artists, writers, thinkers and commentators.

The biennial Next Wave Festival will take place in May, 2014. The aim of this series is to get the artists (and audiences) thinking about the big questions.

Light breakfast by Yoghurt Culture and Small Batch coffee by donation.

More online

Stop, collaborate and listen. Follow #NWbclub to discuss Breakfast Club topics on Twitter (two ‘Live Scribes’ will be tweeting each event); subscribe to the brand new Breakfast Club podcast (via Soundcloud or iTunes) and catch up with blog posts at the Next Wave website.


Georgie Mattingley

Georgie graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 2012. Often adopting a playful humour and a quirky use of visual aesthetic, Georgie aims to beautify confronting spaces or events, as a tool to question people’s limits and values. She currently works at ... Read more

Ben Eltham

Ben Eltham studied neuroscience, philosophy and cultural studies before editing the University of Queensland’s Semper Floreat in 2000. He has worked as a freelance journalist and essayist since 2001 for a range of national publications, including New Matilda, Crikey, Guardian Australia, 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

Brienna Macnish

Brienna Macnish is a Melbourne based theatre-maker. Her practice is characterised by an interest in non-traditional forms, a thoughtful engagement with site, striking visual aesthetics and social relevance. Recently Brienna has developed new Australian writing, created immersive performances and des... Read more


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