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Is the phrase ‘politically engaged travel writing’ an oxymoron? You might be forgiven for believing so, with travel sections in many newspapers increasingly focused on massage retreats, wine tourism and exotic cuisine.
However Tom Bamforth thinks travel writing can do so much more than that. He believes literary travel writing that embraces context, complexity and contradiction can bring attention to parts of the world that urgently need it. Tom has worked in Pakistan, Sudan, the Philippines and the Pacific in emergency relief and disaster risk education programs. Can travel writing encourage audiences to engage with issues that might seem peripheral, but have global ramifications?
Join Tom for a discussion of the most challenging frontiers of this fascinating form of non-fiction.
Tom Bamforth is an author and aid worker. He has worked Pakistan, Sudan, Philippines and the Pacific in emergency relief and longer term disaster risk eduction programs. His writing has appeared in Granta, Griffith Review and The Age. He is the author of Deep Field: Dispatches from the front lines of aid relief. A selection of his writing and photographs can be found at tombamforth.com.
We love exploring ideas here at the Wheeler Centre, and encouraging others to do the same. That’s why every second Thursday lunchtime, we hand the microphone over to thinkers, dreamers, writers and orators, so they can share the ideas that have been occupying them the most.
It’s a space to tunnel deep into a train of thought and emerge with surprising conclusions, recommendations for change, or simply a more evolved set of questions. The flexible format provides a platform for the eclectic, topical and enlightening: stories and opinions you won’t hear elsewhere.
Come for your lunch break and leave refreshed, your brain buzzing.