Series

The Festival of Questions

View all events in this series

at Melbourne Town Hall

What is Right? What is Left?

The times, they are ... confusing. Trump and Brexit have shaken up traditional definitions of ‘left’ and ‘right’ in politics. In Australia, the extreme right wing embraces a protectionist platform in the figure of Pauline Hanson. What has happened to the old political spectrum?

At this essential debate, our speakers will put forward their ideas about the evolving political landscape in 2017, both in Australia and internationally. Dissecting hot-button topics from immigration to economic protectionism, they’ll argue for new political forces, formations and possibilities.

How will we define our obligations to ourselves and to each other in the future? What kind of leadership can emerge in a new political landscape, and where do we look for hope?

Featuring Lauren DucaKenan MalikGeorge MegalogenisTim WilsonShen Narayanasamy, Rita Panahi and host Sally Warhaft, with live drawing by Oslo Davis.

All sessions of The Festival of Questions will be Auslan interpreted.

Presented in partnership with Melbourne Festival and City of Melbourne.

Who?

Portrait of Oslo Davis

Oslo Davis

Oslo Davis is an illustrator, cartoonist and artist who has drawn for a number of organisations worldwide, including the New York Times, the Age, theMonthlyMeanjin, SBS and the Guardian.

Portrait of Lauren Duca

Lauren Duca

Lauren Duca is an award-winning and -losing freelance journalist best known for her viral piece 'Donald Trump is Gaslighting America', and calling Tucker Carlson a 'partisan hack' on national television. In addition to working on her Thigh-High Politics column for Teen Vogue, Lauren's work can be found in/on New York magazine, the New Yorker, the New Inquiry, the Nation, Pacific Standard, Cosmopolitan and Complex, among other publications.

Portrait of Kenan Malik

Kenan Malik

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 GuardianGöteborgs-Posten and the Australian. His books include The Meaning of RaceMan, Beast and ZombieStrange Fruit: Why Both Sides are Wrong in the Race Debate and The Quest for a Moral Compass.

Portrait of George Megalogenis

George Megalogenis

George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with three decades' experience in the media. His books include The Australian Moment, which won the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for the ABC documentary series Making Australia Great. George is also the author of FaultlinesThe Longest Decade, Quarterly Essay 40: Trivial Pursuit – Leadership and the End of the Reform Era, Australia’s Second Chance and Quarterly Essay 61: Balancing Act: Australia Between Recession and Renewal.

Portrait of Tim Wilson

Tim Wilson

Tim Wilson is the Member for Goldstein. He was first elected in 2016 and achieved the strongest result in the Goldstein’s history for the Liberal Party. As a proud liberal he is committed to economic and social freedom, underpinned by the preservation of our culture and institutions.

He formerly served as Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner. In that role he worked with the government to reform laws to stop and prevent terrorism, improving economic opportunities for indigenous Australians as well as standing up for laws to protect free speech and stop marginalised communities from public harassment.

Portrait of Shen Narayanasamy

Shen Narayanasamy

Shen Narayanasamy is GetUp!'s Human Rights Campaign Director. She founded the No Business in Abuse project, targeting corporate involvement in offshore detention of asylum seekers, and led #LetThemStay, which prevented the deportation of hundreds of asylum seekers to Nauru.

Recently, she led GetUp's response to the Federal Government's attempts to change the Racial Discrimination Act, and ongoing attempts to change citizenship requirements. Shen's background is as a human rights lawyer and advocate, working in Australia and across the Asia Pacific on issues of economic justice and land rights.

Portrait of Rita Panahi

Rita Panahi

Rita is a Herald Sun columnist. She can be heard on radio 3AW, 2GB with Steve Price and appears regularly on Sunrise on Seven, and Sky News.

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 Festival of Questions

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

Where?

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Discussion

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