When is Australia racist? Questions of difference and fairness
Australian racism is a slippery thing. We’ve seen it (at the football, on a bus with a singing French tourist, in select policies of successive governments, at anti-something protests). We know it exists. But as a nation – a deeply multicultural one, arguably defined by migration – we haven’t progressed to a realistic understanding of who we are, what that means and what we thus expect of ourselves and each other.
How do we distinguish our ideals from the real world? Is mainstream Australian – whatever that means – capable of living up to its own myths? Let’s not let subcultures off the hook, either. What draws our meanest impulses out of hiding? When do we laugh about our differences … and when do they come to define us?
With artist Abdul Abdullah, writer and comedian Nakkiah Lui, Aboriginal health expert Gregory Phillips, journalist and political commentator Voranai Vanijaka and Gaysia author Benjamin Law, we’ll explore Australian equality on a number of fronts: representation, social support, sex and decision-making. Our panellists consider what it might take to achieve a culture that reflects a true picture of Australia back to itself – and what we’ll be losing if we don’t.
Abdul Abdullah is an artist from Perth, currently based in Sydney, who works across painting, photography, video, installation and performance. As a self described ‘outsider amongst outsiders’, his practice is primarily concerned with the experience of the ‘other’ in society. Abdullah’s pr... Read more
Nakkiah Lui is a writer/actor/director and Gamillaroi/Torres Strait Islander woman. She began her playwriting career at Sydney Theatre Company under the artistic directorship of Andrew Upton and Cate Blanchett, since then she has worked with every major theatre company in Australia. Nakkiah was acto... Read more
Gregory Phillips is from the Waanyi and Jaru peoples, and comes from Cloncurry and Mount Isa. He is a medical anthropologist, with thirty years’ experience in leading change in cultural safety, healing and decolonisation.Gregory is Chief Executive Officer of ABSTARR Consulting, is a Professor of... Read more
Voranai Vanijaka is the editor in chief of GQ Thailand. He teaches political communication and intercultural communication at Thammasat University. From 2008 to May 2014, he was a political commentator with the Bangkok Post newspaper. He teaches political communication and inte... Read more
Benjamin Law is the author of The Family Law (2010), Gaysia (2012), the Quarterly Essay Moral Panic (2017) and editor of Growing Up Queer in Australia (2019). He’s also an AWGIE Award-winning screenwriter who created and co-wrote three seasons of the award-winning TV series The Family Law (SBS... Read more
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Programming a weekend of fearless conversation