The Wheeler Centre
Broadside: Helen Garner
'I just threw out all ideas of inspiration years ago. It's all just noticing. You've got to walk around the world looking at things and listening and paying attention.'
In the words of one critic 'to read Helen Garner is to discover what might be her defining characteristic: awakeness and aliveness to the thingness of things'. Garner, a national treasure, has now spent almost half a century showing us who we are and how it is. And she has sharpened this singular style — her humour, sense of the absurd and incisive observation – over a lifetime of writing diaries.
Sarah Krasnostein, left, and Helen Garner — Photo: Hannah Koelmeyer
To coincide with the publication of Yellow Notebook, Diaries Volume I: 1978–1987, Garner shares with us the pages that offer a glimpse into the honing and shaping of a craft. Beginning in the 1970s just after the publication of her first novel, Monkey Grip, the book offers a unique insight into how decades of privately shaped internal dialogue creates a voice, and makes a writer.
In conversation with Sarah Krasnostein, Garner discusses the logic of writing, redacting and publishing one's diaries – as well as reflecting on creativity, the emotionally loaded space of hospitals and courtrooms, the architecture of sentences and her fascination with strangers.
Hot Desk Extract: Committed
An extract from Hot Desk Fellow Bella Green's Committed – a series of autobiographical comedic non-fiction essays about sex work.
The Wheeler Centre
Broadside: Rage Against the Machine: Feminism and Capitalism
The panel, from left to right: Santilla Chingaipe, Fatima Bhutto, Tressie McMillan Cottom, Jia Tolentino and Aminatou Sow — Photo: Hannah Koelmeyer
What is feminism under capitalism? What is feminism without it?
'Art does become so very important – because it does help a community articulate a way of understanding the world that allows them to reimagine it, rather than reproducing it.'Tressie McMillan Cottom
Not all of us can afford to lean in, because some of us aren’t even in the room. We’re rightly galvanised by the fact that there are more CEOs at ASX200 companies in Australia named Andrew than there are women – but when did feminism become about earning power? Doesn’t it have to be anti-capitalist? Market ideas about success and failure seem like a shaky foundation for liberation for the 99% of women, so what does an uncommodified resistance look like?
In this conversation from Broadside 2019, hosted by Santilla Chingaipe, our panellists – Aminatou Sow, Fatima Bhutto, Jia Tolentino and Tressie McMillan Cottom – discuss she-EOs, 'ethical consumption', reimagining value and good ancestorship.
Tressie McMillan Cottom, Jia Tolentino and Aminatou Sow on stage at Melbourne Town Hall — Photo: Hannah Koelmeyer
Working with Words: Garry Disher
We spoke with author Garry Disher about the magic of blue ballpoints, avoiding teams and using the senses in writing.
The Wheeler Centre
Broadside: Taking Up Space: Building the City That We Deserve
A woman’s place in the world and right to move through it freely has always been controlled. Workplaces, our city streets, pubs and parks are not just traditionally unwelcoming, but can be dangerous and destructive. Patriarchy has, until now, dominated our public spaces, and the way that different bodies and identities are policed within them.
So how can public space be reconceived, and how can we create a city that is truly accessible? Can we break our urban environments free from Anglocentric and gendered constructs of the past? And – are we even asking the right questions?
Pictured, left to right: Jan Fran, Niki Kalms, Caroline Martin, Gala Vanting and Jax Jacki Brown — Photo: Hannah Koelmeyer
In this episode, recorded at the inaugural Broadside festival of feminist ideas, host Jan Fran leads a discussion with writer and sex worker advocate Gala Vanting, spoken word performer and disability activist Jax Jacki Brown, YIRRAMBOI First Nations Festival creative director and Yalukit Marnang founder Caroline Martin and Monash University design researcher and XYX Lab founding director Nicole Kalms. They talk about urban space – and, ultimately, the intellectual work we have to do before we can even begin to talk about building anything.
The Fifth Estate
American-born journalist Megan K. Stack is an acclaimed author and war correspondent. She was Moscow bureau chief for the L.A. Times when she made the decision to work from home and look after her newborn child. As her growing family followed her husband’s work through China and India, Stack’s new life forced her to understand the economy of women’s work, and the inequalities that make it possible to exploit ‘poor women, brown women, migrant women’.
Megan Stack (left) and Sally Warhaft (right)
Stack’s memoir, Women’s Work: A Reckoning with Work and Home, undertakes a forthright and relentless examination of domestic labour, and the complexities of working parenthood – for herself and for the babysitters, cooks and cleaners which made her continuing career possible. She asks: ‘Why was it that, whatever you desired, you could find a poor woman to sell it?’
In conversation with Sally Warhaft at Bendigo Writers Festival, Megan K. Stack discusses the ethics, unexpected emotional shifts and negotiations of the household as a workplace.
Presented in partnership with Bendigo Writers Festival.
Anything and everything in Work from across our archives.
The Wheeler Centre
The Pop Up Festival of Dangerous Ideas: Arlie Hochschild: We Have Outsourced Ourselves
Explore these other subjects, across our site.