Free speech, human rights & social issues
Writing in Exile
Mammad Aidani left Iran soon after the 1979 February Revolution. He has never been able to return home and has been living in exile ever since.
Aidani is an acclaimed poet and playwright, as well as a distinguished academic. His research is concerned with Middle Eastern people, especially Iranians, who have experienced violence or torture and who have resettled in…
Writing in Exile
In partnership with PEN Melbourne, we draw on the double vision of some incredible international writers, living and working in exile here in Melbourne – hosted by Sami Shah.
Never the Less: Disability, Displacement and Human Rights
More than a billion people live with some form of disability. That’s about 15% of the world's population and yet across the globe, people with disabilities face regular contraventions of their basic rights. These range from egregious abuses – such as being put in shackles – to basic barriers to education, employment, safety and inclusion.
In this conversation, presented in…
Sohaila Abdulali: Consent and Power
‘We need to put responsibility where it lies, on men who violate women’ Sohaila Abdulali has written, ‘and on all of us who let them get away with it while we point accusing fingers at their victims.’
In 1980, Sohaila Abdulali was 17 years old and living in Mumbai. One night, while out for a walk with a friend, she…
The Fifth Estate
Kassem Eid: My Country
In 2013, Kassem Eid narrowly escaped death when Bashar al-Assad’s government unleashed a now-infamous sarin gas attack on Ghouta, Syria. It wasn’t just sarin: the area was also bombarded by mortar fire. At least 1500 people died. Eid didn’t, but the devastating assault irreversibly injured his community and upended his life.
Since its beginnings during the Arab Spring uprisings of…
Books and Ideas at Montalto
‘In fairytales, the characters who look different are often cast as the villain or monsters. It's only when they shed their unconventional skin that they are seen as "good" or less frightening.’
Carly Findlay looks different. She’s an award-winning writer, appearance activist and speaker who lives with ichthyosis – a rare, severe skin condition. Say Hello is her new memoir, filled…
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