International relations & diplomacy
The Fifth Estate
What is Australia’s place in the world? How are we getting along with our neighbours? And how is our international outlook changing?
For this conversation, Sally Warhaft will be joined by executive director of the Lowy Institute, Michael Fullilove. The pair will discuss the foreign policy challenges Australia is facing now and into the future. Can we find ways to…
The Fifth Estate
The Future of Indonesia
What can we expect from President Joko Widodo’s second presidential term? How do Indonesia’s deep political and religious divisions play out in the lives of ordinary Indonesians, and how might they affect the nation’s prospects and ambitions?
In partnership with the Melbourne Writers Festival, we’re presenting a wide-ranging discussion on the future of our great and complicated neighbour. Sally Warhaft…
Kamila Shamsie: Home Fire
With her seventh novel, Home Fire, Pakistani-British author Kamila Shamsie has pulled off an improbable feat.
Home Fire is a work of great ambition (it's a rigorously researched story of global terrorism, drawing its structure from Sophocles' Antigone) and it's also a gripping page-turner. It's a stinging, and often funny, indictment on our facile political debates about terror, security and…
Shelling Out: Bastian Obermayer and the Panama Papers
The Panama Papers, which made headlines across the world in 2016, represent the biggest data leak in the history of journalism.
The 11.5 million documents, leaked from a Panamanian law firm by an anonymous source, revealed secret information about shell companies and offshore tax havens and the details of the individuals who exploit them – including many heads of state…
The Wheeler Centre
Writing in Exile: Samah Sabawi
Samah Sabawi at the Wheeler Centre
‘For Palestinian writers, we write for our lives,’ Samah Sabawi has written. ‘We write to exist.’
Sabawi is an award-winning playwright, author, essayist and poet. She’s also a policy advisor for Palestinian policy network Al-Shabaka, and the second featured speaker in our PEN Writing in Exile series.
Sabawi's family left Palestine following Israel's occupation of the Gaza Strip when she was a baby in 1967. She’s lived and worked across the globe throughout her life, but retains strong ties to the place of her birth. In Australia, she’s perhaps best known for her play, Tales of a City by the Sea, which won two Drama Victoria awards in 2016 and has also been rapturously received by audiences in Palestine, Canada and Malaysia. In the same year, the prolific Sabawi contributed to the anthology I Remember My Name, which received Middle East Monitor’s 2016 Palestine Book Award. Her most recent play, THEM, premieres later in May 2019 at the La Mama Courthouse.
Sabawi’s writing is concerned with displacement, conflict and diaspora. ‘Through writing our stories, our poems and songs,’ she has written, ‘we reconstruct our erased past, assert our present and try to shape our future.’ Appearing live at the Wheeler Centre, she talks to Sami Shah about writing for her life.
Presented in partnership with PEN Melbourne.
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…
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