The Wheeler Centre
Writing in Exile: PEN International Day of the Imprisoned Writer
Sami Shah, Samah Sabawi, Mammad Aidani and Roza Germian at the Wheeler Centre
Writers and journalists are often among the first citizens targeted and punished by autocratic leaders. With creeping authoritarianism and instability in many regions around the world, it's an increasingly dangerous time for writers of all kinds.
On the eve of PEN International's Day of the Imprisoned Writer, we held a special panel event as part of our Writers in Exile series to discuss old and emerging threats to literary freedoms today.
Host Sami Shah welcomed back the three writers who have shared their personal stories of exile – journalist Roza Germian, playwright Samah Sabawi and playwright and poet Mammad Aidani – for the last conversation in the series. They discuss their own experiences and their knowledge of press and literary restriction in their respective home countries – as well as the role Australia can and should play on the international stage with regards to protecting and protesting the freedom of writers here and overseas.
Presented in partnership with PEN Melbourne.
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
‘Memory is a Creative Act’: A gallery of Broadside 2019 graphic recordings
This past weekend, the Wheeler Centre presented the inaugural Broadside festival of feminist ideas – with a blockbuster line-up of speakers and discussions. Complicated questions were posed. Difficult issues were surfaced. Creativity was celebrated. Graphic recorder Sarah Firth captured the discussion in real-time.
The Wheeler Centre
Paul Holdengräber: The Art of the Interview
Paul Holdengräber and Sally Warhaft — Photo: Sophie Quick
What makes a great interview? What can public conversation do, and why does it matter? And how does a skilled interviewer handle the various nightmare breeds of interview subject, from The Robot to The Waffler; The Sermoniser to The Sphinx?
In this conversation, we bring together two master interlocutors – Paul Holdengräber and our own Sally Warhaft – for a meaningful dialogue about ... meaningful dialogue. Paul Holdengräber was the former curator of conversations at the New York Public Library, and is the founding executive director of the Onassis Foundation LA, a centre for dialogue in Los Angeles which is an outpost of the Onassis headquarters in Athens. Throughout his distinguished career, he's interviewed hundreds of artists, scientists and luminaries, from Salman Rushdie to Jay Z. Sally Warhaft is the Wheeler Centre's in-house news anchor and the host of the popular Fifth Estate conversation series and podcast. She's interrogated big names in Australian politics and high-profile international guests, from the late Malcolm Fraser to Masha Gessen and Ronan Farrow.
How do you get, and keep, your subject on side? And what’s the role of discussion in today’s increasingly partisan political climate? Join Warhaft and Holdengräber as they talk career highlights, horror stories and the art and purpose of public conversation today.
The Wheeler Centre
Digital Futures: New Media, Storytelling and Disability
Adolfo Aranjuez, Eliza Hull and Erin Kyan at the Wheeler Centre
‘Whatever it is that you do, think about how you can make what you do more accessible. Because I guarantee you there’s ways.’ – Erin Kyan
It’s no secret that the digital media industry has been the site of rapid and surprising change in recent decades. The market for screen content of all kinds – as well as screen-adjacent storytelling like podcasts – is hungry for fresh stories and new, authentic voices. And as platforms multiply and consolidate, the boundaries between mass market and niche have softened.
What does this mean for marginalised voices – especially writers, creative professionals and performers with disability – who’ve traditionally been underrepresented in the media mainstream? And – how about marginalised audiences?
In this panel conversation, Adolfo Aranjuez, Eliza Hull and Erin Kyan discuss how artists with disability across the globe are engaging with the new digital order, and making entertaining and innovative work. Does the changing market offer new possibilities for access and creative expression? And how can we bring forward a future where people with disability have meaningful and lasting careers in the media arts?
Mirror Mirror: Beauty, Body Image and the Self
Bri Lee's Beauty is a deeply personal treatise on body image, discipline and perfectionism. For this discussion, hosted by Lee herself, we'll take the essay as a jumping-off point for a broader conversation about beauty standards in the 21st Century.
Our panellists will consider the beauty lies we tell ourselves and each other, and explore the impossible standards amplified through…
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