Race, religion & identity
Working with Words: Amie Batalibasi
Amie Batalibasi is an award-winning writer and filmmaker and the recipient of this year's prestigious Merata Mita Fellowship from the Sundance Institute. She's now working on the screenplay for her debut feature film, Blackbird, on the history of Australia's sugar slaves. We spoke with Amie about Sundance, stories from the Solomon…
Questions for the Nation: Darwin
What are the most important questions facing Australians – today and in the future?
The Wheeler Centre is roaming Australia, collecting the nation’s most urgent questions and thrashing them out with some of the sharpest thinkers we know. We’re doing it in panel discussions at Brisbane Writers Festival, Perth’s Disrupted Festival of Ideas, Darwin Festival and National Young Writers Festival…
Nation, Clan, Self: Paul Beatty, Susan Faludi and Ivan Coyote in Conversation
‘Is identity something you "choose," or is it the very thing you can't escape?’
In 2017, the personal has never been more political – and the political never more personal. Still, even as we obsessively unpack how to best define ourselves and others, a clear understanding of ‘identity’ can prove frustratingly elusive.
Jane Caro, Ivan Coyote, Susan Faludi and Paul Beatty
'Community’s not something you consume. It’s something that you build.'Ivan Coyote
There are few better placed to untangle our often divergent conceptions of identity than Paul Beatty, Susan Faludi and Ivan Coyote.
Paul Beatty’s bitingly funny work – including the satirical, Man Booker Prize-winning The Sellout – explores the complexities and contradictions of what it means to ‘be black’ in a ‘post-racial’ world.
Susan Faludi’s examinations of what it means to ‘be a woman’, meanwhile, have driven her to explore the shifting sands of gender inequality. Her latest work, In The Darkroom, explores the failure of existing transgender narratives to account for the complexity of her father’s late-in-life gender transition.
Transgender Canadian spoken word artist Ivan Coyote is well aware of how complicated gender-based conceptions of identity can be. The author and lead performer of Tomboy Survival Guide, Coyote’s books and performances are designed to guide their audience toward circumnavigating the gender binary ‘in seven thousand easy steps’.
What does it mean to write the self, or to write about nationhood – and how do we best fight to ensure others understand how we want to be seen? Host Jane Caro talks with three acclaimed international authors and artists whose work is driven by a challenge to interrogate how we move between categories, or are forced to inhabit them.
More Than Words: Translation and Interpretation
Gregory Rabassa, revered translator of Gabriel García Márquez, wrote that ‘every act of communication is an act of translation.’ Even when speaking the same tongue, we so often get our wires crossed. It’s not just words but gestures, tone, cultural context and, of course, silence that convey meaning – intentionally or otherwise. Translation between languages is at once fraught (Umberto Eco called…
There is only one living writer whose work has traversed the subjects of slavery, poker, commercial nomenclature and zombies. Colson Whitehead is audacious, inventive and utterly unpredictable. This singular voice in American literature joins host Michael Williams for a conversation about race and resistance in fiction.
No matter the subject, the acclaimed New York-based novelist always delivers strange and striking slants…
Roxane Gay’s latest book, a collection of short fiction called Difficult Women. The pages of the book are populated with resilient, perverse, bold, provocative, hilarious and heroic female characters.
It’s some of these very same qualities that have propelled Gay herself to feminist stardom. As a writer, and as a distinctly 21st-century voice in American feminism, Gay embraces complexity…
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