But whether you missed out on attending Writers’ Week this year or, for whatever reason, find yourself wishing to cultivate a background ambience of mass public activity as you potter indoors on a weeknight, Adelaide Festival has released recordings of every, single, session in podcast form.
To get you started, here are some of our highlights.
Following the one-year anniversary of the Christchurch killings by an Australian terrorist and ASIO reports that local rightwing extremism is on the rise, this conversation between Fascists Among Us author and reformed Canadian white nationalist Tony McAleer is particularly timely.
Some of McAleer’s chipper anecdotes about dodging Canadian hate speech laws to run his own Aryan hotline are frankly uncomfortable to listen to. But, both Sparrow and McAleer bring plenty of food for thought – as difficult as it is to hear, it’s something we must not look away from.
Between them, economist and former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and Australian author Antony Loewenstein have written and spoken a whole lot about the often-messy relationships between economic and democratic systems. The world has changed a lot since February, but their conversation, which touches on disaster capitalism, economic collapse and transition, and the dangerous limits of commodifying everything, is pretty prescient.
In particular, chair Paul Barclay’s question, “is it in the interests of someone who’s making money out of a disaster, to fix the disaster when its continued existence continues to make them money?” is going to be an important one as western societies face their biggest crisis since the onset of neoliberalism.
Where to for #MeToo
Garner is an absent but recurring presence
in this panel on the #MeToo movement in Australia, courtesy of Virginia
Trioli’s republished Generation F.
Originally released in 1996 in the aftermath of Garner’s 1992 book The First Stone, Trioli’sbook offered an insight into the
tension, partly generational, between different waves of Australian feminism as
Trioli rebukes Garner’s critique of the complainants in a 1990s university
Given that subtext, it’s interesting to
note the new fissures between Trioli’s brand of feminism – investing in the
legal system to fight sexual harassment and misogyny – and more recent
generations, as she offers a fervent critique of ‘cancel culture’ and forms of
accountability outside the legal system.
A Woman Like Her
At the opening event of Adelaide Writers’ Week Pakistani journalist Sanam Maher described how, despite the success of her book A Woman Like Her in Australia and the UK, it was initially difficult to convince US publishers that American readers could relate to a story of a Pakistani social media influencer’s murder by her own brother. But listening to Maher speak makes one thing clear: despite some cultural specifities, the toxic cocktail of misogyny, patriarchy and media that led to the killing, and unfolded in its wake, can be found all over the world.
See What You Made Me Do
Closer to home, See What You Made Me Do author Jess Hill’s session is full of compelling, and confronting, insights into domestic abuse in Australia, from Hill explaining the necessary shift in terminology from domestic violence to domestic abuse, to the role of patriarchy in socialising young boys into the repressive structures of toxic masculinity. This, Hill says, both rob boys of rich emotional lives and personal connection, and can set them on course to unhealthy relationships with their future partners.
Walter is a writer, editor and broadcaster living on Kaurna Country. His work has appeared in Rip It Up, The Saturday Paper, Smith Journal, Royal Auto, Swampland Magazine, Broadsheet and The Thousands.