In these troubling times, it’s fitting that the theme of this year’s celebration of big ideas is ‘Revolution’. In her final year as festival director, Lisa Dempster has championed political activists, marginalised voices and bold thinkers to fill Melbourne with fresh perspectives on difficult issues. For the full Melbourne Writers Festival program, visit the website.
West Australian novelist and professor Kim Scott will open the festival as part of a celebration on the identities, stories and resistance of Australia’s First Nations people. Scott – who is a descendent of the Noongar people and was the first Indigenous author to win the Miles Franklin Award – will discuss his literary career, in which he has reconstructed narratives of Indigenous experience and challenged existing histories in novels like Benang and his most recent work, Taboo. Stick around for performances by the Mission Songs Project and hit the dancefloor when DJ Sovereign Trax – AKA Hannah Donnelly – drops music by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
Is the concept of a 15-hour work week more realistic than it sounds? Historian and author Rutger Bregman is one of Europe’s most prominent thinkers, and is best known for his recently released bestseller Utopia for Realists, in which he makes a case for a shorter work week and universal basic income. In his two talks at the Melbourne Writers Festival, he will discuss his vision of a more equal future, and address the economic and social implications of artificial intelligence on the workforce.
If you’ve ever sat down to watch one episode of a Netflix show and then realised you’re still sitting there five hours later, this panel talk is for you. At this year's Melbourne Writers Festival event, join Megan Abbott (novelist and writer on HBO series The Deuce), Melbourne writer Brodie Lancaster (No Way! Okay, Fine) and Sydney writer Benjamin Law (The Family Law) as they explore the way that binge culture has influenced television.