Sydney's never short of talks events, from big headline festivals like All About Women to the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, there are many opportunities to hear from international speakers on the subjects they know best. Plus, there are many venues that host talks from local speakers too, such as the Ethics Centre and the School of Life.
Vivid is the largest winter festival in the Southern Hemisphere, running over 23 days and nights with an extensive program of Light, Music and Ideas events. Last year, visitors flocked to the cathedral of lights in the Botanic Gardens and took thousands of shots of the Sydney Opera House lit with ‘Songlines’. They heard talks from game-changers Spike Jonze, Beau Willimon and Margaret Zhang. Plus, they let people sleepover at the Opera House. The full Vivid Sydney program is announced on Tuesday March 14.
Many have called Woolloomooloo’s historic Gunnery Building ‘home’ over the years, including squatting artists in the ’80s. Appropriately enough, it’s now (legitimately) home to several arts organisations. Artspace moved into the Gunnery way back in 1992 and quickly established it as a hotspot of Sydney’s contemporary art scene. Its annual program includes exhibitions, artist residencies, talks and symposiums, and the publication of artist monographs. The current director of Artspace is Alexie Glass-Kantor.
As a child Chido Govera experienced more hardship than most of us can imagine. An orphan in rural Zimbabwe, she was responsible for the care of her brother and grandmother before experiencing horrific abuse at the hands of an uncle. At the age of 11, after turning down a marriage proposal, Govera turned adversary into triumph, starting a mushroom farm by cultivating local waste. That farm bloomed into a journey that has seen her teach over 1000 orphans and young women how to create social and economic opportunities for themselves. The School of Life Australia will host Govera as she talks about what it means to have hope in the face of adversity and how individuals can take control of their own destiny, no matter the circumstances.
Australia will get two chances to laugh (and cringe) with Jamie Morton this year when the My Dad Wrote A Porno star brings his podcast down under. What would you do if you found out your dad wrote a porno? Would you ignore its very existence? Would you bring it up with him? Or would you, say, create a podcast with two of your friends and read out chapters to the wider world? Let’s just say, Jamie Morton made the right decision. The My Dad Wrote A Porno podcast is like a filthy book club, where listeners get a section of the devilishly funny Belinda Blinked erotic novel dissected by the author’s incredulous son and his friends James Cooper and Alice Levine. Jamie’s 60-year-old father (who – no joke – penned the book under the moniker Rocky Flintstone) was sincere in his approach to later-in-life self-publication, but the resulting novel is a trainwreck of clumsy and weird descriptions of sexual situations, with a vague plotline about the goings-on in the super sexy world of pots and pans sales. Basically, it’s a disaster – but a disaster filled with spit-take worthy prose. Launching in 2015 with readings from Rocky Flintstone's first book, the series has been a runaway success, boasting 50-million-plus downloads worldwide. After the release of Belinda Blinked 2 halfway through last year, the My Dad Wrote A Porno team has decided to take the show on the road with a series of talks and live readings hitting Australia between May and August. On Saturday May 27 Jamie will sp