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.
Before colonisation, there were more than 250 distinct languages spoken by Indigenous communities. Darug (also spelt Dharug) is one of the dialects (emcompassing smaller language groups) spoken in Sydney, which 23-year-old Joel Davison learnt and taught in the Bayala language classes at Sydney Festival in January 2017. “Hopefully, over the years, I’ll learn more about my own language,” says Davison, a Gadigal and Dunghutti man who lives in Marrickville. Like many people his age, Davison learnt European languages as part of his school education and there have been limited opportunities for him to engage with the language of his people. He now knows around 100 words in Darug and educating others in the diversity of culture is part of the reason he wants to continue sharing that knowledge. “I’ve seen the value people can get out of learning a language that others classify as dead or dying. The Darug language isn’t a dead language: when you learn the language it’s like you carry an ember so that you can light a fire to the kinderling.” Davison says the demand for language classes has shown that it’s a positive way to connect with Aboriginal culture in a modern society. “For a lot of people, they are missing that connection to the earth, and to history.” Davison is appearing at Sydney Writers’ Festival in Lingo: What Is Lost When a Language Dies?
It's the first month of spring and the fair weather brings with it a series of local festivals and events like Bondi’s Festival of the Winds, the popular Surry Hills Festival and Cabramatta Moon Festival. Cosplayers save the date for the annual Oz Comic-con and shoppers love Vogue Fashion’s Night Out. Major arts and culture festivals include BEAMS in Chippendale, Sydney Fringe Festival and the Sydney Underground Film Festival. Plus, it’s Father’s Day on Sunday September 4 and school holidays from September 24.
We’ve all watched the nightly news and thought to ourselves, “What is the world coming to?”. In this thought-provoking talk at the Sydney Opera House, bestselling American scientist Dr Steven Pinker will argue that while it may seem like the world is falling apart, the past was much worse. In 2011, Pinker released The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, a book that focused how violence has actually been diminishing for millennia. According to Pinker, we’re currently living in the most peaceful time in our species’ existence. Chaired by ABC broadcaster and journalist Natasha Mitchell, this event will see Pinker speak on the topic of world violence: what shapes our views on violence and what the future might hold for us.
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. This year, Vivid Sydney takes place from Friday May 26 to Saturday June 17.