Inspired by the disrupters, rulebreakers and refuters at this year’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas, we’ve sketched a guide to five unusual places to seek out so you can live the ideas shared at FODI and create your own path to discovery...
Bring politics to the streets
Roll up, roll up, read all about it. But can you trust what you’re reading? Advertising guru Dee Madigan will be addressing the fine line between political marketing and propaganda at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas; the regular panellist on The Gruen Transfer stopped using her superpowers for brands like Rexona and Diet Coke and started penning powerful marketing campaigns for pollies – so are her skills now used for the greater good? Decide for yourself and put your own ideology to paper by creating a poster for social change at the new Rizzeria printing studio in Marrickville. The not-for-profit runs workshops in zine making, hand lettering and screen printing.
Ever witnessed something wrong and wished you’d spoken up, shouting from the rooftops with rage and energy? That’s what former frontman of Black Flag and Rollins Band, radio host and spoken word artist Henry Rollins is known for – speaking out about global injustice. If that inspires you to raise your voice or champion others who shout out about political injustice, head to Caravan Slam at the Camelot Lounge in Marrickville or the fiercely popular Bankstown Poetry Slam where homegrown poets speak the cold, hard truth about Australia’s injustices in melodic, harmonious verse.
“People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it’s safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs,” said British comedian Alexei Sayle, whose career as a funnyman took off at the time Margaret Thatcher came to power. He’ll be talking about how he made light of political unrest, and how he made LOLs out of Stalin and Thatcher. Get your fix of political comedy at the monthly Wolf Comedy night at Knox Street Bar in Chippendale. They program not-straight-white-dudes, which means awesome chicks take to the stage like Gen Fricker, Zoe Coombs Marr and Nakkiah Lui.
Bonnie and Clyde, Thelma and Louise, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid – all have one crucial thing in common: they’re loveable lawbreakers. What drives our fascination with outlaws? Best known for her novel We Need to Talk About Kevin, author Lionel Shriver is encouraging us to break a rule a day, whether it’s jaywalking when no one’s watching or jumping the line at a gig. Take inspiration from the mugshots of our own beloved crims such as brothel owner Tilly Devine and ‘the boss of the Cross’ Abe Saffron at the Justice and Police Museum, then raise a glass to their renegade style at the booze palaces still honouring their rebellious spirits, at Darlo’s Love, Tilly Devine and the Roosevelt, Potts Point.
If your bike broke, would you fix it? Could you fix it? Our abilities to mend and repair things have declined as we become more and more reliant on technology, and the rate at which we consume new things doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Academic Lee Vinsel will be challenging the dominant ideology of our times: that innovation is superior to maintenance and repair. Buck the innovation fetish and learn a new skill at the MakerSpace. Seek out the warehouse space on Barclay Street for taster courses in welding, woodwork, leatherwork, textiles and electronics