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The Scavenger’s Sydney Writers’ Festival Highlights

Politics meets spirituality meets marriage equality and a whole bunch of other stuff in between, this week at the Sydney Writers’ Festival. Here’s ourtop 6 picks of the events.

15 May 2012

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

Celebrated author Jeanette Winterson discusses her memoir of the same title. She will explore themes of love, abandonment, self-worth, madness, books and creativity with a live audience at Sydney Opera House.
Wednesday 15 May, 9pm-10.30pm. Book here.

The Feminist Supremacy?

Can anti-abortion campaigners call themselves feminists? What use is feminism nowadays? This lively panel discussion features outspoken comedian and writer Catherine Deveny, authors Kathy Lette, Tara Moss and Emily Maguire, with chair Julia Baird.
Saturday 19 May, 8.30pm-10.30pm. Book here.

*See our interview with Emily Maguire (includes a ticket giveaway).

Why Get Married When You Could Be Happy?

Support for marriage equality is gaining ground, with a boost of support from President Obama last week. But just how ‘equal’ is the campaign for the right to marry? And does it buy into heteronormativity and suppress the diversity of lifestyles available to queer people? Jeanette Winterson joins gay liberationist Dennis Altman, writer Benjamin Law and Russian author Masha Gessen to hash out the issues.
Saturday 19 May, 6pm-7.30pm. Book here.

Spiritual Climate Change

Author and interfaith minister Stephanie Dowrick will discuss the connection between our inner, personal and spiritual lives and the political, social and economic turmoil that surrounds us. The popular author will talk with Simon Longstaff, executive director of the St James Ethics Centre, about the need for a spiritual climate change.
Friday 18 May, 2.30pm-3.30pm. Free – no bookings.

You must have something to hide

In an age of phone hacking, Twitter and terrorism, where do we draw the line between the public and the private? Who better to pick apart the issues than the former director general of MI5, a former CIA interrogator, a media and news blogger and investigative journalist? Stella Rimington, Michael Kirby, Glenn Carle, Jeff Jarvis and Heather Brooke talk to David Marr.

Friday 18 May, 8.30pm-10pm. Book here.


Global experts will dissect the Occupy Movement – arguably the greatest display of global social activism in recent memory – assessing the movement’s impact, its implications across the world and its influence into the future. Co-sponsored by the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, this debate features the faculty’s founder of the Sydney Democracy Initiative, Professor John Keane; Italian economic and political writer, Loretta Napoleoni and American writer, Chad Harbach. Moderated by the University of Sydney’s, Simon Tormey, thissession will tackle the movement’s radical ideas to spark innovative ways for writers to engage in the debate.
Thursday 17 May, 8pm- 9.30pm. Free – no bookings.

For details of the full program of events, visit the Sydney Writers’ Festival website.




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