Provocative, radical and just plain outrageous, the Festival of Dangerous Ideas brings its left-field agenda to the Opera House for the fourth year.
History has shown us that dangerous ideas can be a little subjective. Once, the thought of sending a woman to work, living with a partner before tying the knot or swapping your day job for a life on the open seas was relegated to the outlandish and insane. Luckily, the Festival of Dangerous Ideas is here to remind us that crazy is sometimes just a matter of perspective. Playing out over the long weekend, the festival’s fourth incarnation will feature talks and debates by some of the world’s biggest provocateurs, thinkers and visionaries and an opening address by neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris. Here are some of discussions we think you should get to this weekend.
All Australians are Racist
From the “yellow peril” of the Goldrush Era to Pauline Hanson’s modern-day rhetoric, Australia’s unfortunate record of racist discourse can often make multicultural fairytales seem a little hollow. Media commentator Samah Hadid, TV producer Alex Doomdgee and journalist Joe Hildebrand explore this touchy terrain.
Saturday 29 September, 2.30-3.30pm
My Workplace is a Cult
As anyone who’s ever been mired in corporate hell will tell you, there’s something strangely sinister about the office cubicle. Tom Uglow, the creative director for Google’s Creative Lab and journalist Gideon Haigh discuss whether the modern workplace is just an exercise in brainwashing.
Saturday 29 September, 4.30-5.30pm
All Women Hate Each Other
From the vitriol directed at UK journalist Samantha Brick to magazines that chronicle celebrities’ fashion lows, women can be each other’s harshest critics. Feminist icon Germaine Greer and Australian journalist Tara Moss and Eva Cox explore female venom in all its forms.
The Joy of Sin
Pride, lust, gluttony, greed, envy, sloth and anger – these are the seven deadly sins, but do these sins in fact makes us happier, more creative and more open minded? From a psychological point of view, experimental social psychologist Simon Laham discusses moral codes and our social responses to them.
Sunday 30 September, midday-1pm
We Are All Sexual Perverts
Consider yourself fairly vanilla when it comes to sex? Sexuality expert and journalist Jesse Bering is hell bent on proving that we all harbour fetishes and kinks to make the Marquis de Sade blush.
Sunday 30 September, 4.30-5.30pm
The Festival of Dangerous Ideas runs from the September 28-30.