What’s the best way to tackle climate change? Who is the greatest songwriter ever? Does Australia have a problem with successful women? Why do I always forget where I parked my car?
In November, Melbourne’s The Wheeler Centre will tackle questions from the everyday to the controversial at its upcoming festival The Interrobang: A Festival of Questions.
The Interrobang’s program will feature 25 events across one weekend, during which some of the brightest local and international minds will attempt to answer “the best questions in the world”, as voted by the public.
Anyone can submit and vote for questions via The Interrobang’s website. The nature and focus of the events will be determined by which questions receive the most votes, creating a completely crowdsourced festival program.
Interrobang guests include US author Cheryl Strayed, whose wisdom and clarity have attracted legions of readers to her memoir, Wild, and her online advice column, Dear Sugar. At The Interrobang, Strayed will bring this same insight to bear on questions ranging from the existential to the absurd.
Strayed will be joined by a variety of writers, speakers and thinkers, including pioneering Australian feminist and journalist Anne Summers; Twitter king ,Rob Delaney; ABC Black Comedy creator, Nakkiah Lui; sci-fi author and technology journalist, Cory Doctorow; and Masterchef alumnus, Adam Liaw.
Other participants include local stalwarts such as Sally Warhaft, Alan Brough, and Benjamin Law (who has form with tackling other people’s dilemmas in the frequently filthy advice column he co-writes with his mum, Jenny, for lit journal The Lifted Brow).
The Wheeler Centre’s Head of Programming, Emily Sexton, is confident the eclectic ensemble and unpredictable format will make for an exciting, exploratory festival, with discussions ranging from the personal to the political. “We already know our audience, and Melbourne, are good at being silly and magical and provocative,” she says. By asking and answering questions, The Interrobang aims to bring this curiosity to life.
Visit The Interrobang website to vote for your favourite questions and submit your own.
The Interrobang program will be revealed on October 12, and take place on November 27–28.