The Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas is heralding the arrival of warmer weather with Spring Fling, a 24-event program of conversations, live podcast recordings and panel discussions. A roster of 60 local and international authors, writers, musicians and performers will gather in a celebration of storytelling, ideas and conversations. There’s plenty of great stuff to choose from – here are our picks.
Melissa Lucashenko: Torching the Colonial Myth
Miles Franklin-winning Goorie author Melissa Lucashenko’s latest novel Edenglassie speaks of Queensland’s colonial history via two Indigenous stories set two centuries apart that trace how the past continues to impact the present. Along the way she blows up colonial myths and tackles the ongoing implications of resistance. In this discussion with poet Evelyn Araluen, she’ll share how facing up to the wrongs of the past can set a path for the future.
Pia Miranda: Finding My Bella Vita
Generations of Australians know Pia Miranda from her role in the 2000 film Looking for Alibrandi. In this chat with book editor Jaclyn Crupi, she’ll go beyond her classic characterisation of Josie to discuss her new memoir, Finding My Bella Vita, in which she shares her life story, from her beginnings in the world of acting to the ups and downs of her career, as well as grappling with her Italian heritage while growing up in Australia.
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Trent Dalton Live at Melbourne Town Hall
Trent Dalton, author of the hit novel Boy Swallows Universe, will unpack his latest book Lola in the Mirror in a discussion with musician and author Clare Bowditch. He’ll chat about how his decades as a journalist investigating poverty, homelessness and violence has shaped the novel – and the hope that’s infused throughout it.
Everybody’s Trying To Find Their Way Home
Songwriter Jen Cloher will host this live recording of their podcast Everybody’s Trying To Find Their Way Home, joined by Māori and First Nations songwriters Uncle Kutcha Edwards, Allara and Breanne Peters. They’ll talk about writing and recording songs in their ancestral languages, bolstered by moving live performances.
Creative Witnessing: Andrew Quilty and Ben Quilty
Photojournalist Andrew Quilty and his cousin artist Ben Quilty have both spent time documenting the conflict in Afghanistan – Andrew through his war reportage and Ben as Australia’s official war artist in Afghanistan. To mark the release of Andrew’s new book, This Is Afghanistan, a visual documentation of the last nine years in Afghanistan, the Quiltys will come together to discuss the responsibilities that come with bearing witness, how art and photography can bring conflict and human rights into the spotlight, and why it’s so important to not look away. The event will be opened by Diana Sayed, the CEO of the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights, and closes with a keynote address from Shuja Jamal, researcher, advocate and the former director-general for international relations on Kabul’s National Security Council, who will speak about Afghanistan following the West’s withdrawal of forces.
Spring Fling runs until October 14.