Broadside, curated by the Wheeler Centre, will bring two days of unabashedly feminist ideas and discussions to Melbourne audiences.
For one weekend in November, Melbourne Town Hall will be packed with 35 international and local speakers. If you’re looking for a place to meet up between sessions, Club Skunk (named after the queer-punk hangout spot in 10 Things I Hate About You') is downstairs at Melbourne Town Hall, and is a tribute to Kat Stratford and all the brilliant and complex feminists in our lives.
Tickets are on sale for individual sessions or you can buy a Pass to three or more events. For a limited time only, you can also buy Passes for single days and for the entire weekend. People under 30 can access concession tickets, and there’s an allocation of community tickets for First Nations attendees.
There's so much to take in and add to your shortlist at Broadside, so here are our top picks:
Things My Mother Never Told Me
Broadside’s gala event takes us all back to our beginnings, with thirteen incredible speakers sharing stories of the people who birthed and raised them, stepmothers, mothers-in-law and the caregivers they found along the way.
This will be a powerful evening of readings and performance featuring Grammy-nominated musician Courtney Barnett; authors Curtis Sittenfeld, Maria Tumarkin, Clare Wright and Ariel Levy; writer Nayuka Gorrie; interdisciplinary artist and house Mother of Western-Sydney House of Slé, Bhenji Ra; award-winning journalist Fran Kelly; family violence advocate Nicole Lee; playwright Patricia Cornelius; transgender activist and executive editor of Out magazine, Raquel Willis; artist Aretha Brown; and Senator Mehreen Faruqi, the first female Muslim senator in Australia. Prepare for a funny, complicated, vulnerable and tender night that will no doubt leave you vowing to call somebody you love.
Monica Lewinsky - booked out
It’s hard to imagine anyone better qualified to speak about the ubiquity of bullying, humiliation and harassment in our culture than Monica Lewinsky. This August, when she was announced as a producer on the forthcoming series of American Crime Story, Lewinsky expressed a determination to take more of a public role in owning her narrative. Now Australian audiences will have the rare opportunity to hear her tell her own story.
From her tireless leadership in anti-bullying activism to her acclaimed work with Vanity Fair, Lewinsky’s resilience and compassion has inspired increasing praise worldwide. In what will be a much-talked about Broadside closing event, the activist and writer will share her insights with the Wheeler Centre's head of publishing, Sophie Black.
This event is now booked out.
Who Gave You Permission?: Speaking Up and Speaking Out
How do we blaze a trail without losing our own way? On Saturday afternoon, five writers will discuss the sticky, tricky realities of speaking out: Celebrated American novelist Curtis Sittenfeld, New Yorker staff writer Ariel Levy and executive editor of Out magazine Raquel Willis join Kurnai/Gunai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta writer Nayuka Gorrie and host Michelle Law in a discussion about weighing up the personal costs of sticking to your guns when the odds are stacked against you.
Described as "the best young essayist at work in the US" by writer Rebecca Solnit, Jia Tolentino is the New York Times bestselling author of Trick Mirror, the book that's probably sold out at your favourite local bookshop right now. A beloved commentator and essayist, Tolentino is a staff writer at the New Yorker, but came up writing and editing for Jezebel and The Hairpin. At Broadside, she'll dig deep with Call Your Girlfriend podcast co-host Aminatou Sow and broadcaster Jan Fran at Up Late, and host a discussion with Zadie Smith. In a session called Rage Against the Machine: Feminism and Capitalism, Tolentino will join Fatima Bhutto; Aminatou Sow, co-host of the Hear to Slay podcast, professor Tressie McMillan Cottom and host Santilla Chingaipe to discuss what an uncommodified resistance might look like, and whether we can buy it on AfterPay.
Taking Up Space: Building The City That We Deserve
A woman’s place in the world and right to move through it freely has always been controlled, so what can we do about it? Host Jan Fran will talk with writer and sex worker advocate Gala Vanting; activist, performer and writer Jax Jacki Brown; the creative director of Yirramboi First Nations Festival and a custodian of Boonwurrung Country Caroline Martin; and Nicole Kalms, an associate professor in the department of design and founding director of the XYX Lab at Monash. They’ll address the way different bodies and identities are policed in public, and how we can plan, create and sustain new kinds of cities, free from the constructs we've always been forced to adapt to.
Broadside is on Saturday November 9 and Sunday November 10 at Melbourne Town Hall.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with the Wheeler Centre.