Broadside at Melbourne Town Hall

Sat 9th November, 2019 – Sun 10th November, 2019
Melbourne Town Hall
90–130 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Price: $10–$217.50
Two days of talks, panels and discussions with an unapologetically feminist agenda.

Broadside is a new feminist ideas festival from the Wheeler Centre. From November 9 to 10 at Melbourne Town Hall, Broadside will present a packed line-up of local and international guests for a weekend of feminist programming and passionate people sharing their expertise and stories.

Big names at the event include American activist and writer Monica Lewinsky in her first public appearance in Australia. Lewinsky will share her story and insights with the Wheeler Centre’s head of publishing, Sophie Black. Celebrated UK writer and author Zadie Smith will discuss her career and first collection of short stories, Grand Union, with New Yorker staff writer and author of Trick Mirror, Jia Tolentino. Our own Helen Garner will discuss her latest work, Yellow Notebook: Diaries Volume I 1978–1987 with award-winning author Sarah Krasnostein (The Trauma Cleaner) to open the festival on Saturday morning.

Other highlights include Tressie McMillan Cottom, award-winning sociologist, professor, author, and co-host of podcast Hear to Slay, talking about her essay collection Thick, with Call Your Girlfriend podcast co-host Aminatou Sow. Two fearless and forthright voices - writer Fatima Bhutto and journalist and author Mona Eltahawy – will join forces to unpick challenges and pitfalls of “a life of truth,” with host Sisonke Msimang, author of Always Another Country.

The festival’s Saturday night gala, ‘Things My Mother Never Told Me’ will be an evening of readings and performances, reflections and song, with an all-star line-up including musician Courtney Barnett, artist Bhenji Ra, writer and author Ariel Levy, historian Clare Wright, former Prime Minister of the National Indigenous Youth Parliament Aretha Brown and writer Nayuka Gorrie. Each speaker will detail conversations they wish they had and ruminate on the things they needed to hear, whether funny, complicated, angry, vulnerable, messy, or tender.

A series of panel discussions will cover un-whitewashing feminism, how feminism can succeed in a capitalist society, and explore the personal cost of speaking out. Club Skunk, named after the bar in Ten Things I Hate About You, is the festival hub to meet up with friends and continue the conversation.

Broadside’s festival director Tam Zimet says in a press release: “There is no single way to be a woman in the world, and no single way to be a feminist. With Broadside, we're extremely proud to present an extraordinary line-up of people who move us, inspire us and delight us. This November is going to be a unique celebration of the many voices of feminism, of the power of conversation and of those who are unapologetically getting shit done.”

Broadside will be at the Melbourne Town Hall on November 9 and 10. Full line-up details and bookings for all events at Individual passes on sale Monday 23 September.

Broadsheet is a proud media partner of the Wheeler Centre.