Address by Namita Gokhale, William Dalrymple, Sanjoy K. Roy
Friday - 5:15 pm-5:45 pmDunstan Playhouse
Devdutt Pattanaik and Jared Thomas in conversation with Anita Nair
Friday - 6:00 pm-6:45 pmDunstan Playhouse
Myths of creations exist the world over and try to explain the mysteries of how we came into being. A session that examines the narratives, themes and motifs of these primordial stories and the common threads between them. Famed mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik and Indigenous author, playwright and poet Jared Thomas speak to novelist Anita Nair about their interpretations of creation myths from different corners of the world.
Jamie Marina Lau, Lian Low, Hoaran Huang and Zhang Yueran in conversation with Elizabeth Flux
Friday - 6:00 pm-6:45 pmThe Riverdeck
Cultural hyphenations and the puzzles of identity are important creative passages between histories and geographies, languages and ways of seeing the past and the present. Writers from far and near speak of how they negotiate their multiple hyphenations in the process of writing.
Saturday - 10:00 am-10:30 amRiverdeck Area
Shobhaa De in conversation with Patrick Allington
Saturday - 10:45 am-11:45 amDunstan Playhouse
The incomparable Shobhaa De is a natural provocateur whose column ‘Politically Incorrect’ is avidly followed by readers around the world. One of India’s most popular writers, De is columnist, scriptwriter and former model whose sharp observations on politics and society remain always relevant.
Anna Funder, Christopher Raja, and Wendy Were in conversation with John Zubrzycki
Saturday - 10:45 am-11:45 amSpace Theatre
India and Australia reach out to each other from across the antipodal ends of the Indian Ocean. In an age of changing global alliances, their shared legacy, global and political history and democratic convictions form a natural partnership. A distinguished panel of Australian and Indian, academics, journalists and writers search for 21st century strategies and meeting points across culture and the arts, trade and commerce to create new narratives and synergies.
Vidya Shah in conversation with Galina Lazareva
Saturday - 10:45 am-11:45 amThe Riverdeck
Evoking the bygone era of the gramophone women of India, singer and author Vidya Shah speaks of the journeys of Indian women performers from the salon to the studio. In conversation with singer, poet and performer Galina Lazareva, the session is a shared exploration of their inspirations and musical journeys.
Jennifer Mills and Prayaag Akbar in conversation with Adolfo Aranjuez
Saturday - 12:00 pm-1:00 pmDunstan Playhouse
Jennifer Mills and Prayaag Akbar, authors of two outstanding novels, speak of dreams and dyschronias in imagination and reality. Prayaag Akbar’s Leila, located in a digitised city set in the near future, takes an unflinching look at class, privilege and the walls between us. Jennifer Mills’ Dyschronia takes contemporary issues of resource depletion and climate change and welds them into a young woman’s visions of the future. In conversation with author Adolfo Aranjuez, they speak of the polarities and binaries that inhabit their fiction.
Anita Nair, Tammy Ho Lai-Ming and Tiffany Tsao in conversation with Galina Lazareva
Saturday - 12:00 pm-1:00 pmSpace Theatre
Translations create bridges between languages and literature and conversations between worlds. Distinguished translators Anita Nair, Tammy Ho Lai-Ming and Tiffany Tsao speak of the process and practice of translation along with the discipline and aesthetics of voice, interpretation and technique.
Sharad P. Paul introduced by Sanjoy K. Roy
Saturday - 12:00 pm-1:00 pmThe Riverdeck
In a session replete with science, romance and mystery, Sharad P. Paul reveals the fascinating history of human skin and the changes it undertook every time the future of a species was at stake. This story peels away artificial divisions to lay open the genetic chains that bind races and species together.
Assa Doron, Ben Stubbs, Fiona Caulfield and Namita Gokhale in conversation with William Dalrymple
Saturday - 1:15 pm-2:15 pmDunstan Playhouse
Travel writing is one of the most ancient forms of literature. How has it evolved in the age of the Internet, globalisation and Google Maps? Travel writers Assa Doron, Ben Stubbs, Fiona Caulfield and Namita Gokhale discuss the genre and read from their work with William Dalrymple.
Uday Prakash in conversation with Ian Woolford
Saturday - 1:15 pm-2:15 pmSpace Theatre
Uday Prakash is one of India’s most original and audacious writers and a major voice in contemporary Hindi literature. His bleak and unblinking scrutiny maps the contours of a new India with empathy and humanity. His works of fiction and poetry over the past 30 years have won him many Indian and International awards.
Patrick Allington, Badai, Baiyi Sun, Elizabeth Flux, Hoaran Huang and Zhang Yueran in conversation with Jennifer Mills
Saturday - 1:15 pm-2:15 pmThe Riverdeck
Short fiction as a form is ideal for the depleted attention span of modern times. Writers speak of their approaches to their themes, the beginnings and endings, and of their stories and novellas.
Eka Kurniawan and Tiffany Tsao in conversation with John Zubrzycki
Saturday - 2:30 pm-3:30 pmSpace Theatre
If art is a lie that makes us realise the truth, fiction opens our eyes to living reality. Eka Kurniawan, author of Beauty is a Wound and Man Tiger, and Tiffany Tsao, author of Under Your Wings and The More Known World, discuss the craft of fiction and talk about their books and the context in which they were written.
Badai, Baiyi Sun and Jared Thomas in conversation with Lian Low
Saturday - 2:30 pm-3:30 pmThe Riverdeck
Indigenous writers retain a deep connection with the land of the earth in which their songs are grounded. Jared Thomas, Baiyi Sun and Badai speak of writing from the grass root and of the work of Aboriginal writers across continents and cultures.
Pooja Nansi, Pranamika Subhalaxmi and Shivram Gopinath in conversation with Tammy Ho Lai-Ming with musical renditions by Isuru Wijesoma
Saturday - 3:45 pm-4:45 pmSpace Theatre
Join spoken-word poets Pooja Nansi, Pranamika Subhalaxmi and Shivram Gopinath as they explore the Indian experience in Singapore, set to acoustic renditions of songs from Hindi and Tamil films reinterpreted by guitarist Isuru Wijesoma. In conversation with Tammy Ho Lai-Ming.
Julian Meyrick, Sanjoy K. Roy, Tully Barnett and Wendy Were in conversation with Patrick Allington
Saturday - 3:45 pm-4:45 pmThe Riverdeck
Human creativity is the ultimate cultural resource. The intangibles of culture and the diversity of contested explanations and definitions of the cultural process are subjected to scrutiny by eminent practitioners of the creative industries. A fascinating conversation on the centrality of culture in the knowledge economy, across language and societal beliefs.
Wayne Phillips in conversation with Prayaag Akbar
Saturday - 5:00 pm-6:00 pmThe Riverdeck
Cricket owes its unique appeal to the understanding that it must be played upholding the Spirit of the Game. It also forms one of the most enduring bonds between India and Australia. Wayne Philips, the swashbuckling wicketkeeper batsman and legend of South Australian cricket, speaks to journalist and writer Prayaag Akbar about his experiences and memories of the game, his India and Pakistan tours, the pressure of competitive sports, his battle with depression, and the enduring Spirit of the Game.
Sunday - 10:00 am-10:30 amRiverdeck Area
Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey in conversation with Priya Chacko
Sunday - 10:45 am-11:45 amDunstan Playhouse
An impactful session on garbage and growth in India that examines the traditional ‘kabaadiwalas’ (recyclers) and ragpickers, the stigmatised sanitation workers dealing with sewage and toxic chemicals and the solutions that can arise through changes in social attitudes and innovative technology. Robin Jeffrey and Assa Doron, co-authors of Waste of a Nation: Garbage and Growth in India, speak with Priya Chacko.
Eka Kurniawan, Baiyi Sun, Liang Hong, and Prayaag Akbar in conversation with Wendy Were
Sunday - 10:45 am-11:45 amSpace Theatre
A session that addresses the fundamental act of self expression and the value of shared stories and experiences. A fascinating, revealing glimpse into the creative and the human need to communicate and connect. Three writers speak about ways of seeing and writing and how they navigate words across countries and cultures.
Galina Lazareva, Jennifer Mills and Uday Prakash in conversation with Alison Coppe
Sunday - 10:45 am-11:45 amThe Riverdeck
Writers and poets invoke the power of the word as they give voice to their prose and poetry. In a session of dramatic readings and renditions, they also share their inspirations and the context for their work.
Zeenat Aman in conversation with Sanjoy K Roy
Saturday - 12:00 pm-1:00 pmDunstan Playhouse
The iconic and pathbreaking Zeenat Aman was ahead of her time in all that she did and was inspirational for a new generation of actors. A part of the enduring mythology of Bollywood, she burst upon the horizon in the 70s and made celluloid history, turning the on-screen idea of the chaste film heroine on its head by portraying glamorous and unabashedly sexy characters. The eternally self-sacrificing sari-clad heroine gave way to a contemporary woman who combined sex appeal, raw passion and acting prowess. Spend an evening with Bollywood's original diva as she talks about her life and career with the same savoir faire with which she navigated Bollywood’s vibrant landscape.
John Zubrzycki in conversation with Jane Camens
Sunday - 12:00 pm-1:00 pmSpace Theatre
Sydney-based John Zubrzycki’s Empire of Enchantment tells the untold story of the history of Indian magic, drawing on ancient religious texts, travellers’ accounts and the narratives of jugglers, yogis and fakirs. A dazzling session that brings alive the mystical and the magical, told by a scholar who has worked in India as a journalist and diplomat. In conversation with Jane Camens, a sojourn into the realms of enchantment.
Balli Kaur Jaswal, Ben Stubbs, Hoaran Huang and Tang Fei in conversation with Sanaz Fotouhi
Sunday - 12:00 pm-1:00 pmThe Riverdeck
As genres conflate and overlap, human stories are reaching out through a variety of themes and styles. A panel of writers with very different subjects, techniques and tones of voice speak of why they chose their particular literary forms to tell their tales. Across the conventional categories of fiction and non-fiction, they discuss their experiments with language and literary conventions, from science fiction to the erotic and travel narratives.
Balli Kaur Jaiswal and Shobhaa De in conversation Claire Nichols
Sunday - 1:15 pm-2:15 pmDunstan Playhouse
Balli Kaur Jaiswal’s hilarious and heartwarming novel is an unusual look at the immigrant experience and the fables of Punjabi community. Shobhaa De is famous for her wicked humour and her disregard for the hypocrisies of Indian social conventions. In conversation with Claire Nichols, they speak of the erotic, the sexual and the sensual.
Anita Nair in conversation with Robin Jeffrey
Sunday - 1:15 pm-2:15 pmSpace Theatre
Anita Nair’s writing is deeply anchored in her Malayali roots and yet retains a sense of cosmopolitanism. Her prolific literary repertoire extends to fiction, poetry, script writing, children’s books and travel writing. In conversation with Robin Jeffrey, she speaks about the range of her work and what motivates and inspires her.
Baiyi Sun, Liang Hong and Uday Prakash in conversation with Ian Woolford
Sunday - 1:15 pm-2:15 pmThe Riverdeck
A session that looks at the harsh realities of rural life through the lens of fiction and documentary narrative across different cultures and political realities of India and China.
Adolfo Aranjuez, Devdutt Pattanaik, Tang Fei and Haoran Huang in conversation with Alison Coppe
Sunday - 2:30 pm-3:30 pmDunstan Playhouse
“The soul has no gender, gender comes from the flesh.” Authors who have written and spoken with intensity about gender identity and fluidity discuss the need of breaking free of stereotypes in their explorations of masculinity, femininity and sexual orientation.
Chris Raja, Tiffany Tsao and Sami Shah in conversation with Sanaz Fotouhi
Sunday - 2:30 pm-3:30 pmSpace Theatre
Humans are a nomadic species and migrations remain a constant part of human history. Economic migrants, political refugees, immigrants and emigrants chart new languages and societies, navigating exile and discovery, alienation and acceptance. Panelists from across continents and cultures speak of their individual experiences and perceptions.
Anna Funder in conversation with Jane Camens
Sunday - 2:30 pm-3:30 pmThe Riverdeck
A session that examines the perverted psychology and pathology of the Third Reich and the heroic courage of the resistance movements that stood against it. Anna Funder’s All That I Am brings to light the tragic story of German activists who mounted a fierce and cunning resistance. In conversation with Executive Director of Asia Pacific Writers and Translators, Jane Camens.
Toby Walsh in conversation with Michael Mackenzie
Sunday - 3:45 pm-4:45 pmSpace Theatre
A session that imagines the future and makes us realise that the future is now. Are we sleepwalking into an AI future? By 2062, we will have built machines as intelligent as us. An essential discussion with Professor of Artificial Intelligence Toby Walsh about how AI will evolve and the choices we need to make to ensure that we remain in control of the narrative.
Jane Camens, Tammy Ho Lai-Ming, Tang Fei, Hoaran Huang and Wendy Were in conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy
Sunday - 3:45 pm-4:45 pmThe Riverdeck
In times when writers are imprisoned and even executed for expressing their thoughts, a session that emphasises the need to protect the freedom to that lies at the core of all creativity.
Vidya Shah and William Dalrymple
Sunday - 5:00 pm-6:00 pmDunstan Playhouse
Enter a world of music and poetry with The Last Mughal, a performance that takes us back to an era of matchless splendour – the period of the last Mughals. Based on the book by the well-known author William Dalrymple, celebrated North Indian vocalist Vidya Shah celebrates the bygone era of India's last Mughals, bringing to life a world of emperors, poets, courtesans, politics, bayonets, intrigue and love through word and music. This evocative evening features readings by Dalrymple and the vocals of Shah, celebrating the poignant and robust folk poetry of the time and ‘ghazals’ of the Mughal court.