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Culture October 12, 2019

Fantasy bestseller Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman found fame in the 1990s with the His Dark Materials fantasy trilogy. Now, the children who grew up with the heroine, Lyra, can revisit her as an adult in The Secret Commonwealth. The author talks about having his work adapted for the small screen, the dangers of single vision and the allure of dust. “We know we’re conscious, but philosophers are still struggling with what David Chalmers calls ‘the hard problem’ – how do we get from matter to consciousness? Once you accept that consciousness is a normal property of matter, and that everything is, in however dim and rudimentary way, conscious, everything becomes clearer. This is the question towards which The Book of Dust is working.”

Culture October 5, 2019

Chinese cultural hero Yang Liping

At age 60, dancer and choreographer Yang Liping is still going strong, determined to keep the cultural traditions of China’s ethnic minorities alive. She speaks about her 50-year career and her striking new version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. “I want to fill the movement with traditional culture and art to make it more solid, more relevant, and more how I think contemporary dance should be.”

Culture September 28, 2019

Actress and director Rachel Griffiths

Throughout her illustrious acting career, Rachel Griffiths has often spoken out against injustice. She discusses power and its abuses, her upcoming ABC series, and how Catholicism informs her feature-length directorial debut, Ride Like a Girl. “I think my faith is aesthetically Catholic, not through any allegiance to Rome. I have no faith in the Catholic structure or any structure that doesn’t include women and is designed to entrench power using secrecy and threat.”

Culture September 21, 2019

The fiery resistance of journalist Mona Eltahawy

Journalist and activist Mona Eltahawy has dedicated herself to fighting what she calls the most dangerous ideology in the world: patriarchy. “The quickest way for these men in power to show their power, to flex their muscles, is over the bodies of women … History is not linear. Just because we achieve progress in something, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to continue progressing.”

Culture September 14, 2019

The high notes of ACO violinist Satu Vänskä

As the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s principal violin, Satu Vänskä teases astonishing music from her centuries-old instrument. But away from the stage, Vänskä’s musical tastes march to a very different beat. “You know what’s really sad? You can go through your whole life without ever hearing ’90s grunge. Not to mention Bach or Mozart. Or 1970s popular music. If we want to keep our art form alive … we try to bring back music in everyday conversation, so you can encounter something and awake that curiosity.”

review

Culture October 5, 2019

Mentalist Scott Silven

Relying on more than sleight of hand and psychological manipulation, mentalist Scott Silven elicits wonder and delight from his audiences by connecting them through his performances.

Culture October 5, 2019

The Souvenir

Joanna Hogg’s autobiographical fourth feature film, The Souvenir, explores the fallibility of memory and attraction, grounded by nuanced performances from Honor Swinton Byrne and Tom Burke.

Culture October 5, 2019

Tegan and Sara’s Hey, I’m Just Like You

Even though the songs on Hey, I’m Just Like You were written more than two decades ago, Tegan and Sara’s new album feels contemporary and joins a growing canon of queer pop.

portrait

Culture November 3, 2018

António Serzedelo, revolutionary

A visit to the Lisbon apartment of polymath activist António Serzedelo.

Culture October 13, 2018

Author Deb Kandelaars

The writer of Memoirs of a Suburban Girl on her long road out of a violent relationship. “There I am, right in the middle of my teenage years and suddenly in a serious relationship. A relationship that pushes away my other life. Being hit was beyond my world experience. I didn’t want it to happen again. I started treading a little bit more carefully, and that set up a power dynamic.”

Culture October 6, 2018

Theatre designer Tracy Grant Lord

A chat with theatre designer Tracy Grant Lord, side stage at a rehearsal for Twelfth Night.

books

Culture October 12, 2019

Grand Union

In the short story “Sentimental Education”, Monica, a 19-year-old university student, asks her lover to flip his language around when discussing sex. She tells him: “In a matriarchy, you’d hear women boasting to their mates: ‘I …

Culture October 12, 2019

Act of Grace

Anna Krien is highly regarded for her deeply researched and incisive long-form journalism. Her books Night Games and Into the Woods, along with two Quarterly Essays, have cemented her as one of this country’s leading voices on …

Culture October 12, 2019

Ducks, Newburyport

James Joyce wrote Ulysses, he suggested, as a way of making the novel safe for women and children. He meant that the stream-of-consciousness technique he developed, with its concentration on interior psychological states and mundane domestic …