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Veronica Gorrie & Jeff Sparrow: The MWF Big Debate | Melbourne Writers Festival

Nihilism doesn’t necessarily mean sucking the joy out of life, in fact a nihilistic attitude can make life all the more worth living – or at least that’s what Paul Beatty’s book The Sellout made a case for. He writes of nihilism as ‘not giving a fuck’, a determined ‘unwillingness to succeed’, an idea taken up by Chelsea Watego in her chapter ‘Fuck Hope’ in Another Day in the Colony. But don’t we need hope to get by? To envision and claim a better future? Activist and scholar Angela Davis thought so, stating ‘We can’t do anything without optimism’.

In the inaugural MWF Big Debate from First Nations Curator Chelsea Watego, two teams comprising our sharpest minds and wittiest word-wielders go head-to-head to argue the case for and against hope. In the affirmative corner, Jackie Huggins, Jamal Nabulsi, Philly and Jeff Sparrow take a nihilistic nose-dive. And in the negative, Jane Caro, Akuch Kuol-Anyieth and Mykaela Saunders make a bullish case for optimism. All under the keen eye of Ronnie Gorrie.

Who will you pin your hopes on?

 

Jeff Sparrow is a writer, editor, broadcaster, and Walkley award-winning journalist. He is a columnist for The Guardian Australia, a former Breakfaster at Melbourne’s 3RRR, and a past editor of Overland literary journal. He lectures at the Centre for Advancing Journalism at the University of Melbourne.

 

Veronica Gorrie is a Gunai/Kurnai woman who lives and writes in Victoria. Black and Blue, a memoir of her childhood and the decade she spent in the police force, is her first book.

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Crimes Against Nature uses fresh material to offer a very different take on the most important issue of our times. It takes the familiar narrative about global warming — the one in which we are all to blame — and inverts it, to show how, again and again, pollution and ecological devastation have been imposed on the population without our consent and (often) against our will. From histories of…

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WINNER OF THE 2022 VICTORIAN PREMIER'S PRIZE FOR LITERATURE
WINNER OF THE 2022 VICTORIAN PREMIER'S LITERARY AWARD FOR INDIGENOUS WRITING
SHORTLISTED FOR THE DOUGLAS STEWART PRIZE FOR NONFICTION

The story of an Aboriginal woman who worked as a police officer and fought for justice both within and beyond the Australian police force.

A proud Gunai/Kurnai woman, Veronica Gorrie grew up dauntless, full of cheek and a fierce sense of justice. After watching her friends and family suffer under a deeply compromised law-enforcement system, Gorrie signed up for training to become one of a rare few Aboriginal police…

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