Sydney – Tuesday 28 June, 2022. The Sydney Opera House today announced the unmissable line-up for its sixth annual Antidote festival, taking place on site and online on Sunday 11 September, 2022. The festival of ideas, art and change will feature 17 talks, conversations and panels, four workshops and an art activation, offering the community a vigorous platform to confront the challenges of a changing world, to find solace and strength in collective purpose, and to mark and celebrate cultural and social transformation.
Sydney Opera House’s Head of Talks & Ideas Chip Rolley, who has curated Antidote for the first time this year, says: “So much has changed since the Opera House was last able to host Antidote on site. Our trademark events – the consequential, agenda-setting conversations audiences know and love – are back, as is our deep appreciation of how art can make us look at our world anew. We’ll seek new solutions to problems we’ve failed to fix. We’ll turn to science, to politics, and to our best minds to find answers. And alongside the mounting tragedies and crises we face in society today, we’ll look for sweet relief. For better ways to take care of each other, better ways to defend each other, and better ways to love one another.”
The 2022 program features a line-up of international and Australian writers, artists, scientists, thought leaders and pop-culture change makers:
- The Evil in Us All – prolific theatre, film and television actor Brian Cox (Succession) will delve into his unmatched ability to bring characters to life that carry within them rage, fury and frightening acts of cruelty;
- Jenny Slate – the actress, comedian and author behind Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, New York Times bestseller Little Weirds, and of Parks and Recreation, Everything Everywhere All At Once, GIRLS, and her Netflix special Stage Fright, in a conversation that will find the laughter and joy in our sometimes weird lives;
- Good Pop, Bad Pop – Jarvis Cocker legendary founder and frontman of British pop-rock band Pulp will open his attic to reveal some of the unique objects he’s collected over the years and the intriguing stories behind them. A livestreamed conversation about how the things we keep hidden say more about us than those we put on display;
- Unfriend the Algorithm – former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull AC, alongside author of Facts and Other Lies and leading expert on impact communications Ed Coper, on the spread of disinformation online and what we can do about it;
- The Last White Man – bestselling author Mohsin Hamid in conversation with The Sydney Morning Herald’s Osman Faruqi on white anxiety, privilege, prejudice, and possibility;
- The World Turned Upside Down – leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt; former politician and first female Independent to sit on the parliamentary crossbench Cathy McGowan AO;newly elected “teal” Independent Allegra Spender;and others, in a discussion about the record number of Independents and Greens elected in the May federal election and what it means for the future of politics;
- Ukraine Has Changed Us – a multi-disciplinary artistic response to the brutal invasion and ongoing war in Ukraine, including poetry from celebrated Ukrainian poet and recent nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature, Serhiy Zhadan, appearing live from Kharkiv; a reading from event co-curator Ukrainian-Jewish-Australian writer Maria Tumarkin with a letter to Australia about the violence inflicted by indifference; and musical performances from classically trained Ukrainian-Jewish-Australian singer Billie Tumarkin and cellist Anatoli Torjinski;
- The Body Free & Powerful – Olivia Laing, award-winning British author of The Trip to Echo Springs, The Lonely City, Crudo and most recently Everybody: A Book About Freedom, will examine how bodies encounter oppression and resistance and reshape the world in an appearance via livestream;
- It Happened to Me – a storytelling event featuring newly elected independent member for Fowler Dai Le; doctor and disability advocate Dinesh Palipana OAM ahead of his impending memoir Stronger; Yuwaalaraay author and Stiff Gins musician Nardi Simpson; journalist and author Antoinette Lattouf;and others;
- First Languages First – Gunai artist and award-winning writer Kirli Saunders and Gumbaynggirr/Bundjalung man and CEO of the Muurrbay Aboriginal Language and Culture Co-operative Gary Williams, leading a panel about preserving and promoting Indigenous languages in Australia. This event is presented in partnership with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation;
- How To Have Sex – psychosexologist Chantelle Otten curating an enlightening and empowering panel for all genders and sexual identities on eroticising consent and communicating expectations and desires;
- Fatal Adaptation – human rights scholar at the University of Sydney Danielle Celermajer and Astrid Edwards, teacher, member of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council, and host of The Garret: Writers on Writing podcast, will discuss living with tragedy while staying awake to hope. This panel is co-curated and hosted by lawyer and author Bri Lee;
- Where Do We Go From Here? – Yuwaalaraay author and Stiff Gins musician Nardi Simpson alongside descendant of the Eora Nation, leading workplace diversity practitioner and Professor for Indigenous Policy at the University of Technology in Sydney Nareen Young leading a First Nations panel that maps Australia’s future;
- A Higher Calling – former Sydney Morning Herald journalist and author turned psychiatry registrar Lisa Pryor alongside self-identified ‘hack turned quack’ Amy Coopes, former Agence France-Presse correspondent turned freelancer and Resident Medical Officer, in conversation with Norman Swan on what compelled them to abandon successful media careers to take up the rigorous study necessary to become medical doctors;
- Welcome to the Pandemicene – Pulitzer prize-winning journalist and The Atlantic’s science writer Ed Yong, and epidemiologist and UNSW Chair of Biosecurity Professor Raina MacIntyre, in discussion about global biosecurity and potential pandemics beyond COVID-19;
- How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Media? – distinguished political journalist and former host of The 7:30 Report, Insiders and ABC News Breakfast Barrie Cassidy; former Sky News and Sydney Morning Herald broadcaster and commentator Janine Perrett; and The Sydney Morning Herald’s Osman Faruqi on the public’s dissatisfaction with the conduct of journalists on the campaign trail, sensationalism, and the problems with Australian media today; and
- What Would China Do? – one of the world’s foremost experts on Chinese culture and intellectual history Geremie R. Barmé; author of The Shortest History of China and former foreign correspondent in China Linda Jaivin; with journalist and Australian policy analyst Vicky Xu, on threats and opportunities for Australia when China’s power overtakes the United States.
RE:TUNING – artists James Nguyen and Victoria Pham will re-tune our ears to sounds and music systems too often buried in the West in a series of free workshops and performances. Master performers of the Dizi flute, the erhu, the didgeridoo, classic Indian movement, and Mongolian throat singing will lead these interactive sessions, asking audiences to bring their instruments, voices and minds to re-listen, re-play and re-tune with one another.
The program also features interactive workshops including:
- Kintsugi – a beginner’s guide to the ancient Japanese art of mending broken pottery using lacquer with gold, platinum or silver, hosted by Kintsugi master Jun Morooka;
- Cornersmith – based on Cornersmith’s book Use it All, this workshop on kitchen waste hacks led by Alex Elliott-Howery will show you how to reduce food waste through smarter, more sustainable shopping and eating;
- Native Botanical Soap Making – learn about First Nations peoples’ use of native plants for cleansing and healing properties, and make your own soaps, guided by Wiradjuri woman, scientist, and cultural educator Renee Cawthorne; and
- Active Bystander Training – arm yourself with the skills to safely intervene and make a positive difference in difficult situations.
Brian Cox, Jenny Slate, Jarvis Cocker and Mohsin Hamid will also appear at Melbourne Writers Festival 2022.
Brian Cox – Jenny Slate – Jarvis Cocker – Adam Bandt – Malcolm Turnbull AC – Mohsin Hamid – Serhiy Zhadan – Olivia Laing – Dai Le – Allegra Spender – Nardi Simpson – Cathy McGowan AO – Chantelle Otten – Ed Coper – Dinesh Palipana OAM – Ed Yong – Norman Swan – Barrie Cassidy – Maria Tumarkin – Billie Tumarkin – Kirli Saunders – Osman Faruqi –Geremie R. Barmé – Lisa Pryor – Amy Coopes – Raina MacIntyre – Bri Lee – Antoinette Lattouf – Nareen Young – Linda Jaivin – Vicky Xu – Danielle Celermajer – Gary Williams – Astrid Edwards – Janine Perrett – Anatoli Torjinski – James Nguyen – Victoria Pham