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Festival of Dangerous Ideas: Dan Savage "Savage Advice" - Sydney Opera House (02.11.13)

"Do what you need to do to stay married... sometimes that includes cheating."

Going Beyond The Craft: Why Making Music Isn’t Just About Making Music

One of my mentors, a Grammy-winning songwriter no less, once told me “music is a game of pennies”. Nowadays the pennies are turning into shrapnel, and you need lots of shrapnel to make the pennies they used to be. Simply put, the entertainment industry has been blown wide apart by all factors linked to the Internet (which we are already aware), and now more than ever in history, artists must look beyond the skill of their craft itself to be successful.

Vivid Ideas Review: Indent Presents Feedback - Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (10.06.13)

Indent presents Feedback was one of the final Vivid Ideas conferences of 2013 – a music conference aimed at 12-25 year olds working or wanting to work in the music industry. Featuring keynote presentations from Brendan Maclean and Urthboy and engaging panels and MCed by triple j’s Dom Alessio, this was an interesting, informative and totally enjoyable day.

Sydney Writers' Festival Review: Beyond Climate Denial on a Neoliberal Planet - Philharmonia Studio, Walsh Bay (24.05.13)

Beyond Climate Denial on a Neoliberal Planet was an incredibly popular talk. As I approached the venue about half an hour before starting time, I was welcomed by a serpenting line and a buzzing, hopeful audience. Many had to settle for listening to a simultaneous broadcast outside the venue as the venue quickly reached capacity. For me, it was heartening to see so many people taking an interest in a cause that most of us seem to have been nonchalantly ignoring. The talk consisted of keynote speeches by each panelist (Professor Robert Manne, Antoinette Abboud and Dr Jeremy Walker) , followed by a whole panel discussion facilitated by Jeff Sparrow from Overland.

Sydney Writers' Festival Review: Extraordinary Stories of Migration - Bangarra Mezzanine, Pier 4/5 (24.05.13)

A young boy is forced to leave his home for fear of becoming a child soldier, and makes his way to a lonely island that seems a million miles from home. A man begins to write a book about freedom of speech in Iran, only to be forced into being a spy for the government. A father is traumatised by the voyage to and initial treatment in Australia, and he takes it out on his children.
This was an eye-opening talk about the countless difficulties in migrating to Australia experienced by four panelists and their families. Arnold Zable, Majok Tulba, Kooshyar Karimi and Pauline Nguyen made up the panel, and the talk was chaired by Tim Southppomasane.

Vivid Ideas Review: Prioritise Creativity - Museum of Contemporary Art (03.06.13)

Australia, and Sydney in particular, is at an exciting point in time. Arts and culture policies are currently being developed and released by federal, state and city governments which means that arts communities and institutions around the country have a lot to look forward to. Sydney, of course, will benefit hugely from these three layers of coordinated cultural policy.

VIVID Ideas Review: Digital Marketing 101: Demystifying the Dark Arts - Museum of Contemporary Art (28.05.13)

One of the best ways to learn about the sometimes intimidating realm of acronyms, code, and complicated-sounding marketing terms is to listen to an experienced speaker calmly tell us that we are making it out to be harder than it actually is. This is what the Vivid Ideas event Digital Marketing 101: Demystifying the Dark Arts was all about and it gave us a terrific speaker in Annabel Hodges, a digital marketing expert with almost a decade of related experience.

Sydney Writers' Festival Review: The Future Face of Asia - Pier 4/5, Sydney Dance 1 (25.05.13)

Each of the panelists at this talk were introduced as writing “about an Asia we think we know in the West, but don’t” by facilitator Monica Attard. Benjamin Law, Pankaj Mishra and Tash Aw made up this intelligent panel and provided an interesting, engaging discussion about the largest continent in the world.

Vivid Ideas Review: Ten Commandments: Build a Movement - Museum of Contemporary Art (27.05.13)

This event was billed as an exploration of contemporary social networks and technologies, and a debate about whether they empower or distract people as they try to improve and shape the world around them.

Vivid Ideas Review: Digital City 1 - We Blog the City - Museum of Sydney (26.05.13)

Many Sydney residents take this beautiful city for granted. The monotonous way in which we go about our weekly lives runs the danger of throwing us into the bland pit of routine; yet we still long for a sense of adventure and hold onto a desire to travel. Why not travel Sydney?

Sydney Writers' Festival Review: People of Letters - Pier 2/3, Club Stage (23.05.13)

I am a big believer in the simple letter. To your parents, your siblings, an old friend, a lover, even someone you see regularly – there’s something special about penning and popping in the mail a handwritten note to a loved one. Women of Letters was a genius idea that has turned into an incredible ongoing series of heartwarming events – a tribute to the forgotten art of letter-writing, which ordinarily involves five women writing a letter to a topic (such as: “To the moment that changed my life” or “To the night I’ll never forget”).

Sydney Writers' Festival Review: Women On The Run feat. Michael Robotham, Tara Moss & Lauren Beukes - Pier 2/3 Main Stage (24.05.13)

The Women On The Run panel discussion at the 2013 Sydney Writers’ Festival kicked off with the authors contemplating what the topic actually meant. A Google search had revealed that it was also the name of a Hong Kong TV drama, an out-of-print short story collection, a list of gift ideas for a certain kind of lady and the name of numerous health, fitness and jogging clubs. It was quickly decided that the three individuals would describe their own crime writing in detail, with a particular emphasis on their female protagonists, heroines and victims.

Sydney Writers' Festival Review: Robert Greene On Creativity - Sydney Theatre (23.05.13)

At work and in daily life we are often confronted with decisions to make and problems to solve. We employ our knowledge and experience and come up with a set of possibilities, enabling us to act accordingly. But have you ever had the feeling that you could’ve done something different or better? This gets at the heart of the Sydney Writers’ Festival talk that NY Times best-selling author, Robert Greene gave “On Creativity”.