With all the discussions surrounding freedom of speech as well as the power of the drawing the written word, this year’s launch of the Perth Writers’ Festival (PWF) was especially poignant.
In the mellow coolness of Windtrop Hall, the launch began with welcome to century by Auntie May McGuire who welcomed us to Noongar (the local indigenous tribe and traditional custodians of the land) land and gave us a sense of what the area was like when she was young.
Soon the General Manager of the Perth International Arts Festival Julian Donaldson spoke against the recent attacks on the Charlie Hebdo Magazine which made me think of how powerful cartoons/literature are and how they can be used to achieve both good and bad.
He went on to promise that PWF will be a weekend of celebrating humanity by immersing ourselves in words and ideas. He also reminded us that it will give us access to the writers we’ve idolised and introduce us to people we didn’t know.
Soon PWF Programme Manager Katherine Dorrington spoke about the 2015 line up.
Highlights will be a Double Bill that will include Hillary Mantel (via video link from London) and Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love fame at the Perth Concert Hall.
Human Rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson will be speaking about compassion in the pursuit of justice in his work with inmates on death row. Bob Brown will speak on the happiness while Hugh Mckay will discuss the art of belonging. I am also looking forward to seeing Geraldine Doogue speak about her conversations with Australian Women in Power.
These are just a few of the many writers that will speak. There are many more that will inspire, entertain and make us think.
Other highlights will be the PWF Family Day which is the most popular aspect of the weekend and a great opportunity for families to enjoy the various activities on the beautiful University of WA campus.
There is also a Twitter Novella that asks ‘what do you get when you give 50 writers 250 characters and no creative limits?’
Want to find out? Keep your eye on @pwfnovella and #perfest to know what happens.
I hope that you will get to enjoy some of the Perth Writers’ Festival and if you want to find out more about the PWF and the Perth International Arts Festival in general visit https://2015.perthfestival.com.au/ because it is truly awesome.