Festival Guide for Change-Makers and Room-Shakers

A platform for open discussion and debate, MWF invites some of the world’s leading authors, artists, activists and advocates to canvas the issues that affect us all. If big ideas and important stories top your Festival agenda, we’ve compiled our favourite sessions for change-makers and room-shakers.

Animal Ethics: Is it ever ethical to take an animal’s life? Meatsmith Tammi Jonas, author Anna Krien, Bondi Vet and RSPCA board member Jason Rapke and more discuss food consumption ethics. 25 Aug, 1pm


On Getting Happy: Four artists share their thoughts and processes for staying positive and changing their inner monologues for the better. Open your ears to author Hedley Derenzie, commentator Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen, journalist Jill Stark and performer Sista Zai Zanda. 25 Aug, 1pm


Memento Mori: Beastly Mourning: What can the animal kingdom teach us about human existence – and, more importantly, our own mortality? Doctor and author Leah Kaminsky (The Waiting Room, We’re All Going To Die) reflects on how we might turn to fauna for answers. 26 Aug, 10am


They Can’t Kill Us Til They Kill Us: Join American poet, essayist, and critic Hanif Abdurraqib, Peruvian-Australian music video director and writer Triana Hernandez, and New Zealand poet, playwright, and musician Courtney Sina Meredith in a conversation and performance about the role of music in activist movements, and the lyricism of resistance. Hosted by Areej Nur. 26 Aug, 8.30pm


Pretty for an Aboriginal: Set it Alight: Part podcast, part polemic, part stand-up, this conversation with Nakkiah Lui and Miranda Tapsell and very special guest Ta-Nehisi Coates burns down the structures, strictures and power brokers that have governed the entertainment industry for too long. Featuring performances by upcoming Indigenous musician BIRDZ with support from Alice Skye. 29 Aug, 7pm


Everything Happens For A Raisin: Jonny Sun & Mara Wilson: Canadian graphic novelist and Twitter icon Jonny Sun (Everyone’s A Aliebn When Ur A Aliebn Too) joins American writer, former child actress and social media raconteur Mara Wilson (Where Am I Now?) to examine how microblogging can be a tool for empathy. 30 Aug, 6pm


Ownership of Our Narrative: Journalist and filmmaker Santilla Chingaipe is joined by special guests to discuss the discourse around diversity and real inclusion beyond tokenism. 31 Aug, 1pm


How I Survived: Fablice Manirakiza & Paulie Stewart: Former African child soldier turned rapper and young Victorian achiever of the year Fablice Manirakiza discusses the healing power, strength and influence of music with his mentor, Paulie Stewart, front man of Painters and Dockers and member of Jesuit Social Services. 31 Aug, 4pm


Death of the Environment: Great Barrier Reef: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Author Tony Birch, writer Geoff Cousins, blogger Hannah Donnelly, climate scientist Joelle Gergis and Greenpeace CEO David Ritter lament long-lost global battles, and pay tribute to the passing of our world’s precious resources. 1 Sep, 1pm