What a magician taught me about politics – The AFoI Opening Oration and dedication

How political debate, from the local to the global, is confused and controlled by conjuring.
This event will be one of the few opportunities Phillip has to speak his mind at a point in his career when he has given platforms to so many people’s ideas, beliefs and ideals. The 2016 AFoI dedication to Phillip will be delivered by Barry Jones.

Value. Money. Culture.

What is culture worth? Can we put a price on it? Should we? And if we do, what are the consequences for artists and the so-called creative industries? From economic policy to the cultural sector, what does it take to survive in the arts today?

Democratising history?

What role does history play in Australian democracy? Who are its gatekeepers? Is the ivory tower besieged, in ruins, or projecting strength? Is the digital age heralding a new era of informed citizens? Are ‘twitterstorians’ a distraction? Can historians ever predict the future?

The case for nonsense

A century ago, in Cabaret Voltaire, a subversive anti-art movement was founded in response to the devastation of what would be World War I. Dadaism used absurdity and irrationality to critique the unreasonable politics of the time. On Dada’s 100th anniversary, we embrace the irrational as productive political space.

Communications collections and cultures

Cultural institutions such as museums and galleries are both repositories and exhibitors of our cultural heritage. They are also hotbeds of active research and immensely popular attractions. But how should they operate in a future with changing cultural and economic values? How will our institutions be valued by the next generation, steeped in digital experience?

Joan of Arc

Or how to be a revolutionary.
Is the contemporary individual too caught up in the anxieties of identity to become a genuine agent of change and transformation? In a world smothered by individual interests and dominant ideology masquerading as ‘ethical’ and ‘communal’, the extraordinary Joan of Arc, a true radical, can teach us how to become revolutionaries.

The Graeme Hugo Memorial Lecture: The future of humanity does not look good

We have reached a stage in history where we have the capacity to fracture the liveability of this planet, at least for us humans. Increasing global mobility is breaking up communities and places. Intensifying globalization is rendering economics and politics more tumultuous. And climate change will cause increasing chaos. This talk maps the patterns of transformation and makes some hopeful suggestions for alternative pathways.

As everything changes

Who are we and what really matters?
Join a moral philosopher and a poet in conversation as they discuss their journeys out of familiar worlds and into wild landscapes and environments that hold up a confronting mirror to ourselves, to our humanity, our ethics and therefore to our politics.

Thinking Adelaide

A passion for connecting and collecting.
Greg was the inaugural recipient of the Jim Bettison and Helen James Foundation Award, given to an individual whose lifetime work is of significant value and benefit to the community. Greg will present his ideas for ‘Thinking Adelaide’, a global network of thought leaders and a city of collections.

Download a PDF of this oration

Humanity is a verb

Our humanity is not given to us once and for all, as species membership is, but something to which each of us is called upon to rise, unendingly, even if we lived a thousand years. That’s not a statement of fact: it’s an affirmation. Raimond Gaita explores its moral and political implications.