At The Festival


Here at we’re preparing for a busy few days at the 2009 Sydney
Writers’ Festival. Each year the festival brings together a terrific cross-section
of authors, interests and issues and once again has a great line up of writers involved
in panels and discussions.

Ben Pobjie will be at the festival for the first time, hosting a conversation with Christian Lander, creator of the website Stuff
White People Like
. Ben is one of‘s
regular columnists. His sharp, irreverent satire on Australian current affairs
walks the line between moral panic and social justice. Ben will no doubt find a
fellow traveller in Christian Lander, whose blog famously "skewers the sacred cows of lefty Caucasian culture". This week, in preparation for the festival, Ben offers readers a sociological take on blogging.
When he is not writing for,
Ben Pobjie is a fixture on Melbourne’s
comedy and spoken word performance scenes and blogs here.

Ben and Christian will reconvene on Sunday to discuss The Blogosphere. They will be joined by another regular, Antony
and James Maskalyk, the author of Six Months in Sudan. Antony’s
book The Blogging Revolution,
examines the use of the internet in repressive regimes. Antony will
also be participating in the panel on Sunday afternoon with (former staff member) Rachel Hills
and others at: Bloggers vs Journalists, Round 378.

Shakira Hussein, who
writes regularly for on religion, gender and South
Asia, will be chairing a discussion with authors Paul McGeough and
Mohammed Hanif about assassination plots. Shakira’s writing
both here at and at Shalom
Pax Salam
looks at the portrayal of
Islam and women in the media coverage of South Asia.

of the SBS series The First Australians, Rachel Perkins, Louis Nowra and
Bruce Pascoe will be joined by‘s literary review writer, Eve
Vincent, for a conversation about the series. The First Australians
brought into our loungerooms a dramatic rendering of the collision of two
worlds that created contemporary Australia. Eve is currently undertaking
ethnographic fieldwork in far west South

Jason Wilson has written about social networking, rugby league,
Underbelly and Queensland
politics for Today he
hosts True Crime Stories — documenting the darker side of human
nature — with journalists Robert Wainwright and Paola Totaro, and authors Tom
Gilling and Clive Small.

And last night, our Associate
Editor Brendan Phelan hosted a lively
conversation with author and writer Irfan Yusuf, about his autobiographical book Once
Were Radicals: My Years as a Teenage Islamo-Fascist
. Irfan’s work points the finger at mainstream
extremism and hypocrisy and is a passionate (and funny) voice of
moderation. You can also catch Irfan in conversation on Saturday.

Congratulations to the winners of our recent SWF ticket giveaway. We hope to
catch up with many of our readers at this year’s festival.

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