Culture Guide May 22 – 28: Iconic Vogue Ball, Sydney Writers’ Festival + The Swim Premiere

May 22nd 2017
Monday 22nd May

Sydney Writers' Festival 2017

SWF brings together writers from various forms and backgrounds, including the best contemporary novelists, screenwriters, musicians and writers of cutting-edge nonfiction, and some of the world’s leading public intellectuals, scientists and journalists. With the finest writing and storytelling at its core, their programming is driven by the ideas and issues that animate all types of literature.

WHAT: Sydney Writers Festival 2017
WHEN: Monday May 22 – Sunday May 28
WHERE: Walsh Bay + various other locations
HOW MUCH: Prices vary across events – plan your week here


In 1970, William Powell wanted to help build a new society by teaching how to blow up the old one.  American Anarchist tells a cautionary tale of youthful rebellion and unforeseen consequences, a universal, all-too-human story of a man at the end of his life wrestling with his past, his identity, and coming to terms with who he really is.

WHAT: Documentary Screening – American Anarchist
WHEN: 8:30pm
WHERE: Palace Cinemas, 99 Norton St. Leichhardt
HOW MUCH: $13-20, Tickets and info here

Tuesday 23rd May

ASOS Supports Talent Launch

Dancer/choreographer Amrita Hepi has created four new contemporary dance videos titled ‘A Body of Work: At The End of the World’. This project features four game changing dancers Waangenga Blanco, Bhenji Ra, Angela TiaTia and Jahra Rager. The work focuses on what it is that politicicizes their body and dance practice. The launch event will feature DJ Sets from FlexMami and ChunYin.

WHAT: Amrita Hepi – ASOS Supports Talent Launch
WHEN: Tuesday and Wednesday 6-8:30pm
WHERE: Cake Wines Cellar Door, 16 Eveleigh st. Redfern
HOW MUCH: Free, RSVP to, more info here

On The Road

Get taken on a literary road trip – from Alice Springs to Gundagai by way of Byron Bay and The Gong. You’ll visit Michael Giacometti’s cursed outback town and a hitch a ride with Julie Chevalier’s talking cow. You’ll meet a one-legged lap swimmer, a maverick fast-food chain operator then spend a sordid evening at an iconic Australian coastal destination.

WHAT: Live Storytelling – Little Fictions
WHEN: 7-10pm
WHERE: Knox St, Chippendale
HOW MUCH: $15 more info here

Women in the Spotlight: Still Looking for a Room of One's Own

Join Tracey Spicer and a panel of female stage and screen writers including Joanna Murray-Smith, Rachael Coopes and Jada Alberts as they discuss their experiences, inspirations and the reality of being a writer today.

WHAT: Panel Discussion – Sydney Writers Festival
WHEN: 6-7pm
WHERE: Metcalfe Auditorium, State Library of NSW – Macquarie St, CBD
HOW MUCH: $15/20 more info here

David Lynch: The Art Life

David Lynch is one of cinema’s great directors and visionaries. This documentary examines a side of Lynch we perhaps know less of; his visual art practice. Here we are given a peek from the inside as Lynch himself describes his practice, ideas, motivations and unique perspective on his craft and life. More than just a biopic the film takes us on an absorbing journey through the 60’s and 70’s American art scene

WHAT: Film Screening – American Essentials Film Festival
WHEN: 6.30-8.30pm
WHERE: Palace Norton St – 99 Norton St, Leichhardt
HOW MUCH: $13-20 more info here

Wednesday 24th May


Re-Luxe is an attempt to disrupt the concept of portraiture as a luxury experience, projecting queer identities upon its exclusive and stale terrain. This revisionist exercise is destined to fail—in the basic incongruity of imagination and reality, in being beholden to false Eurocentric universality, and in the absence of satisfying conclusions. Within this failure, however, there lies the generative potential for interrupting hetero perceptions of ownership and historical time.

WHAT: Exhibition Opening – ReLuxe featuring photographs by Joe Brennan soundtrack by CandleLyte.
WHEN: 6-10pm – Exhibition continues until May 28
WHERE: Down / Under Space, 109 Regent St, Chippendale
HOW MUCH: Free, donations and any proceeds directed to community non-profit Twenty10, more info here

Mind at Play

Michelle Connolly’s solo exhibition Mind at Play is the result of many years of “play” with found materials. These are 52 ‘folk’ sculptures that could be cast in a comedy or tragedy, they have hidden narratives either as solo or partnered together. Each assembled figure has a unique personality made from a combination of found material and oil, encaustic or acrylic paint.

WHAT: Art Exhibition Opening – Michelle Connolly
WHEN: 6:00 – 9pm
WHERE: Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Pidcock St Sydney
HOW MUCH: Free, more info here.


Roxanne Gay: What's Feminism Got to Do With It?

Roxane Gay comes to the University of New South Wales. Award-winning cyberhate researcher and former journalist Dr Emma A Jane interviews the New York-based author about her contribution to the contemporary feminist debate, her latest collection of stories Difficult Women and the success of Bad Feminist.

WHAT: Sydney Writers Festival – Author Talk with Roxanne Gay
WHERE: UNSW, John Niland Scientia Building, Library Walk, Kensington
NSW 2052
WHEN: 6:00 – 7:30pm
HOW MUCH: Free, bookings essential – More info here.

Thursday 25th May

Our Issue

After several continuous waves of European, Japanese and Chinese colonisation, Taiwan is now seeking to create a clear political and cultural identity of its own. Informed by its unique history Taiwan is home to a thriving and engaged contemporary art scene that is increasingly active. Our Issue is a new publication that captures a growing section of Taiwanese contemporary art.  This launch is held in conjunction with Australian premier screenings of He Xiangyu’s The Swim.

WHAT: Publication Launch – Our Issue: Curatorial actions shaping a discourse about Asia from Asia
WHEN: 5:30-6:30pm
WHERE: 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 181-187 Hay St. Sydney
HOW MUCH: Free, RSVP and more info here

The Swim

The Swim is an art film with documentary characteristics. The artist returned to his hometown in Kuandian for three times – a poor county located by Yalu River on the China-North Korea border. Through interviewing and filming 6 veterans participating in the Korean War and 6 defectors fleeing from North Korean as well as their families, the film unveils the cruel reality hidden behind the beautiful scenery and presents the utopian fantasy projected on individuals.

WHAT: Premiere Film Screening -He Xiangyu’s The Swim
WHEN:  Thursday – Sunday 6:30pm
WHERE: 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, 181-187 Hay St. Sydney
HOW MUCH: Free, book online here

Discord & Enmity

Opening night of Scott Donovan and Carla Cescon’s exhibition Discord & Enmity opening this Thursday at Knulp.

WHAT: Exhibition Opening
WHEN: 6-8pm, Exhibition runs until June 8
WHERE: KNULP, 15 Fowler St. Camperdown
HOW MUCH: Free, more info here

After School Ed: Apply Yourself

What opportunities are out there for emerging artists? How do you put your best foot forward? How to you present your work professionally? How do you write a CV? What is a cover letter anyway? Join key industry representatives in a how to evening for ACCESS and ARC members, arts students and friends.

WHAT: After School Ed: Apply Yourself
WHEN: 5-7pm
WHERE: Verge Gallery, Jane Foss Russell Plaza, City Rd. University of Sydney, Darlington
HOW MUCH: $8-10, Tickets and info here

Friday 26th May

Looking at me through you

Western Sydney is rapidly changing, and expanding with over 10% of Australia’s population already residing in its diverse suburbs. looking at me through you specifically considers Campbelltown as a region, urban development (and underdevelopment), the diversity of culture and community, the shifting political debate, the collective representation of voice and the uniqueness of place. This socially engaged and important project will grandstand Western Sydney as a collective community, a thriving environment undergoing great change.

WHAT: Exhibition Opening – Looking at me through you
WHEN: 6-9pm, Exhibition runs until July 23
WHERE: Campbelltown Arts Centre, 1 Art Gallery Road, Campbelltown
HOW MUCH: Free, more info here


Roxane Gay shot to fame with her bestselling collection of essays Bad Feminist. Roxane has applied her razor-sharp literary talent to a new collection of short stories, Difficult Women. She joins Durga Chew-Bose for an unforgettable conversation about what constitutes a difficult woman and what inspires the darkness in her work. Amid the current political and social turmoil, Roxane’s deadeye wit and immeasurable courage may be what we need.

WHAT: Talk – Roxanne Gay – Difficult Women
WHEN: 8:30pm
WHERE: City Recital Hall, 2 Angel Pl. Sydney
HOW MUCH: Selling Fast! $20-45 Tickets and info here

Saturday 27th May

Curtain Call

In their final exhibition Curtain Call, Stills Gallery are taking the opportunity to look back over the history of the gallery and present the mother of all salon hangs featuring over 60 artists from over the 26 years of exhibitions.

WHAT: Curtain Call Final Exhibition at Stills Gallery
WHEN: 3-5pm, Exhibition runs until June 30
WHERE: Stills Gallery, 36 Gosbell St. Paddington
HOW MUCH: Free, more info here

Deadly Voices Live

Today’s current political and economic climate has seen the birth of a new kind of activist: the accidental one. Join three speakers who have been driven by circumstance to apply their skill and passion to campaign for political, social or cultural change. Occurring on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum,
this thought-provoking panel featuring Tara Houska, Bradley Moggridge and Dayne (The Frackman) Pratzky, will explore issues of custodianship (of land and water) on both a local and international scale.

WHAT: Deadly Voices Live: The Accidental Activist
WHEN: 4pm
WHERE: The Sydney Opera House
HOW MUCH: $25 + booking fee, Tickets and info here

Don't Be A C*** This Is How Sydney

Julia Rorke is a Sydney born kombucha enthusiast who’s always known her destiny: telling people how 2 be less shit. All her LYF, she’s practiced her craft; in the classroom, at the pub, through the mode of abusive snapchats she forgets she sent.  But she’s never gone pro. Until now.

WHAT: Don’t Be A C*** This Is How Sydney
WHEN: Friday and Saturday 8pm
WHERE: Factory Theatre, The Terminal, 105 Victoria Rd. Marrickville
HOW MUCH: $15 online $20 on door, info here

Living in Their Times

UTS ART and Jumbunna Institute are pleased to invite you to a day of stories to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum, a landmark moment which saw Australians vote to remove passages of the Constitution that discriminated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This event is part of National Reconciliation Week 2017.  The event will include Bungaree’s Farm, an immersive 3-channel video installation, Stories of Resistance – an Aboriginal Film Showcase, a display of works by the late artist Robert Campbell Jnr., and touring art exhibition Impact.

WHAT: Living in their times
WHEN: 12-7pm
WHERE: University of Technology Sydney
HOW MUCH: Free, RSVP essential for Bungaree’s Farm, more info here


Curated by Akil Ahamat, Sarah Fitzgerald, Delilah Lyses-sApo and Alexandra Mitchell, Solidarity will show the work of sixteen current and recent students of Sydney College of the Arts, National Art School, UNSW Art & Design and UTS. The exhibition will demonstrate the need to secure the diversity of art education in Sydney.

WHAT: Exhibition Opening – Solidarity
WHEN: 11am-5pm, Exhibition runs until June 18th
WHERE: Articulate project space, 497 Parramatta Rd. Leichhardt
HOW MUCH: Free, more info here

Unlimited Support // Art Crit

Join artists as they discuss the exhibition program at Verge Gallery. Group discussions cover themes, inspirations and techniques behind the artworks and explore how the political and social climate relates to the visual arts community. This informal mode of critical analysis aims to provide a deeper sense of understanding art practice and establish working connections.

WHAT: Unlimited Support // Art Crit feat. Koji Ryui, Huseyin Sami & Brendan Van Hek
WHEN: 1-3pm
WHERE: Verge Gallery, Jane Foss Russell Plaza, City Rd. University of Sydney, Darlington
HOW MUCH: Free, more info here

The Iconic Vogue Ball

In the land of lockout laws and pressures to conform to gender norms and society’s expectation of who we should be, The House of Ayebatonye & Brick City Studios invites you to a night where you are encouraged to exist freely, express yourself and VOGUE! Voguing is so much more than just striking a pose. Started as a form of resistance, it has been commodified and watered down to simply a visual experience. However, Voguing began in Harlem in the lates 1960s by the black and latinx community as a creative means of self expression in a safe space. This night is a celebration of creative self-expression, self -empowerment, and art in all its forms.

WHAT: The Iconic Vogue Ball
WHEN: 9:30pm-6am
WHERE: Brick City Studios, Marrickville
HOW MUCH: Final Release $45, Tickets and info here

DON’T BE A C***, THIS IS HOW - Julia Rorke

Part self-help-seminar, part stand-up, part night club outing; Don’t Be a C*nt: This is How, drags the audience down with Julia through a tunnel of arduous pain and explosive hilarity as she scrapes at the edges of a dirty hole; slowly coming to the painful realisation that nothing can save her from herself: not being overly desirable to the opposite sex, not a specific brand of feminism, not a contrived and carefully constructed identity. Only she can save her from herself. And that most prob won’t work either.

WHAT: Comedy Show – DON’T BE A C***, THIS IS HOW
WHEN: 8pm, 26th & 27th of May
WHERE: Factory Theatre, 105 Victoria Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204
HOW MUCH: $15 + BF


Sunday 28th May

A Broken Link

A BROKEN LINK is a survey of contemporary practice in Australian and UK artist film and video. The themes explored include ideas of temporal and geographical displacement, of how digital technologies bring people and ideas together but also reinforce the essence of distance and alienation.

WHAT: A Broken Link – special event at Golden Age Cinema
WHEN: 5:30-8pm
WHERE:Golden Age Cinema & Bar, Paramount House, 80 Commonwealth St. Surry Hills
HOW MUCH: $15 Tickets and info here

Other Worlds Zine Fair 2017

Other Worlds is on again for 2017!! Born out of the 2014 Bienalle boycots of Transfield (the service providers for Australia’s offshore immigration detention centres), Other Worlds has been collectively organised since 2014.

WHAT: Other Worlds Zine Fair 2017
WHEN: 12-4pm
WHERE: Marrickville Town Hall, 303 Marrickville Rd. Marrickville
HOW MUCH: Free, more info here

Tune in to Arvos at 4:30pm every weekday for more Culture Guide.
Brought to you by the City Of Sydney.



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