Unthinkable | Media Release 16 Sep 2019

The UNSW Centre for Ideas and Carriageworks are proud to announce UNTHINKABLE, a new series of talks exploring the questions we haven’t asked, the futures we can avoid, and the inevitability of unexpected realities.

Presented over three days in November, UNTHINKABLE brings together important thinkers from around the world to reimagine the future of feminism, religion, age discrimination, power and technology.

If history has taught us anything, it’s that we have an uncanny capacity to make mistakes. What was once inconceivable can become common place. And what was once the status quo, becomes, in hindsight, unimaginable. What can we learn from the errors of our past? And what lessons will lie in the futures we are yet to imagine?

UNTHINKABLE Curator and Director of the UNSW Centre for Ideas Ann Mossop says “UNTHINKABLE is an opportunity to think about the future in all of its unpredictable glory. With a line-up of great speakers, we’ll be talking about issues from the global to the personal; and asking our audiences to explore ideas in a new and different way.”

Blair French, Carriageworks CEO commented “Carriageworks thrives on grappling with difficult ideas – this is what forges contemporary art, culture and community. We are delighted to partner with UNSW Centre for Ideas to think the unthinkable out loud, in public.”

Monica Lewinsky: A Compassionate Internet
In conversation with Leigh Sales
In 1998 Monica Lewinsky became “patient zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale, almost instantaneously”. In this wide-ranging conversation with Leigh Sales, she looks at the widespread anger and hatred that permeate digital platforms today, and asks whether we can reclaim a kinder, gentler internet?
“When this happened to me, 17 years ago, there was no name for it. Now we call it cyber-bullying.” Monica Lewinsky

Mona Eltahawy: The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls
Chaired by Clementine Ford
If women and girls want to dismantle the system, they will need to embrace the qualities they have been trained to avoid: anger, ambition, profanity, violence, seeking attention, lust and power.
 “We must declare a feminism that is robust, aggressive and unapologetic. It is the only way to combat a patriarchy that is systemic.” Mona Eltahawy

Reza Aslan: World Without Religion
Chaired by Julia Baird
Modernity and prosperity were supposed to be the end of religion. In fact, while religion has almost disappeared from some parts of the world, in others it has redoubled its strength. What next?
“Throughout human history, religion has been a force both for boundless good and for unspeakable evil.” Reza Aslan

Ashton Applewhite: Age Pride
Chaired by Caroline Baum
We all want long lives, so why are we so afraid of growing old? Anti-ageism campaigner Ashton Applewhite works to dismantle the ageism that is woven into our societies.
 “Ageing is not a problem to be fixed or a disease to be cured, it is a natural, powerful, lifelong process that unites us all.” Ashton Applewhite

When All Women Have Power – Mona Eltahawy, Tressie McMillan Cottom and Sisonke Msimang
Chaired by Santilla Chingaipe
Being nice won’t create the rebellions that will finally give women control of their destinies. These firebrand feminists tell us how we can change the world for all women.
“How is it that we have laid bodies down in streets, challenged patriarchy in courts, bled for fair wages, and still inequalities persist?” Tressie McMillan Cottom

Future Imperfect – Short talks from: James Halstead, Emma A Jane, Katharine Kemp, Michael Richardson and Adriana Vergés
Hosted by Marc Fennell
One hundred years from now, what will be keeping us up at night? Will we have fixed today’s problems, or will we have created a new world of challenges? Join a group of brilliant thinkers to explore the future of gender, privacy, pharmaceuticals, technology and the environment.

For all media enquiries please contact Julie Clark julie@humankindpr.com

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