Arts & Entertainment

Opera House Annual Antidote Festival Set To Inspire During Lockdown

Edwina Throsby. Photo: Daniel Boud

By Aston Brown

The Opera House announces the line-up for its annual festival of ideas, action and change that will be online due to lockdown.

The fifth annual Antidote festival will be live streamed from The Opera House stages on Sunday, September 5.

Antidote Curator Edwina Throsby says that while the festival addresses the sobering realities of global state of affairs, it isn’t afraid to offer solutions.

“It is easy in these times to feel hopeless and feel really overwhelmed,” Throsby told City Hub.

“What I’m really try and do is to demonstrate to people that there are very clever minds addressing a lot of these problems and that people in our communities can be part of the solutions.”

Among other themes, this year the festival will cover alternatives to capitalism, the solutions to the climate crisis, colonialism, and morality in Australian politics.

“I hope this will make people feel like there is constructive work being done around the world and in our communities, that will hopefully mean things ultimately get better,” Throsby said.

The line-up of speakers includes New Yorker staff writer and Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction and Under A White Sky Elizabeth Kolbert.

Throsby has been curator of the festival since 2018.

“There are a lot of talks and ideas festivals around and about, and it struck me that none of them had the things we needed at the time – a little bit of hope and a little bit of optimism,” Throsby said.

“I really worked on repositioning Antidote as a festival that offered optimism and solutions to the world’s problems.”

Throsby has been enthused by the public response to the festival this year, despite it being hosted online.

“The act of committing to listen to someone talk about these things along with hundreds and thousands of other people, it just makes you realise that there are lots and lots of people in your community and in the world that are concerned about similar things,” Throsby added.

“It’s that sort of mass concern that historically is shown to bring about change.”

Tickets can be purchased online for individual talks or the full day.

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