Arts & Entertainment

2022 Sydney Writers’ Festival Comes To A Close

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BY JARROD WOLHUTER

The Sydney Writers’ Festival officially ended on Sunday evening after a huge week featuring 400 writers exploring all kinds of exciting ideas and fascinating topics; both fiction and non-fiction.

The theme, Change My Mind, conceptualised by Artistic Director, Michael Williams, “is an invitation, a challenge and a promise of intent. Because uncertain times – a world divided and ruptured, at odds and in crisis – require a willingness to be open-minded, and a commitment to generosity and reciprocity”. And is something that certainly gave way to the imaginative power of guest speakers and visitors alike.

Chloe Hooper closed proceedings with a powerful speech/history lesson on the challenges of raising children in a time of global warming, mass extinction, and geopolitical aggression.

Hooper touched on everything from past pandemics to Aesop’s fables, to imperialism, to the racist subtext beneath some of our favourite childhood stories.

The best-selling author and literary impresario filled the auditorium at Carriageworks. Her audience, hanging on every word as she masterfully connected the historically arcane to contemporary events. She poked fun at world leaders who resemble and have similar character traits as our fondest childhood-book characters; whilst weaving in intimate details of her family situation who has recently experienced a loved one fighting against a terminal illness.

Hooper demonstrated robust intellect, maternal tenderness, and pessimistic wit while raising important questions about the future, where we’re headed as a global population, and what kind of legacy we’re leaving for future generations.

The event was a perfect conclusion to a week that is set around and celebrated for compelling presentations and thought-provoking ideas and concepts.

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