Perth Festival has announced the first guests scheduled to appear as part of its 2021 Literature & Ideas program, which will be spread across 12 days from 5–28 February 2021.
The program, based around the idea of nostalgia ‘for a pre-pandemic past’ and desire ‘for a virus-free future’, in addition to the festival’s overall theme of Bilya (river), is the second to be curated by Sisonke Msimang.
The Literature Weekend on 20–21 February will feature in-person events at His Majesty’s Theatre with local authors including Craig Silvey, Rebecca Giggs and Elizabeth Tan as well as live streamed sessions with Julia Gillard, Trent Dalton and Kate Grenville. International authors who will also be appearing via live stream include US writer Brit Bennett and Ethiopian–American writer Maaza Mengiste.
Under a new approach to ticketing for 2021, the sessions for the literature weekend will be ticketed under a ‘pay what you can’ model, with any tickets purchased for above the suggested price going ‘towards helping other people attend festival events where cost is a barrier’.
The program also includes the Day of Ideas: Just Beneath the Surface event at Perth Concert Hall, which will feature a series of talks by leading Noongar storytellers, artists, Elders, scientists, musicians and philosophers about Derbarl Yerrigan (the Swan River), while free author talks will be held at Joondalup and at the Literature Centre in Fremantle throughout the month.
‘Nostalgia is wonderful and frightening,’ said Msimang. ‘It can be blind us to the uglier parts of our history and politics but it can also help us to recapture special times.
‘Our events in 2021 explore that fine line between joy and pain. These strange, unsettled times have given us all a chance to appreciate those we love, and to look back at even the simplest moments with a real sense of nostalgia.’
The full Literature & Ideas line-up will be announced on 21 January.
Pictured: Craig Silvey. Credit: Daniel James Grant.
Category: Local news