'I am writing about my own daughter, Winnie': Our Rights to Our Stories
Free Public Lecture
Kathleen Fitzpatrick Theatre
T: (03) 9035 5092
The Wednesday Lectures 2018 hosted by Raimond Gaita
In a recent interview in the Guardian, the celebrated novelist, Lionel Shriver, commented 'I’m very unhappy that writers and editors are exercising self-censorship, especially with regard to group membership, to [writing about groups to which they do not themselves belong such as] gender, race, ethnicity, disability.' Shriver's comments follow her appearance at the 2016 Brisbane Writers Festival, when similar remarks by the author caused 'outrage'. Writers (in particular) who have supported Shiver's 'bravery' call upon their right to 'creative freedom' and a necessary 'challenge to censorship' in defence of the right to write on whatever subject, and from whatever point of view, they please. In defence of artistic freedom often refuses to address the repression of communities and nations that have not experienced the privilege of writing with freedom. In fact, some communities have, in both the past and present, had their stories and identities stolen. If we have any commitment to reciprocity and justice, surely we must allow people who have been silenced the dignity to recover and tell their own stories?
The Wednesday Lectures is an annual series of talks hosted by Professor Raimond Gaita that invites speakers from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds to offer their perspective on a subject of pressing public, and sometimes intensely personal, concern.