It’s handy when mainstream events include opportunities for social movement learning. Here’s my highlights for this year’s Melbourne Festival.

The events vary in cost – you can reduce costs if you gather a group together. Add on a post-event discussion and you’ve got your very own activist education experience!

Get in touch if you would like to share a review for one of these events – or others relevant to campaigners.

Foley – Ilbijerri Theatre Company
For more than forty years, Gary Foley has been deeply involved in the continuing struggle against foreign invasion. As activist, academic and actor, he’s been one of the key figures in ensuring that the Aboriginal experience is not written out of this land’s history. From land rights to native title, from treaty to reconciliation, from the referendum to the embassy, from black power to black pride, Foley, with characteristic black humour, chronicles his life and times in what promises to be an engrossing tale of resistance and tenacity. Various times, 7 – 15 Oct.

You Say You Want a Revolution – Wheeler Centre Talks

Emmanuel Jal Speaks – Wed 19 Oct at 6pm
Sudanese rapper and writer Emmanue Jal discusses peace and reconciliation, his experiences as a child soldier and survivor, and his memoir War Child.

The Arab Spring – Thu 20 Oct at 6pm
Since December of last year, across the Middle East, dictatorial regimes have toppled and people power has triumphed. But what does this much-heralded wave of revolutionary fervour mean in the longer term?

Not Sorry Enough – Fri 21 Oct at 6pm
From the battles for basic civil rights four decades ago, to the overturning of terra nullius and the stolen generations apology, Australian indigenous activists have achieved much over successive generations. There is so much left to achieve – what are the goals indigenous Australians are setting for their communities?

Give Peace a Chance – Films
Give Peace a Chance is a weekend of documentaries that exhibit, with verve, passion and vigour, the determination of communities and brave individuals to make a difference. This educational program pays tribute to the film makers who showcase significant activists and political movements embracing the fight for peace, the environment, gay rights, democracy and the rights of Indigenous people.

  • Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? Fri 14 Oct 7pm
  • Or Forever Hold Your Peace. Sat 15 Oct at 12pm
  • murundak: songs of freedom. Sat 15 Oct at 2pm
  • Stonewall Uprising. Sat 15 Oct at 4.30pm
  • Food, Inc. Sat 15 Oct at 7pm
  • Chavez: Inside the Coup. Sun 16 Oct at 2pm
  • Molly & Mobarak. Sun 16 Oct at 4pm

notes from the hard road and beyond – Music
notes from the hard road and beyond chronicles an inspiring canon of songs from civil rights, anti-war and women’s suffrage to environmentalism, feminism and the abolition movement in a glorious and daring celebration of the music of protest, rebellion, love and hope. Pop meets polemic in a spectacular tribute to the lives and voices that have marked, and in some cases changed, the course of human history. Sat 22 Oct at 8pm