Top 10 Australia Culture On this week 03/05/2020 (COVID-19 EDITION)

Let slip the dogs of lore.


10) Ottowa Adventure Film Festival

3rd May

What: It’s tough being an adventurer in lockdown so the team at the OAFF have curated an amazing selection of films from the past 3 years for your entertainment. Hosted by David Brennan, they’re hoping to keep the stoke alive for the global community. Settle in and celebrate the world of adventure!

Why: Don’t you miss the pre-pandemic days when you spent days hiking across hilltops in the wilderness because you didn’t have to work insane hours for terrible pay in a job you didn’t realise would soon be made obsolete?


9) Taronga TV

3rd-9th May

What: Wonder what the animals are up to while the Zoo is temporarily closed? It’s zoo-as-usual for the 4,000 animals in Taronga’s care – and they’re giving you a sneak peak! Over the coming weeks Taronga will be bringing its two beautiful zoos directly into your living room! Tune in daily to see your favourite animals via 24/7 enclosure live cams, meet the friendly keepers and learn what goes on behind the scenes at Taronga while the zoos are temporarily closed.

Why: Another colour in the spectrum of humanity’s disturbing relationship with animals, illuminated by the COVID-19 era.


8) Uffizi Decameron

3rd-9th May

What: The Uffizi has launched a social media campaign aimed at bringing its art to everyone as a result of the self-isolation currently being enforced. Every day the Uffizi’s Instagram and Twitter will publish photos, stories and videos of different artworks, including from Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens. An official Gallerie degli Uffizi Facebook page has just been launched too. The name of the campaign, which has the hashtag #UffiziDecameron, is inspired by one of the most celebrated masterpieces of Tuscan and Italian literature, the Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio. “The treasures of the Uffizi, Palazzo Pitti and Boboli Gardens will keep you company over these weeks, in which we make common cause against the virus,” said Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Galleries. “We will tell stories everyday, just like in Boccaccio’s masterpiece. We will avoid every contagion, save that of beauty.”

Why: Escape ruminations concerning your own mortality by focusing on a giant Italian mausoleum.


7) Vienna State Opera: Live

4th-9th May

What: The Vienna State Opera is sharing past performances via free daily online streams. Experience the majesty of the Viennese opera alongside a worldwide audience. This week’s performances will feature Pelléas et Mélisande, Don Quixote, Eugene Onegin, I Puritani, Werther and Peer Gynt.

Why: There’s nothing like an overly dramatic and profound misinterpretation of the works of Goethe to remind yourself that there are far worse things to fight over than a square of toilet paper. The only casualty of the 2020 Quilton wars was your anus.


6) Silkroad Home Sessions with Hadi Eldebek

5th May

What: Hadi Eldebek is a musician, educator, and cultural entrepreneur and currently the artistic director of The Brooklyn Nomads. His style infuses soulful Middle Eastern music with a complex contemporary experimental flair. Experience his talents in an intimate livestreamed performance.

Why: A chance to hear something you’ve never heard before: anything unrelated to the f***ing pandemic.


5) Silkroad Home Sessions with Hankus Netsky

9th May

What: A multi-instrumentalist, composer, and ethnomusicologist, Yiddish musician Hankus Netsky has composed extensively for film, theater, and television in collaborations with Itzhak Perlman, Robin Williams, Joel Grey, Robert Brustein, and Will Lebow. Experience his uniquely complex lilting improvisational jazz in a once-off livestreamed performance.

Why: We are facing a long battle against the malevolent forces of economic instability, a system of increasingly right-wing international governments unprepared to handle this new technological era developing at an exponential rate and the authoritarian rise of the Netflix overlords, but never forget that it’s always the evil little guy running around at the edge of the battle scrum who eventually ends up stabbing you in the neck. Improvisational jazz: it’s still out there and it’s relentless.


4) Silkroad Home Sessions with Kevork Mourad

8th May

What: Kevork Mourad was born in Kamechli, Syria. Of Armenian origin, he received an MFA from the Yerevan Institute of Fine Arts and now lives and works in New York. He is a real-time live experimental visual artist, collaborating with musicians to create a multi-sensory immersive experience. Experience his unique talents live.

Why: Been feeling a little better about yourself because of the lack of any external challenges and the fact that you’ve mastered how to make the perfect roux without burning it? Well, the restrictions are almost over. It’s time to remember how truly inadequate you are.


3) The Oedipus Project

8th May

What: The Oedipus Project is an innovative new digital initiative by Theater of War Productions that will present acclaimed actors performing scenes from Sophocles’ Oedipus the King as a catalyst for powerful, healing online conversations about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon diverse communities throughout the United States. Sophocles’ ancient play, written and performed in 429 BC during the time of a plague that killed one-third of the Athenian population, is a timeless story of arrogant leadership, ignored prophecy, and a pestilence that ravages the city of Thebes. At the time the play was first performed, the audience would have been reeling in the wake of a pestilence and its economic, political, and social aftermath. Seen through this lens, Oedipus the King appears to have been a powerful public health tool for helping Athenians communalize the trauma of the plague, through a story that is as relevant now as it was in its own time. Featuring performances by Frances McDormand, Oscar Isaac, Jeffrey Wright, John Turturro, Frankie Faison, David Strathairn, Glenn Davis, Marjolaine Goldsmith and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

Why: A little Athenian theatre won’t hurt you. But if you time it just right, the fatal overdose should kill you right before Frances McDormand starts shouting, “Fear? What has a man to do with fear?!”


2) Gender Empowerment Week

3rd-8th May

What: 320 has announced the partnership with LA-based production company, Femme Fatale for Gender Empowerment Week. Experience a week full of daily online educational sessions and panels, drag make-up tutorials, and special guest performances to further the conversation on gender fluidity, the queer community, and mental health. Anyone around the world can tune into the virtual program via Twitch and Instagram Live. Gender Empowerment week will feature performances by Ka5sh, Holander, Vitakari, Summer Speck, Wils, and Sadgirlism. The educational sessions include topics on Allies and the Queer Community, Art Escapism, Creating From Within, Drag Make-Up Tutorials, Elemental Movement, Gender Possibilities, Mindful Creativity, Queer Stigma, and Women in Live: Mental Health in the Workplace.

Why: A healthy reminder that the logic, “I don’t have to take the time to intellectually improve myself or explore complex perspectives because we’re in a global crisis and I’m stressed and exhausted” is exactly the same lasting logic behind your least favourite older relative’s favourable attitude towards the One Nation party.


1) New York Guitar Festival

5th-19th May

What: The NYGF has invited a wonderfully diverse group of some of their favorite musicians to participate in ‘Reverend Gary Davis: In Search of the Harlem Street Singer’, an on-line performance series exploring the music of the blind blues musician, Reverend Gary Davis. Rev. Gary Davis performed on the streets of Harlem from the late 1940s until his death in 1972. He is one of those curious figures in music history who should be famous, but who’s also a lot better known than you might think. Overcoming poverty, racial discrimination and blindness, Davis made influential recordings and festival appearances, and his songs have been covered by The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Peter Paul & Mary, and Bob Dylan. They’ve commissioned each artist to create a home-made video of themselves performing a song by Gary Davis. These videos will be released each day at 4pm EDT on the Festival’s YouTube channel. The lineup will feature Bill Frisell, Fantastic Negrito, Rosanne Cash, Larkin Poe, Amythyst Kiah, Jorma Kaukonen, Dom Flemons, Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams and more.

Why: Start your day with a musical tribute to a Reverend who’ll get you on your feet with a jazzy refrain rather than on your knees with a head full of repressed trauma and stray pubes.

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