Top 10 Sydney Culture On this week 02/02/2020

You know times are getting radical when people start intentionally misspelling words.


10) 2020 Gandhi Lecture: The Fight for Human Rights

4th February

What: Despite taking steps towards becoming a more equal and inclusive society for all, Australia has a problem with human rights. Indigenous Australians are the most incarcerated in the world. More than one woman is killed every week by a partner or former partner. Over half of Australians living with a disability lack access to support services they need. The proposed Religious Discrimination Bill threatens to undermine inclusive workplaces for LGBTQI+ people. Fighting to address these issues are five fearless human rights champions. From the Australian voice to the United Nations for people living with a disability, to leading the #KidsOffNauru campaign which saw every child detained offshore brought to Australia, their resumes are enviable and inspiring portfolios of human rights advocacy. The 2020 Gandhi Lecture brings together Pat Anderson AO, an Alyawarre woman known for her powerful advocacy for the health of Australia’s First Peoples; former Australian of the Year Rosie Batty AO, human rights lawyer Anna Brown OAM who fights tirelessly for LGBTQI+ rights; Vice-Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Rosemary Kayess; and GetUp! Campaign Director for Shen Narayanasamy. Delivering a series of short talks, these fearless faces share their experiences at the frontline for the fight for human rights.

Why: Screaming ‘Gandhi was racist!’, while true, does not count as a valuable contribution to the discussion.


9) Exhibition Openings: Nabilah Nordin & Jordan Azcune

7th February

What: COMA is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Singaporean Australian artist Nabilah Nordin – her first solo with the gallery – titled Covergirl Adhesives, as well as an exhibition of new work by Australian artist Jordan Azcune – also his first solo presentation in Sydney and his first with the gallery – titled Fishers of men. Nordin’s new body of work is concerned with celebrating surface, texture and colour. Functioning on an immediate, visceral level the sculptures act as both stand-alone objects and work to convey the rigorous labour that goes into them. Raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and growing up queer, Azcune’s approach to art making begins with a fluency in biblical theory and uses related visual cues of the 20th century to reconsider histories which map the conflicting intersection of emotion, spirituality and monumentality.

Why: Just the artists’ abstracts alone will get you through the next three in-person conversations as the intellectually superior one. Instagramming a couple of shots of a misshapen torso (or whatever it is) should cement your intellectual superiority for at least two weeks.


8) Exhibition Opening: Martine Gutierrez ‘Body en Thrall’

6th February

What: This exhibition exemplifies the breadth of New York-based Martine Gutierrez’s talents as a photographer, model, graphic designer, music producer and creative director. In the photography and music videos presented, the artist subverts the usual dominant narratives of lifestyle, celebrity and beauty with a self-reflective and non-binary vision of identity – one that is inclusive of mixed heritage and gender diversity. Gutierrez takes control of her image to question what signifies ‘a real, authentic, native-born woman’.

Why: Nothing subverts the egomania of celebrity like the egomania of the artist.‘Body-en-Thrall’/ac438410-4397-11ea-96b7-b132cf2a7536


7) 1792 Barrel Launch

5th February

What: Ladies and Gentlemen it is with great pleasure and excitement that the team at Websters bar have teamed up with Passionate and Enthusiastic whisky lovers Whiskey Hunt Australia. The team at whisky hunt have decided to share their personal Barrel selection from the very distinguished and well awarded guys at the 1792 distillery. Whisky hunt Australia and 1792 Bourbon have provided some amazing and limited Barrel expressions to share at Websters for one night only.

Why: There are enough wanky sentence fragments like ‘barrel expressions’ and ‘very distinguished’ that it’s no longer alcoholism, it’s connoisseurship.


6) Riesling Galaxy Wine Tasting

3rd February

What: Experience 100+ wines from the best regions of Australia, Austria, France, Germany, New Zealand + more! Australia’s leading wineries & importers are uniting to bring you some of the best Riesling on the planet. Join Dynamic Wines in the luxurious surrounds of the Four Season Hotel, grab a glass and explore the many expressions of this most extraordinary grape variety.

Why: They’ve pitched it with a Star Wars flavour. It’s a pretty niche crowd they’re hoping to attract. Fans of Star Wars and Riesling who can afford to get pissed on a Monday night at the Four Seasons Sydney. Actually…this might just be a Young Liberal Movement fundraiser in disguise.


5) Inner West Bushfire Relief

8th February

What: Inner West Bushfire Relief brings together some of the most exciting Inner West and Western Sydney Artists, in the heart of the area, to provide a place for mental rest, healing, great music, and a place for connection within the community, as we raise funds and much needed relief. Over 100 businesses, artists, ceramicists, jewellers, bakers, illustrators, musicians, DJs, event organisers and volunteers have come together, sharing their talents, goods, skills, and passion to help in channelling despair into action, while rebuilding a sense of community, care and compassion for those effected by fires.

Why: Nothing makes you want to raise funds for the preservation of humanity more than realising there are still people who dedicate their lives to the cultivation of ceramics.


4) Radical Womyn Film Festival

5th February

What: Radical Womyn Film Festival 2020 will screen, for the first time in Sydney, 8 short films written and directed by women. Come support and celebrate talented emerging female film makers from all over the world.

Why: Womyn. Noun. “Non-standard spelling of ‘women’ adopted by some feminists in order to avoid the word ending -men”. Seems like a wasted opportunity. The new word could’ve been anything. Terminator Dragons. Dragon Terminators. Corporate Superiors.


3) Movies and Magnums: Inglourious Basterds

3rd February

What: Movies and Magnums is a series of dinners held in Restaurant Hubert’s Theatre Royale. The first film in the 2020 series will be Quentin Tarantino’s iconic wartime film, Inglourious Basterds. The night will feature a film screening of the film, a decadent feast and free flowing wine.

Why: Nothing whets the appetite for a gourmet feast like the good, clean non-graphic romp that is a Tarantino film.


2) Poirot and More: A Retrospective

7th February

What: Join a conversation with the man, the actor and his many roles in an unmistakably unique event. A retrospective look at David’s career will have you witness some of his most beloved performances in a new and intimate light. For over 25 years he captivated millions worldwide as Agatha Christie’s elegant Belgian detective. Beyond Poirot, this Emmy and Olivier award-winning actor has been celebrated for his portrayal of iconic roles such as Lady Bracknell, Cardinal Benelli and Freud. David has also graced the world’s stages bringing literary greats to life, including Shakespeare, Wilde and Albee. Meet the actor behind the detective and the many faces he’s portrayed on stage and screen over a career spanning five decades. Discover why David Suchet is renowned for not only becoming the role but also taking on the personalities of some of television, film and theatre’s most fascinating characters.

Why: Give profound thanks to the man who best brought to life one of the few brilliant detectives that has not, as of yet, appeared in a shrill 12-year-old’s erotic fan art.


1) Sydney Lunar Festival

2nd-9th February

What: Celebrate Lunar New Year in spectacular style in Sydney. 2020 is the Year of the Rat. The rat is the first sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle, so 2020 can be considered a year of new beginnings and renewals. Haymarket is the centre of Sydney’s Lunar New Year celebrations. The street party kicks off with live entertainment, roving performers, golden rat robots, games, lion dancers, markets and food trucks. At the nearby Chinese Garden in Darling Harbour there will be a special Twilight Garden Party. The fun continues in the garden for 16 days with calligraphy and lantern decorating workshops, meditation sessions, traditional tea ceremonies, musical performances and a closing ceremony with a 15-metre dragon. Don’t miss the exciting dragon boat races on Cockle Bay! At Circular Quay, 12 huge lunar lanterns representing the animals of the zodiac will be on display. There will also be parades of bright LED lions and dragons on every weekend. Also, head over to the lantern-strewn Lunar New Year markets at The Rocks to pick up gifts, jewellery, art and food.

Why: Living almost vampirically under the light of the moon is a wonderful way to remove those troubling thoughts of the burgeoning environmental apocalypse. If you don’t see the raging sun blanketed by diseased-looking smoke clouds, you can still cram a whole cow leg down your throat for breakfast with the air-con cranked up to ‘Greenland’ without feeling at all guilty.


Special Mention

Kozciuszko Craft Beer Festival

7th & 8th February

What: Do you like beer? Do you want to know what is tops in hops and best in brewing? Celebrate the art of craft beer brewing at the Kosciuszko Craft Beer Festival in Thredbo. Held Poolside at the Thredbo Alpine Hotel in the heart of the picturesque Snowy Mountains, this festival is your ticket to the latest and greatest in craft beer brewing.

Why: If you can pronounce the name of the event two hours in, you’re doing it wrong.

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