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We acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation - the custodians of the country in which we meet - and acknowledge their Elders, past and present.

The War of the Narratives

Masha Gessen [RUSSIA/USA]
Chaired by Hamish Macdonald
Sat 24 August 2:30pm Auslan
Sat 24 August 2:30pm
The trouble with memory.

The writing and rewriting of historical conflicts to influence the present is nothing new. In an age of creeping authoritarianism, anyone who questions the logic of competing narratives risks being silenced. From the Holocaust, to Israel and Gaza, Russia and Ukraine, journalist and writer Masha Gessen has examined the intersection of history, propaganda and censorship. As todays players race to control their narratives, what happens when narrative becomes dogma – with the power to define identity and legitimacy?

Masha Gessen’s visit to Australia is made possible by the support of Bill Manos and the Manos Foundation. Masha Gessen in presented in Sydney by Festival of Dangerous Ideas and is supported to appear in Melbourne by The Wheeler Centre.
There will be an Auslan interpreter for this session.
A lot of these memory wars have been playing out quite recently. Part of it has to do with certain revisionism…
Masha Gessen

Masha Gessen [RUSSIA/USA]

Masha Gessen is an opinion columnist for The New York Times and a Distinguished Professor at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. They have written extensively on The Russian-Ukrainian war, Israel/Palestine, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump. They have won numerous awards, including the George Polk Award, the Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thinking, and the National Book Award. Their books include Surviving Autocracy and The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia.


Hamish Macdonald

Hamish Macdonald is an award-winning journalist who has covered wars, disasters, and major world events. He is co-host of Global Roaming on ABC Radio National and The Project on Channel Ten. Hamish has won numerous awards including a Walkley for current affairs journalism and was named Young Journalist of the Year by Britain’s Royal Television Society. Hamish has covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Ukraine, the nuclear disaster in Japan, uprisings in Hong Kong and Egypt, the London bombings and the rise of ISIS. Outside of Australia he has worked for Channel 4 News in the UK, Al Jazeera English, and America’s ABC where he was International Affairs Correspondent. In 2016 he became a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

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24 August
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