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Sydney, NSW





In this special episode of It’s a Long Story, host and ANTIDOTE festival curator Edwina Throsby is interviewed by Sydney Morning Herald Editor Lisa Davies about the 2019 festival. Discover the lineup here:


Adam Liaw | Every dish tells a story

Adam Liaw understands how Australian families eat. Emigrating to South Australia from Malaysia in the 1980s his childhood was a delicious mix of international cuisines. Adam’s precocious smarts fast-tracked his academic career, and landed him at law school well ahead of schedule. Moving to Japan in his twenties to work at Disney Asia, he was settling into Japanese culture. But everything changed when he applied on a whim for the second season of Masterchef Australia. Ten years, six books...


Liz Jackson | Rebranding disability

When Liz Jackson woke up one morning back in 2012 unable to feel her legs, her life radically changed direction. Diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease, Liz left her successful career in television to become a designer and activist, devoted to improving design for disabled people across the world. Her blog, The Girl with the Purple Cane, and her organisation The Disabled List, brings the unique insights and skills of disabled people and designers into the broader design conversation. Show...


Yotam Ottolenghi | Keep cooking simple

It’s hard to remember what we used to cook before Yotam Ottolenghi burst into our culinary consciousness. His brand of colourful, vegetable-based food has transformed kitchens and tables the world over. Born in Jerusalem, Yotam was set to pursue an academic career after completing a master’s degree in comparative literature. However at age 30 he decided to move to London to become a chef, and his future was rewritten. His London restaurants have become cult destinations, his cookbooks are...


Sarah Wilson | Anxiety, the beautiful journey

As a hugely successful journalist and writer, and the founder of the international diet and lifestyle empire I Quit Sugar, Sarah Wilson might seem like the poster girl for perfect health. Yet anxiety and bipolar disorder have been with her throughout her life and career. Growing up in rural Australia in a big, poor family, she has always been driven to overachieve, editing national magazines, hosting the first season of Masterchef, writing a series of bestselling cookbooks, and amassing a...


Jonathan Drori | The under story

Walking through Kew Gardens in London with his family was formative for polymath, writer and tree-lover Jonathan Drori. With a career bridging engineering and broadcasting, he was part of the trailblazing team which created the very first iteration of BBC online, surfed the crest of the dotcom boom, and created a whole lot of very good BBC television programs. Yet the pull of the natural world held strong, and his book, Around the World in 80 Trees, explores the unique relationship of...


Lisa-Ann Gershwin | Rhapsody in jellyfish

What Lisa-Ann Gershwin does not know about jellyfish probably doesn’t count, and no one gets quite as excited about gelatinous medusas as she does. Raised in California by hippie parents, her undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome marked her an outsider during childhood. It wasn’t until she fell in love with marine biology that she started to find her way. Now an internationally recognised scientist, researcher and author, she has personally discovered 200 species of jellyfish and counting. And...


Kevin McCloud | The importance of architecture

Kevin McCloud had a childhood where everything was built from scratch, and his home was more like a workshop. So it’s no surprise that the built world eventually became the focus of his life and work. Yet in his earlier years Kevin wore many different hats, from working in an Italian vineyard, studying music, designing sets for the Cambridge theatre troupe the Footlights, owning a lighting design shop and designing the famous ceiling of the Harrods Food Hall in London. While this eclectic...


Marwa Al Sabouni | Staying in Syria

When the war in Syria was tearing apart their home city of Homs, architect Marwa Al-Sabouni and her husband made the decision to stay there with their two young children, rather than to become refugees. In her memoir, The Battle for Home, she writes about the experience of continuing daily life in a battle zone, and of the importance of architecture in determining the fates of cities. Marwa’s work now is concerned with the impact of conflict on urban environments, and the possibilities...


Mark Lynas | Science vs activism

Back in his student days, science writer and journalist Mark Lynas was one of the first and loudest voices of the anti-GMO movement. He wrote some of the most-read articles about genetically modified organisms, led protests, and may or may not have coined the term “Frankenfood”. But then he really looked into the science of GMO, and did a full 180. In a world-famous speech in 2013, Mark retracted his earlier views, and apologised for having destroyed GM crops. He’s since worked with...


Raj Patel | How to change the world

What do you do when you decide at the age of seven that the world is an unfair place and you need to try and change it? Raj Patel’s career has been dedicated to ending inequality. From studying philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford, London School of Economics and Cornell, to learning about the inner workings of the World Trade Organisation and the World Bank as an intern, Raj was always going to be an activist. His writing about capitalism and contemporary politics is globally...


Barbara Kingsolver | The power of fiction

How might literature change the world? American author Barbara Kingsolver has been asking this question through her best-selling novels and essays for years. After a self-described ‘curious childhood’ split between rural Appalachia and remote global locations where her doctor father was posted, she developed an independent spirit and an unshakeable love for the natural world. This passion manifested as activism during her biology degree, but despite becoming a scientist, it was literature...


Mandy Len Catron | Rewriting modern love

There’s a widespread assumption that we are all are better off in relationships, that you can and must find your soul mate, and that true love conquers all. Mandy Len Catron has been aware of the power of love stories, ever since her childhood in rural Appalachia in the American south. As the daughter of a cheerleader and a football coach, her family stories read like the perfect American Dream. But when the reality of life fell short of these idealised, and highly feminised, notions,...


CN Lester | Don't make assumptions

There aren’t many places where we aren’t boxed in to strict categories. For English singer-songwriter CN Lester, music has always provided a safe space where these restrictions don’t apply. Raised in London by a family that encouraged them to think outside traditional gender roles, CN, who is gender queer and uses the pronoun they, grew up to be a committed activist. As well as co-founding the Queer Youth Network and Britain’s first gay-straight alliance, CN has written a memoir called...


Rebecca Walker | Freedom to become who we are

The daughter of Alice Walker, who wrote the African-American classic The Color Purple, and Melvyn Leventhal, a Jewish civil rights lawyer, Rebecca Walker’s intersecting and sometimes jarring identities were the foundation of her career. In 1992, her article for Ms Magazine ‘I am the Third Wave’ crystallised her thinking around feminism and activism. Its massive success spurred on her work: she established the Third Wave Fund to support young women from diverse backgrounds to pursue...


Kate Bolick | Flipping the script on singledom

As a middle-class girl from a happy family, Kate Bolick’s life was on track: go to college, get a job, and then, become a wife. But after losing her mother, Kate began to question this predictable trajectory. In 2011, when she was in her thirties and still unmarried, Kate wrote an article that wove together her personal story with an economic analysis of singledom in the 21st Century. It was called All the Single Ladies and it became an online sensation. It served as the catalyst for Kate’s...


Fran Lebowitz | Reading is better than life

Raised in small town New Jersey, lifelong bookworm Fran Lebowitz has always done things on her own terms. After getting expelled from highschool, she answered the call and moved to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. She quickly became part of the legendary New York club scene of the 1970s, hanging out at Max’s Kansas City and writing for Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine. Her best-selling memoirs Metropolitan Life and Social Studies are brilliant chronicles of these...


Zaachariaha Fielding | Electric Fields is looking within

Growing up in the small community of Mimili in South Australia, Zaachariaha Fielding always knew he wanted to entertain. Moving to the city as a teenager, he quickly became a part of Adelaide’s music scene, before trying his hand on the reality TV show The Voice. But it’s in the duo Electric Fields where Zaachariaha has really begun to thrive. Crossing genres like soul, pop and electronica, the musical partnership with Michael Ross has led him to massive stages all around Australia and the...


Irish Mythen | Music is a powerful legacy

Irish Mythen has always had a love for the road. Moving as a kid from the south-east coast of Ireland to Africa and the Middle East, the sights, sounds and stories of these places inspired her. Like any good troubadour, she’s since traveled extensively, gathering tales and meeting people. Since then, Irish has built a strong following on the international folk music circuit, opening for the likes of Melissa Etheridge and Rod Stewart and taking the stage at some of Australia’s biggest...


Airileke Ingram | Drumming for West Papua

Raised between Darwin and his ancestral home of Gabagaba in Papua New Guinea, Airileke Ingram was drumming from a young age. His grandfather taught him traditional techniques, igniting a love for percussion that led to a world tour with the Australian Youth Orchestra. Since then, Airileke has played with some of our most prominent Indigenous musicians, soundtracked a Hollywood film and scored an ARIA nomination. But it’s his passion for making community through music that really drives...