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It's A Long Story

Sydney, NSW

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Sydney, NSW




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...


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...


Tamika Mallory | Marching for community

Tamika Mallory has been protesting pretty much her entire life. From joining Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network at the age of 15 to working with the Obama administration on gun control legislation. As the national co-chair of the Women's March on Washington, Tamika proved that women are at the centre of the resistance against the Trump presidency. The Women's March was the largest single-day protest in US history and worldwide participation was estimated at being over 5...


History is its own revenge | Shashi Tharoor

Author, politician, and former international civil servant, Shashi Tharoor is a man of many talents. He spent nearly 29 years at the United Nations as a peacekeeper and refugee worker culminating as undersecretary general. He's published 16 books, won numerous literary awards and was named by the 1998 World Economic Forum in Davos as a Global Leader of Tomorrow. Currently, Shashi is serving his second term as Congress MP in India. This episode of It's a Long Story is hosted by Marc Fennell.


Inua Ellams | Creating space to get lost

Born in Nigeria to a Muslim father and a Christian mother, Inua Ellams fled with his family at age 12 to the UK. He spent his youth in London, then Dublin, then London again, and has said that his teenage years were characterised by perpetual crises of identity. Inua spent his life creating art, writing poetry, and going on long walks through the city. While everyone else was sleeping, he was searching for some sense of identity. This episode of It’s a Long Story is hosted by Marc Fennell.


Yeonmi Park | Learning what freedom means

Born in North Korea in 1993, Yeonmi Park grew up in a society devoted to ‘Dear Leader’ Kim Jong-Il. As a child she regularly came across dead bodies on the street and spent months at a time without electricity. And people she knew were executed for merely watching American movies. In 2007 Yeonmi and her mother escaped into China, but were captured and sold to human traffickers. Two years later they reached the Mongolian border, and eventually arrived in South Korea. This episode is hosted...


Amani Al-Khatahtbeh | Faith and other f-words

Growing up in New Jersey Amani Al-Khatahtbeh was a pretty normal kid. Then 9/11 happened and life changed forever. She spent her teenage years navigating growing racism and Islamophobia in America, and at the age of 17 she founded a blog called Muslim Girl. The site gave young Muslim women a platform to discuss all of the things – periods to politics. And over the years, it transformed from a part time passion project to a full time social movement, logging millions of hits every...


Eve Ensler | The power of story

One evening in 1996 the basement of the Cornelia Street Café in New York’s Grenwich Village came alive when Eve Ensler performed The Vagina Monologues for the very first time. Since then, her play has been translated into 48 languages and presented in over 140 countries with the world’s best stage and screen actors performing it to packed houses. In the 20 years that have passed since the premiere, Eve has gone on to write many more plays and books, start global political movements that...


Janet Mock | Tackling stigma through storytelling

An HBO Documentary, two best-selling memoirs, pop culture cover stories, beauty columns, speaking engagements, essays, social media - Janet Mock is doing it all. And at the same time, she's eager to expand beyond her personal experience and share the platform that she has built with others in her community who may not be as fortunate. Janet is arguably one of the most influential transwomen working in media and is using every tool available to her to tell the stories that shift and...


Kelly-Dawn Helmrich | Camp Cope

A kitchen in Melbourne's Footscray provided the humble origins for Camp Cope's Kelly-Dawn Helmrich, Georgia Maq and Sarah Thompson. Since joining forces in 2015, the trio haven't wasted a second of their time in the spotlight, using their newfound influence to launch the It Takes One campaign. Aimed at stopping harassment of women at live music gigs, Kelly-Dawn Hellmrich has said of the project: “We have a platform now where people listen to us so we want to give back to other people who...


Izzi Manfredi | The Preatures

Since she was a kid, there was never any doubt in Izzi Manfredi’s mind that she wanted to make music. Meeting Jack Moffitt and Thomas Champion at university, the three formed The Preatures. With influences like The Beatles, the Divinyls and The Pretenders, the band achieved international success with the 2013 track, “Is this how you feel?”. Their latest release is Girlhood, a distinctly personal album, which draws on stories from Izzi’s own childhood and adolescence.


Nai Palm | Hiatus Kaiyote

Nai Palm of Hiatus Kaiyote has recently been flying solo, with her debut album Needle Paw soon to be released. In spite of a turbulent childhood, she took solace in nature, in animals and in music, growing into the independent spirit and curious soul that has enchanted such artists as Erykah Badu, Animal Collective, Questlove and the late, great Prince.


Briggs | A.B. Original

Briggs is a rapper, comedian, actor, writer and fearless social critic. A proud Yorta Yorta man from regional Victoria, he took out the Australian Music Prize this year as half of the hip hop duo A.B. Original for their debut album Reclaim Australia, as well as appearing in the ABC's groundbreaking supernatural drama Cleverman and becoming a regular on satirical news programme The Weekly with Charlie Pickering.