Last year's inaugural Antidote, Sydney Opera House's new festival of ideas, action and change, saw an impressive lineup of LBGTQI+, Indigenous and feminist rights activists — and 20,000 balloons — fill the iconic building last year.
For its second weekend-long run on September 1 and 2, the festival is bringing in a host of international heavyweights to inspire and incite positive change in this crazy messed-up world. Leading the list is investigative journalist Ronan Farrow, whose exposé on Harvey Weinstein in The New Yorker — along with The New York Times' piece — won him a Pulitzer Prize and triggered the start of last year's global #MeToo movement. He'll speak alongside WikiLeaks whistleblower, trans activist and US Senate candidate Chelsea Manning and Black Panther comic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.
These high-profile American voices will be joined by a pretty diverse list of thought-provokers, including Syrian urban planner Marwa Al-Sabouni, South African storyteller Sisonke Msimang and Liz Jackson, the founder of disability self-advocacy organisation, the Disabled List. You'll also be able to settle in for a night of queer stories with Maeve Marsden and get Benjamin Law and his mum to answer some of your most embarrassing questions.
Extending its practical positioning, the festival will also feature a few workshops this time around — you'll be able to learn how to fillet a fish with Saint Peter's sustainable fishmonger Josh Niland and Kirsty Mootz will show you how to make your own organic skincare with things you find in your house.
Antidote comes at a time when a lot of us are angry and anxious about what's happening in the world. Hopefully you can take away some action points — and if you don't, well, talking it out should at least prove cathartic.