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Review: AFoI 2018 - Keynote: Robyn Archer


Review: AFoI 2018 - Keynote: Robyn Archer

Caitlin Ellen

Have you ever tried walking through mud? Sometimes it’s easy; you’ve got a rhythm, you’re making your way through, enjoying the squelching feeling between your toes. But sometimes it’s hard. Every step requires effort, like a huge weight holding you down as you make your way through.

Walking through mud (and like -- good mud) was a bit like the words said at the opening event of this year’s Adelaide Festival of Ideas. Creating the mud was Robyn Archer AO; singer, writer, artistic director and public advocate for the arts.

To kick off the festival, preluding the insightful Robyn Archer, was Festival's founder and now Chairman, Greg Mackie. He delved into the history of Adelaide Festival of Ideas and introduced Phillip Adams, who introduced Archer with a very relatable list of global concerns. Archer herself kicked off her keynote with the iconic budget slogan “jobs and growth”, reminding us all of our future come next election.

The keynote, entitled Freedom and Democracy: Observations of a freelance artist, delved into not only Archer’s history of art and politics, but into artists of various kinds throughout history. Reading out German poetry and sharing stories of artists living in oppressed countries, Archer trudged us through mud.

But in that mud were some standout points that set the stage for a weekend of free-flowing ideas, insights into technology, and speculations on our future.

Who teaches creativity? Are the Arts the safest place for dangerous conversations? Do the Arts matter? Is anyone listening to you? All questions that will come to mind when listening to Robyn Archer’s talk.

So sit back, grab a cuppa, and delve into the recordings of the 2018 Adelaide Festival of Ideas.

You can listen to Robyn Archer's Keynote: Freedom and Democracy: Observations of a freelance artist here.