Field of Light 6

I will be in Australia again in the first week of April, giving talks in Brisbane, Melbourne and Bendigo, mainly on the politics of diversity and identity. Here is the current schedule:


1 April
Why are we so obsessed by identity?

Griffith University
Ian Hanger Recital Hall
Queensland Conservatorium
Griffith University
140 Grey St,

A talk followed by a conversation with Luke Stegemann. The event is organized by Integrity 20.


3 April 
Three myths about diversity
Welcoming Cities Symposium

Howard Smith Wharf Precinct
5 Boundary Street
Brisbane, QLD 4000
11.00 – 12.00

I am giving the ‘International Keynote Provocation’ at the 4th Welcoming Cities symposium.


4 April 
What’s wrong with identity politics?

Wheeler Centre
176 Little Lonsdale Street
Victoria 3000

A talk followed by a discussion with Peter Mares.


8 April 
The meaning of diversity

Bendigo Bank Theatre
50 View Street,
Bendigo VIC 3550

A talk followed by a conversation with Julie Rudner.


My thanks to Aleem Ali of Welcoming Cities, Rhiannon Phillips of Integrity 20, Helen Withycombe of the Wheeler Centre and Rosemary Sorensen of the Bendigo Writers Festival for helping organize this little tour.

Do get in touch if you want to meet up. It will be good to see old friends again (and make new ones).


The photo is of Bruce Munro’s ‘Field of Light’ installation at Uluru.


  1. Judith Vidal-Hall

    Hope it all goes well dear Kenan. Wish I could accompany you: carry your bags and listen to the wisdom. Judith VH

  2. damon

    The politics of diversity and identity – in Australia. Sounds interesting.

    My first thought (which I can’t help) was on the so-called “Apex gangs” of Melbourne.
    Is it a real issue and concern, or is it media hype – and white Australian racism?
    There’s been loads of news stories on the TV about these “gangs” of African youths who’ve come from places like South Sudan as child asylum seekers. Why should their transition into Australian society be any different to other recent immigrants? Some people, including local police forces, are saying it’s not really an issue at all, or that there have just been isolated incidents that have been taken up by the sensationalist media.
    Is this true also? I read somewhere that people born in that region of Africa, make up just 0.14% of Victoria’s population. So how would things change if it was 5 or 7%?
    Would it end up with London-like proportions of really difficult to deal with street culture and violence?

    I was looking through various articles on the Apex gangs to do a link here. There’s a lot and it’s a really contentious issue over there. I’ve chosen this one, and although it is from the Daily Mail, it is an actual interview with one of the original “gang” founders – who gives his side of the story as to why he and some of his friends behave so anti-socially. He says one issue is that many of their fathers are not in Australia.

    Another issue about diversity and identity ……. as Australia becomes more diverse and less white as a proportion, does the traditional Aussie culture have to change to accommodate the new reality?
    Can the “Crocodile Dundee” culture exist in an environment that is no longer the traditional Australian culture?

    As diversity increases, there will probably be an equal growth in identitarian grevience culture like we get in the U.K. from the likes of David Lammy MP. This week complaining about “white saviours” going to do charity work in Africa. The trouble is, the people who do this charity work (and the general public who give money) do not think enough about how this can make some people in minority communities “feel insulted”.
    I’m sure this stuff already goes on in Australia, but does greater diversity just make this more pronounced as well?

    How much Asian immigration could Australia take before it became more like Singapore than Australia?

  3. Eddie O'Brien

    Good luck with your talks in Australia, Kenan. Do you ever give talks in Ireland. Eddie

    • Thank you. I have not spoken at an Irish event for a while – I spoke at the literary festival in Cork about ten years ago. Hopefully another time soon.

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