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Jane Harrison: The Visitors

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Jane Harrison’s work has captivated audiences globally, earning her international acclaim for plays including Stolen and Rainbow’s End. With an impressive body of work and a deep commitment to promoting and developing First Nations perspectives – including as the Director of the Blak & Bright First Nations Literary Festival – Harrison has established herself as an essential voice in the Australian cultural landscape.

In this episode, Harrison discusses the work of reimagining the past in her first novel for adult readers, The Visitors – a radical retelling of the events of 26 January 1788 from a First Nations perspective. Based on her play of the same name, which first wowed audiences at Sydney Festival in 2020, The Visitors is now a multi-artform phenomenon, appearing as a novel, a production and an opera.

In this wide-ranging and frank conversation with host Tony Birch for Melbourne City Reads, Harrison discusses the story’s journey across artforms and shed new light on this critical moment from Australia’s past.

This event was part of the Melbourne City Reads series.

It was recorded on Monday 9 October 2023 at The Wheeler Centre as part of the Spring Fling series.

Featured music is ‘Traveling Again’ by Sarah, the Illstrumentalist.

Spring Fling was proudly supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and the Melbourne City Revitalisation Fund. Special thanks to official bookseller Readings and accommodation partner The Sofitel.

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