Should art be a place where highly provocative, politically subversive or potentially offensive ideas and scenarios can be explored? Or are some things off limits?



“The law should come down in absolute force and hold this menace to account.”
–Anon re: David Finnigan’s Kill Climate Deniers

David Finnigan’s Kill Climate Deniers has been met with a barrage of online fury due to its provocative and inflammatory title. Is this indignation warranted, or not?

Should art be a place where highly provocative, politically subversive or potentially offensive ideas and scenarios can be explored, no holds barred? Or are some things off limits?

For example, does the artistic representation of a violent or socially unacceptable act, be it satirical or not, constitute endorsement of such behaviour? Is it crossing a line, and where is this line?

Is the artist responsible if their provocation is taken out of context? Or does responsibility lie with the individual to read-up and be informed?

What role does art play in shifting societal or political discourse, if any?

Join us for the first Griff-in Conversation of 2018, Off Limits. There will be a brief introduction to the work by playwright David Finnigan, followed by a discussion featuring Lee LewisLloyd Newson, Anne Henderson and Mark Fletcher, hosted by Jan Fran.

Saturday 3 March, 4pm – 5pm

Performance Times

Saturday 3 March, 4pm – 5pm

Meet the Panelists

Jan Fran (host)
Jan Fran is a journalist and TV presenter. She hosts The Feed on SBSVICELAND where she makes the news funny. Jan writes, directs and produces everything from long form documentaries to sketch comedy segments for the show. Jan Fran began her career as an SBS cadet and has shot and produced stories from all over the world for SBS World News and Dateline, often travelling solo. She was nominated for a Young Walkley award for a three-part series she shot on women in Uganda. She is one of a handful of Australian journalists who was allowed into Nauru to cover the re-opening of Australia’s offshore detention centre.  Her 2016 documentary Grassroots America covered the lead up to the US 2016 Presidential election.   Jan has lived in Lebanon, France, Bangladesh and Uganda and speaks three languages – most of them terribly. She’s been nominated for several awards but in what she describes as an “utter travesty” has won none. She is a regular TV and radio commentator, an ambassador for Plan International and a finalist for Best Television Personality in Cosmo’s Woman of the Year Award 2017.

Lee Lewis
Lee is the Artistic Director of Griffin Theatre Company and one of Australia’s leading directors. For Griffin she has directed: The Bleeding Tree (Best Director at the 2016 Helpmann Awards), Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore PornographyThe Homosexuals or ‘Faggots’RiceMasquerade (co-directed with Sam Strong), GloriaEmerald CityA Rabbit for Kim Jong-ilThe Serpent’s Table (co-directed with Darren Yap), ReplaySilent DiscoSmurf In WanderlandThe Bull, The Moon and the Coronet of StarsThe CallA HoaxThe Nightwatchman. Other directing credits include: for Griffin and Bell Shakespeare: The Literati; for Bell Shakespeare: The School for WivesTwelfth Night; for Belvoir: That FaceThis HeavenHalf and HalfA Number, 7 BlowjobsLadybird; for Hayes Theatre Company: Darlinghurst Nights; for Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC): Hay Fever and David Williamson’s Rupert, which toured to Washington DC as part of the World Stages International Arts Festival and to Sydney’s Theatre Royal in 2014; for Sydney Theatre Company: HonourLove-Lies-BleedingZEBRA!; for Darwin Festival: Highway of Lost Hearts.

Lloyd Newson
Lloyd Newson is a director, dancer and choreographer. He formed DV8 Physical Theatre and has led the company since its inception in 1986. His work, be it for stage or film, has won more than 50 National and International awards. He has been cited by the Critics Circle as being one of the hundred most influential artists working in Britain during the last hundred years. In 2013, Newson was awarded an OBE from Her Majesty the Queen for services to contemporary dance. His work has had a dynamic impact on contemporary dance and theatre.

Mark Fletcher
Mark Fletcher is a conservative writer based in Canberra. He writes about politics, atheism, legal theory, and popular culture, and tweets at @ClothedVillainy

Anne Henderson
Anne Henderson AM is the Deputy Director of The Sydney Institute and editor of The Sydney Papers Online. She is also the author of a number of books on Australian politics and history – including Getting Even – Women MPs on Life Power and Politics (1999), Enid Lyons – Leading Lady to a Nation (2008), Joseph Lyons – The People’s Prime Minister (2011) and, most recently, Menzies at War which was shortlisted in 2915 for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for history. Anne Henderson is also an occasional guest commentator on ABC TV’s The Drum.

David Finnigan
David Finnigan is a writer, theatre-maker and game developer. He works at the intersection of science and art, producing participatory works that explore concepts from game theory, complex systems science, network theory and resilience. David is a Fellow of the Churchill Foundation and the Australia Council for the Arts. He has been a resident artist at University College London, Tanghalang Pilipino in Manila, and Campos de Gutierrez in Colombia. David is the founder of two Australian performing arts festivals: the Crack Theatre Festival in Newcastle and the You Are Here Festival in Canberra. He is the co-founder of science-theatre ensemble Boho and an artistic associate of UK company Coney and Filipino company the Sipat Lawin Ensemble.

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