Creative Witnessing: Andrew Quilty and Ben Quilty (Spring Fling) [Melbourne]
Creative Witnessing: Andrew Quilty and Ben Quilty (Spring Fling) [Melbourne]

Event Information


Saturday October 7, 2023
4:00 PM


The Edge,
Federation Square
Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Auslan Interpreter/s

Linda D'Ornay & Romi Pellizzeri

Language/ Cultural Consultant


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Walkley Award-winning photojournalist Andrew Quilty is joined by his cousin, Archibald Prize-winning artist Ben Quilty, to discuss his new book This is Afghanistan.

Photojournalist Andrew Quilty is one of this country’s most distinguished war reporters. Artist Ben Quilty is renowned for his bold, confrontational paintings and political activism. The two also happen to be cousins.

Appearing together in conversation for the first time, they will discuss Andrew’s new book, This is Afghanistan, which offers a unique visual record of this vibrant, complex and resilient country’s last nine years of conflict and turmoil. Ben’s acclaimed portrait series, After Afghanistan, was created during his time as Australia’s Official War Artist in Afghanistan, and presents a deeply impressionist artistic record of the experiences of Australian forces embedded in that country.

Together, they will reflect on the immense responsibility of bearing witness through the camera lens and on the canvas. They’ll consider the power of photography and art to shed light on conflict and human rights, and the moral imperative not to look away.

Diana Sayed, CEO of the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights, will open the event, followed by a keynote address from Shuja Jamal. A researcher, advocate and the former director-general for international relations on Kabul’s National Security Council, Jamal will speak to the current political and social reality in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of Western forces.

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