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Do Artists’ Morals Matter?


Sat 8 May 2021, 12:00pm–1:00pm

Where: Kiwi Hall, 62 Bell Street, Featherston, Wairarapa

Restrictions: All Ages

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  • General Admission: $16.38 ($15.00 + $1.38 fees)
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Listed by: BooktownNZ

“Cancel culture” has invaded the Aotearoa New Zealand literary and arts worlds – principally sparked off by the revelation, in The Spinoff, that in John Weir’s edition of James K Baxter’s letters the famous New Zealand poet admitted that he had raped his wife. This provoked outrage, including calls for Baxter’s legacy to be critically re-examined in light of the revelations. One academic has stated, "If I were a prospective graduate student now, I wouldn't go near [Baxter]. There are many other good writers to study who aren't tainted in this way."

This session, chaired by broadcaster and polymath, Ian Fraser, and featuring a feisty and opinionated panel – of writer and lawyer Bran Gnanalingam, senior North & South editor Madeleine Chapman and biologist Danyl Mclauchlan (Tranquillity and Ruin) will explore these questions and more. Expect sparks to fly and literary and artistic reputations to be ruthlessly reviewed.