The 2008 Festival was as wide ranging, profound and enjoyable as ever, with its wealth of riches covering fiction, nonfiction, poetry, journalism, scriptwriting, film, new media and much more.
The idea of vision underpinned the 2008 program. Australia had a new government; the US was in an election year; the immediacy of climate change continues to be impressed upon us: these are just some of the events preoccupying us at this point in time. It is a time of setting targets and goals, of looking backwards to see where we have been as we envision what lies ahead. Future imaginings; utopian dreamings; dystopian visions; fear of annihilation and the drive towards conservation; reconciliation and indigenous politics; an altered sense of personal and civic responsibility; mobilising and political activism; hope and optimism all feature strongly in the sessions.
I am delighted that the Festival had two wonderful new venues at Pier 2/3. This further expands our buzzing hub at Walsh Bay and is an exciting step forward. This year, in recognition of our very successful School Days, we introduced a host of events for children on the Festival Sunday, complementing our popular School Days.
Many of the world’s greatest writers and thinkers converged in Sydney in May 2008; it is well worth closely studying our enhanced website which now has extended biographies and session notes and lots of tips to help you to create your personal Festival schedule.
Thanks to NRMA Insurance, we continued to be a climate friendly Festival, offsetting a percentage of our carbon emissions and minimising as best we can the environmental impact of the Festival.
A cast of thousands contributes to the Festival, from the writers themselves to our core funding bodies, corporate supporters and private donors, publishers and industry bodies. Warm thanks to all of you.
Live well, read books.
Artistic Director and Chief Executive