At the start of 2020, no one could have predicted that the global aviation industry would be–could be–grounded, and then in various states of financial freefall. The airport, once the locus of productivity, is now relatively quiet. Our speakers offer entertaining, thought-provoking takes on the airport. Will their requiems feel nostalgic? Zeitgeisty? Problematic? Dystopian? Does the airport even deserve a requiem? After all, just because you’re down, doesn’t mean you’re out. Queue the requiems ...
Steve Braunias is the author of ten books, including Civilisation: Twenty Places on the Edge of the World and The Man Who Ate Lincoln Road. He is a staff writer at the New Zealand Herald and literary editor at Newsroom.
Rajorshi Chakraborti is an Indian-born, Wellington-based writer. He is the author of six novels and a collection of short fiction. His latest novel, Shakti, was published by Penguin Random House in February.
Freya Daly Sadgrove is a writer and performer from Pōneke. She is the architect behind Show Ponies, the event Anna Jackson called 'the poetry highlight of the millennium'. Her first poetry collection, Head Girl, was published in February by Victoria University Press.
Jordan Hamel is a Pōneke-based poet and performer. He was the 2018 New Zealand Poetry Slam champion and represented Aotearoa at the World Poetry Slam Champs in the US. He is co-editor of Stasis Journal and co-editor of a forthcoming climate-change poetry anthology from Auckland University Press. He has words in Poetry NZ, Landfall, The Spinoff, Takahē, Sport, Sweet Mammalian, Mimicry, and elsewhere.
Melissa Laing is an artist, theorist, and curator. Her work focuses on the intersections of ethics, politics, and art. Her recent projects include Boat Dates, an ongoing series of conversational exchanges taking place on water; Controlled Environment Laboratory, a history of the National Climate Laboratory in Palmerston North; and Walking About, a curated series of performative and participatory walks that travel across Auckland with Te Hau ā Uru (the West Wind). Her PhD, from the University of Sydney, focused on the legal, social, and architectural frameworks of international aviation as seen through the lens of contemporary art.