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how we desire

Carolin Emcke

Gay. Straight. Male. Female. The borders of our identity are defined by norms of gender and sexuality. But what if we had a more expansive view? 

Hosted by Fenella Kernebone. 

In the Studio


How We Desire is a beautiful account of discovering and rediscovering one's identity." 

Otago Daily Times

It's time to rethink how we desire

Our understanding of gender and sexuality is often limited to narrow labels. But what happens when we desire beyond borders?

Renowned German philospher and journalist Carolin Emcke's book, How We Desire, explores the way norms restrict us and gently criticises our attachments to clear and defined lines. Her personal story encompasses playground conformity, encountering unruly desire as a lesbian and finding an unlikely sexual freedom in warzones and foreign cultures. Most importantly, she asks if we can imagine a future beyond the existing norms of erotic connection.

How can we broaden the possibilities of a heterosexist society to become truly free? Expand your ideas about gender, sexuality and identity in this unmissable session.

This session is supported by Goethe-Institut

More about...

Carolin Emcke

Carolin Emcke was born in 1967. She studied philosophy, politics and history in London, Frankfurt and at Harvard. From 1998 to 2013 she reported from war and crisis zones including Kosovo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Gaza and Haiti. She has written a number of books, and in 2016 she received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, which has also been won by Svetlana Alexievich, Orhan Pamuk and Susan Sontag. How We Desire is her first book to be translated into English.

Fenella Kernebone 

Fenella Kernebone is the Head of Curation for TEDxSydney, and also curator of youth program, TEDxYouth@Sydney and TEDxSydney Salons. Fenella is a noted television and radio presenter and producer, MC, interviewer and writer. Her hosting roles have included Radio National’s By Design, The Sound Lab on Triple J, Art Nation and Sunday Arts on ABC TV and The Movie Show on SBS TV. She is currently hosting a new podcast through AFTRS called Lumina, about stories and how new technology is changing the way we tell them.

Session supported by 

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