(ARTS HUB) – In late 2014, Canberra's Aspen Island Theatre Company received $18,793 from Arts ACT for the creative development of David Finnigan's provocatively-titled play, "Kill Climate Deniers."
The backlash which followed – including complaints by conservative columnist Andrew Bolt and the ACT's Shadow Arts Minister Brendan Smyth – resulted in a short-lived scandal which was soon forgotten by most of the arts community.
Now Finnigan is preparing to reignite the controversy by launching an e-book of the play at Canberra's upcoming You Are Here festival, in conjunction with a panel discussion about the merits of government funding for politically sensitive art.
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A writer and theatre-maker whose work sits at the intersection of art and science, Finnigan said Kill Climate Deniers grew out of discussions with Aspen Island Theatre Company's Julian Hobba.
'We got really interested in talking about the climate debate, and we were wondering why it was that in Australia the debate had stalled so badly; what is it about this country? And then we moved on to asking what would it take to shift the debate forward again – what would it actually take to generate real political change?' said Finnigan.