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- When -

Please check your email for venue location and time


- Where -

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- Who -

Our guest lecturer this year is Chinese journalist and comedian Vicky Xiuzhong Xu, you can read more about her below. The lecture will of course also feature at least one compulsory Chaser.


- Why -

All proceeds of the Annual Inaugural Chaser Lecture are donated to the Human Rights Foundation (www.hrf.org). The Human Rights Foundation is the New York based not-for-profit behind the Oslo Freedom Forum, which has been described as "Davos for Dissidents" and has not been described as "Ibitha for Insurgents". It also awards the Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent, a prestigious award won by several previous Chaser Lecturers, and which The Chaser has never even been nominated for.


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The Annual Inaugural Chaser Lecture is presented each year by an international guest who is involved in comedy/satire, usually someone from a country where people do not have the freedom of speech that The Chaser has been fortunate enough to abuse in Australia.

The Annual Inaugural is a Charity Dinner and Media Lecture, as well as a full scale parody of charity dinner and self-important media lecture.

The Annual Inaugural Chaser Lecture is an entirely fabricated tradition which began in 2015, when The Chaser tricked Bassem Youssef - “Egypt’s Jon Stewart” - into giving The Sixteenth Inaugural Chaser Lecture.

    The Lecture surprised everyone by returning again in 2016, where Indonesia’s first female Islamic stand-up comedian, Sakdiyah Ma’ruf, presented The Sesquicentennial Inaugural Chaser Lecture. In 2017, Venezuela’s answer to The Onion “El Chiguire Bipolar” delivered The Umpteenth Inaugural Chaser Lecture, and in 2018 The Perennial Inaugural Chaser Lecture was given by Nigerian satirical journalist Adeola Fayehun.

Now in it's fifth year, the lecture is pleased to present Chinese journalist and comedian Vicky Xiuzhong Xu, an Australian resident who angered Chinese authorities with her outspoken views.



INSPIRING SPEAKERS
IN AN AUSTERE SETTING
WITH A SIDE OF SILLY

Is this all some sort of joke?

Sort of. The Annual Inaugural Chaser Lecture & Dinner is:

  • one of those self-important media lectures (a bit like the Edinburgh Festival’s McTaggert Lecture but infinitely less respectable);
  • one of the those black tie charity dinners; but also
  • a full scale parody of both.

It's full of jokes, but is not a total joke because all proceeds go to a selected charity that supports freedom of speech, currently the Human Rights Foundation (www.hrf.org), which also runs the Vaclav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent.












The world’s most mathematically challenging table numbers were described as “extremely funny” by guests and “extremely unhelpful” by the 2016 Venue Manager.

The comprehensively misleading dinner menu including “carpaccio of koala served in a funnel-web jus” was slammed by animal rights groups as “very bad taste”, which is also how guests described the actual entree.



Vicky Xu

Chaser Lecturer 2019

A true advocate of free speech

We are pleased to announce that The Inevitable Inaugural Chaser Lecture on 22 August 2019 will be presented by Chinese journalist and comedian Vicky Xiuzhong Xu.

Vicky Xu is a journalist and stand-up comedian from China. She was trained to read propaganda news in China, but wasn’t very good at that and ended up dropping out. She went on to work for the ABC and The New York Times in Australia, where she wrote a number of articles that angered the Chinese authorities. With no prospects of returning home safely anytime soon, she invites her audience to laugh at Chinese politics with her in her comedy routines.

Videos

- The 2019 Lecture -

Vicky Xu

- The 2016 Lecture -

Introductory Speeches

Sakdiyah Maruf

Dicko gets decked

- The 2015 Lecture -

Introductory Speeches

Bassem Youssef

Q&A



About the HRF

The world leaders in advocating for free speech

Uniting the world to stand against tyranny.

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a non-profit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on promoting freedom of speech in locations where it is not a guaranteed right. The Foundation organizes the Oslo Freedom Forum every year, which brings together notable people, including former heads of state, winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, prisoners of conscience, as well as of other public figures in order to network and exchange ideas about human rights and exposing dictatorships.

Previous lectures



2015: The 16th Inaugural Chaser Lecture
Bassem Youssef

Dubbed "the Jon Stewart of the Middle East" by none other than Jon Stewart himself, Bassem Youssef is the former cardiothoracic surgeon who created and hosted the TV program Al Bernameg, which won national and international acclaim for its hilarious and bold criticism of Egypt’s ruling elites. Al Bernameg began as a 5-minute show on YouTube during the Arab Spring, and quickly became the most watched show across the Middle East, with over 30 million viewers a week.  Al Bernameg was terminated in 2014 due to political pressure. Bassem Youssef and his family now live outside Egypt for their own safety.

2016: The Sesquicentennial Inaugural Chaser Lecture
Sakdiyah Ma’ruf

Sakdiyah Ma’ruf is a stand-up comedian from Indonesia whose comic routine advocates for individual rights and challenges Islamic fundamentalism. She grew up watching U.S.-based comedians and decided to use the same medium to talk about issues plaguing her own country. Television producers have asked her to censor her jokes, but Ma’ruf, who believes comedy mirrors a culture’s hypocrisy, has refused to be silenced.

“Sakdiyah Ma’ruf is marshaling the use of parody to challenge oppression and extremism—no small risk for a woman in Muslim culture. She is an inspiration,” said Amnesty International Norway Secretary General John Peder Egenæs.

2017: The Umpteenth Inaugural Chaser Lecture
El Chigüire Bipolar

El Chigüire Bipolar is an explosively successful Venezuelan satire site created in 2008 by the Elio Casale, Oswaldo Graziani and Juan Andrés Ravell, a group of friends who saw an opportunity to use online satire to shine a light on the suppression of news by the oppressive Venezuelan government.

El Chigüire was one of the winners of the Václav Havel Prize for the Creative Dissident 2017, in recognition of their outstanding commitment to honestly covering the news. According to Garry Kasparov, secretary Of the Human Rights Foundation, "Their combination of humor coupled with honest uncompromising analysis demonstrate the great power of satire when criticizing authoritarian regimes."

2018: The Perennial Inaugural Chaser Lecture
Adeola Fayehun

Our guest lecturer this year is social media star Adeola Fayehun. Described by The Guardian as "Nigeria's favourite satirist", Adeola is a satirist and journalist who focusses on issues that affect the daily lives of people across the African continent. She achieved global prominence for her 2015 on-street interview - or what Tony Abbott would call a "Chaser-style stunt" - where she asked Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe when he would step down.

Formerly a reporter with SaharaTV, Adeola now hosts the satirical news show Keeping It Real with Adeola on YouTube, where she has amassed a following of more than 200,000 subscribers.

About the Chaser

The Chaser is a satirical media empire which rivals Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in all fields except power, influence, popularity and profitability.

Founded in 1999 as a fortnightly satirical newspaper produced out of a spare bedroom, the team decided to leave behind the highly profitable bedroom print industry in 2001 after being offered a TV contract by Andrew Denton if they agreed to stop stealing his letterbox. Since those humble beginnings, the Chaser team has lost its humility and has produced Classic™ comedy in all media, including print, online, radio, television and Christmas crackers.


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