Michael Leunig On Antidotes to Dark Times [Melbourne]

Michael Leunig On Antidotes to Dark Times [Melbourne]
90 mins

'Art is about the messy and marvellous business of coming to your senses - and also, to the senses of the world.'

– Michael Leunig

Cartoonist and philosopher Michael Leunig discusses how we can look with tenderness and humour at the daily parade of human horrors, wonders and absurdities.    

Modern life can feel like an injury. We sense a prevailing madness and find ourselves becoming exhausted and fed up with the news, losing faith in our world leaders and can’t seem to remember the last time we laughed until we cried. Where might we find relief, sustenance and perspective on the ailments of the modern human condition? How can we begin to look with tenderness and humour on the generic sorrows of humanity?


Join The School of Life as cartoonist and philosopher Michael Leunig shares six avenues of consolation as our soulful voice of reason. Drawing on works from his twentieth collection of cartoons Ducks for Dark Times, Leunig will explore how ideas such as melancholy, joy, sanity, mystery, beauty and small pleasures can console and guide us towards a greater understanding of life’s darker sides.


Michael Leunig is a master of improbable satire and simple expressions of care and hope. His cartoons use deft and spirited humour that help us through the malaise, and can support us in making sense of negative and horrific events. We will leave with new insights into how we can lean into the darkness and the unknown, accept melancholy as part of lives, and find joy and beauty in the uncertainty of our daily lives.

About Michael Leunig

Michael Leunig is an Australian cartoonist who tries valiantly to live in Melbourne where he was born, but often seeks refuge in the bush of north-eastern Victoria. His work has been widely published overseas, and has been adapted in Australia for television, theatre, musical composition and radio. The Penguin Leunig, his first book of collected cartoons, was published in 1974, and since then he has produced twenty-three more collections. His many titles include The Travelling Leunig, Ramming the Shears, Everyday Devils and Angels, You and Me, Short Notes from the Long History of Happiness, Why Dogs Sniff Each Other's Tails, Goatperson and Other Tales, The Curly Pyjama Letters, The Stick, Poems, Strange Creature and The Lot

Ducks for Dark Times comprises pieces that have previously appeared in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.

About Special Events

Leading writers, economists, historians, philosophers, psychologists, artists and other thinkers offer provocation, inspiration and consolation in the form of advice for living better. Speakers for this strand have been invited by The School of Life to present their own material. Session formats will vary depending on the subject.

The School of Life for Business

At The School of Life, we believe that emotional maturity is the key to better employee performance and engagement. Alongside technical skills, employees who can master a range of sophisticated, 'soft' emotional skills are better able to thrive, manage themselves and succeed at their work. Our Learning and Development programme is designed to build emotional maturity in the workplace through the teaching of 20 core Emotional Skills. View our brochure or contact us to learn more.

This event is also running in Sydney - please click here to find tickets.


General Admission: $35.00 
Concession: $25.00 
(+ $2 booking fee and 1.5% CC fee)

If you require Auslan interpretation, please book tickets and email melbourne@theschooloflife.com.au to notify our team.

Please note that we are unable to offer refunds or transfers with less than 7 days cancellation notice before the original class date.

For ticketing and box office enquiries please call 0434 492 669 or email melbourne@theschooloflife.com.au.

Vouchers for our Australia-wide program of events and classes and product from our Melbourne shop are available for purchase online.

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