This month we’re pleased to partner with one of Australia’s consistently outstanding journals, Griffith REVIEW, to examine ideas about Australia’s identity and our place in the world.

With its eclectic mix of essays, reportage, memoir and fiction, Griffith REVIEW throws a whole bunch of exciting ideas into the life of our country every three months. Under distinguished editor Julianne Schultz, Griffith REVIEW has won some of the nation’s most prestigious literary and journalism prizes and plays an important role in deepening public debate in Australia.

Coming up on 27 August, the Brisbane Institute will explore Griffith REVIEW 37 Small World: Postcards and intelligence from everywhere. Roaming the world and testing stereotypes will be writers Melissa Lucashenko, Kristina Olsson, Patrick Holland and Stephanie Green in conversation with Julianne Schultz and ABC Big Ideas’ Paul Barclay. You can find out more information about this event and register here.

To help set the mood for the panel, in this month’s edition of Brisbane Line we have two articles from Small World.

In ‘Harpooned’, Sam Vincent finds Australia’s bigger role in the world is accompanied by greater scrutiny of our ideas and mistakes. In Japan, he finds bumper stickers that provide an insight into who we seem.

Brisbane artist Pat Hoffie looks at how we shape our idea of Australia in ‘I heart travel’. Uncovering shifts in perspective that help to define us, Hoffie sees unexpected glimpses of who we are in bumper stickers at a roadside stall in Bali.

‘Small World’ is our second Griffith REVIEW forum this year. Some of you attended ‘What is Australia For?’, our panel that featured Pat Hoffie along with John Kane, Brendan Gleeson and Stefan Hajkowicz. Broadcast on Radio National’s Big Ideas you can hear it here.

This month’s Brisbane Line also features articles examining our Australian identity from the Grifffith REVIEW 36 What is Australia For?

In the first, ‘The land at the end of the world’, Michael Wesley presents a long sweep through history to view Australia as an expression of the genius and destiny of the Anglo-Saxon people. Unfortunately he finds this view has come crashing down with the turn of the millennium. Nothing has proceeded according to the script. Planes crash into buildings, diplomatic secrets become common reading and financial systems stop. Wesley tells us what he thinks might be next for Australia.

Finally, in ‘Pissed off’, Elspeth Muir tells a story about the city at night, any city, but also Brisbane city. It’s a story of drink, excess and consequences. It will make you think.

If you enjoyed this issue of the Brisbane Line you might like to become a subscriber to Griffith REVIEW. The link’s here. As a subscriber you’ll get a new issue every three months. It’s great reading!