This month, culturemaker Noelle Faulkner reflects on the state of the world as we know it and why we need to be talking more.

I woke up this morning to a Facebook "On this Day " alert, it simply said "F*CK THIS. *sets alarm for 2017*". It was a direct reference to the news that Leonard Cohen had died, who that year joined a crazy number of celebrities who passed in 2016. Remember when we used to look at the news and when a celebrity's name was trending, death was the first thing that sprang to mind? And what's the first thought that springs to mind in 2017? "Oh god, not him too. " Funny how things can change!

It disgusts me to think that this is what it's taken to empower women around the world to speak up - and by that I mean Hollywood. Celebrity. Some high-powered heavyweights in the public eye, who are just unfortunate enough to still be alive - don't start me on the dead abusers we still celebrate. We all know a Harvey Weinstein, a Louis C.K., a Kevin Spacey, probably many... and it's taken this long and a celebrity scandal for us to speak up? Depressing.  

I guess the silver lining is a reminder that everything has a veneer. It's often not noticeable until it's cracked - look what it took to shatter the glossy, perfect shine of the entertainment industry, which we all know deep down is rotten at the core, feeding on youth, loneliness, vulnerability and sex. We know Hollywood is run by pieces of s**t, we just didn't know exactly what went on behind closed doors. The same can be said for many industries. And so, beyond that, the even shinier silver lining, is that finally truths about how women and LGBTQIA-identifying are treated in daily life, all around the world are being revealed and more importantly, listened to and acknowledged - the grabbing, locker room chat, the grey area of consent, the domestic abuse, emotional abuse, the expected complicity. The best thing to come out of this? Conversation.

My long-winded point here is that everyone has a front, everyone has a story, everyone has demons - and everyone can create small changes.  I think the lesson we're all being taught by the state of the world we live in right now is that there is empowerment in conversation, knowledge and awareness and kindness.

Where normally, I would muse on here about the jacaranda trees, the November slump we all feel, the beauty of the last month of spring in Australia before we start upping our antiperspirant count - it just didn't feel right.   

While there are always the fun spring-y things you can do with friends this month, I've made sure to include a bunch of ways to open your third eye, to learn, to speak up, to see, hear and do; to help spark those conversations that kinda just make this world a better place - from touching on mental health with artist Yayoi Kusama and an Amy Winehouse exhibition, or sexuality  with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe to the crazy-fun vibes of Queer festival Feast Festival in Adelaide. After this week's history-making same-sex marriage vote result, these conversations are more important than ever.  

Follow Noelle:
Website: noellefaulkner.com
Instagram: @noelleflamingo
Twitter: @noelleflamingo 

The Buro 24/7 culture guide: November 2017