Jews, refugees and the (im)possibility of history

Type
Article
Category
Activism
History

A few years ago I received a phone call from the current Energy and Resources minister, Josh Frydenberg. He called me in response to an email I had sent only hours earlier on behalf of Jews for Refugees (JFR), drawing his attention to the case of the MV Struma. The Struma was a ship carrying 781 Jewish refugees from Romania that, on 23 February 1942, was towed from the harbour in Istanbul to the Black Sea, leaving the ship adrift. The next day the Struma was torpedoed and sunk by a Russian submarine.

Jewish_refugees_aboard_the_SS_St._Louis_in_Cuba
homeless
Type
Article
Category
Activism
Housing

The hard heart of the city

Until last Friday, around twenty homeless people had set up camp in Melbourne’s City Square, creating shelter where it elsewhere eluded them, as a public petition for more secure, affordable housing in Australia’s second most populous city. The presence of the camp was also a visceral risposte to claims, which appeared in the mainstream media last week, that homeless people had been behaving unpalatably, including asking passers-by for money in an aggressive fashion.

dutton
Type
Article
Category
Politics
Refugees

The problem with demanding a Dutton apology

Yes, Dutton’s comments were insulting. But more inclusive language won’t change the brutal reality of the detention regime. Refugees don’t need an apology from the immigration minister and they don’t need verbal acknowledgements of their capabilities. They need release from the camps in which they’re languishing.

train
Type
Article
Category
Gender
Reading

Bad romance

In recent years, there has been a significant shift in the fiction that appeals to women, reflecting wider cultural changes in the way men and women relate to each other in neoliberal, post-feminist times. The new chick lit is far more daring, dark and subversive. It reflects back the harsh realities of an increasingly competitive and individualistic post-GFC economy and society. While chick lit still addresses the dilemmas of being a modern woman, it increasingly includes noir elements, merging with crime fiction and psychological thrillers. There is a new woman in popular fiction and she is nobody’s fool.