But rather than reconsider their racist ‘solution’ to Australia’s nuclear waste problem – that is, dumping it on Aboriginal land – the Abbott government is desperately trying to find another remote site. The NT government is actively assisting, with Chief Minister Adam Giles upping the ante and supporting the idea that an international nuclear dump could be the antidote to Aboriginal poverty.
More positively, socialist realism was centrally concerned, as a Soviet ideologue put it, with promoting ‘revolutionary romanticism’, expressing in literature ‘the very soul of the proletariat, its passion and its love’.
David Foster Wallace’s unfinished novel The Pale King appeared trailing clouds of hagiography when published in 2011. References to his suicide were frequent but circumspect, usually alluding to his use of anti-depressant medication, of which Foster Wallace himself was reportedly too ashamed to speak.
In English it’s called the right to be forgotten, but the French, who were the first to legislate it, call it le droit à l’oubli – the right to oblivion – evoking not just the state of being forgotten but also forgetting, not merely being overlooked but also ceasing to be.
Why, then, do Romani victims of the Holocaust remain peripheral to historical memory? Part of the answer is that majority populations in Europe continue to use Roma as a racialised scapegoat. In contemporary Australia, it is rightly considered offensive to refer to Jewish people by the derogatory terms used by the Nazi regime.