For poetry that means taking seriously ideas like artists-in-residence and re-thinking the English department as a site of potential. Moreover, it means thinking through some of the ideological unconsciousness that exists in the English department as it is configured in Australia.
The bush setting, for many festivals, is meant to be a celebration of human interaction with nature, so waste management and environmentally conscious operations are very important, both to the local area and to the attendees.
The language itself is a blanket, or a white sheet thrown over those bodies. It suffocates any debate or talk of alternatives. What does it even mean to distinguish between economic refugees and the regular kind, when those who flee poverty are driven to attempt such a dangerous crossing? ‘No one would put their children in boats unless the sea is safer than land,’ as the phrase attributed to Somali-British writer Warshan Shire goes.
It is deeply disturbing for any Minister to attempt to directly control the kinds of culture produced in a democracy that values freedom of expression. We want to continue the Australian tradition of arts funding being independent of any political influence. The Minister himself has previously argued that art will always provoke debate, ‘that’s why we have an arms-length and peer-reviewed structure for the allocation for the funding’. What he now proposes is precisely the opposite.
In Mad Max: Fury Road, normative masculinity is not just broken, it is literally diseased. Survival for women in this film in many ways relies on their ability to find a way forward beyond often contradictory tribal manifestation of the kind of bat-shit crazy masculinity that can only be deemed ‘unreal’ if you are privileged enough to see no problem with the current gender political status quo.