It seems to me that in thinking about art and politics – that is, either in thinking about art and politics at the same time, as parts of the same regime, as Jacques Rancière might have it; or as ontologically separate conditions, as Alain Badiou would have it – one of the key themes is the rapport and/or divergence between diversity (in an artistic sense) and democracy.
Remember Adam Baldwin? He’s an actor who starred in cult sci-fi series Firefly back in 2002, and a couple of other shows in the years since. Most recently, he is known as the shit-stirrer who coined the term ‘Gamergate’ in a tweet linking to allegations of corruption on the part of a game developer – allegations that were quickly debunked. Since then, Baldwin and the movement have moved on to several other targets.
The prize encourages artists and writers of fiction, poetry and essays to be part of setting a new agenda for Australia. Winning entries will be published in a special Fair Australia supplement in Overland 220, to be launched in Melbourne in August. Entry is free.
It may be incorrect to say that Primo Levi was a chemist before he was a writer, but possibly no other writer has ever owed more to his or her other profession than he. Not just life, in the literal sense of surviving the Lager, then later the vocation to write in order to bear witness of those atrocities, but a worldview: a method for understanding both chemistry and writing as meaning-making activities.
The Syriza victory has been won by years of hard campaigning across the country by people who never expected to be close to power, much less take it, and the night is theirs.