This is the Capitoline Venus, the Roman copy of a second-century BC Greek original which ordinarily graces the hall of the Capitoline Museums in Rome. She’s in the so-called ‘modest’ position as per the canon of the Venus pudica, the left hand covering the groin, the right hand doing a rather poor job of concealing the breasts. However, even this proverbial modesty was deemed insufficient last month, when it was decided to place the Venus in a box – or rather, to build a box around her – to protect the sensibility of visiting dignitaries.
Sport has been at the centre of Australia’s national identity since the early days of white occupation. The sporting field is, today, one of the few places Australia is confident in projecting itself internationally. And to do so assumes a certain level of competence over an extended period, based on hard work and honed skills – not smarter cheating.
It’s important to acknowledge the limits of Andrews’ position. He has written to the Prime Minister offering to host the 267 refugees currently bound for Nauru in Victoria. He hasn’t explicitly opposed mandatory detention or offshore processing, nor has he outlined a specific policy approach that deals with refugees more systemically. It has also been reported that he voted for offshore processing at Labor’s national conference last year.
This book trawls dirt, gluttony, desire, migrant labour. To say it is ‘amusing’ doesn’t quite cut it.
In 2016, the Academy Awards clearly has its own ideological issues. But these stories and hashtags like #OscarsSoWhite demand we remember the long history of this institutionally sanctioned white privilege in particular.