Content discontent

Type
Polemic
Category
Art
Journalism

At the same time, the arts are struggling in an environment of reduced funding, static operating grants and straitened private giving. Institutions work within increasingly fixed parameters: the dimensions of a gallery or a stage; the production requirements of a tour; the marketing schedule of a festival; the presentation slots of a symposium; the artform categories of a funding body. ‘We loved your content!’ enthused a colleague after my talk at their event. ‘That’s not “content”,’ I replied, ‘that’s expertise.’

Screen Shot
OL_DSC05600
Type
Article
Category
Activism
Inequality

In the zone: the story of an occupation in western France

An autonomous project of this scale comes with its own particular politics and tensions, of course, as people attempt to build new systems and ways of living and being while opposing outside forces. Finding ways to manage these tensions, and not be overwhelmed by these forces, will be even more critical in the coming months, as the new Macron government sets its sights on resolving the issue of the airport, and by extension, the ZAD.

2012_Mao-01
Type
Polemic
Category
China
The media

Fear of a yellow planet

The site’s slick GIFs and lack of advertisements tells visitors that this is Serious Journalism. Why, then, does the investigation rely upon the tired tropes of ‘Reds under the Beds’ and the ‘Yellow Peril’ to sow fear regarding the influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Australia?

burnout
Type
Article
Category
Mental health
Work

On burning out

To be ‘burnt out’ suggests that one was alight in the first place, when in fact, the six months prior to finally admitting to myself that I was not fit to work were characterised by a marked absence of vitality usually associated with fire. After only four years of teaching, I felt less like a too-short wick end and more like the smoke that trails after: diffuse and aeriform.

Stockholm, Stockholm, Stockholm, Uppland, Övrigt-Sällskapsliv
Type
Polemic
Category
Racism
Writing

Literary production versus institutional whiteness

Even for those writers of colour who are privileged enough to have had access to university, like myself, the pervasive whiteness of humanities courses within the institutions prove incredibly alienating. Aside from the token week on race that features in many literature courses, classes tend to teach a literary history that barely recognises the contributions of migrants, women and Indigenous authors.

Fair Australia Prize
Type
Announcement
Category
Prizes

The 2017 Fair Australia Prize

This $20,000 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 229, to be launched in Melbourne in early December. Entry is free.

20th Centure Women still (Bening)
Type
Review
Category
Cinema
Feminism

Women to the front

Women in cinema have had their moments, but it’s mostly white men who are always pushed to the fore. In recent years, though, there has been something of a return to women – a gesture towards a different, perhaps kinder, cinema, and a gesture towards women as a whole (as subjects and audiences).

syrian
Type
Article
Category
Activism
Refugees

The precarity of resilience

So how are refugees who have been resettled in the community, as well as those endlessly waiting for their claims to be processed, coping? Can we put these coping mechanisms under the umbrella of ‘resilience’? Wouldn’t this merely provide us shelter from our own affective discomfort? Refugees in precarious conditions are not being served by the discourse of ‘resilience’ that is employed by both sides of politics to sell the idea that certain kinds of migrants are more socially and economically beneficial.

Grenfell protesters
Type
Polemic
Category
Inequality
The media

On politicising tragedy

What these examples demonstrate is that, far from reflecting a politically neutral position, the accusation of politicising something is in itself political, a kind of ‘nothing to see here’ that obfuscates rather than clarifies the true nature of the issue at stake. Not unlike ‘political correctness’ – a term that took off at about the same time – its main utility as a pejorative lies in its virtual meaninglessness, giving its users a way of avoiding a problem they’d rather not confront.

Turkey2
Type
Article
Category
Far right
Violence

Like flames to a mosque

What is most alarming, and consistent, about these attacks is the focus that white nationalists and right-wing terrorists place on targeting houses of worship, whether mosques, synagogues, prayer rooms, Sikh temples or Black churches. Hate crimes are, of course, opportunistic, but it is worth examining why places of worship are represented more highly than other public spaces.