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Type
Polemic
Category
Capitalism
Health

Beyond antidepressants

Antidepressants work. For me, they have helped lift me out of a deep slump, but had I been prescribed them alone, I would not have sought – with the help of a fantastic psychologist – a deeper understanding of myself; one that acknowledged that my depression was partly existential anguish at the direction my life had taken. An unpromising job market had made me desperate for work, which compounded my own personal anxieties about pleasing people, making it harder to leave a job I hated.

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Type
Reflection
Category
Activism
Deinstitutionalisation

Restoring the future: on the closure of Italy’s asylums

This week forty years ago, Italy became the first country in the world to legislate the closure of its asylums. The law was drafted by a psychiatrist and member of the governing Christian Democratic party, Bruno Orsini, but was known from the outset as ‘Basaglia Law’, after the leader of the movement that pushed for that radical and in some ways paradoxical reform.

Nakba_Tatour Image
Type
Essay
Category
History
Violence

A history of Palestinian dispossession

The mass expulsion of Palestinians was overwhelming in its scope. Arab Palestine was erased and replaced with Jewish Israel. It is estimated that between 750,000 and 900,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes and became refugees in the aftermath of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. About 500 villages were destroyed and Palestinian cities were purged of their Arab residents. Only 160,000 Palestinians remained in what became Israel. But Nakba Day is as much about the present as it is about the past.

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Type
Reflection
Category
Israel
Palestine

Reconciling the Nakba

I don’t remember the second time I heard about the Nakba, but I can see its traces every day.

I see it when my friends are separated from their families and arbitrarily denied movement on their own land.

I see it when soldiers enter private homes in the middle of the night just because they can, terrorising children.

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Type
Announcement
Category
Events
Feminism

Overland at the 2018 Feminist Writers Festival

Friday 25–Sunday 27 May, Queen Victoria Women’s Centre

Three days of feminist politics, feminist perspectives and collective solutions. Catch the editor of Overland Jacinda Woodhead, with fiction editor Jennifer Mills and writer Natalie Kon-yu in conversation on mentorship in the arts – then stick around for special event presented by Overland on writing and activism with Santilla Chingaipe, Tarneen Onus-Williams and Asher Wolf.

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Type
Polemic
Category
Higher education
Writing

What I learnt from my PhD (in creative writing)

Last year I was fortunate enough to have the creative component of my PhD published as a novel. Would I say my PhD has taught me how to write novels? I think, rather, it helped me write that one. As Helen Garner has famously said, ‘we have to learn to write again for each new book’. For context, I’d already had one novel published; for further context, that too had been developed through a higher education program – a masters. Clearly I’m in favour of formal learning, but coming to the end of our highest arts degree I’ve been reflecting on what, exactly, it’s taught me.

Japenese Prison Labour_crop
Type
Article
Category
Labour
New Zealand
Prison

The house John Doe built: the hidden history of prison labour in New Zealand

In a first for the inmates of Rimutaka Prison – one of New Zealand’s largest carceral sites located thirty kilometres north of Wellington – a house constructed with prison labour was recently added to the stock of Housing New Zealand. The house was lifted over the razor wire and out of the prison compound by crane, and politicians and prison officials were on hand to make the most of the moment.

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Type
Polemic
Category
Alienation
Technology

Shopping for love on the meat market

On several dates, usually between the fourth and fifth beer, my companion and I have found common ground over our mutual disdain for the whole hellish ritual of online dating, only for one of us to ask resignedly, ‘But how else do you meet someone these days?’ It feels impossible to stave off the inexorable force of the ever-encroaching market.

third
Type
Article
Category
Aboriginal Australia
War

Enduring silence: Anzac Day and the Frontier Wars

In 1788, the Australian continent itself was attacked by marauding invaders who, through a long and deliberate program of dispossession, sought to exterminate its robust, existent nations. Memorials to European wars dominate the civic space and lexicon of even the smallest Australian town, but for the Frontier Wars there is yet no national monument, no commemorative day, no museum and no outpouring of government funds.

cub-crop
Type
Review
Category
Art

It stinks, but not of Melbourne

Urban studies researchers working with residents of Polish cities have found that common perceptions of smells in daily life reveal much about how people feel about change and place. The smells people notice are often linked to broader social, political and economic conditions. In Poland, for example, life smells less like the vegetables in grocery stores and the natural environment of the past under socialism, and more like the petrol stations and supermarket air conditioning of capitalism in the present.

freedom
Type
Essay
Category
Language
Palestine

Language, law and laudateurs: understanding the response to the Great March of Return

Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray lamented the importance of words when he mused ‘How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel!’ However, in the modern, post-truth reality that we live in, words are often cruel without being clear or vivid, and have been cleverly employed by international media in describing the Israeli response to the Great March of Return protests.