Published 9 June 201016 June 2010 · Main Posts Maxine Beneba Clarke on Australia’s unexamined racism admin In her essay, ‘White Australia has a blackface history’, Maxine Clarke looks at the past, present and personal of blackface in Australia: 8 October 2009 The woman across the aisle from me on the train was reading a newspaper. She squinted at the picture on the cover, chuckling to herself. I leaned over to see what she was smiling about. Her eyes met mine and she quickly folded the paper in quarters, turned it over on her lap and stared out the window. Curious, I looked around at the other passengers. A patchwork of open newspapers stared back at me. On all the covers was a photograph of four men dressed in white suits, faces smeared in black face paint, heads covered with shiny polyester afro wigs. ‘Hey Hey Left Redfaced’ announced the front-page slogan. Hey Hey It’s Saturday had aired a skit with four blacked-up performers playing the Jackson Five, with the Michael character appearing in whiteface. American musician Harry Connick Jr, a guest judge, voiced his disgust: ‘If they turned up looking like that in the United States, it would be like, “Hey, hey, there’s no more show!”’ He awarded the performers a zero. Backstage, host Daryl Somers reluctantly negotiated an on-air apology with Connick. When it came, the apology was issued specifically to the musician himself, rather than to people of colour or any offended viewers. ‘Are those clowns, Mum? Can I go and see the clown show?’ my three-year-old responded when I absentmindedly plonked a copy of the paper down on the coffee table. I sighed, looked down at him and ran a hand through his curls – we had been here before. If I were Winston in Orwell’s dystopia, the door in the interrogation chamber would lead to a Westfield mall the size of New South Wales and I would betray family and friend alike to escape it. Yet somehow my search for an extension to my son’s wooden train set had led me to Chadstone: the suburban shopping mall to swallow all suburban shopping malls. Read the rest of the essay. admin More by admin Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 25 May 202326 May 2023 · Television The ‘Chinese question’ and colonial capitalism in New Gold Mountain Christy Tan SBS’s New Gold Mountain sets out to recover the history of the Gold Rush from the marginalised perspective of Chinese settlers but instead reinforces the erasure of Indigenous sovereignty. Although celebrated for its multilingual script and diverse representation, the mini-TV series ignores how the settlement of Chinese migrants and their recruitment into colonial capitalism consolidates the ongoing displacement of First Nations peoples. First published in Overland Issue 228 15 February 202322 February 2023 · Main Posts Self-translation and bilingual writing as a transnational writer in the age of machine translation Ouyang Yu To cut a long story short, it all boils down to the need to go as far away from oneself as possible before one realizes another need to come back to reclaim what has been lost in the process while tying the knot of the opposite ends and merging them into a new transformation.