Still mulling over ideas for your Fair Australia Prize entry? Judges Carina Garland, Sam Wallman and Jacinda Woodhead have come up with a reading/watching list that may help.
Carina Garland, judge for Fair Australia Prize – Poetry
‘The greyhound ban and the working man: what exactly does “working class culture” mean?’ I loved this piece exploring class, culture and politics through the recent ban on greyhound racing by Jeff Sparrow. It’s a really rich article, with lots of ideas to ponder about contemporary Australia and the notion of ‘working class culture’.
The new Jacobin: ‘Rank and File’: I’m looking forward to this, it looks to be an excellent read. This piece about the history of capitalism and neoliberalism (making important distinctions between the two), the conditions that have produced the current global political situation, and the ‘politics of daily life’ is engaging and thoughtful.
‘Why I’m going to scream if one more person denies that there is sexism on the left’: A provocative, timely contribution to the Labour leadership debate in the UK that examines, gender, the notion of ‘merit’, and argues that progressives need to confront their own sexism in politics. This is an observation and analysis that is probably not discussed and debated enough.
Sam Wallman, judge for Fair Australia Prize – Cartoon/graphic
‘Stop Calling Bigots Bogans’ by Scott Arthurson: Throughout ashtrayan history, most of the big wins the Left has successfully fought have been thanks to the organising of working-class people. And yet, a lot of young people dismiss the working class as bogans. A lot of the working class dismiss young people as hipsters. And never the two shall meet.
‘Why the Rich Love Burning Man’ by Keith A Spencer: There are a lot of optical illusions these days, lots of individualistic movements presenting themselves with an aesthetic of radicalism. None of them seem to address structural issues. Burning Man festival is number one on my list of left-wing mirages, followed by Uber’s free bottle of water for every passenger (paid for by the driver). Much agile. So innovate.
‘The Case Against Sharing’: Susie Cagle produces the best comics-journalism on planet earth. This is a graphic essay that’s a couple of years old, a neat critique of the ‘sharing economy’.
‘Unpaid Internships Must Be Destroyed’: Matt Bors somehow simultaneously makes insecure and precarious work seem like a ginormous and horrific monolith, but also energises and mobilises you to want to fight and oranise against it.
‘Why we Fight Uber’: Jacobin is good at publishing work that is really accessible, without being reductive.
Jacinda Woodhead, judge for Fair Australia Prize – Essay
If you’re in Melbourne tonight, there’s the launch of the short documentary, The women who were never there, about the anti-discrimination campaign against BHP. At Victorian Trades Hall from 6.30pm.
The screening makes me think of the superb filmic depictions of struggle and labour activism I’ve seen over the past couple of years – Death in Sarajevo (which screened just last week at MIFF); Two Days, One Night; A Touch of Sin; Pride.
It’s a little older but Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony, available on YouTube, documents the anti-apartheid movement, and how critical music was to that struggle.
While on the subject of South Africa, I’d also recommend Sisonke Msimang’s essay in our latest issue, ‘End of the rainbow’, which documents the rise of the Fallists, whose protests shut down all of South Africa’s twenty-six universities last year. And while still in South Africa, District 9 is a fantastic film about resistance (and far superior to Independence Day or its resurgence).
Obviously there are the classics, too: Land and Freedom (or anything by Ken Loach, really), On the Waterfront, Salt of the Earth (also available on YouTube).
As for articles:
This New York Times piece on Kurdish refugees in Japan illustrates, yet again, how damaging closed borders are to refugees.
Jack Latimore and Clare Land’s ‘Why another Royal Commission when the recommendations of the last one continue to gather dust?‘ would make good reading for those writers and artists thinking about alternative forms of justice.
This interview with the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee on labour organising in US prisons is terrifically thought-provoking.
Lastly, I’d recommend basically any episode of Democracy Now!.
Writers and artists, enter our Fair Australia Prize!
*How do we make a fair society? What are the things that need to change?
*What would a sustainable future or a just justice system look like?
*How can we improve labour or employment practices?
*What might a fairer planet look like in twenty years?
Closes 31 August. Visit the 2016 Overland NUW Fair Australia Prize page for details. Of course, there are more reading suggestions to be found in the background material for the Fair Australia Prize. Entry is free.