It’s impossible to know how much of what I’ve heard is the truth. The information I’ve received is conflicting. Each storyteller has a vested interest in their narrative. Or, they are frightened of the consequences if they give their full version of the story. What I do know is a tale about Egypt that involves a film festival, now thirty-eight years old.
I decided to go along to a meeting full of people against Trump at the Queer Center in Manhattan. Hundreds of people were there. Being in that room, with queers, I fully felt the brevity of the situation. Many of the older people who took the floor to speak are the reason that I can be an open queer woman today.
On the face of things, this needn’t be fatal to the ABC’s mission as a public sphere broadcaster. The ABC is infamous for its internecine warfare, and its website is a bewildering maze. The national broadcaster can and should do better on certain basic aspects of accessibility and audience engagement.
But it is also true that, in terms of its place and importance in the Australian public sphere, the ABC is in rude health.
Whether you’re an emerging writer or you’ve been around the traps for a while now, Overland is sure to have an opportunity for you.
Unfortunately, while liberal feminists do fight for women’s access to safe, accessible and affordable contraception and abortion, they often ignore or even undermine the related issue of supporting women who choose to carry a pregnancy to term. Too much of the liberal feminist discourse around pro-choice campaigning focuses only on the choice to have an abortion. There is little ‘choice’ or support for women who either can’t or don’t want to undergo a medical termination.
The particular role of the cartoonist in the 21st century remains difficult to gauge. Whenever (and wherever) the official apparatus of censorship is removed, the debate around civility perhaps becomes even more central. This said, in a globally-connected world, cartoonists are still very much looking for their function.
Ecocentric writing and ecophilosophical thought has a more established history in Australia than many would believe. One of the most well-known figures of the field is Val Plumwood, a Sydney local who, in the 1980s and 90s, wrote comprehensively on issues of Australian forestry, the human role in the food web, and the importance of feminist teachings in our perception of ecology.
In specular fashion, Key offered instead a paradoxical continuity: putting the Tories in charge of Labour’s house, and making them the custodians of Clark’s achievements. Not a new thing in the country’s political history, but done so well that the public barely noticed. It was not so much an election as a wonderfully executed burglary.
Under the aegis of Natalie Kestecher and Claudia Taranto, I wrote, voiced and co-produced four short monologues for PocketDocs, three of which might never see the light of day now that this brilliant, diverse, challenging, moving show has been poleaxed. As a freelancer writing for PocketDocs I received a level of support and creative freedom unrivalled by any Australian publication I have had the privilege of writing for.
Over this past week, I’ve been watching the news roll in from Standing Rock, where protesters are fighting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline: dramatic images of police brutality woven through news of an election campaign where climate has been glaringly absent. In my newsfeed, a mix of independent and mainstream media, the images of the election and the images of #noDAPL sit side by side but never seem to interact, like an illustration of the chasm between climate policy and climate reality.
All narratives use character types to some degree, but if those types are static, immovable, and fail to be complicated by mediating detail, we have a problem. Notions of ‘suburban values’ provide an excuse to relax into character types, encouraging us to see the other as somehow less culturally dimensional or their worlds as less complex.
In a piece written for Guernica, Lydia Yuknavitch talked about ‘the small violences in our daily lives’, and I couldn’t help but liken it to the queer experience. Small daily violences committed against queer people are so invisible to those in positions of power and unexamined privilege that they are rendered implausible. This is why we need marriage equality – not in a year, not next election, but now.
Remembering Tyrone Unsworth, the thirteen-year-old student who died in Brisbane last week.
Trauma, by definition, is a threat to life or personal dignity. Parramatta stripped us of all personal dignity. It was a place where wellbeing and personal safety was compromised on a daily basis.
We can trace imperialist feminism to the Victorian era. In 1882 Lord Cromer, a British Consul General in Egypt, claimed to be liberating women through the British occupation of Egypt. While using women’s rights to advance empire in Egypt, he was also championing the anti-suffragist cause at home.
His focus is on people who live and work here, who pay taxes and are subject to our laws, but who are not citizens and cannot vote: international students, New Zealanders, backpackers on working holiday visas, asylum seekers and refugees, the holders of 457 visas. This detailed, careful and topical book is illuminated by the personal stories of individuals and families caught up in a complex and bureaucratic system, and it leaves a lasting impression of an Australia that is becoming a two-tiered country.
Debate: ‘Does a “common future” mean overhauling our political system?’
6pm, Friday 9 December
The Toff in Town
252 Swanston St, Melbourne
It seemed some kind of cosmic synergy that the week Donald Trump was elected POTUS I happened to finish reading a particular novel by feminist surrealist Angela Carter. The backdrop of The Passion of New Eve is an America aflame, torn apart by contradictory combinations of visions of freedom and prosperity on one hand, and the right to bear arms on the other. For me, the surprise of Trump’s victory was accompanied by the idea that an Englishwoman may have predicted its aftermath 40 years previously.
Recently, videogame company 2K Games released the third instalment of the open-world crime series Mafia. By most accounts, it’s a fairly average game, a mix of the original Saints Row with Grand Theft Auto V, marred by bugs and partially implemented gameplay. But where it truly shines is its depiction of the world, a gorgeously rendered simulacra of New Orleans in 1968 called ‘New Boudreaux’ that operates on two distinct levels: as a political commentary on the history of racism in America, and as a left-wing power fantasy targeted at white supremacy.