sarura sign
Type
Article
Category
Activism
Palestine

Report from the ground: Sumud Freedom Camp

On Saturday morning I woke up at Sumud: Freedom Camp. The camp is set up in Sarura, a reclaimed Palestinian village in the South Hebron Hills in the West Bank. It has been built on the principle of sumud, steadfastness. Between 1980 and 1998 the people of Sarura were expelled from their lands through the violence of the Israeli army into nearby villages and towns, such as At-Tuwani, Hebron and Yatta. They have remained displaced since that time, until Sumud Freedom Camp was established on Friday.

8469446038_a065e99a1b_z
Type
Article
Category
Australia
Refugees

‘Not a boat number’

Whether the deal is done or dumb, it seems politics is hyper bent on exploiting the defenceless for conservative votes, real or imagined. As a result, all over the world, refugees and asylum seekers are at the mercy of a series of craven and/or villainous bureaucrats and ministers. (See Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s recent comments on the fate of 7500 asylum seekers in Australia: ‘If people think they can rip the Australian taxpayer off, if people think that they can con the Australian taxpayer, then I’m sorry, the game’s up.’)

Kneen crop
Type
Review

May in fiction

Michalia Arathimos reads An Uncertain Grace, Best Australian Stories 2016, Down the Hume, Sorry to Disrupt the Peace, The Restorer, and The Hot Guy.

Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 2.31.42 PM
Type
Fiction

A consequence of things

When Inipi said, between heavy silences, that she did not want her child to be a girl, Miss Ude shook her head and insisted that she must not think of the baby in terms of gender or skin colour or ethnicity, that there was more to this child than eyes could see. She knew the child was genderless, able to take whatever form it pleased. She did not tell the mother all the things she saw. That it would have its father’s gait, its mother’s eyes, a delicate heart and hands that would mend people. That a time would come when she would need to let go of the child in its childhood; that when that time came, she would need strength.

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 4.05.24 pm
Type
Essay
Category
Violence
Writing

Through the eyes of a humanist

Alexievich’s version of history is not one of dry and bare facts, of cause and effect, but rather one of feelings and emotions. She seeks to record stories that have been overlooked or that have slipped past unnoticed. Human beings, Alexievich argues, are always more interested in knowing about other human beings than in knowing about historical events such as wars, disasters and other catastrophic accidents. ‘History is interested in facts, overlooking emotions. Emotions are not allowed to enter history,’ she declares. ‘But I look at the world through the eyes of a humanist and not of a historian. I am enchanted by human beings.’

Don Dale sign
Type
Article
Category
Long read
Violence

‘Passing Blame Along’: on poetry and prison

When hearing how Voller was treated in detention, the question people initially ask is ‘What was he in prison for?’ as though that determines whether he deserves what he gets. In Aranda House, the ‘holding facility’ used to deal with overcrowding in Alice Springs, the windows are painted black so you can’t see in and you can’t see out.

dino
Type
Review
Category
Comedy
Queer politics

Too many onions in the soup: farewelling Hannah Gadsby

In Nanette, a brilliant meta-comic retrospective meets arts-as-activism performance, Gadsby revisits punchlines she’s been delivering onstage for years, as a gut-punch farewell. I remember these jokes from shows past: her slow, deliberate phrasing deployed to get our biggest laughs. But this time, she makes her audience pause to consider these stories. Are they jokes? Are they funny? Aren’t they horrific?

DSC_6690
Type
Article
Category
Justice
Prison

Beyond prison

Transformative justice acknowledges both the harm and violence caused by individuals upon one another, as well as the harm and violence inflicted upon individuals by prisons and structural factors, that can cause social isolation and may contribute to harmful behaviour. Rather than isolating and punishing the person who has caused harm, a transformative justice approach asks, on both an individual and structural level: Who was harmed? How can we facilitate healing? How can we prevent further harm in the future?

higher-wage-for-all-workers
Type
Article
Category
Sexism
Work

Would you like minimum wages with that?

The hospitality industry is founded on a collective willingness to let things slide. Most people know that $17.70 per hour is the national minimum wage, and anything below that is illegal. However, underpaid employees are typically placated until the balance tips that bit too far in favour of the owner, accepting a few dollars less per hour to feel justified in not cleaning under the rim of the toilet.

Yirramboi-FB-Share-Smaller
Type
Polemic
Category
Art
Criticism

Blak Critics: flipping the power play in the arts

Everywhere you look Aboriginal writers, actors, musicians and artists are on the rise, and recent festivals like Asia TOPA illustrate the industry’s desire to showcase artists beyond the white canon. Despite these shifts, systemic racism and prejudices pervade, hidden behind marketing material with alluring POC faces splashed across posters and company webpages.

Plath
Type
Article
Category
Reading
Writing

Turning to The Bell Jar rather than the DSM

‘I saw the days of the year stretching ahead of me like a series of bright, white boxes, and separating one box from another was sleep, like a black shade. Only for me, the long perspective of shades that set off one box from the next has suddenly snapped up, and I could see day after day after day glaring ahead of me like a white, broad, infinitely desolate avenue.’

madison young
Type
Article
Category
Capitalism
Porn

DIY porn under capitalism

Since the advent of the Polaroid camera in the 1960s, people have been taking and sharing explicit images of themselves. The availability of digital cameras two decades later sparked a proliferation of amateur, gonzo and ‘realcore’ genres of pornography where individuals created unedited, low-fi films documenting ‘real’ desires and featuring ‘ordinary’ bodies. With the explosion of queer and feminist pornographies in the 2000s and a cultural investment in authenticity and ethical production, DIY porn acquired significance as a politicised intervention into mainstream netporn.