My first year at Overland has been an eye-opening entree into the politics and practice of publishing, writing and public debate in Australia – and in 2010, there has been much to debate. We have been consumed by digital versus print, refugees versus the commonwealth, writing courses versus autodidactism, existing arts bodies versus progressive arts models, the parliamentary Afghanistan debate versus examination of the interminable occupation – the list goes on.
These disputes are not receding from the public arena any time soon, nor should they. The stakes on certain issues are high: it matters, for example, that citizenry across the world don’t share their governments’ enthusiasm for military ventures. As poet Charles Bernstein wrote:
War is here.
War is this.
War is now.
War is us.
In our 201st issue, we open our pages to significant articles on these debates. Among them, Jeff Sparrow deconstructs the relationship between good intentions and colonisation through the lens of Aimé Césaire. Katherine Wilson traces the rhythms of contemporary DIY, while Mark Diesendorf and Andrew Bartlett go head to head over population, refugees and immigration. In the fiction, four emerging writers, schooled in varying degrees of institutionalised creative writing, show us why we should sit up and take notice.
201 also farewells the editorial talents of fiction editor Kalinda Ashton and poetry editor Keri Glastonbury; we thank them for their exceptional efforts over the years and wish them well in their next literary adventures.
Meanwhile, the Meanland project and the Overland blog, our explorations into how and where the electronic and printed pages meet, are thriving. Check out our website and subscribe to the magazine to be part of the radical culture, progressive politics and impassioned debate that make the Overland community.