This edition has many unusual aspects – Mel Campbell’s desire to understand her 25-year obsession with a low-fi computer game, Michalia Arathimos’s reflection on the 10-year anniversary of her partner being charged with terrorism, Alice Melike Ülgezer’s fictional meditation on the lives of refugees in Turkey, Allan Drew’s examination of the persisting influence of Paradise Lost, first published 350 years ago.
Additionally, there is the fact that two of our authors quote the same line from Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s The Leopard, albeit with differing translations.
There’s always a pleasure in discovering the synchronicities in the making of an edition. Sometimes the patterns are small and subtle, other times they’re explained by zeitgeist. It can be compelling when the parallel is a response to the same piece of culture; for example, a line from a novel is taken by two writers, interpreted and transformed in individual ways, and then becomes fundamental to different pieces of writing. It’s an organic process wherein culture develops roots and branches and vines through corresponding words and fragments.
Overland 229 includes the winners of the Fair Australia Prize, a competition founded by the National Union of Workers, which this year is also supported by the Media, Entertainment Arts Alliance and the Victorian branch of the National Tertiary Education Union. This collaboration is important to us, particularly in a period where the rich are more aggressive than ever when it comes to asserting their domination over the lives and bank accounts of others. This year has seen penalty rate reductions, robo-debt attacks and an absolute disregard for the futures of refugees. This prize offers writers and artists space to critique the present and to imagine alternatives; to remind us that, collectively, we can effect change. After all, this edition goes to print the day after Marriage Equality became a legal reality in this country.
If you enjoyed this piece, buy the issue