Introducing Overland 235

Type
Editorial
Category
Culture

It has been a privilege to edit a magazine that emerged from different left traditions and continues to find new ways to foster radical spaces and thought. For me, it has always been the making of the magazines that I loved (18 print editions since 2015, and countless online editions and pieces) and the ephemerality of each edition, a collaboration shaped by all the ideas and forces around it.

front cover OL235 winter 2019
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Type
Column
Category
Loss

On grief

None of us can rehearse grief. It is an intangible force that comes into focus and disables us when we are least prepared to deal with it.

Croggon col
Type
Column
Category
Art

On art

Art is a magnificent illusion of possibility. It expresses the best of us, as well as the worst: it encompasses everything we are.

Doyle-Markwick
Type
Essay
Category
History
mining

La mina no se cierra

The anarchy of the market is writ large in the housing sector throughout Spain. In the years before the GFC, the country experienced a housing-construction boom fuelled by the same debt-ridden loans that had thrown the country into crisis. There are now around 8.4 million empty houses in the country, and the coast is dotted with ghost towns made up of apartment blocks that have never been lived in. Meanwhile, around 3 million people in Spain are sleeping rough.

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Van Neerven
Type
Essay
Category
PEN essay

Restorying care

As a writer, I find opportunities to tell my story. Us artistic mob share our stories to audiences through poetry, art, music, theatre and dance; through this, we celebrate who we are and honour those who have come before us.

One space (there are many) where we consistently struggle to feel heard or tell our story is in the health system.

Robinson
Type
Essay
Category
Militarisation
Refugees

The gunboat nation in a lifeboat world

‘Just like super-typhoons, rising seas and heatwaves, border build-up and militarisation are by-products of climate change,’ Miller writes. We should not overlook the brutal and racist policies of the current Trump administration as a defining factor in the increased securitisation of the border. But the military’s worldview puts migrants under the category of ‘threat multiplier’, and replaces the shared dangers of climate change with the external danger of forced displacement.

Lichtner
Type
Essay
Category
Holocaust
Reading

One hundred years of Primo Levi

On 22 February 1944, Levi was deported to Auschwitz, where he would survive until the Soviet liberation of the Camp on 27 January 1945. A warm and humble man, he resented any suggestion that his experience was somehow paradigmatic, or that he held some greater clarity than other survivors. Yet Levi’s post-war writings remain fundamental reading, especially his 1947 Auschwitz memoir If This Is a Man. Through his own story, that work still now conveys with an empathetic yet clinical eye the historical, social and economic prerogatives that define the Holocaust as a modern genocide.

Kon-yu
Type
Essay
Category
Feminism
Pregnancy

The most natural thing

I was in no way prepared for pregnancy – had not even considered the idea that pregnancy is something to prepare for. I had not thought about what Maggie Nelson labels ‘the capaciousness of pregnancy. The way a baby literally makes space where there wasn’t space before … the rearrangement of internal organs, the upward squeezing of the lungs.’ I imagined such things almost painlessly. After all, my mother had done it; my grandmothers had done it. How hard could it be?

Gandolfo
Type
Essay
Category
women's work

Making & shaping

The philosopher Judith Butler argues that gender is produced through performance: ‘Gender identity is the stylized repetition of acts through time.’ As an adolescent girl growing up in the 60s and 70s, I understood that performing the domestic work my mother did, including her craft work, would shape me into the kind of woman I didn’t want to become. I did not want to be my mother. I did not want my life to be controlled by a husband, and to be limited by and to the domestic.

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MOase
Type
Essay
Category
atomisation

Schrödinger’s worker

Social relationships are breaking down. According to an OmniPoll survey from July 2018, the number of close friends Australians have has declined from an average of 6.4 in 2005 to only 3.9 today. In other words, the rate at which relationships break down no longer keeps up with the rate at which they form. In turn, more and more Australians are becoming ghosts in their own communities.

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Type
Short Story Prize

Eva and Tobias | Neilma Sidney Prize, runner-up

Eva loved Tobias, same as anyone, but he wasn’t what she wanted so she left. Tobias was all right. He was a lovely and charming baby when he wanted – he made ducks with red paint on squares of white paper and called his father Twebba, which Eva adored. Eva did adore Tobias, same as anyone, but he wasn’t what she wanted so she left.

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Type
Short Story Prize

Paper boats | Neilma Sidney Prize, runner-up

Like most migrants, Biaggio lost his name on his arrival to Australia. In front of the rust-spotted bathroom mirror he gazed at his old reflection. His chest was sunken, his bottom front teeth were missing, his throat burned. He wondered if Biaggio, the brave young man who had boarded the ship to Australia some sixty years ago, had ever existed at all.

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Type
Fiction
Category
Writing

Fiction editorial

Even from the titles it’s clear most of the stories have something to do with water – the perfect image for both the physical world and our subjective states. Its ebb and flow, its clarity or obscurity, images the unconscious, traces the unstable frontiers of our inner and outer worlds.

Tyley-Miller
Type
Fiction

The island

A vast encampment – brimming with faces – stretches back farther than my eyes can see. There are no palm trees, only aerials: an enormous tangle that plays host to a symphony of sea birds whose droppings add texture to the flapping Visqueen patchwork roofs below.

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Type
Fiction

Hook. Line. Sinker.

He, they, spend perhaps an hour, a week, a year swimming through the soft dirt, learning to navigate around errant roots, to push through clumps of clay, to find ways around the tunnels of worms so as to not damage their carefully crafted tunnels of home.

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Type
Fiction

The Economist

I have been without any work for a long time and the listless days are heavy for being so bare: days when I’ve carved no steps into the story’s pages, days when I’ve annotated no clocks, written no words above the straight lines of minute hands and hours.

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Type
Fiction

The Garden Bridge

The promise of this new destination was now a bridge of a different sort, a tremendous light-filled opportunity. Less her father’s failed garden path connecting two halves of a divided city than an elegant suspension bridge spanning a before and an after – a slender piece of steel.

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Type
Fiction

Of water

The memories of their speech together came back to her on the water, the gentle flow of back and forth. Now she took his part and added it to hers. It seemed such a natural progression out on the flowing waters of the bay.

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Type
Poetry

Stanwell Park

We’re wondering how that bike got up there, running for a train that’s one minute early, moving the fern into a shadier spot.

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