Published in Overland Issue 241 Summer 2020 Uncategorized Editorial Evelyn Araluen and Jonathan Dunk The idea of a public or collective space is inherently fluid, and perhaps contradictory; a matter of constantly shifting definitions. What we witnessed on the sixth of January at the US Capitol building was, among other things, a dispute about what a public institution is, and what it owes to which citizens. Scenes of white police officers calmly allowing Trump supporters to infiltrate the senate floor and some of the reported remarks: ‘This is not America … they’re supposed to shoot BLM’ nakedly displayed the inequity of some of these definitions. A number of the essays in this edition engage with our previous edition’s focus on global Indigenous activism, others explore the complexity of inter-subjective space in other contexts. Writing and publishing are their own kinds of public space, structured by the conflicting definitions of race, class, and gender. In ‘White Mythology’ Derrida argued that western metaphysics, in attempting to erase its own historical specificity, misrepresents itself as abstract, universal, and infinitely plastic. In Australian writing the myth is more precise. William Stanner described Australian history as a window carefully placed to allow only one view of the landscape, and Australian literature is still marked by this myopia. Michael R Griffiths writes that the expression of settler nationalism is built upon a pathology of melancholia; a colonial logic of elimination which fetishises that which it destroys. This logic is palpable in much canonical Australian writing, from Lawson and Patterson, to Patrick White and Eleanor Dark, to the Jindyworobaks and Les Murray. To articulate an effective ethics of reading, writing, and publishing in this continent we must properly frame Aboriginality as an agentic subject, rather than a nationalist prop. Jeanine Leane’s essay in this edition is a singular step towards better definitions. Solidarity. Read the rest of Overland 241 If you enjoyed this piece, buy the issue Or subscribe and receive four brilliant issues for a year Evelyn Araluen Evelyn Araluen is a poet, educator, and co-editor of Overland. Her Stella Prize winning book DROPBEAR was published by UQP in 2021. Born, raised, and writing in Dharug country, she is a Bundjalung descendant. She tweets at @evelynaraluen More by Evelyn Araluen and Jonathan Dunk Jonathan Dunk Jonathan Dunk is the co-editor of Overland, and a widely published poet and scholar. He lives on Woi Wurrung country. More by Evelyn Araluen and Jonathan Dunk Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays 2 First published in Overland Issue 228 20 March 202320 March 2023 War The bus to Baghdad Stephen Pascoe In place of reflection and reform, our leaders have committed to an ever-greater intermeshing of Australian and American forces: what is referred to in contemporary military double-speak as ‘interoperability’. The new AUKUS framework has largely extended the surrendering of our sovereignty and capacity for independent defence decision-making to the American Empire. 1 First published in Overland Issue 228 17 March 202322 March 2023 Friday Fiction Fiction | Wonder women of the lizard world Rebekah Roma I was fanning myself with a textbook when the tradie told me about the gecko. It had, in search of reprieve from the burning meteorological irregularity, crawled inside our air conditioning unit, damaged the wiring, and gotten itself fried. Without climate control, we had suffered through December and January, red-faced and irritable.