Popular feminism once discussed systemic issues – that is, issues that occurred at a widespread, societal level – and sought to challenge and dismantle them. Of late, a lot of mainstream rhetoric has focused on whether, say, choices like plastic surgery are feminist (because ‘those who choose the scalpel route are doing so to compete in a culture where youthful beauty is beamed at us as the most desirable thing there is’). Or the choice to grow one’s armpit hair out, or not shave one’s legs, or not wear make-up, or not wear skirts, or go on a diet, or even invest in fossil fuels.
Violence permeates the live music scene right down to the punter level. It’s a bare-bones fact. And as more and more bands come to recognise the critical mass of sexual violence in the ‘scene’, it’s time for a brief re-evaluation of what it means to have a ‘scene’: what the scene is, and the role of violence within it.
Kneen’s work is clever, metafictional and highly affecting. In this work nothing ‘niche’ about Kneen is toned down or apologetic; we have the identity politics, the questioning of social mores, and the joyful visceral fucking. It is sexy, but it’s also a scathing critique of the arbitrariness of gender, a treatise on the power politics of sex, and an exploration on what our technologies might do for us in a decidedly dystopian future.
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.’)
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.