These literary essays circle tightly around postpartum depression, but also explore themes including violence against women, art, writing and death. The strongest pieces are those that cut closest to the bone, making the reader witness to the author’s frankness.
Boochani’s dedication to his work as a reporter and a creator is fundamental to this unique project. It can never be forgotten that this film was made at risk of further violence. We may never have known the confinement wing Chauka existed if it wasn’t for his tireless investigation, including waking friends to snatch an interview, asking painful questions and always always witnessing, listening, believing.
As Millicent Weber pointed out a little while back in Overland, ‘literary festivals are complex beasts’. Particularly in recent years, they appear to have become more politicised, more contested spaces – exemplary of the tension that results when a ‘cultural project’, with presumed egalitarian aims, has a light shone on it by the market model it operates on, which doesn’t favour all people equally.
As a member of Sweatshop Western Sydney Literacy Movement, I have had countless conversations with other writers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds about the responsibility we feel to our communities, and of the demands and restrictions that places on our work. When we critique narrow but socially dominant mimesis we are seen as bitter and demanding.
Celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary, the Greens seem a confident and coherent political alternative. This is certainly the message that the party leadership is sending. Speaking at the recent national conference, leader Senator Richard di Natale outlined an ambitious plan to capture twenty-five House of Representatives seats over the next twenty-five years, transforming the party into the third-force of Australian politics.