‘I think it would also be fair to say that we should have made more of a fuss at the time.’ It was April 2015. In a brightly lit Australian National University lecture theatre, Seven West Media’s Bridget Fair was lamenting the passage of a terrorism law. Depending on how you count such things, it was either the sixty-fifth or sixty-sixth anti-terror law passed by Australia’s parliament since 2001. This one had far-reaching implications. Among other things, it criminalised the conduct of journalism.
This inconsistency is a little uncomfortable to discuss for feminists on the left, who favour a movement which places more emphasis on issues such as poverty, precarity, racism and inequality than on concerns primarily affecting middle-class women. Media-friendly feminism has often been tone-deaf or worse on issues of class or race, and this tendency can be seen in a constant emphasis on the need for affordable childcare to assist mothers to return to work – an emphasis which often entirely overlooks the pay and conditions of the mostly women who work in the childcare sector.
It is deeply disturbing for any Minister to attempt to directly control the kinds of culture produced in a democracy that values freedom of expression. We want to continue the Australian tradition of arts funding being independent of any political influence. The Minister himself has previously argued that art will always provoke debate, ‘that’s why we have an arms-length and peer-reviewed structure for the allocation for the funding’. What he now proposes is precisely the opposite.
5:30pm Thursday 4 June
Vic Books (Kelburn Campus), Wellington
Come celebrate Overland‘s first-ever edition dedicated exclusively to the work of some of their closest writerly neighbours. Guest edited by Giovanni Tiso, Jolisa Gracewood and Robert Sullivan.
In Mad Max: Fury Road, normative masculinity is not just broken, it is literally diseased. Survival for women in this film in many ways relies on their ability to find a way forward beyond often contradictory tribal manifestation of the kind of bat-shit crazy masculinity that can only be deemed ‘unreal’ if you are privileged enough to see no problem with the current gender political status quo.
The bush setting, for many festivals, is meant to be a celebration of human interaction with nature, so waste management and environmentally conscious operations are very important, both to the local area and to the attendees.
Some 8000 Rohingya asylum seekers and Bangladeshi migrants are currently stranded, lacking food, water and sanitation – and the governments of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia are pushing their boats back into the ocean, knowing they have nowhere to go.