Keywords: Human Shield

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Former Xavier students' love transcends AIDS horror

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 20 August 2015
    25 Comments

    Timothy Conigrave's memoir Holding the Man is a classic of contemporary Australian queer literature. Originally published in 1995 a few months after Conigrave's death from AIDS, it is an account of his relationship with John Caleo, whom he met in 1976 when they were both students at the Melbourne Jesuit private boys school Xavier College. Conigrave and Caleo were together for 15 years until Caleo's death (also from AIDS) in 1992. This film adaptation of their story is nothing if not bold.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Whistleblowing and other new crimes

    • Fatima Measham
    • 26 June 2015
    7 Comments

    Ministerial discretion over citizenship can't replace court processes. Such executive overreach, which contradicts democratic principle, has already found expression in law. From July 1st, workers involved in immigration detention, including doctors and teachers, are subject to two years imprisonment for speaking publicly about what they witness. In other words, whistleblowing has been penalised.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Inside the head of an IS martyr

    • Ellena Savage
    • 20 March 2015
    13 Comments

    The language of martyrdom is being used to recruit young Australians to brutal stateless warfare. Because martyrs are morally superior to suburban burnouts. IS propagandist Abu Ismail described Melburnian Jake Bilardi as 'a lion on the battlefield although he was at a young age and with a weak body'. So, Bilardi was a weak young lion and therefore ripe for battle. How obscene!

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    I am not ephemeral

    • Marjon Mossammaparast
    • 24 February 2015
    8 Comments

    How many times rooted are we to earth, though we would reach away from it, lifting our arms like trees? My stem, yielding to the fashioner’s knowing hand? I am not after all ephemeral. No petals of a flower.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Youths burned by the flames of self interest

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 26 June 2014

    When it comes to symbols of destruction and renewal, few are more potent than bushfires. That is particularly true in the Australian context. Galore's poignant coming-of-age story unfolds in the weeks prior to the 2003 Canberra bushfires. It is, in part, a rumination on adolescent self-centredness: its inevitability and inadequacy as a shield protecting the vulnerable, budding self from the flames of experience.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The war on asylum seekers

    • Justin Glyn
    • 22 January 2014
    32 Comments

    The current dispute with Indonesia over border incursions by the Australian Navy is symptomatic of a deeper problem — the militarisation of political discourse. Von Clausewitz famously claimed that 'war is politics by other means': in other words, that military force is employed in service of political ends. In Australia, as elsewhere in the West, this is being taken to an extreme not previously seen outside authoritarian societies.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2013: Watching as Iraq crumbled

    • Donna Mulhearn
    • 07 January 2014

    I sat with my Iraqi friend in his photo store. I was his last customer, he said; the bombs would begin tomorrow. And then he began to weep. I remember thinking that his life, and the lives of others like him, would not be given a second's thought once the invasion started. The next day, the bombs began.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Watching as Iraq crumbled

    • Donna Mulhearn
    • 20 March 2013
    9 Comments

    I sat with my Iraqi friend in his photo store. I was his last customer, he said; the bombs would begin tomorrow. And then he began to weep. I remember thinking that his life, and the lives of others like him, would not be given a second's thought once the invasion started. The next day, the bombs began.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's ten wasted years of war

    • Tony Smith
    • 19 March 2013
    14 Comments

    Gone are the days when Australians believed everyone deserved a fair go: the principle that 'might is right' has replaced the ideals of equity and justice in the national psyche. It is not surprising that after engaging in costly military actions over a decade Australians are more fearful now than when we invaded Iraq in 2003. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    George Orwell's chicken feed solution

    • Brian Matthews
    • 01 March 2013
    4 Comments

    'On this day in 1939: Belgium signed a trade treaty with France, 71 people died in the Black Friday bush fire, and Orwell's chickens laid two eggs.' Orwell's domestic diaries seem trivial, but it is wrong to assume he saw his recording of vegetables, egg laying and other small-holder concerns as dwarfed by the great world. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Vegemite interrogation on the Prague night train

    • Anne M. Carson
    • 19 February 2013

    Cash-strapped, post midnight. Transport police rifle our rucksacks, suspicious of backpackers. One prises open my Kodak canister, sniffs, says 'ach!', fires Czech questions at me. 'Vegemite fur frustuck,' I say, trying to convince Vegemite is not hash resin. I smile the smile of someone who doesn't know how bad it can get.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Exploring teacher suicide

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 06 September 2012

    A teacher commits suicide in her classroom. Her replacement wants to help his students explore their grief, but is met with resistance from other staff members. There are echoes here of institutional cover-ups, where a colleague is protected at the expense of the wellbeing of children.

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