keywords: Photo Essay

  • AUSTRALIA

    Before they were monsters they were us

    • Michael Walter
    • 11 November 2015
    10 Comments

    This photo is quite ordinary. It seems as though the men have just arrived somewhere, and have awkwardly posed for a camera. What is so haunting about this photo is the story of what these men would do. The man on the left is Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge. The man in the middle is Comrade Duch, the meticulous chief of Tuol Sleng Prison. In 50 years' time, what stories will be embedded in the ordinary photographs of today? What stories will be attached to ordinary photos of us?

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  • RELIGION

    Family Synod neglects feminine genius

    • Beth Doherty
    • 29 October 2015
    28 Comments

    We can assume that despite the recent Synod's focus on families, most of the voters have never had any involvement in raising families, and certainly not of experiencing pregnancy and childbirth. None have directly dealt with an abusive spouse, struggled to regulate family size, questioned whether to stay in an unhappy marriage, or dealt with a child identifying as gay, lesbian or transgender. Last year, I spent time working in a parish in Paraguay, where, unlike the church more broadly, women run the show.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Windows to grace on the school bus

    • Brian Doyle
    • 13 October 2015
    6 Comments

    I am present in the kitchen window at 7.39 exactly if at all possible, to be given the gift of a kid licking his window, or a kid waving at me, or one little kid inarguably and thoroughly picking his nose. You wouldn't think that a boy picking his nose would be a glorious and poignant and thrilling and joyous sight, something that seemed truly and deeply holy, but it sure was, to me. All children are my children and yours and the bus bounces down the street every morning and we are not dead and all is grace.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The children of Aleppo

    • Graham Kershaw
    • 22 September 2015
    1 Comment

    I dreamt of a family escaping through pines, over the crest of a forest, young and old struggling down to the shore of a great cold lake, their only hope of escape; no boat was there, but the strong might try to carry the old, at least, if they cared enough. And it made me want to simply run away, to escape the brain-ache of not doing what we are best made to do.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The holy mystery of why the Sisters are not in charge of the Church

    • Brian Doyle
    • 19 August 2015
    27 Comments

    Not one of them ever raped a child or moved rapists from one parish to another. Not one of them ever played havoc with church funds. Not one of them ran off with a secretary. As far as I could tell each of them embraced hard work, and kindness, and humility and was every bit as committed and dedicated to the ancient mission of the Church as any priest or brother or abbot or bishop or cardinal or pope.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The white male gaze that drives child sex tourism

    • Fatima Measham
    • 27 July 2015
    14 Comments

    February's arrest of Australian man Peter Scully in the Philippines has focused concern on the sexual exploitation of Filipino women and children by foreigners. As long as they feel disempowered, when their sense of worth is measured by implicit trust and hope in white saviours and the dollar, they will continue to be preyed upon.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Foreign fighter with the 'Anzac spirit'

    • Tim Robertson
    • 13 July 2015
    7 Comments

    It's hard not to admire Reece Harding, whose sense of social justice, idealism and internationalism led him to take up arms against an organisation he seemingly believed lived up to Tony Abbott's characterisation as a 'death cult'. The Federal Government has warned Australians against travelling to the Middle East to fight on any side. But these calls are drowned out by decades of contradictory rhetoric that has seen the Anzac legend placed at the fore of our history and culture.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Confessions of a news junkie who hides the news from his kids

    • Barry Gittins
    • 10 July 2015
    8 Comments

    Fielding questions about the latest shark attack or car crash, or government culling of charities, is relatively straightforward. But not the horrific patricide committed by Cy Walsh, son of Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh, and the wounding of his wife Meredith. It baffled my family and I couldn’t come close to explaining it.

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  • Ambassador of conscience

    • Sean McManus
    • 25 June 2015
    4 Comments

    As much as any other religious figure in Australia, Frank Brennan has maintained a religious perspective while engaging in issues of ethics and justice in contemporary Australia. His book Amplifying that Still Small Voice emphasises the importance of the 'religious sense that the human person is created in the image and likeness of God', while speaking in the language and terms that are understandable to the public square.

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  • Demanding justice for the small, still voices

    • Shannon and Kateena
    • 12 June 2015
    1 Comment

    'In chapter 12 "Respecting Autonomy and Protecting the Vulnerability of the Dying", Frank quoted my grandmother ... "Well there is not much to say about euthanasia is there? Just don't kill people and look after them while they are dying. What more can you say?" Well Grandma, I am not certain that I share your view. Just as Pope Francis did not know all the answers at age 36 years, neither do I.' Frank Brennan's nieces Shannon and Kateena help launch his new book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Shock of the new bourgeois reality

    • Ellena Savage
    • 28 November 2014
    9 Comments

    The need for artists to exist inside an economy regulated by middle class tastes and preferences restricts the possibilities for their work. But when our present is rocked by the incredible injustices we are watching unravel in Ferguson, artists are called upon to drop their aspirations for class mobility that is tethered to the material, and instead draw light on the immaterial, Emerson's 'secret'. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    There's more to identity than flag-waving

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 November 2014
    8 Comments

    In anxious times, people often think about identity in a way that is limited and excluding. But our identity is actually layered, and may include regional, religious, philosophical, professional, sports, social, racial, sexual, and more. If we isolate ourselves in homogeneous and non-interactive groups, any larger national identity we have will be brittle.

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