section: Arts And Culture

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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

    I was a teenage Cold War Russophile

    • Brian Matthews
    • 18 September 2015
    9 Comments

    When Josef Stalin died on 5 March 1953, a couple of months into my Matriculation year, my Russophile leanings seemed about to be intensified. Research in those days was a matter of consulting encyclopaedias, or, if possible, going to the Public Library, but in Stalin's case the newspapers were full of reports, history, anecdote, judgement and various degrees of relief, so there was suddenly plenty of information.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Transgender sex worker fights back from the margins

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 17 September 2015
    5 Comments

    When Sin-Dee rants about the 'fish' with whom her pimp boyfriend has been cheating, she is a transgender woman using a derogatory term for a person who is socially and biologically female. Her story does not merely transgress traditional gender binaries; it assumes the perspective of marginalised characters to reveal through their lived experiences the ways in which gender is both an individual and social construction.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Broken porcelain illuminates destructive Dutch colonial legacy

    • Bernard Appassamy
    • 16 September 2015
    4 Comments

    400 years ago, when Mauritius was still uninhabited, a cyclone thrust three tall ships of the Dutch East India Company against the coral reef. As the ships were ripped apart and thousands of Ming porcelain pieces on board smashed, the crew fought for their lives, but 75 men including the fleet commander Admiral Pieter Both, drowned. I picture that Sunday afternoon in the 1980s when my mother and I were wading in the water close to a familiar beach and found washed up shards of the porcelain. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The aquarium's tapestry of colour and light

    • Edith Speers
    • 15 September 2015
    3 Comments

    The jelly fish are fringed silk shawls ... the anemones are embroidery samplers ... the coral is not calcified not brittle hard as bone ... the prettiest fish are fabric for blouses made of silk.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The amazing grace of Joan Baez

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 10 September 2015
    4 Comments

    Folk legend and renowned human rights activist Joan Baez's fire hasn't dimmed. Today she rages at the 'disgusting' state of race relations in America — 'police violence, mass arrests of people of colour, torture in prisons' — half a century on from the Selma civil rights marches, in which she took part. Yet amid these horrors, Baez still finds herself able to be moved by examples of 'amazing grace'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Flowers react to Spring

    • Chris Wallace-Crabbe and Les Wicks
    • 08 September 2015
    2 Comments

    Big daisies bulge on their bush, the lurid cyclamens are crouched in squeals of shocking pink, but raggedy scarlet geraniums have been out all winter and don’t give a stuff.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Spiritual enlightenment on the transplant waitlist

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 03 September 2015
    1 Comment

    In part, these hallucinogenic, metaphysical digressions are a product of Robert's medically-altered state of consciousness. Chemotherapy brings a sense of disorientation, which often leads patients' minds to wander in directions they wouldn't have otherwise. Through this, Robert discovers an Eastern spiritual and cultural approach to death that informs his own confrontation of mortality.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Redesign my soul

    • Rodney Wetherell
    • 01 September 2015
    4 Comments

    My soul's antennae are TV-tested for searching power, speed, vibrations — sluggishness is found, and some corrosion, but not a power of deep delusion. I pass, but barely — could do better. Empathy is down, the next test finds, neighbours more passed by than loved. And do I love myself?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Rock star Streep and the uphill battle for Hollywood diversity

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 27 August 2015

    There's a running gag that in Hollywood there are few roles for women over a certain age, unless you are Meryl Streep. Of course it isn't really a joke, if you consider the consistently dire statistics regarding gender, age and race diversity in mainstream American films. Whatever you make of this deplorable inequality, there can be little doubt that Streep is an actor singularly dedicated to her craft, who works hard and throws herself with aplomb into the wide range of roles that come her way.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The girl who stole her brothers' honour

    • Moya Pacey
    • 25 August 2015
    4 Comments

    In the dark cage of the village ... They shaved her black curls, closed her green eyes, scooped the body into a sack - threw it into the cold river.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Real estate agents and the crime of locality theft

    • Brian Matthews
    • 21 August 2015
    5 Comments

    We set off towards the beach and the esplanade that meanders towards what the better class of resident likes to call the 'village'. 'I prefer "township" – it's more Australian,' I said. Roy scoffed at what he called 'this "village" nonsense.' Referring to electronic theft of credit card numbers, online personal details, he said: 'I reckon there's also a phenomenon you could call locality theft.'

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