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Culture September 19, 2020

Writing Through Fences

A Facebook message seven years ago prompted poet and activist Janet Galbraith to found a writing group that brought hope and connection to refugees. “It was formed out of the relationships between human beings, reaching through prison fences and beyond borders.”

Culture September 12, 2020

Choreographer Shaun Parker

On his company’s 10th anniversary, Shaun Parker – one of the stalwarts of Australian contemporary dance – looks over his shapeshifting career. “It’s weird, I didn’t like it. I loved it. You’d think I’d be more terrified, but I think, beginning to sing or dance or act, you’re becoming another role. I love that feeling of becoming someone else.”

Culture September 5, 2020

John Nixon’s generous legacy

Last month one of the enduring figures of the Australian art world, John Nixon, died. From the beginning of his career, Nixon remained an artist who believed in the ideal of a perpetual avant-garde.”

Culture August 29, 2020

Actor Catherine Văn-Davies

Catherine Văn-Davies found that her starring role in SBS’s Hungry Ghosts excavated intimate family histories. “For most of my life, Mum wouldn’t talk about the war. But with intergenerational trauma, even if they don’t tell us the experience in their own words, we’re so sensitive to our parents.”

Culture August 22, 2020

Indie folk icons Bright Eyes

Ten years after their previous album, Bright Eyes’ latest release brings a new lightness to their apocalyptic imagining. “Lyrical and generous, it feels like a new beginning for Oberst and co on their own terms, despite the weight of its conception, and despite the pain that it holds.”

review

Culture September 19, 2020

The Translators

A cynical nod to Agatha Christie’s locked-room mysteries, Régis Roinsard’s The Translators fails to recognise the complexities and canniness of that storytelling tradition.

Culture September 12, 2020

Mulan

In the midst of political controversy, Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan emerges as a watered-down version of the original animation.

Culture September 5, 2020

Necrobarista

Set in an other-worldly Carlton cafe and filled with thoughtful musings on life, death and loss, Necrobarista is a welcome antidote to the relentless dominance of American games.

Fiction and Poetry

Culture September 19, 2020

Breath

He wasn’t certain when the slow-growing bacillus had entered his body, but Mycobacterium tuberculosis had stealthily spread through his system – a silent invasion as he coughed up great wads of red-stained sputum. He imagined the …

Culture September 12, 2020

Still Life

Remember that year we sat in the stench of death, peering at lighted squares, searching for the numbers of fallen. I was conscious of my breath, conscious of too-close bodies passing in the aisles, conscious of the skin of the oranges, already …

Culture September 5, 2020

Solomon Grundy XVI

There are dozens of them, miserable buggers, all over town. Widows and widowers, all under 30, all Grundys by name or by marriage. They never marry again. They’re no good to anyone. It was a rotten business. I never spoke up – it wasn’t …

books

Culture September 19, 2020

Writing Through Fences

A Facebook message seven years ago prompted poet and activist Janet Galbraith to found a writing group that brought hope and connection to refugees. “It was formed out of the relationships between human beings, reaching through prison fences and beyond borders.”

Culture September 19, 2020

The Lying Life of Adults

The Lying Life of Adults, Elena Ferrante’s latest novel, begins with an unmooring. The teenage Giovanna starts to perform poorly in school and, one night, overhears her father, Andrea, compare her to his estranged sister, Vittoria. “Adolescence …

Culture September 19, 2020

Having and Being Had

Eula Biss thinks she and her husband, John, are just like everyone else in the neighbourhood, but he disagrees: “No … we’re nothing like them, I’m nothing like them.” Biss identifies as middle class, John as white trash, …