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Culture April 13, 2019

Rosslynd Piggott’s sense of self

As Rosslynd Piggott prepares for I Sense You But I Cannot See You – the second retrospective of her career at the National Gallery of Victoria – she reflects on her childhood in Frankston, her ambition as a young artist and her life’s work. “I did a year of teaching in 1981 in the remote Victorian country at Werrimull. I’d just come out of post-punk Melbourne, thrust up there in the middle of nowhere. I was never going to do three years up there. After that, I just ran away, basically, to St Kilda, doing dishwashing and waitressing. I knew I wanted to be an artist.”

Culture April 6, 2019

Remaking history with novelist Jordy Rosenberg

In his intricate debut novel, Confessions of the Fox, Jordy Rosenberg entwines the lives of an 18th-century transgender thief and the academic who becomes obsessed with his story. In doing so, Rosenberg aims to counteract the historical erasure – and the continuing persecution – of trans people. “There are many things missing from archives but sometimes even what is there can obscure more than it reveals.”

Culture March 30, 2019

The perpetual motion of choreographer Amrita Hepi

For First Nations choreographer and dancer Amrita Hepi, the body is the first point of memory. Her new show, The Tender, interweaves oppression and connection. “Dancing is about being unashamed in our physical forms, and that’s tough shit when you’re a person of colour ’cause we’re constantly being looked at.”

Culture March 23, 2019

Indigenous activist Thomas Mayor’s clear statement

For months, Indigenous activist Thomas Mayor carried the Uluru Statement from the Heart around Australia, rolling out the canvas as he told its story. With Labor and mining companies now on board, the push continues for a First Nations voice. “We have bipartisanship on the influences of the Australian public, left, right or centre. That’s the mindset we’re transferring to – fighting for the referendum to win.”

Culture March 16, 2019

The high life of Claire Denis

While Claire Denis seeks to avoid metaphor in her films, the French director’s sci-fi prison drama High Life, starring Juliette Binoche and Robert Pattinson, can’t help but raise big questions about the universe, the nature of time and even the meaning of life. “Everything in screenwriting is painful and yet it’s great. It’s great because the pain is the price you have to pay to be allowed to dream things, to make them real.”

review

Culture April 13, 2019

Transit

In Transit, Christian Petzold transposes a story of World War II refugees into a contemporary setting. By pulling off this feat, he confronts viewers with their complicity in the treatment of asylum seekers today.

Culture April 13, 2019

The National 2019

The National successfully unites three cultural institutions in an exhibition interrogating inequality, colonisation and racism.

Culture April 6, 2019

Waiting: The Van Duren Story

A chance introduction to little-known ’70s Memphis power pop musician Van Duren on YouTube led two Australian fans on their own journey of filmmaking discovery.

portrait

Culture November 3, 2018

António Serzedelo, revolutionary

A visit to the Lisbon apartment of polymath activist António Serzedelo.

Culture October 13, 2018

Author Deb Kandelaars

The writer of Memoirs of a Suburban Girl on her long road out of a violent relationship. “There I am, right in the middle of my teenage years and suddenly in a serious relationship. A relationship that pushes away my other life. Being hit was beyond my world experience. I didn’t want it to happen again. I started treading a little bit more carefully, and that set up a power dynamic.”

Culture October 6, 2018

Theatre designer Tracy Grant Lord

A chat with theatre designer Tracy Grant Lord, side stage at a rehearsal for Twelfth Night.

books

Culture April 13, 2019

The Colonial Fantasy

“Language is important,” Sarah Maddison tells us at the start of The Colonial Fantasy, a necessary and purposefully confronting book. She sets out the vocabulary on which she believes any discussion of black–white relations …

Culture April 13, 2019

Fled

Mary Bryant was a Cornishwoman transported with the First Fleet for highway robbery. After three years in Sydney, she masterminded the first escape from the nascent colony. Her story was the subject of an ABC television drama in the 1960s and a telemovie …

Culture April 13, 2019

The Place on Dalhousie

Melina Marchetta’s latest novel opens in a downpour lasting “forty days and forty nights”, establishing a sense of providence that runs through The Place on Dalhousie. While a rural town floods with sorrow, blow-ins Rosie Gennaro …