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Culture September 21, 2019

The fiery resistance of journalist Mona Eltahawy

Journalist and activist Mona Eltahawy has dedicated herself to fighting what she calls the most dangerous ideology in the world: patriarchy. “The quickest way for these men in power to show their power, to flex their muscles, is over the bodies of women … History is not linear. Just because we achieve progress in something, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to continue progressing.”

Culture September 14, 2019

The high notes of ACO violinist Satu Vänskä

As the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s principal violin, Satu Vänskä teases astonishing music from her centuries-old instrument. But away from the stage, Vänskä’s musical tastes march to a very different beat. “You know what’s really sad? You can go through your whole life without ever hearing ’90s grunge. Not to mention Bach or Mozart. Or 1970s popular music. If we want to keep our art form alive … we try to bring back music in everyday conversation, so you can encounter something and awake that curiosity.”

Culture September 7, 2019

Composer Lebo M and that famous movie chant

Exiled from South Africa as a teenager, Lebo M made his way to the US with nothing but his talent. Eventually he escaped poverty and built a career, creating one of cinema’s most iconic and enduring musical moments. “You get driven and get motivated by the fact that where you come from opportunity was zero, and you have an indirect responsibility to be somebody.”

Culture August 31, 2019

Artist and activist Peter Drew

Peter Drew’s posters can be seen on streets throughout Australia, throwing down a challenge to passers-by to consider our national identity. But far from being a strident activist, the artist is happy to question rather than lecture. “You’ve got to approach it with curiosity and the possibility that you might be wrong. There might be something you’re missing. You can’t forgo that possibility and bathe in the certainty of your convictions. You can’t be puritanical, because that is the worst thing of all.”

Culture August 24, 2019

Film director Jennifer Kent

Five years after her much-lauded The Babadook, director Jennifer Kent has returned with The Nightingale, which tackles Australia’s brutal colonial history. She reveals what drew her to tell this story – and what she thinks of audience reactions to the film’s violence. “The whole point of The Nightingale is what happens when that rage winds down. What are you left with? That to me is the most interesting part of the story: what lies underneath it is a broken heart.”

review

Culture September 21, 2019

Sophie Hyde’s Animals

Despite some missed opportunities in its storytelling, Animals is sustained by riveting performances from its two leads, and by Sophie Hyde’s generosity as a director.

Culture September 21, 2019

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

Although rebooting Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal may seem a strange choice, the Netflix prequel Age of Resistance is technically impressive and speaks to contemporary concerns.

Culture September 14, 2019

Avalanche: A Love Story

In Avalanche: A Love Story, Maxine Peake’s powerful and personal performance charts the pain and yearning – but also the wry humour – found in writer Julia Leigh’s account  of undergoing IVF.

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 September 20, 2019

We Need New Stories

Over her decade-long career in journalism, Guardian columnist and features writer Nesrine Malik has established herself as a well-known political commentator. In We Need New Stories, she brings together much of her oeuvre and extends …

Culture September 21, 2019

A Portrait of Alice as a Young Man

The cultural historian and essayist Maria Tumarkin once described an essay as “a dramatisation of a writer’s mind at work”. Ender Başkan’s A Portrait of Alice as a Young Man, though a novel, takes this dictum as its primary …

Culture September 21, 2019

Don Dunstan

When I immigrated to Australia in 1986, this country was notably forward-looking compared with the United States and Britain, where Reagan’s and Thatcher’s neoliberal policies were busily dismantling civil society and social welfare. Here …