Arts & Culture

Ancient Amazonians lived sustainably – and this matters for conservation today

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Our colleague, the archaeologist Santiago Rivas, recently made a remarkable discovery. Authors (4) The Conversation On a small plateau above the outskirts of Iquitos, a town in the northern Peruvian Amazon, he found a layer in the soil which contained small pieces of ceramic pottery, that were around 1,800-years-old. Digging deeper, he found another layer of soil, this time containing pottery that was about 2,500 years old. This is the archaeological site at Quistococha which has been occupied for at ... Read More »

Jacinda Ardern wears Māori cloak to Buckingham Palace

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New Zealand leader in Kahu huruhuru praised as proud moment for female leaders and Māori worldwide Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin The Guardian New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has caused a stir with a striking image of her walking the halls of Buckingham Palace swathed in a traditional Māori cloak during this week’s Commonwealth heads of government meeting. The prime minister wore a Kahu huruhuru; a Māori cloak adorned with feathers and bestowed on chiefs and dignitaries to convey prestige, respect and ... Read More »

Julian Burnside: “I worry where our democracy is going”

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Human Rights Arts and Film Festival kicks off at five cinemas across Melbourne on May 3. On May 12, the festival is screening the world premiere of Judy Rymer’s Border Politics, wherein human rights lawyer Julian Burnside AO QC travels the globe to compare how different nations are responding to the refugee crisis. Nick D TimeOut Burnside, 68, is a Melbourne-based commercial litigation barrister who became involved in human rights causes after 2001 when he was asked to act pro bono in ... Read More »

What the law says about a stranger taking a photo of your child without permission

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Imagine this — you’re at home and in the backyard with your children. You notice a nearby neighbour begin to snap photographs of your kids. ABC Radio Brisbane Patrick Williams Naturally you’re concerned, so you call police to see what can be done only to be told that it’s legal provided no-one photographed is naked. That’s what happened to one Brisbane woman this past week. Her brother told ABC News: “My sister’s kids were working in the backyard yesterday doing ... Read More »

Somaliland poet jailed for Somalia reunification poetry

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A court in the self-declared republic of Somaliland has sentenced a young poet to three years in jail. BBC Nacima Qorane was found guilty of bringing the state into contempt by advocating for Somaliland to reunite with Somalia. Pressure groups in Somaliland said Ms Qorane’s basic human rights have been violated. Somaliland self-declared independence in 1991, but is not recognised internationally. Ms Qorane was arrested in January after returning from the Somali capital Mogadishu, where prosecutors said she had recited ... Read More »

Theatre connects migrant communities with government NDIS services

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An amateur theatre production about disability services might not be the typical feature on a playbill but Everlyn Tsavalas thinks the stage is the perfect way to engage the Greek community on the topic. Luke Wong ABC “For us, theatre is a school,” Ms Tsavalas said. “In any of our productions we always want people to leave here enriched in some way or another, whether it’s a comedy or a tragedy. “It was quite challenging making such a serious subject ... Read More »

Man Booker International Prize shortlist a boon for small publishers

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Six books, six languages, two former winners and a bonanza for independent publishers: the Man Booker International Prize – the UK’s most prestigious prize for translated fiction – has announced its 2018 shortlist. Amy Rushton The Conversation Whittled down from a longlist of 13 titles spanning the globe, the six titles to make the cut are translated from Arabic, French, Hungarian, Korean, Spanish and Polish. This year’s nominations have been selected by a panel of five judges, chaired by novelist ... Read More »

Alexis Wright wins 2018 Stella Prize for Tracker

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Alexis Wright has been awarded the 2018 Stella Prize for her remarkable biography of Aboriginal leader, thinker and entrepreneur, Tracker Tilmouth. Arts Review Tracker is a book uniquely written by weaving and layering first-person stories told about him as well as by him. It embeds Aboriginal traditions of oral and collective storytelling to create a new way of writing memoir – ‘giving many voices a part in the story’. In announcing the $50,000 prize at the Museum of Contemporary Art in ... Read More »

Why remembering matters for healing

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April 12 marks Holocaust Remembrance Day. Each year communities and schools plan various events such as reading the names of Holocaust victims and survivors, forums of Holocaust survivor speakers, or panel discussions with historians. Nancy Berns The Conversation These events run through an entire week of remembrance. Such formal days of remembrance are important. As a sociologist who studies grief and justice, I have seen how these events and permanent memorials can be both healing and inspirational. I will share ... Read More »

How Beethoven’s ‘mistake’ became one of our most famous tunes

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Without question, the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony contains one of the most famous tunes ever written. Scott Davie The Conversation Since its first performance in 1824, the “Ode to Joy” has been repurposed in endless ways, both reverential and exploitative, from performances at the Berlin Wall to its use in tawdry advertising. This final movement, which combines voices and orchestra, is based on Friedrich Schiller’s 1786 poem extolling a humanist theme of universal joy. Beethoven started sketching ideas ... Read More »

Provocative, political, speculative: your guide to the 2018 Stella shortlist

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Six years ago, The Stella Prize burst onto the Australian literary scene with an air of urgency. The A$50,000 award was the progeny of the Stella Count – a campaign highlighting the under-representation of women authors in book reviews and awards lists. Camilla Nelson The Conversation In the years since, the prize has challenged the gendered ways in which we think about “significance” and “seriousness” in literature. Judging a literary award is invariably a contest of aesthetics and politics. And ... Read More »

Folau’s free speech under attack

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Israel Folau’s tweet that gays will go to hell “unless they repent of their sins and turn to God” is causing a storm in the Twittersphere with critics accusing the Australian rugby player of being insensitive and homophobic. Brisbane Times Kevin Donnelly Such is the adverse reaction that Rugby Australia has scheduled a meeting with Folau later today in an attempt to limit the adverse fallout. And the latest controversy follows Folau’s statement last year that marriage should only ever ... Read More »

Fifteen years after looting, thousands of artefacts are still missing from Iraq’s national museum

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On April 10 2003, the first looters broke into the National Museum of Iraq. Staff had vacated two days earlier, ahead of the advance of US forces on Baghdad. Craig Barker The Conversation The museum was effectively ransacked for the next 36 hours until employees returned. While the staff – showing enormous bravery and foresight – had removed and safely stored 8,366 artefacts before the looting, some 15,000 objects were taken during that 36 hours. While 7,000 items have been ... Read More »

Leading human rights barrister Julian Burnside examines asylum seeker policies worldwide

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World Premiere of Border Politics The Human Rights Arts and Film Festival will screen the world premiere of Border Politics on 15 May in Melbourne. Border Politics follows human rights barrister Julian Burnside as he crosses the globe to examine the treatment of refugees. Georgia Rowles. Pic: James Dryburgh Tasmanian Times The documentary highlights refugee and asylum seeker policies enforced in developed countries. Julian Burnside compares the attitudes of these countries to demonstrate the role political leadership plays in refugee ... Read More »

Number of teachers fired from public schools on the rise

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Teachers are being dismissed for being inefficient at their job at nearly three times the rate of previous years, and sexual misconduct remains one of the top reasons teachers are sacked. Pallavi Singhal Nigel Gladstone WAtoday Last year, 11 teachers in NSW government schools were dismissed or allowed to resign following proven allegations of sexual misconduct with students, and two were dismissed for sexual misconduct which didn’t involve students, including a… Four teachers were also sacked for offences related to ... Read More »

The plight of Rohingya women

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As the minority Rohingya people flee persecution in Myanmar, none face greater hardship and suffering than Rohingya women. By Imran Mohammad. The Saturday Paper I write this as a Rohingya man, a refugee, looking at an unacknowledged reality in the upheaval of my people. The majority of Rohingya women have never had the opportunity to express themselves. It is like their lives begin and end inside four walls. They can be made to commit to a virtual stranger in an ... Read More »