Multiculturalism

A Man of Good Hope is no tale of triumph over adversity, but it is the story of many

In a world where so many are escaping brutality, war, persecution, and loss of land, is it possible to tell the story of just one displaced person, and in so doing, tell the story of many? William Peterson The Conversation With A Man of Good Hope, a theatrical adaptation of a biography of the same name by Jonny Steinberg, the Cape Town-based Isango Ensemble suggests the answer is yes. An energetic cast of over 20 actor-singer-dancer-musicians are shaped by director ... Read More »

Why these Australian women’s rights activists are continuing to fight for equality

A lot has changed since International Women’s Day began more than a century ago – but there’s more to be done. Here, a human rights advocate, an abuse survivor, and a sex worker share their stories. Maani Truu SBS The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911, with more than a million people across Europe demanding women be given the right to vote and hold public office. Now, 108 years later, the world is a very different place. We ... Read More »

After years of vicious culture wars, hope may yet triumph over hate in Australian politics

For a generation, politics has been wearying for those of good heart and outright damaging to those targeted in the culture wars unleashed in the 1990s. How this happened, and whether it will continue, are… Chris Wallace The Conversation The traditional post-war political struggle pitted class and concerns about inequality, opportunity and redistribution against capital and concerns about profits, property rights and the shoring up of… Over the past two decades, the moorings of this “left” versus “right” paradigm of ... Read More »

Michelle Bachelet has urged Australia to adopt “more humane policies” towards refugees.

The United Nations’ leading voice on human rights has criticised Australia’s refugee policies, specifically condemning plans to reopen Christmas Island detention centre. SBS UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet used an address on Wednesday to highlight rights abuses around the world, with Australia making the list. “The office has raised concern with Australia about the imminent transfer of migrants on Manus Island and Nauru to new detention centres,” the… “These people have been suffering for more than… Michelle ... Read More »

Protecting Women’s Space in Politics

Women human rights defenders around the globe are facing heightened threats of violence and repression. Isabelle Arradon ICG Sometimes they are targeted for being activists, and sometimes just for being women. World leaders should do much more to secure space for women’s safe participation in public life. In early January 2019, unknown gunmen shot dead Maritza Isabel Quiroz Leiva, a 60-year-old Colombian land rights activist on a small farm near the Caribbean city of Santa Marta. Her killing was a stark ... Read More »

Socrates in love: how the ideas of this woman are at the root of Western philosophy

Where did Socrates, the foundational figure of Western philosophy, get the inspiration for his original ideas about truth, love, justice, courage and knowledge? Armand D’Angour The Conversation New research I’ve conducted reveals that as a young man in 5th-century BC Athens, he came into contact with a fiercely intelligent woman, Aspasia of Miletus. I argue that her ideas about love and transcendence inspired him to formulate key aspects of his thought (as transmitted by Plato). If the evidence for this ... Read More »

Brexit Is Hell…

Over time, public conceptions of hell have migrated from the realm of religious belief to that of literature and political aphorism. Harold James Project Syndicate And nowhere is the idea of eternal damnation as punishment for one’s own choices more appropriate than in the case of the United Kingdom as it hurdles toward the Brexit abyss. PRINCETON – European Council President Donald Tusk recently sparked controversy by saying there is a “special place in hell” for those who advocated Brexit ... Read More »

The sounds of Speechless, where words are superfluous

Speechless is the new opera by award-winning composer Cat Hope, co-commissioned by the Perth Festival and Tura New Music. Stephen Chinna The Conversation This is Hope’s powerful response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2014 report into children in immigration detention. Hope created what she describes as a “graphic score” derived from drawings and graphics extracted from the Report. This system of “animated graphic notation” is explained by Tura as “the representation of music through the use of visual symbols ... Read More »

The Killing Times: the massacres of Aboriginal people Australia must confront

Special report: Shootings, poisonings and children driven off cliffs – this is a record of state-sanctioned slaughter • A massacre map of Australia’s frontier wars – interactive Lorena Allam and Nick Evershed The Guardian The truth of Australia’s history has long been hiding in plain sight. The stories of “the killing times” are the ones we have heard in secret, or told in hushed tones. They are not the stories that appear in our history books yet they refuse to go away. ... Read More »

Spain unveils ‘generous’ plan to protect British citizens in event of no-deal Brexit

Spain’s plans includes residency rights and healthcare protections to UK citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit Nick Duffy The Scotsman The Spanish government has unveiled plans to protect UK citizens even in the event of a no-deal Brexit. It unveiled a “generous” plan to guarantee residency and healthcare rights to UK citizens. Spain is home to the largest British diaspora within the EU, with an estimated 400,000 UK citizens living in the country. Spain wants reciprocity The plan announced ... Read More »

How do you kick EU ‘bastards’ out, asks Boris Johnson

The problem with the EU is ‘we don’t really know who is running it,’ said the former UK foreign secretary. Sarah Wheaton Politico It is not clear who runs the EU or how to “kick those particular bastards out,” said former U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. “My objection to the EU was not that it was run by foreigners,” Johnson, a Brexiteer who quit Prime Minister Theresa May’s government last year in protest at her Brexit strategy, told a New ... Read More »

When a kid breaks the law there’s so much more going on below the surface

We must recognise the link between mental conditions and youth crime Anonymous The Guardian The Kimberley is an exceptionally beautiful part of the continent. None of its natural splendour can be seen in one of the region’s courtrooms, however. The only noteworthy feature is the Western Australian coat of arms, with its iconic black swan and kangaroo paw. Opposite the magistrate’s chair sits a wide screen television, used in part to reach young offenders via video link. This screen streams ... Read More »

Supreme Court will look at whether a cross is promotion of religion or war memorial

The Supreme Court justices, long divided on the role of religion, are set to decide whether a 40-foot Latin cross sitting at a busy intersection in Maryland is an unconstitutional official endorsement of Christianity or a… David G. Savage Los Angeles Times It will be the first major religion case for Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, and the outcome could signal whether the court’s five conservatives are prepared to give small towns, counties and… At issue is the 1st Amendment’s ban ... Read More »

Outrage over antisemitic attacks in France presents opportunity for Emmanuel Macron to heal wartime wounds

France has recently been rocked by a series of antisemitic attacks. Portraits on post boxes of the late Simone Veil – a Holocaust survivor and the country’s first minister for women’s affairs – were vandalised. David Lees The Conversation The philosopher Alain Finkelkrault was verbally abused by protesters from the gilets jaunes (yellow vest) movement. A number of tombstones in Jewish cemeteries have been defaced with Swastikas and a man was shot with an air rifle outside a synagogue in ... Read More »

English is not enough – British children face major disadvantage when it comes to language skills

For a number of years now, the provision of languages in British schools and universities has been in decline. Authors: The Conversation Yet, as Brexit looms largely on the horizon, there has been much talk in the media and from politicians about the need for a… Arguably, a country can only really be global and outward looking if language skills are considered essential for its citizens. The government seems to share this view – at least to some extent. This ... Read More »

Christianity and Humanity—from a Distance

In 1923, a young assistant professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary named J. Gresham Machen published a scathing critique of the worldview animating establishment or “mainline” Protestant Christianity in Europe and America. Barton Swaim RealClearBooks That worldview, Machen argued in Christianity and Liberalism, consisted in a groveling obeisance to anything claiming to be based on “science.” So for instance if “science”—or the habit of mind claiming to be “scientific” that amounted to little more than doctrinaire materialism—insisted that ... Read More »