Bombino brings banned music to Adelaide

The son of poor villagers in Niger, Bombino was set to come a long way to perform at WOMADelaide, the annual world music and dance festival held in Adelaide from March 6 to 9. His unique blend of desert blues and hardcore rock 'n' roll was sure to fire up this year’s main stage. Vanessa Powell spoke to the performer.


Bombino, can you tell me about the traditional music of Niger? Does your music incorporate traditional styles?

Bali duo fall victim to ‘war on drugs’

The impending execution in Indonesia of two Australian drug couriers — Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan – has focused Australian media attention on the horrors of capital punishment. Their lawyers, families and supporters, particularly artist Ben Quilty, have ensured that the two have been humanised.

Zombie economics alive and well and destroying our future

Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Amongst Us
John Quiggin
Black Inc., 2012
265 pages, $26.95 (pb)

“Being already dead,” says John Quiggin of zombie ideas in economics, “they can absorb all kinds of damage and keep lumbering on.”

And so, despite severe reality checks such as the historical Great Depression and the more recent Global Financial Crisis (GFC), classical free market economics continues to lead its undead life in the neoliberal form Quiggin calls “market liberalism”.

Spinning terror to fuel racism

When 22-year-old Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein murdered two people in Copenhagen on February 15, and was killed in a shoot-out with police, the media and politicians across the world did not hesitate to declare that an act of terrorism had taken place.

US President Barack Obama immediately phoned Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt to offer condolences and invited Denmark to take part in a February 18 summit in Washington to counter violent extremism, Reuters reported on February 16.

Other Western leaders, including Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, responded similarly.

Four ways Australia is killing refugees

Eighty days on hunger strike has put an Iranian man who sought safety in Australia at death's door, as advocates around Australia fight for the immigration department to act to save his life.

“Martin” took the non-violent step to refuse to eat last November after the Australian government denied him refugee protection and redetained him in the remote Wickham Point Detention Centre. At least 15 other men in the same situation as Martin have also taken up a hunger strike.

Win for Dandenong workers following occupation

Warehouse workers at the International Flavours & Fragrances (IFF) factory in Dandenong scored a major victory on February 1, after their four-day occupation of the staffroom.

About 30 workers took the action after IFF management locked out the workforce earlier last week.

The workers, covered by the National Union of Workers, had been planning to undertake protected low-level industrial action against the company following months of negotiations for a new enterprise bargaining agreement.

Tony Abbott’s boat claim stopped by facts

The boats that “just kept coming and coming” under Labor have been “all but stopped”, Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared to the Press Club in his widely described as “crash-and-burn” address on February 2.

“The Abbott government has stopped the boats — and only this government will keep them stopped.”

'Australia Day no time to celebrate': Aboriginal activist

Australia Day is traditionally the most racist day of the year for Aboriginal people.

When people celebrate on January 26, there is no escaping the fact they are celebrating the day that one race of people invaded another race of people’s country and took control of Aboriginal lands and tried to dominate Aboriginal people.

Invasion Day, as it should be called, celebrates the dispossession of land, culture, and way of life of Aborigines.

Fight for land rights and justice for Aboriginal people

The Socialist Alliance released this statement on January 16.


Aboriginal Australians have the oldest continuous cultures and languages in the world. The first peoples cared for country for thousands of years and have intimate knowledge of its unique environment.

Instead of helping to protect, learn from and collaborate with this knowledge, the Coalition government continues to endanger and destroy Aboriginal culture.

Darwin vigil supports refugees

Fifteen people gathered outside the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Darwin on January 19 to show support for asylum seekers and protest against indefinite mandatory detention.

The vigil was called by the Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network.

It was an opportunity to voice concern about the deteriorating health of an Iranian man in detention in Darwin, who had been on hunger strike for more than 50 days, and the ongoing hunger strike, protests and violent clashes inside the Manus Island detention centre.

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