What do you need to lead our nation?
Art & poetry
It was a cold and blustery day in Sydney on June 23 when poet Candy Royalle laid down her warrior gloves and breathed her last. The queer, Arabic, literary and protest worlds bowed their heads in shock and lamented her loss.
Candy was a proud Palestinian-Lebanese queer woman and an electric poet and performer. She was ferocious on stage, offering audiences a heady mix of lesbian sexual liberation and searing anti-colonial orations.
PNG has asked that someone be tasked
To examine Manus as a destination
For tourism indeed, so let’s take heed!
They’re awaiting a recommendation.
Dear Sir or Madam
For your disposal I have a proposal
For the Manus tourism survey,
They need some actions, they need attractions
For the industry they want to purvey.
It might be great to celebrate
What happened at the war’s close,
When vast shipments of US equipments
Rotted on the base, as everyone knows.
The season of zonked flies
Trapped behind windowpanes
They fall into coffee cups
Loll in left over gravy on dinner plates
A last indulgence on dessert platters
Rolling over, legs up
Not dead yet but on the way
Gone brutally bonkers
No wriggling out of here
(To the tune of Teddy Bears' Picnic)
If you go up to the Senate today
You’ll surely feel no surprise
If you go up to the Senate today
You’ll scarcely need a disguise
For every tycoon who ever there was
Is rejoicing there for certain becos
Today’s the day they’re getting their tax cut….
A party day for millionaires
They’re having a lovely time today,
It hardly took them unawares
It’s been planned since election day.
Peter Dutton’s talking to the gun lobby,
Cos that’s the kind of thing he does.
After all, it’s just a harmless hobby,
Giving macho men a lovely buzz.
And now he’s desirous of importing
Some macho men from far away,
He has great experience in sorting
Who should be blocked and who should stay....
At first it's all smiles and love,
Honeymoon is over now it's push ’n shove,
You stay because they say sorry,
It won't happen again please don't worry,
Then suddenly something triggers the tick,
BOOM slapped with your first backhand hit.
Left in shock you think how can this be?
Living in the denial of they do love me.
This time they beg please no divorce,
Saying "If you only listened I wouldn't use force"
Now the blame game sets in along with rules,
You hide the truth not to look the fool.
You’ve heard of those recessive genes,
And the masterful dominant types?
We could hope Malcolm’s progressive genes
Throve alongside his conservative stripes,
Even if mostly the latter prevailed.
Whereas Abbott’s mix of political genes
Seemed extreme, then more extreme when unveiled.
But Malcolm’s drum-banging terrorism scenes,
“Keeping us safe” (and Muslims uneasy)
By locking up ten-year-olds, now indicate
His progressive genes are feeling queasy.
He’s Abbott without the flags, so to state.
The walls of the National Gallery of Victoria ran red on October 14 as activist group the Artists’ Committee, an informal association of artists and arts workers opposed to the detention of asylum seekers, continued its project to pressure the National Gallery of Victoria to immediately end its contract with Wilson Security.
Wilson Security provides security services to both the gallery and Australia’s offshore detention facilities on Manus Island and Nauru and is known to have committed human rights abuses against asylum seekers and refugees.
Refugee Art Project is a not-for-profit community art organisation that holds art workshops for asylum seekers and refugees — both within the Villawood detention centre and in its studio in north Parramatta. Eila Vinwynn spoke to Safdar Ahmed, who founded the group about its work and aims.
Ms Saffaa is a Saudi artist currently studying in Australia. As part of her practice, she creates murals championing the freedom of women in Saudi Arabia — in particular drawing attention to the prohibitive “guardianship” laws.
Under these laws, women must be accompanied by a male “guardian” to do many every day activities — laws the Saudi regime slightly relaxed last month in a sign of pressure from campaigners.
Via Twitter, Saffaa’s work was taken up by a grassroots movement in Saudi Arabia and is now synonymous with the struggle to end these laws.