Art & poetry

Books are lives compressed, humanity summarised into screaming or striking stories. One would think the book world would be a safe haven from inequality. But instead the traditional publishing industry — the big corporate publishers — is perpetuating prejudice and limiting ideas by elevating certain authors, characters, and thoughts above all others, with significant social consequences.
The recent election of socialist MP Jeremy Corbyn as leader of Britain’s Labour Party has spurred a flurry of debate on the left, particularly after the failure of anti-austerity SYRIZA to live up to its promise of standing up to Europe’s imposed memoranda. Regardless of where we stand on the Labour Party generally, there is no denying that Corbyn’s victory has generated huge excitement and mobilised thousands of young people new to politics and seasoned Labour members alike.
The arts sector is celebrating the removal of the arts portfolio from Attorney-General George Brandis in the aftermath of sustained protests over the Brandis-led cuts to the Australia Council for the Arts. An open letter, signed by a collective of dozens of writers including renowned musician and author Nick Cave, had demanded new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull sack Brandis as arts minister and reverse arts funding cuts. In Turnbull's cabinet shake-up following his replacement of Tony Abbott as prime minister, Senator Fifield was appointed arts and communications minister.
Artist Doreen Chapman at the opening night of ‘We Call It Home’. We Call It Home Spinifex Hill Artists exhibition, FORM gallery, Perth September 3 to November 30 Many of the Martu people of Western Australia’s Pilbara region, extending out into the Great Sandy, Little Sandy and Gibson Deserts, only ceased living a pujiman (entirely traditional) life as late as the 1960s. Many also took part in the huge Aboriginal stock workers strike of the late ’40s.
Mrs Engels By Gavin McCrea Scribe, 2015 352 pp, $29.99 For those hankering to know what Communist Manifesto co-author Frederick Engels’ erect penis looked like, page 37 of this novel is for you. “In its vigours, it points up and a bit to the side,” says Lizzie Burns, the first-person narrator of the entire story. Gavin McCrea’s Burns is a brilliant narrative voice, and his writing sparkles. Burns’s rich brogue and incisive humour are wonderful.
Protesters boycott the Israeli Film Festival

The Friends of Palestine WA (FOPWA) led a 50-strong protest of students, activists and Palestinians to boycott the opening of the Israeli Film Festival in Perth on August 20.

African American activist Bree Newsome made world headlines on June 27 when she scaled the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Statehouse and removed the Confederate flag. Arrested for her efforts, the flag was raised an hour later — but the powerful image went global.

DC Entertainment, Warner Bros Animation, Warner Bros Consumer Products and Mattel - forming a veritable Hollywood marketing Axis of Evil - issued a joint press release on April 22 saying they were releasing a tsunami of marketing targeted at six-to-12 year-old girls. The product they will be pushing will be “DC Superhero Girls” - including Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl and more - during their formative years.
Samba Co-written & directed by Olivier Nakache & Eric Toledano In cinemas now Nobody could say that French film makers Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano — and their actor of choice, Omar Sy — shy away from heavy subjects. In their 2012 international hit The Intouchables, they dived straight into questions of disability, racism and class. Now in Samba they have tackled the question of illegal migrants struggling to survive without papers in contemporary France.
ADELAIDE Come to Voices of Dissent on Thursday May 14 at 7pm. A Fundraiser for Green Left Weekly. Featuring The Tangled Bank; Kyle Landman, The Young Offenders; Steve O’Malley; Where Was I?; Brendan de Paor. Entry $7. The Jade Monkey, 160 Flinders St, Adelaide. Ph Claudia 0435 108 439. BRISBANE
Tony Abbott’s government is gearing up for another budget, and much has been made about how to raise revenue and what to cut. The government has toned down its previous rhetoric about a budget emergency, which appears to have disappeared despite the government failing to pass most of last year’s budget measures, but it still looks as if they will make the most disadvantaged pay while keeping things sweet for their mates in the big end of town.
White City, Black City: Architecture & War in Tel Aviv & Jaffa By Sharon Rotbard Pluto Press, £14.99 In July 2003, Unesco put the “White City” of Tel Aviv on its list of World Heritage Sites. It took almost 20 years of incessant campaigning by the Israeli state to secure this recommendation that, de facto, legitimised far-reaching aspects of Zionist ideology. But was there any merit to the Tel Aviv case in the first place? In fact, the building of Tel Aviv began adjacently to Jaffa — one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world — only from about 1909.