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Ormond Papers {2014}


Ormond Papers///Blurred Lines/// Vol.XXXI 2014

Š Ormond Papers Volume XXXI 2014 Printed and bound in Burnwood, Australia by BPA Print Group

Ormond College

49 College Crescent, Parkville, VIC 3052 T: 613 9344 1100 F: 61 39344 1111 E: ABN: 975 436 240 82

Contents Hana Nihill Editorial Helena Lyristakis Artists and Salesmen


Joshua Castle No Report on Reality


Jon Tarry A Controlled Crash Amelia Burke Other Than Human Eliza Kluckow The Reappearance of the Sick Man Sebastian Kitchen Going Walkabout Rufus Black and Edward Morgan Ormond At War

26 32 44 50 60

Buster Davidson Menu at the End of the Universe


Julian O’Donnell Suffrage and Spectacle


William Abbey Censorship and Sexuality Lachlan Grey Lost in Translation Rowan Downing Beyond Borders

88 94 106

Isabella Borshoff Getting Out of Gitmo


Sophie Clews King Of Nothing


Caitlin Clifford War is Peace Sam Hodgson The Other side of the fence Brigid O’Farrell Memory in Urban Space Amelia Burke a march Harvey Duckett Remembering The Troubles

124 132 144 154 160

Graham Priest Why Do we Still Read Plato?


Martha Swift She Who Hesitates


Jane Freemantle Prepared not Predetermined


Sophie Matherson

Editorial I have started to see in squares. Perhaps not

merely an oversight, in other instances it becomes

squares but rectangles of variable dimensions that

a considered divergence that immediately draws

overlay themselves on everything that crosses into

you into a new understudying of an old subject

my field of vision. It may sound sinister however,

matter. These instances can constitute a departure

the grid has become the ubiquitous motif of the

from the status quo, a questioning of traditional

design school. Hammered into the unsuspecting

modus operandi, that perhaps have past their

student from day one, they are touted as the

point of usefulness. They can be found in the

vehicles of a visual logic that allow the reader,

disregarding of disciplines, where one subject is

viewer, participant to derive meaning from

used to interpret another. They can even be found

otherwise random lines scrawled over a page.

in buildings, plotted on excel, to achieve their geometries. In deviating from the norm, the nature

Once you have picked up on it, you begin to notice

of the grid as a mere scaffold is ultimately revealed.

these grids everywhere. They are on the pages of the texts you read, running rampant throughout

It is these deviations and anomalies that Blurred

newspapers and magazines. They dictate the

Lines concerns itself with. The words and images

trajectory of the roads on which we navigate cities.

contained herein represent points of departure

They are the underpinning of all the structures

from the status quo. They are also points of

we inhabit and of the tools we use on a daily basis.

departure for you, the reader, from which a new

Within the university you can see the lines laid

search for knowledge may begin. They are meant

out all the way from the Professors Walk, through

to be interacted with, re-interpreted, questioned.

to Swanston street, delineating the arts student

This publication should sit closer to your notepad

centre, the school of culture and communication,

than your bookshelf. It exists to be scribbled in,

the architecture building and the science and

drawn in, to have pages ripped out and pinned

engineering laboratories; each distinct, nestled into

up. It exists as the starting point for an new

their individual cells on the university campus.

understanding of many of the ideas that are touched on throughout.

Picking up on the grids however, means picking up on the deviations, the little quirks that do not quite fit in with their surrounds. Sometimes this is

Hana Nihill

As always, this publication could not have been realised without the support and dedication of a multitude of people within the Ormond Community. First and foremost, I would like to thank the editorial team, consisting of Tycho Orton, Sophie Clews, Martha Swift and Sebastian Kitchen. Your time and energy radiate from the pages of this publication and it is to you that its every success belongs. To the myriad staff at Ormond who have supported this publication from start to finish, thank you. Particularly Deb Hull for her invaluable editing commentary, Di Bambrah for her inexhaustible knowledge of our diverse community, John Harris for his ‘I told you so’s’ and Domenic Trimboli for his unwavering support and advice. The students whose contributions to the publication were invaluable at various points throughout the process include: Georgia Hall, Wendy Qin, Joshua Castle, William Abbey, Nico Kunz, Lucas Volfneuk.


Artists and Salesmen Helena Lyristakis Arts 2

Figure One: Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Orange), mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent colour coating, 1994-200, 307.3 x 363.2 x 114.3 cm.i

Figure Two: Yves Klein, (FC1) Fire Colour 1, dry pigments and synthetic resin on panel, 1962, 141 x 299.5 x 3 cm.ii

Nouveau Realiste Yves Klein (1928-1962) and contemporary artist Jeff Koons (b. 1955) are two men of tremendous critical and commercial acclaim.1 Both have had careers challenging the boundaries between what it is to be an artist and what it is to direct the making of art. Koons’ Balloon Dog (Orange) (Fig. 1) is the most expensive art work to ever be sold at auction and Klein, following the sale of FC1 (Fire Colour 1) (Fig. 2), reached the elite circles of the most expensive Post-War artists.2 However, embedded deeper within these oeuvres than often realised is a commentary on the relationship between high and low art and the human desire to consume and acquire branded goods. Both artists deliberately straddle this distinction in their desire to create iconic works but ironically do so through the removal of the artist’s hand and the implementation of two very unconventional workshops. Despite their controversial approaches to art making, both Klein and Koons achieve what Clement Greenberg believes to be the quintessential characteristic of modern art: the ability for any given discipline to criticise the discipline itself.3 Heiser argues further that there is a tendency for art containing conceptual reference to its making and meaning to become ‘radically self-referential’4. This is exactly what Klein and Koons have developed: work that references its artists, its time, and its place, to stand as complex critiques and reflections of their respective worlds. When considering high and low art, we must think of the everyday viewer or participant and how they engage with works that mingle with the mundane, the abstract, the forgotten, the simple and the readymade. Klein and Koons have achieved the creation of high art, but it is an art that neither explores a narrative nor passively expects worship. Theirs is a high art that invades your space, intrudes upon your thoughts and can disturb your reality. High Art, as MOMA defined it during their 1990 exhibition High and Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture, is an example of an artist and his or her work that ‘are the primary material with which any history of art in this century must contend’, MOMA outlines that any high art ‘entails some sense of obligation’.5 Traditionally, we understood this was in regards to religious works, art of worship, of narrative and memorial; art that was perceived to be of great meaning. In a similar vein, 11

Figure Three: Jeff Koons, Moon (light blue), high chromium stainless steel, 1995-2000, 330.2 x 330.2 x 101.6 cm.iii

Figure Four: Performance of Yves Klein’s Anthropometrics of the Blue Period, 9th March 1960, Galerie International d’Art Contemporain, Paris.iv

Klein’s artwork is performed and made to capture and radiate a religious and spiritual encounter for his viewers, granting them an immediate experience. Despite his spiritual explorations, Klein’s intentions throughout his short career can be seen as having an emphasis on self-branding.6 Simultaneously, one wonders whether Koon’s work is intended to enable an experience of such magnitude. His Celebrations series is mostly made of mirror polished stainless steel in an attempt to ‘capture the individual’s desire in the object, and to fix his or her aspirations in the surface’7. Hung in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles in 2009, Moon (Light Blue) (Fig. 3) is a fine example of the complexity that Koons can inject into a celebratory Mylar balloon. Arguably, his work prompts self-reflection given the highly polished surfaces that force his viewer to consider the mirror image of themselves and the world that passes behind.8 In his deliberate placement within the palace we can question Koons’ commentary on the historical significance of the piece that, like many others in the thoroughfare, exalt the successes of many wars, but also mark moments of armistice.9 Obligation therefore manifests in a slightly different form for Koons, as we are faced with a contemporary commentary on an ever-changing society.10 A simpler reading into this placement might suggest the work is aesthetically placed as a mirror to reflect the most famous room of mirrors, and thus Koons’ work remains ‘perpetually new and forever foreign’11. The terming of Koons and Klein as high artists presents a conundrum. These two men are considered masters of their respective eras and innovators in their fields. Their art is recognized as high art; it is canonical, it is expensive, and to many it is unobtainable as a commodity. Or is it? Can these oeuvres stand as high art, when they are manifestations and magnifications of the everyday, of the mundane, and of mass culture?12 Koons draws from masters before him, namely Duchamp, exhibiting ready-mades or over-sized sculptures depicting images of popular-culture. Klein has branded a pigment, a colour that in some respects has transcended his art to become a colour recognisable beyond the art world and, thus, a commodity in its own right. In the generation of symbolic work comes the ability for society to consume these artists’ legacies without necessarily needing to purchase their art. 12

Figure Five: Yves Klein, Anthropometrics (Untitled) ANT 133, pigement in synthetic resin on paper laid down on canvas, 1960, 129 x 37 cm.v

It is through the use of such repetitive imagery that the work of both artists has become iconic and as a result elevated to such high status. The multi-faceted nature of these artists lies in their ability to produce low art. They have published writings and manifestos in order to reach the public and allow their work to become ‘accessible’13 and familiar all the while maintaining a focus on shocking their audience. Yet they simultaneously present to the art market and art institutions work that maintains a sense of obligation; obligation that has manifested from their technical and aesthetic innovation. It must be noticed for being different, it must be acknowledged as being the first of its kind and thus we are obliged to face works that are seemingly so simple, yet are truly complex creations. Their ability to straddle the notions of high and low art can be attributed to the removal of the artist’s hand in the canons of Klein and Koons. This occurs in both methodology and the establishment of their workshops. Their radical approaches are heightened as we consider the scientific and alternative consideration in their art making, and the unconventional workshops that oversee these creations. Klein was one to reinvent the workshop insofar as he rejected the notion of the mass-produced but rather allowed for his workers to contribute directly to his art. Under his direction, those within his ‘workshop’14 became his tools and his materials. Anthropometrics of the Blue Period (Fig. 4) and (Fig. 5) is a work of Klein’s that defies the boundaries previously set for painting, portraiture and the concept of art as an experience. His models serve as ‘living brushes’15 as Klein directs them to paint themselves and subsequently paint his canvas. Simultaneously, the entire room is enveloped in Klein’s own composition, Symphonie Monotone Silence conducted by the artist throughout the 40-minute performance.16 The traces that remain on the canvas are his models’ enigmatic living self-portraits and, true to the term, they are depictions of themselves. The art that remains is extended through various forms: video, photography, documentation, a discussion which followed the performance, and of course the artworks on paper. Through the use of his iconic eponymous pigment, International Klein Blue (IKB), Klein has been granted the ‘grace to 13

Figure Six: Yves Klein, Monogold sans titre (MG23), gold leaf on board, 1961, 58 x 41cmvi.

Figure Seven: Yves Klein, Monogold Age d’or (MG42), gold leaf on board, 1960, 21.5 x 12.5 cm.vii

Figure eight: Yves Klein, Monogold sans titre (MG25), gold leaf on board, 1961, 53 x 51 cm.viii

Figure Nine: Yves Klein, Monogold sans titre (MG6), gold leaf on board, 1961, “Arte torna arte”, installation views, Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence, 2012.ix

Figure Ten: Yves Klein, Sculpture Eponge sans titre (SE83), dry blue pigment in synthetic resin on natural sponges, 1960, 22 x 10 x 9 cm.x


Figure Eleven: Yves Klein, Monochrome bleu sans titre (IKB 171) (Monochrome Blue without title), ca. 1960, 62x50cm.xi

Figure Twelve: Jeff Koons, One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (Spalding Dr. J 241 Series), glass, steel, sodium chloride reagent, distilled water, one basketball, 1985, 164.5 x 78.1 x 33.7 cm.xii

Figure Thirteen: Jeff Koons, Balloon Monkey, high chromium stainless steel with transparent colour coating, 2006-2013, 381 x 596.9 x 320 cm.xiii

Figure Fourteen: Jeff Koons, New Shelton Wet/Dry Doubledecker, vacuum cleaners, plexiglass and fluorescent lights, 1981, 245.4 x 71.1 x 71.1 cm.xiv

inhabit’17 his work, despite not having applied the pigment to paper himself. In this approach to art making, the artist’s hand is theoretically lost. However, Klein’s identification to his art is not within his brushstrokes, but rather unconventionally through the pigment he paints with. Thus, Klein the producer, director and most importantly Klein the performer becomes apparent. Where Klein does apply his own paints to panel are in his Monochromes series. These paintings possess a pure energy, which to a viewer can be overpowering.18 The works were like nothing before them as they rejected the tradition of colour contrast to achieve balance and unlike the works of artist like Malevich, Klein was integral to his art. Three varying surface finishes, all of which achieve ‘pure flatness’19, are Klein’s approaches to the application of gold leaf to his Monogolds. Through application methods of Byzantine tradition, his three Monogold methods consist of the gold leaf rectangular grids of Monogold sans titre (MG23)(Fig. 6), followed by Monogold Age D’Or (MG42) (Fig. 7) whose burnished gold leaf quivers at the slightest breeze, and to complete his holy triangle, the concave golf reliefs of panels such as Monogold sans titre (MG25) (Fig. 8).20 Each method presents icon-like panels that have been exhibited amongst Byzantine Icons by the Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence, demonstrating the spiritual power these works possess (Fig. 9).21 Klein’s Monochromes are seen as ‘[windows] to freedom’22 in their ability to offer viewers an experience rather than an image. His most iconic panels were painted with International Klein Blue (IKB) a pigment Klein created and registered on 19th May 1960 after an extensive period of testing and perfecting. The colour appears across his Monochromes, Sculptures, Relief Portraits, Sponge Reliefs, Sponge 15

Figure Fifteen: Yves Klein, Le Vide (The Void) or Zone de sensibilité picturale immatérielle, April 28 – May 12, 1958.xv

Figure Sixteen: Yves Klein, Transfer of a Zone of immaterial pictorial sensibility to Claude Pascal, Paris, Feburary 4th, 1962.xvi

Sculptures, Shrouds and Anthropometrics and is the strongest identifier of his work. Sponge Eponge bleue sans titre (SE83) (Fig. 10) and Monochrome bleu sans titre (IKB 171) (Fig. 11) are two examples of sculptural and painterly use of IKB. The ultra-marine-like blue historically suggests religious deity and thus remains true to the spiritual Klein that we know. Thus, the colour in itself is a symbol of high art, or worship and the ordained, yet equally in its vast repetition and branding, it becomes synonymous with low art. Essentially, Klein trademarked not only his colour but also his name, with what Bois refers to as an absurd repetition of Yves in each caption. This blue soon became Klein, and Klein became it, as he himself proclaimed his auto-bio-pictorial works were inhabited by him.23 Equally, with such branding came a familiarity with the colour that would infiltrate other disciplines, seeing Klein’s colour massproduced, all the while remaining a reflection on him.24 While the work of Klein and Koons encompass vastly different methods and ideology, they marry well in perfectionism. Much like Klein, Koons’ working process is meticulously thought out and executed. Stoller-Lindsey’s article highlights the variety of complex approaches behind Koons’ impressive works and as a result brings to light the irony that underpins his practice.25 When dealing with the ready-made, or depictions of it, it can only be expected that it will resemble a ‘work of art without an artist to create it’26. Rather Koons enlists the advice, assistance and expertise of fabricators. One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (Fig.12) is one such work that compels the viewer in its complex construction, yet simple appearance. A suspended basketball in water sits at absolute equilibrium, but only as a result of a carefully measured formula that Koons worked on with Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Richard P. Feynman. The nature of vibration will cause the basketball to change its position as Koons describes, ‘vibrations…change the patterns of information communicated…. This is the beginning of independent thought patterns’26. This understanding of the work is not usually gauged upon first sight, allowing the artwork to provide layered and varying responses in time. Similarly, Balloon Dog (Orange) (Fig. 1) possesses great complexity behind a seemingly simple sculptural image. Yet the sheer size of this 3.6m tall glossy dog equally stuns and confounds in its ability to extend the reaches of technology and go far beyond the ‘realm of human manufacture’27. The stainless steel 16

Figure Seventeen: Jeff Koons, Made in Heaven, lithograph billboard, 1989, 317.5 x 690.9cm.xvii

alloy used to manufacture sculptures like the Balloon Dog and Balloon Monkey (Fig.13) was created by Koons along with German fabricator, Arnold.28 The process to ensure absolute realism is extensive, as Koons forms these sculptures so that they accurately convey the sense of air pressure and minute folds that they would have if made of blown up rubber. Essentially Koons’ work takes the opposite approach to that of Klein’s as it initially presents itself as a simple image of mass-culture. However, with a greater understanding of his practices, we understand the complexity behind his works, elevating them to a higher status. Often in his works there remains a great sense of ‘displacement’29 as he takes ordinary objects of the everyday and readymade and places them within the prestigious white cube. Koons has been referenced as creating art that references the ur-kitsch, as he identified images that had not been considered.30 He extends above and beyond examining taboo or common mass-culture imagery by toying with images beneath society’s radar. The works he exhibits are composed of familiar objects, they are of the everyday, yet they are what Crow identifies as ‘things that stay strange’31. The balloon sculptures aptly demonstrate this approach to Koons’ art, as does the vacuum cleaner series, New Shelton Wet/Dry Doubledecker (Fig.14). An object for which nobody has any emotion is displayed in a lit up Perspex box within the gallery space. Accordingly, as a viewer, one must look at the ur-kitsch and take these images as they are, with permission granted by the artist to find its meaning within themselves. Two artists each of distinct recognition, and dissimilar oeuvres, mirror each other in their burgeoning pursuit to elevate their public identity. Klein extended notions of the artist’s genius so far as to issue certificates of non-existent artworks to buyers in exchange for a few grams of gold.32 One might question once more whether Klein is undermining his audience, as he had a purchaser of Zones of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility (Fig. 15) and (Fig.16) burn his certificate in front of an audience at a 1962 viewing.33 We might question then what the purchaser had obtained. Was it the opportunity to exist within a space pregnant with Klein’s presence? Was Klein toying with notions of artistic genius, or in this instance was he projecting a God-like quality reminiscent of Midas and his glorified touch?


Koons equally can be identified as a salesman of the absurd, as Rosalind Krauss aggressively critiques; Koons ‘is not exploiting the media for avant-garde purposes. He’s in cahoots with the media. He has no message’34. Koons much like Klein has appeared in his own artwork, most famously in the controversial 1990 series Made in Heaven (Fig 17).35 Krauss refers to Koons approach as being something repulsive, yet Koons is unashamed of this approach as he argues that salesmen are society’s ‘great communicators’36. Much of Klein and Koons success can be attributed to their skill and innovation but without the ability to sell themselves, their work would have never reached the elevated status or complexity that it has.37 As artists and salesmen, Klein and Koons individually created oeuvres like no others before them. At times their works seem ostentatious, too grand, too expensive, too complex to approach, yet, ironically, too simple to access. These are artists who dwell on that which is familiar in a manner that is obscure. I believe this lies in their ability to create works that carry a sense of obligation and prestige, but equally an awareness of society and its obsession with branding and consumption. Hence, a moment occurs at which the simple becomes complex, and the art elevated. Essentially what culminates from works such as those considered throughout this essay is a complexity and self-reflection that makes for powerful and effective art.




Klein-Moquay, R & Moquay, D 2014, Yves Klein Archives, viewed 11 September 2014, <http://www.yveskleinarchives. org>; Barlow, M 2014, ‘Koons, Jeff’, Grove Art Online: Oxford University Press, viewed 11 September 2014, <http://www. article/grove/art/T047348?q=jeff+koons&article_ section=all&search=article&pos=1&_start=1#firsthit>. 2 Christie’s, 12 November 2013, Post-Sale Release: Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale Achieves $691,583,000: Highest Auction Total in Art Market History, Press Release, viewed 20 September 2014, < pressrelease.aspx?pressreleaseid=6842> . 3 Christie’s, 9 May 2012, Release: Christie’s Evening Sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art in New York Totals $388.5 million, Press Release, viewed 20 September 2014. <http://www. aspx?pressreleaseid=5558> . 4 Klein’s ‘FC1’ (Fire Colour 1) sold at Christie’s May 2012 Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale for $36,482,500, setting a auction world record for the artist. 5 Greenberg, C 1982, ‘Modernist Painting,’ in (eds.) Frascina, F & Harrison, C, Modern Art and Modernism: A Critical Anthology, Harper

Art, Sternberg Press: Berlin, p. 36. 7 Varnedoe, K & Gopnik, A 1991, High & Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art: New York, p. 15. 8 Goldberg, R 1979, ‘Live Art: 1909 to the Present’, Performance: Live Art since the 1960s, Harry N. Abrams: New York, p. 93-4. 9 Buisine, A 2000, ‘Blue, Gold, Pink: The Colours of the Icon’ Yves Klein: Long Live the Immaterial, (ed.) Perlein G & Bruno Cora, N, Delano Greenidge: New York, p. 35; 10 Koons, J 2009, Jeff Koons: Versailles, Xavier Barral: Paris, p. 19, 150-151. 11 Koons quoted in Archer, M 2011, Jeff Koons: One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank, Afterall Books: London, p. 30-55. 12 Koons, p. 150. 13 Ibid, p.151. 14 Crow, T 2014, ‘American Idol; “Jeff Koons: A Retrospective”’, Art Forum International, vol. 53, no. 1, p. 310-316. 15 Varnedoe & Gopnik, 1991, p. 16. 16 Lauf, C & Phillpot, C 1998, Artist/Author: Contemporary Artists’ Books, exh. cat., Distributed Art Publishers Inc: New York, p. 74-75. 17 Klein, Y 1982, Yves Klein: A Retrospective, exh. cat., Rice

and Row: New York, p. 5-10. 6 Heiser, J 2008, All of a Sudden: Things that Matter in Contemporary

Museum: Houston; Museum of Contemporary Art: Chicago; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: New York; Centre

Georges Pompidou: Paris; Institute for the Arts: Houston. Restany, P 1982, Yves Klein, trans. Harry N. Abrams, Sté Nlle des Editions du Chêne: Paris, p. 111-210. 18 Buisine, ‘Blue, Gold, Pink’, p. 352. 19 Klein quoted in Haiml, C 2011, ‘Restoring the Immaterial: Study and Treatment of Yves Klein’s Blue Monochrome (IKB42)’, in Modern paints uncovered: proceedings from the modern paints uncovered symposium, Conservation Institute and Tate: London, p. 149-156. 20 Bee, H & Heliczer, C 2004, ‘MOMA Highlights’, Museum of Modern Art: New York, p. 242. 21 Buisine, ‘Blue, Gold, Pink’, p. 353. 22 Ibid, p. 354. 23 2012 Exhibition Arte Torna Art (Art Returns to Art) was held at the Galleria dell’Accademia and exhibited contemporary artists amongst the gallery’s most historic rooms. 24 Bee & Heliczer, ‘MOMA Hilights , p. 242. 25 Bois, Y 2007, ‘Klein’s Relevance for Today’, October, vol. Winter, no. 119, p. 75-93. 26 Bousine, ‘Blue, Gold, Pink’, p. 352; 27 Stoller-Lindsey, N 2014, ‘The science behind the art of Jeff Koons’, Quartz, <

and ‘Life on Credit’’ in Marcel Duchamp, Thames and Hudson: London, p. 146-171, 242. 29 Archer, 2001, p. 5. Feynman and Koons filled the ball with liquid and then layered the water within the tank with various sodium and freshwater solutions in order for the ball the sit at equilibrium. 30 Archer, 2001, p. 55. 31 Ibid., p.315 32 Stoller-Lindsey. 33 Varnedoe & Gopnik, p. 395. 34 Ibid, p. 396 35 Crow, p. 310. 36 Heiser, p. 36. 37 Koons, p. 143.

d8b86fde07e60c94ef2e637630bda3ef.pdf> 28 Ades, D, Cox, N & Hopkins, D 1999, ‘The Readymades



No Report on Reality Joshua Castle Arts 3

‘Art should not be delivering a report on reality’1 Using Jean Baudrillard’s theory of simulation and simulacra as an altered space in the post-modern paradigm, this essay will critique the photography of Andreas Gursky, and examine how his photography mediates spaces of hyperreality.2 First, this essay will consider the central concept within Baudrillardian theory pertaining to the sign-value of commodities within a neoliberal economic paradigm, and how they establish a hyperreality. Through his appropriation of commodities within his work, Gursky visually represents the notion of hyperreality, and offers a critique of this theoretical idea. Second, Gursky’s work inhabits a post-modern world wrought by the phenomenon of detraditionalisation. Through visually referencing the work of nineteenth century sublime artists including Casper David Friedrich, Gursky examines the alienating outcomes of this shift from tradition. Third, the artist’s post-production techniques of erasure and addition to manipulate the image further entrenches the Baudrillardian idea of hyperreality. Through this analysis, this essay will examine how ‘Gursky’s work constitutes a map of the postmodern civilised world’3. Terry Smith credits the ‘embrace of the rewards and downsides of neoliberal economics [and] globalising capital’4 as a prevailing idea in contemporary art. Throughout history, art has consistently been used to both celebrate and critique the conditions and ramifications of the economy, however Smith alludes to an economic paradigm that is unique to the contemporaneous world. Where previously the economy has been theorised by Marx’s conception of use-value and exchange-value,

Figure One: Andreas Gursky, Prada I, 1996, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York. 85cm x 224.8cm. 6 editions

Figure Two: Andreas Gursky, Prada II, 1997, Mai 36 Galerie, Zurich. 110.5cm x 271.8cm. 6 editions


Baudrillard offers an alternate theory, that, ‘advertising, packaging, display [and] fashion...multiplied the quantity of signs and spectacles, and produced a proliferation of sign-value’5. This theory of signvalue assumes that commodities are attributed an alternative set of meanings beyond their function, worth and utility. Thus, Baudrillard establishes a hierarchy of commodities where individuals’ identities are shaped by conspicuous consumption.6 Further, the semiotic meaning and sign-value of consumable goods precedes the actual object, establishing ‘a hyperreality’7 between real and simulated. The photography of Gursky reflects this space of economic hyperreality, and invites the viewer to critique the practice of assigning sign-values to commodities. Gursky’s 1996 and 1997 works Prada I (Fig. 1) and Prada II (Fig. 2) lend themselves to a reading of this notion of hyperreality and signvalue. Both images depict a horizontally elongated display shelf, illuminated by a hollow fluorescent glow. The shelves in Prada I are filled, at carefully spaced at intervals, with shoes- whilst the shelves in Prada II are empty. Prada I does not fetishise or sexualise Prada shoes as an object of desire for the consumer, nor does it aim (as artists such as Andy Warhol previously attempted) to critique the processes and ramifications of fetishism.8 Instead Gursky uses Prada, a brand with a sign-value synonymous with wealth and luxury, to simulate, subsume and eventually replace the very object that it representsthe shoes. Prada I places the shoes on a pedestal of consumerist desire, fulfilling the Barthesian structuralist semiotic chain, whilst the omission of shoes in Prada II exposes the commodity’s value as just the arbitrary sign-value of the Prada brand.9 The lack of shoes in Prada II additionally makes the viewer assume that they have fulfilled their function as purchasable items, yet their omission from the image does not facilitate an omission of meaning. Art historian and artist Stefan Beyst comments that: The ‘reality’ that Gursky wants to not the ‘deeper reality’ that goes hidden behind the visual appearance, rather a reality that is, if possible, still more superficial than the visual appearance itself...10 In retaining the brand name ‘Prada’ in Prada II, the iconographic image retains the sign-value of Prada I and thus symbolises the way narratives of consumerism, neoliberal economics and hyperreality are sustained and perpetuated within the disembedded epoch of post-modernity.11 ‘The age of simulation begins with a liquidation of all referentials’ 12 Post-modernity is categorised by the liquidation of traditional structures that prevailed within the epoch of modernity. These structures previously provided narratives, ontological security and meaning to the lives of individuals.13 Baudrillard suggests that this has resulted in ubiquitous alienation, where human agency cannot surpass the market society and ‘individuals can neither 22

Figure Three: Caspar David Friedrich, Monk By the Sea, Oil on Canvas, circa 1808, 110cm x 172cm, Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin.

Figure Four: Andreas Gursky, Ruhrtal, 1989, Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis. Framed 60.4375 x 75.75 in. 4 editions


perceive their own true needs or another way of life’14. Within nineteenth century modernity one traditional structure that was the source of meaning to individual’s lives is that of religion. One particular visual manifestation of religious themes was through the aesthetic quality of the artistic sublime, where artists depicted humans within immense images of natural phenomenon. The scale of Gursky’s photography lends itself to a comparison between these sublime artworks, specifically the seminal piece Monk By the Sea (Fig. 3) by nineteenth century German painter Caspar David Friedrich. Friedrich’s paintings: Correspond to an experience familiar to the modern world... in which the individual is confronted by the overwhelming, incomprehensible immensity of the universe, as if the mysteries of religion had left the church...and been relocated in the natural world.15

Figure Five: Andreas Gursky, Paris Montparnasse, 1993, 187cm x 427.8cm. 2 editions

Although thematically divergent, Gursky artworks utilise this framework of spectacle and incomprehensibility, and replaces religion with the post-modern condition of alienation.16 Gursky’s Ruhrtal (Fig. 4) illustrates a similar commitment to juxtaposing landscape and humans that Friedrich utilised in representing religiosity, however Gursky’s work posits the natural landscape as subservient to urbanisation. Emerging from the palatial grass field in Ruhrtal are two elongated, monumental concrete pillars that support another structure- the Ruhr Valley bridge. The man made structure dwarves everything surrounding it, a human figure standing below, a distant row of trees and houses, a receding fence line and even a foothill are all comparatively tiny when placed next to the bridge. The overcast sky provides no spectacular ethereal sublimity, but is a mere backdrop to the monolithic structure. Ruhrtal establishes a contemporised reinterpretation of the sublime, where human creation, instead of natural phenomenon, establish the emotive illusion of meaning. Baudrillard identifies the natural world as ‘becoming [a] residual, insignificant encumbrance...[that] we are transforming into waste, residues 24

[and] useless relics’17. This is mimetic of the disembedding of meaning from traditional structures, and represents a distorted nostalgia for the non-alienated past.18 It is this nostalgia for a previous time that informs an interpretation of Ruhrtal: ‘as long as there is alienation, there is spectacle’19. In this case, the spectacle represents the monolithic dimensions of both the photograph, and the industrialised humanmade content. The dichotomy between new and old is expressed by journalist Arthur Lubow’s in his comments on Gursky’s work: Both man and his creations are subsumed into a grand order, something that in an earlier time (Casper David Friedrich’s, for example) would have been called divine, but now seem otherworldly in a less spiritual way.20 To apply Baudrillard’s theory to Lubow’s speculative comments, the less spiritual way considers the detraditionalised context of post-modernity, whilst otherworldly represents a simulated, alienated spectacle. Thus, Gursky’s allusion to the sublime represents the alienation of post-modernity. “Altered photography is a postmodern tool for presenting the postmodern world” 21 Gursky’s artistic practice of digitally manipulating images creates a hyperreality that is unattainable to the viewer. As discussed previously, the Baudrillardian theory of the hyper-real is established by the attribution of sign-values to commodities. Baudrillard additionally outlines the ‘discourse of production and representation [to be] the mirror by which the system of political economy comes to be reflected in the imaginary, and reproduced there as the determinant instance’22. Through his use of post-production techniques, addition and erasure, Gursky constructs images of impossible clarity and perspective. The manipulations of Paris Montparnasse, (Fig. 5) is one such example in Gursky’s oeuvre that transcends reality. The image displays the facade of a high-rise apartment block in a manner of such hyper-real clarity and precision that it would be an unattainable view to the human eye. This is achieved through the image being shot from multiple focal points, and thus presenting as a monument to the ‘artificial infinity’23 of post-modernity. Within the geometrically uniform apartment block there is certainly no ambiguity of appearance, Gursky’s techniques are reliant on a more subtle subversive alteration of meaning. Paris Montparnasse is altered on the micro scale, ‘objects in the windows, such as a pile of books or a music stand, appear in more than one place’24. Whilst on the macro scale, the image presents as a sterile, generic architectural render: Gursky’s work offers us the rare opportunity to follow an approach whose intention is nothing less than to find one, universal image that contains in compressed form all the values of civilised existence.25


The artist, undoubtedly inspired by his instruction by Bernd and Hilla Becher at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in his aspiration to represent the quintessential exemplar of the object being photographed. Through such a practice of representation the image comes to represent the ‘determinate instance’ of reality.26 The photographed image, in this case the apartment building, stands in for the entirety of all apartment buildings- a quintessential conceptualisation of an unattainable hyperreality.27

Apart from being striking, monolithic and grandiose, the photographs of Andreas Gursky are immensely subtle. Although this essay has not yet directly referenced this quality in Gursky’s work, it has been an implied presence throughout- from the small Prada shoes shrouded by cement, to the minute figure underneath the Ruhrtal bridge. The simple nod to humanity, whether it be direct or indexical, underpins and allows for Gursky’s exploration of post-modernity and hyperreality. His works mediate spaces of theory as much as humans may mediate them physically. The implied human subject as ‘consumer’ in a neoliberal economic space is at the centre of his works Prada I and Prada II, whilst the small figures in the windows of Paris Montparnasse underscore the alienation of the hyperreal. This essay has examined how Gursky regards and mediates these often changing, disembedded and liquidated spaces of post-modernity. Through applying Baudrillardian theories, specifically of hyperreality and simulation, it has suggested that these spaces, while developed from ideas of modernity, are unique to the post-modern condition.


Endnotes Gursky, A, quoted in Coulter, G January 2010, ‘Review Essay: The Conspiracy of Art’, International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, vol. 7, no. 1. 2 Ohlin, A 2002, ‘Andreas Gursky and the Contemporary Sublime’, Art Journal, vol. 61, no. 4, p. 22-35. 3 Smith, T 2009, What is Contemporary Art?, University of Chicago Press: Chicago, p. 265. 4 Marx, K 1987 [1867], Das Kapital, Engels F, Untermann, E (eds.) Moore, S & Aveling, E, Charles H. Kerr and Co.: Chicago; Kellner, D 2013, ‘Jean Baudrillard’, The Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy, Spring 2013 Edition, <http://plato.> 6 Veblen, T 1989, The Theory of the Leisure Class, Macmillan: London. 7 Baudrillard, J 1994 [1981], Simulation and Simulacrum: The Precession of the Simulacra, University of Michigan Press: Michigan, p. 1. 8 Rugoff, R 1989, ‘World Perfect’, Frieze Magazine, vol. 43, NovDec; Best, S & Kellner, D 1997, The Postmodern Turn: Critical Perspectives, Guilford Press: New York, p. 178. 9 Barthes, R 1977, Elements of Semiology, (trans.) Lavers, A, Farrar Straus and Giroux: New York. 10 Giddens, A 1991, The Consequences of Modernity, Stanford University Press: California. 11 Baudrillard, J 1988, Selected Writings, Stanford University Press: California, p. 166-184. 12 Baudrillard, Simulation and Simulacrum, p. 14, 160 13 Kellner, ‘Jean Baudrillard’, p. 190. 14 Caspar David Friedrich, Monk By the Sea, circa 1808. 15 Rosenblum, R 1975, ‘Friedrich and the Divinity of Landscape’, Modern Painting and the Northern Romantic Tradition: 1

Friedrich to Rothko, Thames & Hudson: London, p. 10-40 16 Baudrillard, B & Zurbrugg, N 1997, Jean Baudrillard: Art and Artefact, Sage Publications: New York, p. 93. 17 Baudrillard 2007, Darwin’s Artificial Ancestors, p. 1. 18 Merrell, M 1995, Semiosis in the Postmodern Age, Purdue University Press: Indiana, p. 271. 19 Baudrillard & Zubrugg, Jean Baudrillard, p. 93. 20 Ohlin, ‘Andreas Gursky and the Contemporary Sublime’, p. 29. 21 Baudrillard, B 1975, The Mirror of Production, Telos Press: St Louis p. 20. 22 Gursky, A 1993, Paris Montparnasse, 187cm x 427.8cm. 2 editions. 23 Ohlin, ‘Andreas Gursky and the Contemporary Sublime’, p. 25. 24 Ibid. p. 26. 25 Beil, R and Fessel, S 2008, Andreas Gursky: Architecture, trans. Gaines, J, Hatje Cantz: Ostfildern. 26 Ohlin, ‘Andreas Gursky and the Contemporary Sublime’, p. 25. 27 Schwartz, M A 2011, Constructing the Real: The New Photography of Crewdson, Gursky and Wall, University of Kentucky Master’s Thesis, Paper 97, < theses/97>.


A Controlled Crash Interview With Jon Tarry Joshua Castle and Hana Nihill


‘Drawing With Sound’ was a workshop conducted at

done that and I think it was largely a response

Ormond College during which, artist Jon Tarry, produced

to the context. It was a chapel, a church of God

a soundscape that the students were invited to respond

but it wasn’t set up with those usual tropes and

to through drawing. The work drew upon the space it

authorities, so it was really a revelation to me.

was conducted in, namely the Ormond College Chapel, and what follows is an exploration of the ideas at play

Is your work in soundscapes inspired by improvisation

throughout the hour long session.

which has ancient origins or more recently the futurist artist who made the Noise Machine in the 1900s and musicians

In the workshop you did at Ormond, ‘Drawing with

like Stockhausen’s 1970s German underground music

Sound’, you invited students to explore soundscapes and

movements, particularly aleatoric bands like, Einstuerzende

draw lines on the floor on paper.

Neubauten, (collapse all buildings) Neu, Cluster, Can, Wolf Eye and Warrne Ellis and the Dirty Three?

How does the space, in this case the chapel, influence your choice of sound and the ultimate nature of the work?

Yes, absolutely. Essentially I work with microphones and then I attach them to tools. It is

I think it’s more about the process and exploring

like inventing a whole range of sound making tools

and expanding an idea. Although it was called a

that mean that everything is live, nothing is pre-

performance it was really a group exploration. I

recorded. If I stop drawing there’s no sound and

first demonstrated the technology and the scope

if I stop touching a surface there’s no sound so it

of that technology to create a sense of spatiality

is about trying to add all of those layers. All those

through sound. In the second part I then invited

microphones and sensors, they essentially become

people to engage directly by drawing as well.

the instrument –a very live one.

What was interesting for me was the setup: people sitting on the carpet, having the paper strewn

You mentioned music and in a sense I feel like what

around like some kind of meal or ceremony or

I’m doing has a musicality but I’m not sure I would

piece of theatre that invited people to respond

call what I am doing music. It’s a soundscape, it

in whatever way they felt. Ultimately the project

is closer to cinema in that it evokes places, events,

comes from drawing, which is central to my art

moods and that’s what people respond to. You saw

practice. Yet, sound allows the drawing to become

that the other night. That particular space we were

multi dimensional and to develop spatial qualities.

in, that was the set and then we produced the score

One of the really interesting things for me about

or the soundtrack for what we were about to do.

the Ormond event was watching the way people

What has influenced me for this project essentially

reacted to the soundscape and then being able

lies between improvised jazz and the people that

to react to that. While people were drawing and

you mentioned, that old noise culture of Berlin

engaged and I could see them starting to be

and Scandinavia and Northern Europe. The

carried away so I just kept that going, I responded

noise culture is quite anarchistic and becomes a

to that. Instead of the focus being on me, as the

soundtrack to the city with its constant cacophony.

performer, the artist or the agent, it became about

It was also, I think, a response to radical change,

creating soundscapes that responded to what you

particularly in Berlin, I think it was a response

were all doing. That was the first time I’ve really

to the history of that place, that culture, and the 29

destruction of that place in order for new things to

you chose to leave it. In your mind when does a work become

emerge. In Jazz I wouldn’t say it’s anarchistic but

a finished work or when does a work conclude? Particularly

it pulls apart certain structures even though it has

with reference to Donald Judds definition of the Absolute

a very complex framework. Sometimes I perform


with musicians who play trumpet, clarinet or base, so the project becomes an instrument in a jazz

It was really interesting how quickly it came to


that at the end of the session, trying to assess the work; what do we do with this, what is its value?

In your PhD, Lines of Resistance, you mention Andre

Again referencing the previous work, people were

Breton’s automatic drawing and how it becomes a tool to

expecting me to produce something amazing at

challenge the relevance of thoughts. To what extent does

the end.

your art practice rely on this idea of the subconscious and of automatism?

Sometimes I use film, and I would draw a figure in the film I was projecting video whatever, I drew

Very much. I think it’s an underlying reference.

a figure in a film I was projecting which was like

If anything, it’s tapping into emotive and visceral

drawing a shadow, drawing myself drawing. I

responses to things. Sometimes people respond

was using a long pencil, on a stick, and the great

to the sound performance and for some people

thing about that is, that it is in one sense liberating,

its really unsettling and unnerving. I think it is

because it is so hard to control and you have to use

because there’s a struggle to place the sound and

your whole body. In another sense, in the chapel it

it can evoke feelings of some animal trying to tear

started to look like a scepter or a spear. Then when

its way out of a box, or a rodent trying to chew its

I erased the drawing, I thought that connected the

way through the floorboards. I think that comes

drawing process where you were almost mapping

from some of the frequencies that I use. During

the sound of the event through drawing to the

the workshop I had a subwoofer on and at that

sound. It was similar to the sound which is live and

frequency the noise really does have physicality,

happening and then suddenly it’s over and there is

it really does pass through the body. You’re not

an appreciation of that, whereas when I erased the

always aware of it there but it is a rumble like the

drawing there was a great sense of disappointment.

earth shaking, you can physically feel the sound

They didn’t want me to erase it. Then the other

but you’re not always conscious of feeling it. At the

night there were very quickly questions about

higher end there’s more recognition of listening

whether this was any good and, in a sense, it wasn’t

to a sound, there’s more opportunity to create

really about that, the drawings were a result of the

spatiality with it. Someone else said to me they felt

process. The drawing was mapping the sound-

like I was creating a piece of architecture in the

space journey. In a way it’s a record rather than

room, they felt like they could hear me building

a conscious thought. It’s a trace of where you’ve

something even knowing nothing about my

been, like footsteps on a beach.

background. It seems to reference the modernist tradition, almost like a You mentioned that in previous workshops you had erased the work at the conclusion of the session, whereas with ours 30

Pollock, where the gesture becomes dominant.

Yes absolutely, it’s a very physical work where you

close to ANU. I created a work that balloons out so

have to use your whole body to engage with it. You

that it’s sits like its balancing on the corner of the

know, throwing paint, throwing caution, with the

street and then balloons up so that it appears like

paint being a record of that. It is the liberation of

a facet that folds around and then conceals a large

painting; no longer using brushes.

structural beam that holds the whole thing up, and that was all about the dynamics of that space. So

Drawing is evidently at the core of much of your work,

when I talk about the sound having this sonic and

however you work in sculpture as well. In what sense do

spatial dimension it is all about the same activation

you think the two mediums differ in their ability to mediate

of space as the sculptures.

space and incite the conversations you seem interested in? You did a show in Perth recently that dealt with airport A two dimensional work is more diagrammatic,

runways. What were some of the questions you were trying

it’s more like a script and it’s more optical, it’s like

to raise with that work?

looking through a window. A three dimensional work is more physical, you walk around it, you

Yes, that was called Reconnaissance and the

bump into it, it has presence, like we have a

works in the show were built around the idea of

physical presence. For this project the sound brings

reconnaissance as in making observations with

in the fourth dimension of time into the work. Film

a view to some sort of strategic agency. That’s

and music exist in time and the soundscape and

usually associated with the military and gathering

then the drawings are like a record of the event

information about a place before you act in it, it

conveying that they exist in a particular time,

becomes pre-emptive surveillance.

communicating that they existed in a particular time. They are remnants or traces of that, which

It started with one runway and, if you look at the

you can still gain something from. My practice is

plan of the runway from Google earth, I took

built around drawing and sculpture and sculpture

that and mapped it and then started translating

is spatial and I always think about it in terms of

it into different forms. These included drawing,

activating spatial awareness, or activating the

sculpture and wall pieces that I then started

space that it’s in. You referenced before Judd’s

putting together and tried to think about the

‘absolute object’ where he talked about the

presence of the runway in the modern city. I was

integrity of the thing. I guess I’m interested in the

exploring the idea that they act as a physical

absolute space if you like, it’s not the object itself it

portal and that even though we can communicate

is the way it activates the space that it is in. That

so easily with the internet, people still do need

is why I like working in a public forum, in public

to physically travel. There is a really interesting

space. I think about it in terms of engaging with

quote that says that the airport runway is the

people directly. I like to see the way that people

most important main street of any modern city. I

interact with the work and the space that it is in.

became quite fascinated by all of those things and the fact that although runways all do the same

I did a piece in Canberra at the Attorney General’s

thing, they are all so different. There’s a certain

in the CBD and it was a very constrained space, it

rationality to them, a plane needs to take off and

was a pedestrian space and a road and a building

land somewhere, so why aren’t they all the same? I 31

started to look at the way different places organise

away but I wanted to know: What is the surface

themselves, spatially, how they organise their

like? What is it like when you get down close to

cities, how they organise the spaces they inhabit.

it? I ended up taking a photograph, which is on

Especially in relation to the environment and scale

the cover of my PhD of the skid marks on the

and all sorts of things. Then also the politics of

runway, left behind by planes as they land. When

that. We’re no longer constrained by geographical

the planes land, pilots call it a controlled crash.

borders. Airports enable people to move freely to

I wanted to think about the skid marks that are

almost any point on the globe within twenty-four

left from that that mark a particular time and a

hours. So although there’s a sense of distance,

particular time and place and moment in your life.

events that happen in one place can directly affect

I tried to simulate that emulate that with the way

someone else. I was also drawn to the emblematic

I spread the ink across the paper in one gesture.

or motif qualities of the runway as a symbol and

It seems almost to be like a collective drawing

tried to connect it to this idea of marking ground.

like the one we did the other day, with everyone’s

It seemed to be like the Nasca lines and ancient

weight contributing to making that one single

archaeology, with references to ground markings

unique gesture as a marking of that time and that

and site markings. I was also looking at some of the

place and the one moment where they’re all about

other earth artists Robert Smithson and Michael

to embark on a new journey in their lives.

Heizer. Like Smithson’s spiral jetty. I was plugging into all of that stuff.

Destruction seems to be another theme of your work and I was hoping you could explain a little of what place you

It was about perspective as well, shifting from the

think destruction and erasure play in art and particularly

ground view to the aerial view. With Reconnaissance

architecture, that are generally valued for durability.

I was trying to raise some political questions. There was one particular piece that was curtain

There was one in a book called Boomtown where I

air base in derby. The Curtain air base was also

recorded the demolition of the Hancock mansion

the site of the curtain detention center that is

in Perth called Prix D’Amour. It was an exact

actually in an airport so there was a piece about

copy of the plantation house in Gone With the

that. Then I placed the sculpture of Washington

Wind so I’m assuming that Rose Hancock saw

airport next to Baghdad and Beirut next to

herself as some sort of Scarlett O’Harra. I filmed

London. Trying to explore those relationships

it and took photos of it and then wrote about it,

and not propagate an idea, rather highlight the

but during the process, there was a crowd there

relationships between different areas.

like a performance. The bulldozer guy said to me, I’m going to smash those columns at the

I think the thirty metre drawing of the runway work, seems

front and then the whole building will collapse.

to really tie together what we did the other night with the

I suppose I thought about how much goes into

runway work.

designing things and then they can be demolished in a day, not even that, I mean think about the


Yes absolutely. That was inspired by that film I

towers that came down in sixteen seconds. Things

talked about, with the plane landing.

like that have influenced the way that people

You always see these places from above or from far

think about structure and organisation. It’s quite

dramatic to say destruction but honestly it’s more like erasure, a clearing away requires a certain amount of aggression or domination or authority. Architecture is predisposed to build or create and adapt. I did another project recording the demolition of the entertainment center in Perth done by ARM and we did a joint exhibition entitled In My Beginning is My End a quote from James Joyce. That is embedded in architecture. Even as you begin to build, destruction is already imminent. It’s curious because in visual arts everything we do has to last hundreds of years. Public artworks need to be maintenance free and be designed to last a hundred years whereas buildings are only ever designed to last up to twenty-five years with full maintenance every five years. How do you think this compares with say Japanese building tradition that celebrates impermanence? It’s more sympathetic and it acknowledges that we’re always trying to arrest nature and deny this idea of entropy and things breaking down but if you embrace it and start working with those ideas, using materials that are allowed to rust or earth that’s just rammed earth then eventually it will just return. I think those things are really interesting and important and I think they say something about society as well. You look at some of the newer buildings that are going up that seem to have an obsession with newness. It’s particularly evident in Perth with things being pristine and new and then you go around Europe and it’s the ageing of things that make them interesting, even modern buildings that have aged. Yet there seems to be no appreciation for that; things ageing seem to be some sort of enemy. Thank you 33


Other Than Human Amelia Burke Arts 2

Contemporary human society would be profoundly implicated if the rights of other-than-human beings were recognised. First and foremost, the empathetic observation of the nonhuman sphere would deconstruct the anthropocentric culture that dominates the modern world.1 Anthropocentrism encompasses the view that nature and all of its nonhuman inhabitants exist to be utilised by humans. It is also a view that descends from the dualisms that dominate Western philosophy and the ideology of colonisation. Therefore, the dismantling of this paradigm liberates and empowers the nonhuman sphere, indigenous populations and women.2 Further implications of this ideological deconstruction include the recognition of shadow places, a re-evaluation of the finality of death, and a rejection of the practice of animal cruelty.3 These consequences reflect the observations of noted environmental philosophers Val Plumwood and Deborah Bird Rose and crucially, their engagement with Aboriginal philosophies. In conclusion, this essay ultimately seeks to illuminate the way that Aboriginal culture and ideology nurtures the aforementioned recognition of the other-than-human sphere. The acknowledgement of the intrinsic rights of the other-than-human beings would reaffirm the rights of women and indigenous populations. The other-than-human sphere, which broadly encompasses nature and animals, has been widely viewed as purely instrumental to human needs.4 This way of thinking echoes colonial ethics whereby the land was judged as unused and its indigenous inhabitants primitive.5 Furthermore, the historical link between women and nature has meant that they have been implicated in this position of deficiency.6 The work of fair trade coffee organisations in Nicaragua makes these connections clear and reinforces the potential of respecting other-than-human rights. The Society of Small Producers for Coffee Export (SOPPEXCCA) encouraged farmers to improve the environmental conditions of their farms through running workshops about sustainable organic farming practices.7 SOPPEXCCA also extended the farmers’ toilet facilities and the size of their homes. Additionally, they established Women’s Coffee which gave women the opportunity to learn to produce and brand their own coffee.8 This example shows that a more respectful consideration of nature led to an improvement in the livelihood of disadvantaged farmers and a more significant position for women. Consequently, it can be seen that an acknowledgement of the rights of the other-than-human could improve the position of marginalized groups in society.

Aboriginal notions of kinship and country acknowledge the rights of the non-human sphere and illuminate a further implication of its observation, a reconsideration of the practice of animal cruelty. Bill Neidjie, a Bunitj Elder, poignantly captured this inclusive world view in his book Kakadu Man, “…that’s your bone, your blood/It’s in this earth/same as for tree”9. In her essay Judas Work, Bird-Rose connects this thinking with a rejection of culling practices. She reported several interviews with Aboriginals in Central Australia concerning the culling of donkeys, “if white fellas don’t want these animals then why don’t they all move out?”10. This sentiment shows that a more balanced understanding of country would bring about the decline of culling. Modern society could be affected by such a change in several ways. Most evidently, killing practices would have to be modified and thus, more responsible and specific methods could be implemented. For example, the carcasses of animals could be used as food or shelter

as opposed to being left to rot.11 It is also worth noting that abandoning culling would not be detrimental to contemporary ecosystems as these practices are frequently ineffectual.12 For example, there is little evidence showing that the culling of marine mammals, such as dolphins, leads to an increase in the number of commercially exploited fish.13 Herein, it is clear that recognizing other-than-human rights will impact the practice of animal cruelty in modern society. The recognition of shadow places is a consequence of acknowledging the intrinsic rights of other-thanhuman beings that also has implications for the practice of animal cruelty. Val Plumwood deemed shadow places as the wasteland of the consumer self.14 They are separate from the home and bear the brunt of our pollution and waste products. This fragmentation of place is otherwise conceptualised as dematerialisation.15 More explicitly, this concept refers to a detachment with the material and ecological conditions that support oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life. An Aboriginal understanding of country is antithetical to these concepts as it regards the places that nurture you physically, emotionally and economically as one and the same.16 This form of attachment fosters an accountability and responsibility to place and is thus linked to a respect for the rights of the other-than-human. The work of Animals Australia demonstrates the impact of recognising and taking responsibility for societyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shadow places, and the implications that this has for the practice of animal cruelty. Animals Australia is a national animal protection organisation that investigates and exposes a variety of shadow places in contemporary society.17 One of their current campaigns, That Ainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t No Way to Treat a Lady, exposes the life of battery hens in factory farms. Hens, like most animals in factory farms, are treated as a by-product of consumer demand. These farms thus represent an animal wasteland and the result of dematerialisation. Through raising awareness of this shadow place, the organisation estimates that 136 to 910 battery hens have been freed.18 This total stems from the pledges that Animals Australia supporters have made on their website. The pledge involves either refusing to eat cage-eggs or not eating eggs at all. Herein, Animals Australia and its supporters are taking responsibility for shadow places and bringing about the decline of animal cruelty practices. Put simply, this contemporary example demonstrates the break down of dematerialization. Therefore, the recognition of other-than-human rights has again deconstructed dominant thought paradigms and thereby generated awareness of shadow places and the duty to manage them accordingly. Recognizing the innate rights of the non-human sphere provokes another significant paradigm shift and it is in the context of Western conceptions of life and death. Through respecting these rights, Western thought would be less likely to regard other-than-human beings, or their deaths, as insignificant or inferior.19 It follows that the deaths of the nonhuman should be acknowledged amongst our own. Aboriginal philosophy, specifically the Beginning Law, illuminates this thinking. This law sees life and death on a fluid continuum that is maintained by cross-species transformations.20 The prevalence of organic, natural materials in Aboriginal burial practices reflects this philosophy as it suggests growth and regeneration. For example, the Wiradjuri wrap the body in a skin rug and place it in a grave that is filled with sticks and bark. A mound of earth, a pile of logs, a plume of emu feathers or a spear may be

used to mark the place.21 In contrast, settler burials utilize structures that facilitate a distinct separation from the natural environment such as coffins, urns or headstones. Furthermore, many settler cultural practices are purposefully devoid of suggestions of dying or death and this intensifies the discomfort of its confrontation.22 The difference in these approaches to death descends at least in part from the significance attributed to nonhuman rights. Thus, this disparity represents the change that could occur if the rights of the other-than-human beings were recognised. When considering the implications for a modern society that chooses to recognise the rights of the nonhuman sphere, it is best to learn from Aboriginal philosophy. This is because an acknowledgement of other-than-human beings is deeply embedded in their culture and has been for more than 65, 000 years.23 Given this connection, it is no surprise that world-renowned environmentalists such as Deborah Bird Rose and Val Plumwood have turned to Aboriginal communities to develop and articulate their ideas. Bird Rose and Plumwood place great emphasis on recognizing the rights of other-than-human beings throughout their work, confirming its centrality to Aboriginal culture and its position as a contemporary ecological concern. The implications for a modern society that acknowledges the rights of other-than-human beings firstly surrounds the empowerment of marginalised women and indigenous people. This is because these groups have been subjugated to the inferior position of flora and fauna across time. It is also likely that practices which inflict animal cruelty and environmental degradation, would decline in favour of farming techniques that are less harmful and more sustainable. Finally, the position and conceptualization of death would be influenced by the many more deaths that would need recognition as the significance of the other-than-human increases. Returning to Aboriginal culture, life is not regarded as having a conclusive end as it moves from body to body, irrespective of species. This world-view may represent the thinking that could be embraced in light of the aforementioned re-evaluation of death. Ultimately, these implications show that the recognition of the intrinsic rights of other-than-human beings has the capacity to break down the largely harmful dualisms that dominate Western paradigms of thought.

Endnotes Plumwood, V 2002, ‘Decolonisation relationships with nature’, PANPhilosophy, Activism, Nature, vol. 2, p. 7-30. 1


Ibid, p. 12.

Plumwood, V 2008, ‘Shadow Places and the Politics of Dwelling’, Australian Humanities Review, vol. 44, p. 139-150. 4 Plumwood, ‘Decolonisation relationships with nature’, p. 15. 5 Ibid., p.9. 6 Plumwood, V 1995, ‘Has Democracy Failed Ecology? An Ecofeminist Perspective’, Environmental Politics, vol. 4, no. 4, p. 134-168. 7 Utting, K 2009, ‘Assessing the Impact of Fair Trade Coffee: Towards an Integrative Framework’, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 86, p. 127–149. 8 Ibid., p. 136. 9 Neidjie, B 1985, ‘Introduction’, Kakadu Man, Mybrood: NSW, p. 35- 38. 10 Bird Rose, D 2011, ‘Ecological Existentialism’, ‘The Beginning Law’ in Wild Dog Dreaming: Love and Extinction, University of Virginia Press: Charlottesville, London, p. 42-51; 132; 146. 11 Ibid., p.189. 12 Bowen, W.D & Lingard, D 2013, ‘Marine Mammal Culling Programs: Review of Effects on Predator and Prey Populations’, Mammal Review, vol. 43, p. 207-220. 13 Bowen, ‘Marine Mammal Culling Programs’, p. 216. 14 Plumwood, ‘Shadow Places and the Politics of Dwelling’, p. 147. 15 Ibid., p. 141. 16 Ibid., p.145. 17 Animals Australia 2014, ‘What is Factory Farming?’, Animals Australia, Melbourne, viewed September 2014. <http://www.>. 18 Ibid. 19 Bird Rose, Wild Dog Dreaming, p. 139. 20 Ibid., p.139. 21 Littleton, J 2007, ‘Time and memory: historic accounts of Aboriginal burials in south-eastern Australia’, Aboriginal History, vol. 31, p. 103-121. 22 Ibid.,p. 103-121. 23 Australian Government 2008, ‘Australian Indigenous Cultural Heritage’, Australian Government, Canberra, viewed September 2014, <>. 3

.bring in the spinner. By Todd Fernando

.abstract. ?have you ever just wondered? Wa.ter Di.rt Le.ave

The series of photographs were captured on Yolgnu Country, Northeast Arnhem Land. These images resemble change in landscapes amid identity - a cultural shift - Ancient vs. Modernity. Each piece is an hexagonal ode to hegemonic creations that bare witness to Indigeneity. Understanding, mimics knowledge, for our survival; - Water - Earth - Sky - Dirt - Leave


The Reappearance of the Sick Man Eliza Kluckow Science 3

In 1976, Jewson published ‘The disappearance of the sick man from medical cosmology, 1770-1870’ in which he explored the numerous shifts in medical knowledge that paralleled changes in treatment of patients and status within the medical profession. This essay aims to review Jewson’s three phases of medical practice, or as he calls it, medical cosmologies and to further elaborate on Jewson’s ideas and critique some aspects of his model. It also aims to answer the imperative question: has the sick man entirely disappeared from medical cosmology or has it resurfaced with a new and revitalised identity? It is clear that the discourse of medical encounters are ever-changing and there has been great progress made since the 1870s. Therefore this essay will extend Jewson’s analysis in order to make it relevant to the modern day, through the exploration of the biopsychosocial model, complementary and alternative medicines and treatment of psychiatric disorders. According to Jewson, medical cosmologies are ‘conceptual structures which constitute the frame of reference which all questions are posed and all answers are offered’1. They are theories that attempt to describe the nature of medical discourse surrounding the concept of bodies in sickness and in health. Jewson analyses the three main frameworks that dominated Western medicine from the late 18th to 19th century. The first mode, from the 1770s to 1800s was bedside medicine whereby the personal connection between doctor and patient was based on mutual understanding, trust and respect. Discovery of medical knowledge was directed by patients, as doctors needed to satisfy and build personal rapport with their paying clients. The second cosmology Jewson analyzed was hospital medicine, which was brought about by the French Revolution and continued until the 1840s. Within this era, the power of doctors was established and a coherent theory that diseases existed in specific anatomical structures was established. Finally, ‘laboratory medicine’ was developed from the 1840s until the 1870s, in which scientists controlled the production of medical knowledge, and the origins of disease were understood as molecular cellular processes. I have included Jewson’s original diagrams to further explain these cosmologies; Diagram 1 describes the three modes generally and Diagram 2 elaborates on them further. Within his article, Jewson acknowledges the shift of power in producing medical knowledge, from the patient, to the doctor and finally to the biomedical scientist.2 By the end of the 20th century, medicine, along with public health programs, had dramatically extended life expectancy and cures for numerous diseases had been discovered. Simultaneously, clinical practice was becoming more impersonal for patients, with doctors lacking both time and genuine concern. Yet Jewson’s vision of bedside medicine in earlier hospital practice, saw the sick man as a whole and integrated system, taking into account physiological, psychological and environmental factors. An important aspect of this cosmology was the patient’s control over therapeutic encounters. As the name bedside medicine suggests, treatment often occurred at the patient’s home, rather than in the physician’s office, providing a personal connection between doctor and patient, based on trust and compassion. Disease at this time was determined by external manifestations and decisions regarding illness were based on the physician’s subjective experience and more importantly, the patient’s self-report on his illness—an aspect now lacking from modern medicine. Furthermore, as medical practitioners did not need to meet any form of technical or academic criteria and had not necessarily

completed higher-level studies, doctor and patient used similar language regarding medicine and understood disease and health in the same way. This mode came at a time of humeral medicine; the idea that the universe and spirits controlled health and illness was viewed as an imbalance. This worldview was based on the idea of four humors, which existed within the organism: blood, phlegm, choler and melancholy. These were the defining factors for determining health, illness, mood and temperament. Since body, mind and the environment were all interlinked, treatment covered all aspects of the patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s emotional and spiritual states, as well as their environment and diet. It was indeed a holistic approach. Despite Jewsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s argument, I believe the concept of balance has not completely disappeared from Western medical discourse, nor in the wider culture. In numerous Asian countries, the idea of holism is strongly integrated in medical practice. The belief still exists in the Western world that to prevent illness, some sort of balance within life is vital and the resetting of this balance restores health.3 The French Revolution and the reorganization of Parisian hospitals drove a dynamic shift to hospital medicine, the second mode of medical cosmology. With endless sick patients at hand, physicians were able to correlate observed external lesions with internal manifestations, which were discovered through autopsy. Pathology rapidly became important and physical examination was valued over patientâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s subjective description of their experience. With this, came the rise of statistical analysis and quantitative methods in medicine, a new concept which resulted in numerous internal and external classifications of disease being grouped together. Disease was localized and thought to exist in single organs, making

treatment methods of bedside medicine no longer varied between individuals but universalized- the first step towards the perceived reductionism prevalent in modern medicine today. Personalised medicine rapidly diminished as Jewson states, ‘the special qualities of the individual case were swallowed up in vast statistical surveys’ and ‘the sick man was (now) perceived as a unitary medium within which diseases were manifested’4 such that the personal bond in the doctor-patient relationship was no longer relevant, nor was the holistic treatment approach of older medical practice. A positive aspect of this mode of medical cosmology, which Jewson did not discuss in his article, was the network formation between medical practitioners, which allowed findings to be openly shared. Numerous medical journals were established and doctors began to work together in order to improve health for the masses. This centralisation of power within the hospital brought about certainty, control and order within a unified group of medical practitioners, replacing the previous ambiguous theories. Moreover, physicians began to concentrate on particular organs or tissues, which brought about the emergence of specialisation in anatomical structures. As a result, the integrated and holistic bodily approach seen in bedside medicine was outmoded and the body was redefined through specific anatomical structures. Jewson determines the third and final mode of medical cosmology as laboratory medicine. It was established within the German university system in the 19th century and was driven primarily by the cell theory, leading to numerous studies recognising the process of cellular function. The cause of disease was linked to the study of pathology and many new investigations were conducted in biomedical laboratories. Yet despite the numerous findings and advancements in knowledge about disease, this mode did not provide any means of medical treatment to replace those that came before it. Herein lies the therapeutic gap whereby knowledge regarding the diseases was plentiful yet there were no improved methods of treatment. Furthermore, the scientific findings in Jewson’s ‘laboratory medicine’ encouraged doctors to give advice based on majority of cases and these generalised treatment methods began to replace the doctors own experience, clinical judgement and intuition (the ‘art’ of medicine per say) in everyday clinical practice. The doctor is disregarded further in this mode, as pathological studies are conducted in a microscopic science lab behind the scenes and ‘the patient was removed from the medical investigators field of saliency altogether’5. Thus control of medical information production shifts to scientists and biochemists, and the attention of the doctor is redirected entirely, moving away from both the holistic patient and the distinctive anatomical structures and toward the fundamental cell particles. As Jewson claims, the rise in both technological orientated medicine and specialization of physicians threatens the personal connection which was often made between the doctor and the patient and runs the risk of medical encounters becoming impersonal, hurried and unsympathetic. In contrast, it could be argued that this objectification establishes a new form of patient identity by creating a body that can be analysed so that physiological processes of disease can be better understood. On the surface, biomedicine and the study of disease affecting minute cells seems reductive, yet these scientific investigations have improved medical knowledge so that a deeper scientific understanding of how the body, mind and environment interconnect, has arisen.

After extensive analysis of Jewson’s work the question still remains: has the sick man returned to medical cosmology? Did the patient ever disappear as Jewson suggests or did it just reappear with a new and different identity? It is uncontentious that the patient’s role in detecting and treating disease has reduced and that science along with evidence-based testing are becoming pivotal in producing medical information. Although not discussed in Jewson’s work, the recent biopsychosocial model, which arose in the late 20th century, suggests a return of the patient and of integrated medicine, which was central in the old medical model. The biopsychosocial model presents a holistic patient approach, contrasting with laboratory medicine (which suggests every disease can be understood through scientific cellular research) by proposing that health is best understood by considering physiological, social and environmental factors- a holistic patient approach. Along with it came the emergence of bioethics, medical humanities and a new taxonomy of mental illness. Concepts such as narrative theory, which are patient’s selfreflections on their personal experience with illness, aim to help medical practitioners understand the day-to-day treatment of illness, and bring back the genuine concern and compassion of doctors.6 Moreover, there are multiple areas of medicine, such as psychiatry, where pathological models or scientific explanations cannot entirely explain the symptoms. There were many criticisms during the 21st century suggesting that patients who were mentally ill were being reduced to the labels of their conditions and individual attributes were being disregarded. There are two main approaches of treating mental illness, which are often in a rigid dichotomy. Firstly, biological treatment, such as medication and psychosurgery, and secondly psychological treatment, including psychotherapy, talking therapies and group therapies.7 In Western medicine, psychological treatment is more often utilised and focuses on care, compassion and understanding from the medical practitioner. The one-on-one encounter between psychiatrist and patient reminds us again of the personal and valued relationship explored by Jewson in bedside medicine, suggesting the sick man has hesitantly resurfaced. The concept that relationships in medical encounters ultimately drive the production of medical knowledge is thoroughly discussed in Jewson’s article and can be applied to current medical discourse. In the late 20th century, there was an unexpected rise in complimentary and alternative medicines in the Western world, despite evidence-based testing and pathological understanding being the basis of our healthcare systems.8 Whether this was due to the recent rebellion against the reductionism of biomedicine or to the patient’s endeavor for more holistic medical treatment, this ability of choice has begun to refocus the patient as the center of medical cosmology. In modern medicine, responsibility has shifted to the patient, who is expected to maintain their own health and make their own decisions in response to the plethora of health information available from both their health practitioner and also online media. They are provided with a multitude of options, including complimentary and alternative medicines or medical clinics that require the doctor to provide the patient with the numerous risks, treatments and therapies regarding their disease. The decisionmaking regarding health and illness and the patients primary control over therapeutic counters is starting to look strikingly similar to Jewson’s bedside medicine theory such that the modern sick man is indeed reappearing.

Endnotes Jewson, N.D 1976, ‘The disappearance of the sick-man from medical cosmology, 1770-1870’, Sociolog y, vol. 10, no. 2, p. 1

225-44. 2 Lowenberg, J & Davis, F 1994, ‘Beyond medicalisationdemedicalisation: case of holistic health’, Society of Health & Illness, vol. 16, no. 5, p. 580-598. 3 Jewson, ‘The disappearance of the sick-man from medical cosmology’, p. 225; 3 Nettleton, S 2004, ‘The emergence of E-scaped medicine?’ Sociology, vol. 38, no.11, p. 661-7. 4 Gregory, S 2010, ‘Narrative approaches to healthcare research’, International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, vol. 17, no.12, p. 630-636. 5 Woodward, S 1994, ‘Observations on the Medical Treatment of Insanity’, American Journal of Psychiatry, vol. 151, no.8, p. 221230. 6 Coulter, I & Willis, E 2004, ‘The rise and rise of complementary and alternative medicine: a sociological perspective’, Medical Journal Australia, vol. 180, no. 11, p. 587589. 7 Jewson 1976, ‘The disappearance of the sick-man from medical cosmology’, p. 624


Going Walkabout Sebastian Kitchen Arts 2

Travelling’s proclivity to engender self-change (be it self-formation or self-disintegration) is heavily complicated by the personal and cultural constructions of travelling. The philosophy of nomadology rethinks identity as ‘always mobile and processual, partly self-construction, partly categorisation by others, partly a condition, a status, a label, a weapon, a shield, a fund of memories etc. It is a creolised aggregate composed through bricolage’1. Each traveller’s form of practice engages nomadology’s philosophy of identity to a varying extent, be they charter-bus tourists, youthful or older backpackers, expressive expatriates or Goan trance freaks. The intensity of experience in the highly developed counterculture of this latter category can be used as a benchmark for understanding the impact upon the self whilst travelling in India, most conspicuously paralleled by the process of psychic deterritorialisation that occurs.2 Neo-nomadism is seen in trance parties, expressive expatriates and long-haul travelling, and occurs through post-identitarian hyper-mobility as a practice of subjectivity formation wherein any desire for fixity is relinquished.3 In an Indian context, the trance rave scene is an ideal-type manifestation of neo-nomadism, which simultaneously propels and sustains the post-identitarian predicament of hypermobility. A large neo-nomad site of experience is the Goan trance scene where, through self-shattering or shaping practices that derail subjectivities and the maintenance of biographic silence, the legitimacy of state control over bodies and populations (biopower) is unsettled.4 At the core of this polysemous scene lies the trans-national freak, a ‘contemporary hybrid of hippie and punk,’5 who, in a ‘bellicose response to neoliberal pressures... recodes the modern self in its cognitive, affective, and identity modes’6. This occurs through the experience of a trance ritual. Often timed with auspicious astronomical events in unique locales (such as against a cliff or in a bush), complex, repetitive and vibrating music is employed alongside disorientating visual effects that start to ‘tear the subject from itself at the limit of living, intensity and impossibility,’ ‘shattering personal references, challenging coherent being not only during but also after the experience’.7 The dancer is individuated, ‘becoming animal’8, with the DJ becoming the digital shaman of a proto-religion, a master of ars erotica, prolonging pleasures within a crowd that understands itself as a fellowship of initiates, ‘the bounded ego collapses... the dancer becomes the dance. It is orgiastic and ascetic, private and collective, inside and outside – it is a dismantling organism, a Body without Organs’9. Consequently the relaxing daytime is an essential, complementary stage of the rave scene as it allows the now shattered self to be reconstituted and reconnected with others. These self-transformative experiences allow for global travellers from a variety of backgrounds to engage in the formation of a counter-hegemonic apparatus that eschews the market, state, science and morality. The scene is marked by divisions of those inside and those out, the latter usually being tourists, backpackers and passers-by, who have not engaged with the spiritual importance of the ritual but have been drawn by the reputation of Goa nonetheless. Goa’s polysemous reputation is so large that it draws travellers of all backgrounds and motivations, as well as the industry actors to cater for it and the subsequent hallmarks of modernisation that it was originally an escape from: institutionalisation, urbanisation, bureaucratisation, commodification, etc.

This disintegration of the self has parallels with psychic deterritorialisation as it manifests in travellers in India.10 With a similar premonition of future identity change held by characters of the film The Grand Marigold Hotel, the Mumbai based psychiatrist Regis Airault notes the occurrence of travellers leaving their passports at their respective consulates upon entering India, as a metaphor of leaving their identities behind.11 It is not just trance parties, intense meditation and therapy practices that so substantially shake cognitive and affective structures, but simply the profoundly foreign other of India or what D’Andrea calls its ‘radical alterity’12. Airault argues that the destabilising nature of the Indian experience is immanent: in its ‘invit[ation] for an exploration of origins. It triggers the most archaic dimension of our thought, which is the source of the process of symbolisation’13. For many who go, they may experience a ‘crisis that is marked by the general failure of the mental regulation,’ as well as ‘temporarily weaken[ed] personal certainties’.14 D’Andrea describes travellers’ ‘immersion in a state of hyperreality’ wherein ‘untrammelled reflexivity thus undermines ones sense of identity and time linearity,’ leading to such questioning as ‘Am I here because I want, or did something (or someone) conspire to bring me here?’.15 However, most recover a sense of identity within several weeks or months, and ‘such difficulties are more pronounced in first-time travellers from a highly structured middle-class background’16. In contrast, veteran travellers who have built a familiarity and possibly long-term, stable relationships with native peoples and local expatriates relay feelings of ‘returning home’ and ‘returning to the mother’s womb’.17 Like the dancer in the collective effervescence of trance, the way in which a traveller perceives India through cultural constructions of what is familiar, foreign or containing mythic power is highly determinative.18 The cultural endowment of India with mythic or authentic meaning helps facilitate and may even be productive of self-transformative travel. Airault himself, through projecting Western representations of India as ‘timeless’, ‘adolescent’, ‘motherly’, and ‘death-wise’ ‘feeds the imaginary whose self-derailing effects he seeks to dispel as a consular doctor’.19 New-age culture especially is known for seeing India through an orientalist Romantic lens Noted by D’Andrea, India is ‘female, round and the karma yoga is instantaneous,’ as opposed to ‘Western squareness’ and ‘macho-robotics’.20 Noy Chaim’s ethnography of Israeli backpackers details their active participation in the social construction of places as authentic, ultimately lending an understanding of authenticity as a commodity. Chaim claims ‘they make of authenticity an authentic experience, which is eventually manifested in the authentication, and the validation, of the transformed identity’21. Such a claim problematises the idea that backpackers in particular have experiences which are self-transformative on a level separate to those experiences of cultural production or perception. It is possible to travel to another country, even India, and constrain the experience such that possibilities of influencing the self are made very improbable. This occurs most readily through the adoption of certain pre-defined, collective tourist frameworks that cater directly to the holidaymaker’s desire, symbolised through the icon of the en-masse, guided bus-tour. D’Andrea, describes the charter tourist who ‘unaware of any countercultural formations in India’ confines themselves within their ‘two-week vacation’ to the luxuries of the ‘hotel swimming pool, hopping to nearby bars and restaurants, besides


some conventional sightseeing’.22 This ‘commodification of experience’ within a ‘tightly structured labor/leisure lifecycle’ is not designed to challenge their involvement with their lives at home, rather to serve as a re-energising break from it.23 The charter tourist does not engage in Turner’s idea of travelling as a form of anti-structure, or ritual in which social or personal change can occur, but actively re-creates elements of homely comfort and structure whilst abroad.24 Of course, the complete suppression of any radical alterity that might ‘reshape personhood’25 is impossible, and simply by perceiving through tinted glass the contrast in equality between air-conditioned bus and the poverty of the developing world, the self-problematisation of the Western self can occur.26 However, the normative tourist frameworks engaged in by this traveller presuppose the motivations and desires for this person’s holiday. This significantly determines their experience, enabling the current trajectory of the self to be re-vitalised upon returning home. In India, the broad travelling label of the backpacker is one in which participants enter into a ritual in which they are encouraged to engage in a process of self-formation. Western mythologies informing backpacking stem from 17th and 18th century traditions of upper class British men entering into a rite of passage between university and a career through travel to and engagement with the exotic other.27 Contemporary cultural construction has occurred through iconic literary nomads such as Ernest Hemingway and Jack Kerouac as well as in mass media and films such as Apocalypse Now, 127 Hours and Into The Wild.28 This informs a Romantic discourse around backpacking that creates a East-West binary wherein the former, especially India, is painted as an untouched, wild, authentic and liminal space of nature. Travelling through this anti-structure is marked by increased experimentation with relationships, drugs, sex and counter-culture activities including trance culture, meditation, yoga, tantra, etc., such that the external voyage is paralleled with an internal one.29 It is possible that in a contemporary setting, the ritual has accrued a greater following not simply because of its aspects of enjoyment, but the warranting by a hyper-mediated ‘period of rapid culture change’30 for more authentic, liminal and cross-cultural experiences. To draw on my own gap-year in India, the embodied symbolism through carrying my home on my back was a personal source of pride in the relative adventure, challenge, and flexibility of the travelling experience, one in which I have been variously lauded as “receiving wisdom”, “getting older”, and “seeing with new eyes”. Whether such recognition is testament to actual self-transformative experience or simply is testament to the cultural construction of backpacking is untested; what remains pertinent is whether personal motivations and engagement transcend cultural categorisation. In its ubiquity, backpacking in India has developed into a culture producing collective and normative frameworks that can influence and limit the self-formative aspects of the travelling practice. D’Andrea describes two types of young, often Caucasian, middle-class backpackers who upon reaching the tourist hub of Goa become either dissatisfied with the aggressive or tedious techno music and unfriendliness of freaks or in contrast embrace the party scene. This latter group ‘above all, reveal utter dissatisfaction with their lives back in the homeland’ and engage in ‘self imposed hardships... seen as fodder for identity challenges and heroic tales that they would tell back home’.31 Despite engaging in self-transformative experiences and counter-culture narratives, D’Andrea notes this latter group’s ‘nationalistic preferences,

reinforced by their gregariousness’ as well as the prevalence of national stereotypes: ‘Israelis are stubborn, troublemakers’, ‘Indians behave like children’, ‘German freaks are chaotic’.32 Noy in This trip really changed me: Backpacker’s narratives’ of self change, describes the prevalence of Israeli owned and run restaurants, enclaves and accommodation throughout Asia, Africa and North and South America in which Israeli backpackers can take refuge from culture shock.33 These few examples show how broad the practice of travelling amongst backpackers is, how collective grouping might limit self-influencing travel and how the trance scene in Goa works as a tourist drawcard whilst also being a benchmark of engagement in self-influencing travel. For Israelis in India around the age of thirty, the backpacking journey comes at an important transitional stage in between the end of prolonged youth and the beginning of adulthood.34 This group is defined through Israeli neo-colonialist jargon as the settlers (ha-mitnahalim – root of the expression, nahala or patrimony), connoting contextual images of long-term Israeli settlements in ‘places that do not necessarily belong to the settlers’35. The settlers are separate from the younger Israeli group the conquerors, who, straight out of military service, extend their adopted physical and adventurous personas into their Indian journeys.36 Settlers embody typical aspects of moratorium through the putting off of responsibilities and obligations, by developing a very simple, daily-life routine in one place.37 This liminal period serves as an ideal, and perhaps last opportunity for an independent rite of passage that provides the mental and physical space for more individuated, reflective self-analysis of current and previous lives before societal pressures of marriage, family, and profession are more keenly felt. This more relaxed or shanti style of travelling allows for a concentration on being rather than doing in India through which one can overcome a degree of alienation from Israeli society, of ‘feelings of claustrophobia and stress stemming from prolonged periods of living up to society’s expectations and demands’38. It often incorporates naïve or romantic interpretations of Indian culture and religion. An understanding of doing here, need not be limited to a capitalistic interpretation of nine-to-five doing of a job, but also the performative doing of other cultural categories: gender, age, class, race, social position etc. For this category of Israeli backpacker, the cultural forces that produce this travel influence the actions undertaken to differ markedly from those of their younger Israeli counterparts, and even if lasting self-transformation does not occur, this, usually new form of travel, positions the backpacker to temporarily experience a different form of self. Embracing our hyper-mediated, hyper-mobile present, the freaks of the Goan trance scene have produced that which is perhaps most denied by their dissatisfying lives in their homeland, that which is granted also through travel in general: fluid identity. They’ve constructed a mecca-like place where like-minded travellers can explore their own self-(de)construction together. There undoubtedly exist markedly different forms of normative and collective self-transformation amongst and within tourists, backpackers, and trance freaks. Indeed, what D’Andrea closes with is that ‘despite the rhetoric of autonomous self-determination, travel transformed most of them into caricatures of smiley tourists, openhearted meditators or rebellious freaks’39. It seems the immanence of social categorisation, of caricatures, groupings or clichés, undermines the significance of personhood change which is needed for such an authentic self-transformation to take place - for a transition between two different identities. Without a

doubt, understanding the Goan trance scene is key in understanding the contemporary discourses of globalisation, counterculture, psychic deterritorialisation, and Romanticism that facilitate and mediate global travel in India. It is especially key in understanding the current formation of neo-nomadism and what it has to tell us about identity and practices of self-formation. What this essay leaves is an emphasis on the cultural histories and constructions around travellers’ journeys, and the need for more longitudinal ethnography to study the impact of these constructions of travellers’ experiences.

Endnotes Malkki, L, 1992, ‘National geographic: the rooting of peoples and the territorialisation of national identity among scholars and refugees’, Cultural Anthropolog y, vol. 7, no. 1, p. 24-44. 2 D’Andrea, A 2007, ‘Techno trance tribalism in Goa: The elementary forms of nomadic spirituality’ in Global nomads: techno and new age as transnational countercultures in Ibiza and Goa, Routledge: USA, p. 173 - 220. 3 D’Andrea, ‘Techno trance tribalism in Goa’, p. 185. 4 D’Andrea, 2006, ‘Neo-Nomadism: A Theory of PostIdentitarian Mobility in the Global Age’, Mobilities, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 95-119. 5 Foucault, M 1978, The History of Sexuality, Pantheon: New York. 6 D’Andrea, ‘Techno trance tribalism in Goa’, p. 185. 7 Ibid, p. 188. 8 Ibid, p. 211 9 Deleuze, G and Guattari, F 1980, A Thousand Plateaus, University of Minnesota Press: Minneapolis. 10 Foucault, The History of Sexuality, p. 5. 11 D’Andrea, ‘Techno trance tribalism in Goa’, p. 207. 12 Ibid, p. 217. 13 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2012, Fox Searchlight Pictures, India. Directed by John Madden. 14 Airault as noted in, D’Andrea, ‘Techno trance tribalism in Goa’, p. 218. 15 D’Andrea, ‘Neo-Nomadism’, p. 104. 16 Airault as quoted in D’Andrea, ‘Techno trance tribalism in Goa’, p. 219. 17 D’Andrea, ‘Techno trance tribalism in Goa’, p. 219. 18 Airault as quoted in D’Andrea, ‘Techno trance tribalism in Goa’, p. 218. 19 D’Andrea, ‘Neo-Nomadism’, p. 127. 20 D’Andrea, ‘Techno trance tribalism in Goa’, p. 218, 193. 21 Chaim, N 2004, ‘This trip really changed me: Backpackers’ narrative of self-change’, Annals of Tourism Research, vol. 31, no. 1, p. 78-102. 22 D’Andrea, ‘Techno trance tribalism in Goa’, p. 197. 1

Ibid. Turner, V 1969, The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure, Aldine Pub. Co: University of Michigan. 25 D’Andrea, ‘Neo-Nomadism’, p. 104. 26 Martin, D 2007, ‘Etic interpreting of naïve subjective personal introspections of tourism behavior: Analyzing visitors’ stories about experiencing Mumbai, Seoul, Singapore, and Tokyo’ International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol. 1, no.1, p. 14-44. 27 Wilson, J and Richards, G 2011, ‘Suspending Reality: An Exploration of Enclaves and the Backpacker Experience’, Current Issues in Tourism, vol. 11, no. 2, p. 187-202. 28 Wilson & Richards, ‘Suspending Reality’, p. 190. 29 D’Andrea, ‘Neo-Nomadism’, p. 104. 30 Chaim, ‘This trip really changed me’, p. 81. 31 D’Andrea, ‘Neo-Nomadism’, p. 103. 32 D’Andrea, ‘Techno trance tribalism in Goa’, p. 198, 199. 33 Chaim, ‘This trip really changed me’, p. 82. 34 Moaz, D 2004, ‘The conquerors and the settlers: two groups of young Israeli backpackers in India’, in (ed) G. Richards and J. Wilson, The global nomad: backpacker travel in theory and practice, Cromwell Press: Clevedon. 35 Moaz, ‘The conquerors and the settlers’, p. 11. 36 Moaz, ‘The conquerors and the settlers’, p. 11. 37 Erikson cited by Moaz, ‘The conquerors and the settlers’, p. 12. 38 D’Andrea, ‘Techno trance tribalism in Goa’, p. 199, 220. 39 D’Andrea, ‘Techno trance tribalism in Goa’, p. 220. 23 24

Sebastian Kitchen

Ormond At War Forum with Ormond Students moderated by Jack Armstrong With Dr. Rufus Black and Dr. Edward Morgan


In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the First

visiting soldiers going to the front.

World War, we have Rufus Black and Edward Morgan

Unlike many generals, who stayed a long way

with us to talk about Ormond’s role in World War One

back, he was regularly at the front and was very

and ongoing conflicts around the world. Dr. Black has

involved in Gallipoli. A story I like repeating,

done the Black Review, which was a review into the

because it says something about his values was

Department of Defence in 2011. The review made a series

when he was tunnelling between the Turkish

of recommendations on how defence can be more agile,

lines and Australian/New Zealand lines. The

efficient, and effective. Dr. Morgan is Manager of the

tunnel was met by the Turkish. He was clearly

Defence Industry Unit for the Victorian Government is

the senior officer, and he charged into the tunnel

also a Board member of the Kokoda Foundation, or the

with his gun and engaged the Turkish enemy and

soon to be Institute for Regional Security, an independent

there was actually quite a gun battle. A bullet

think tank that concentrates on Australia’s future security

whizzed over his head and hit the person behind


him. He was severely dressed down afterwards by more senior officers as to why he put his own

To Begin; approximately how many Ormond alumni

life on the line. He said: “I’d never ask my men to

volunteered and served in the First World War and how

do something I wouldn’t do myself.” That kind

old were these people? Were they involved in any major

of story rippled through all of the people who

battles such as Passchendaele or The Hundred Days

served as typifying the character of who he was.

Offensive? An Australian general led the last cavalry charge Rufus: Yes, I’ll probably need to read into

in history. If you’ve seen the film The Light

the record. We do have the exact numbers of

Horsemen, it’s an Ormondian who led that

people who served, so I won’t misquote that,

cavalry charge. But equally important are all of

but we should put it in correctly. But of the few

the stories of the young people who served in the

hundred people who served, we served in all

ranks. There were losses of some extraordinary

parts of the conflict. Ormond’s history in the

talent. If you look around the college today at

war was really extraordinary. Our most famous

some of the talent we have now, the community

general of the war was Pompey Elliott, who was

was no different back then, and the losses were

one of the great Australian war time generals,

amazing. Not just of students, however. Clunes

distinguished not only by his extraordinary

Mathison, an Ormond tutor, is on our Honour

strategic judgement, but also his willingness,

board. He was offered the first directorship of

particularly in the Western front, to argue

the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical

against wasteful British strategies. Particularly

Reasearch. If there was a Nobel Prize Winner we

famously at Fromelles, the battle where Australia

never had, it was probably him.

lost more lives in a single day than in any other conflict. He’s known for, at the end of that battle,

Edward: The Honour Board is one of the most

having vigorously opposed the British approach.

important things that Ormond has. I’ve always

He then sought to mitigate the losses, and openly

been struck by the fact that as you go into your

wept, an unusual thing in those times, as soldiers

meal, the place that gives you the most life, you

returned from the battle. He was famous for

see the pre-conditions of that life, and these 63

people have had to lay down their lives for your security. There is Oude Tethnasi Thanontes which

Edward: It’s never impossible to be allies with a

is, “They died, but are not dead”. That continual

country with whom you share common interests.

memory of those people is a very significant thing

Helpfully, strategic interests sometimes relate to

for us.

values. This is such that we often find ourselves allied to countries who share our democratic

How do you see the old Eurocentric alliances going into the

values, for example. But history tells us alliances

future? Do you think they are going to continue to define

and values don’t have to cohere - Russia and the

Australia’s strategic outlook in terms of defence and how

US had a very different view of the ideal society

we position ourselves? We’ve moved away from Britain and

but fought with common interests in the Second

become a lot closer to America. Do you see us potentially

World War - as one example.

moving toward any other state? Rufus: I think we need to get out the sense of old Edward: The First World War was a defining

Europe and new Asia. We now live in a globally

European war, and on some level the defining

integrated world. Therefore, for any middle

European conflict. It was the point where Europe

power with an open economy like Australia’s,

learned what the modern battlefield was like.

we are a globally engaged nation and therefore

Australia was aligned to the great power of the

our network of engagement with the world has to

time, and that alliance continued to be shaped for

mirror and marry that. There’s a gravity that we

the next twenty years after in the same way. The

have in terms of our interests in Asia, but we’ve

alliance with America formed during the Second

seen how significant other parts of the world

World War and was ratified after it. In terms of

can be to maintaining a viable, stable globe. It

new alliances, Australia will probably continue in

matters what happens in Europe because we’re

the framework of its existing alliances. We have

tied up in global trade. It matters what happens

good relationships with Britain and they are still

in the Middle East because an arc of instability

one of our key allies. Alliance relationships shift

that fuels not a terrorist threat, but fear. Terrorist

for different reasons, but one of the key points

threats are not existential threats in the sense that

about alliance relationships is that of values. Our

there’s a military threat they represent that can’t

alliances with Britain and America stays strong

be matched, but they are a threat if they get out

because we share a vision of freedom and a

of hand. They are a threat to the liberal order

requirement for us to defend that freedom. There’s

because they make liberal orders become illiberal,

a line beyond which you cannot go before losing

sometimes forcing liberal orders to behave in

the constitutive meaning of your own identity and

ways that risk undermining their values. We saw

that is usually the crunch point for us where we

some of that post 9/11 in the most extreme parts

say, “Enough.” Our allies identify themselves by

of America’s response. Australia and the world’s

being in that same category.

wellbeing hinges on the maintenance of a world that is governed according to the rule of law and

For that reason, do you think it would be impossible – on a

a broad liberal order. That doesn’t happen if it’s

strategic level – to have alliances with some states?

left to large powers to do all the heavy lifting. Not because militarily they can’t do the heavy lifting,


but because if you’re to maintain rules based

middle power. This is a place where Australia is

order, it can’t be maintained by a single power or it

able to stand up and this begs a question to others

becomes a different kind of order.

who don’t. One of the questions you asked before was about Australia expanding militarily. I can’t

Do you think Australia stands to expand beyond its military

say I see Australia an an “expansionist” power.

capabilities? For example, Australia has recently committed

The issue is probably more about requirements in

aircraft to transport weapons to Kurdish fighters whilst

the face of an emerging strategic environment. In

Australian aircraft are on standby to assist the US. In the

general, military budgets have to be proportioned

Ukraine, we’ve sent military trainers and advisors and,

to a country’s requirements. This in turn has to

by all reports, there were also SAS troops on the ground

do with what the country considers it will need to

in Ukraine near the MH-17 crash site. Are there definite

do with its military. The government has said it

limits and have we gone past them?

will go up to 2% of GDP (gross domestic product) and that will give us a particular degree of

Rufus: In terms of the Middle East, we have an

military capability. 2% of GDP may simply be the

Australian airbase at Ahmedabad. It’s a serious

expression of a new requirement against emerging

airbase and is entirely suitable for conducting the

needs as these have been assessed.

sort of modest exercises we do. We’ve also got plenty of experience flying transport in that part

Returning to aligning with like-minded states, since 2004

of the world. In exercising some sort of military

and the tsunami, a quadrilateral alliance has emerged

capability in that part of the world, I don’t think

between the US, India, Japan and Australia. Do you

represents overstretch at all. More so, I think it’s

think this is going to become something more prominent in

important that Australia is there. This helps avoid

Australian defence policy?

the narrative that it’s just an American fight, and it also helps the Europeans, who should be much

Edward: I think there’s a likelihood of those

more involved in these kinds of things, see that this

relationships increasing rather than decreasing.

is clearly a middle power responsibility to check

There are common forms of government and

the kind of extremism that we’re seeing. Air power

common interests, which would predicate that

has its limits but we’ve seen in recent days that

quite easily.

those limits still enable you to protect minorities from massacres, enable ground forces to prevent

Rufus: One of the core strategic acts and one of

dams being used as weapons of mass destruction.

the core dynamics of the strategy is how China

It can do a lot of good things and it’s not beyond

comes to terms with the rest of Asian powers. It’s

our reach to do it.

far healthier for that accommodation to occur in a multilateral environment rather than a unilateral

Edward: I think it goes to a question of global

environment. Middle powers understand that

citizenship. Australia’s been very clear in our

it’s far better to be involved in a collaborative

advocacy. If your vote is not there, then you can’t

enterprise to make Asia work in security terms

be counted, and that’s a very significant thing. It’s

than to this to evolve in a dynamic they’ve got

a form of leadership and I think that’s what Rufus

no involvement in. China is our greatest trading

is talking about with Australia’s leadership as a

partner and yet they’re not our greatest security 65

partner. This is a task of how we create the ‘and’.

to build their own country. That’s been a modestly

So how do we have that evolve in a way that

successful project and I think it’s combined the

accommodates China’s growth? Not just economic

two sorts of power well. If you look at ISIS at

growth but growth as a power. That’s a high order

the moment, we cannot rebuild that part of the

diplomatic task and our challenge is to be up to it.

Middle East – the local people will have to do that and we’ve learned that lesson well and truly. But,

What can we learn and reflect on from instances where

at the same time, is it reasonable to put a stop to

military intervention in other countries escalates the

their very rapid advance until the Iraqis have got

situation and ends disastrously for the merits of military

themselves back together that they can prevent

intervention and responders? What does that mean about

the horrible massacres that are going on? It seems

upholding our duty as a global citizen? Within the media

to me there’s a window where you say, “we have

context of Australia’s aircraft in response to ISIS, do you

enough experience with using lethal force in these

think we are providing the exact response to the provocation

settings to hold the line, push this back enough

ISIS is seeking from the West?

that we can hope local forces will be able to manage through.” And then, inevitably, accept a

Rufus: History tells us countries win their own

level of messiness that will come with local forces

freedom. The sure path to that is hard won by

working it through. That is the kind of pattern we

citizens of countries and there’s no doubt, in a

see. We’re not totally naïve in this space. We have

whole range of settings, the West has intervened

seen similar outcomes in Timor, the Solomon’s,

to try and accelerate that process and that’s not

and both settings where Australian forces were

gone well. Does it mean we should never militarily

used highly effectively to enable two countries to

intervene? There’s very little evidence that you

return to a path of self-determination. If you’re a

can intervene to build countries – countries have

country involved in international action, being a

to build themselves. Nevertheless, you face the

country without what could be seen as an ‘imperial

situation from time to time where you may need to

agenda’ is a really important voice to have at the

intervene to prevent atrocity, and that’s a different


project altogether. In Rwanda, the loss of life


would have been dramatically less if there had

Edward: It could be very dangerous to over read

been intervention. I lived in Europe and couldn’t

what another group of people want. When you do

believe when the Balkans conflict broke out. You

a strategic analysis, you have to figure out what

had an enormous amount of fighting force in a

you think they might want or what they may be

continent which had seen genocide and you had

able to exploit from particular things that they

to listen to genocide happening on the BBC. It’s

do and in what way. It comes down to whether

at that point you think that clearly you couldn’t

you’re prepared to take risks against the ‘clear

build the Balkans with force, but you could put

evil’ that you’re trying to prevent. In any military

enough soldiers in there stop the massacres and

or diplomatic engagement is a measurement of

force people to build their own countries, which

risk and of saying “we’re prepared to risk that

is ultimately what happened. In the end, Blair

to protect or seek this”. I think ISIS’ statements

and Clinton put enough political force together to

of intent are clear enough, but they seem far

require those countries with enough military force

from final. To that extent, it’s probably better to

assess what they are presently putting at risk and

to say, in a certain sort of dialogue, “This is

measure our response to them in those terms.

unacceptable. However, by the same token, that doesn’t diminish the degree of humanity you

The ISIS situation seems to be different to previous areas

possess.” It’s a serious dialogical approach and

that we’ve had to intervene in, in that we’ve actually had

doesn’t see words as mere words. They’re part of

people from the countries who are providing support actually

grounding a community into a better version of

joining the fight for ISIS. Do you think that we’re doing

itself and those who exist within it.

enough to discourage or prevent that at the moment? Or are we having more of a negative impact by joining into the fight

Wikileaks revealed last year that Australian intelligence has

and perhaps encouraging people from our own countries to

been monitoring the phone of President Yudhoyono. Do you

go in and fight against us?

believe that gathering intelligence on that level by Australia is justified and are we likely to see that continue in the

Rufus: ASIO have made it public that they’re


going to do some extra things to prevent people from going. There’s always a balance, and does

Rufus: Any intelligence gathering that violates

this create more opportunities for radicalisation?

privacy is obviously going to feel very intrusive and

It may do, but compelling radicalisation has

upsetting is going to be a deeply upsetting thing.

its own kind of cycles. We’ve been involved in

If you’re doing it to leaders of countries that you

enough things that there are enough sources for

happen to be cooperating with, there’s enormous

radicalisation. I think the greater forces are to

risk in doing that. That said, the prize form of

do with what’s going on in communities where

intelligence in any situation is to know what the

radicalisation is happening. This adds an extra

leaders of countries are thinking and planning.

strand to the narrative. Weigh that against the

Obviously, that’s the thing that has the greatest

ability to prevent that force metastasizing into

strategic value. It will be a judgement call by those

something that has global reach. The security

who have formed some view about the nature of

balance would stop this growing into a large safe

our national interests and the degree to which we

haven for extremist organisations, which ultimately

think acquiring the knowledge about what leaders

have a capacity to reach out and support

think is vital to them, weighed against the risks

radicalisation. I imagine it tips strongly in favour

of the inevitable sense of violation that will come

of saying that it is better to try and neutralise

if we cross that line. In principle, I don’t think

this problem and manage what, in Australia, is

that we should say never do it. We live in a far too

really a very modest problem of radicalisation. It’s

complicated world to say we would never want to

significant and important, but on a global scale

know what the leader of a country might have in

of communities that have radicalised, Australia’s

mind. Once we’ve done that, we’ve decided not to

problem is still a manageable scale.

have an intelligence capability.

Edward: The risk for a community, when faced with this sort of thing, is to radicalise in the other

Edward: It goes to a realistic appreciation

direction and to begin a process of demonization.

of activities that are conducted of behalf of a

This is at least as dangerous as the one that has

country. US Intelligence Chief James Clapper

been constructed on the other side. You need

explained in 2013 that gathering information 67

on the intentions of leaders of other countries is

path, which is not to have a close relationship, and

a normative part of US intelligence activity. He

that keeps you safe from tripping over the moral

noted furthermore that it is “business as usual”

hazards. We’ve not chosen that path. We’ve chosen

for foreign intelligence services. But at the same

a path of deep engagement. There comes a risk

time, he said, very few countries have the degree

with that, that at times we will be caught up in

of oversight of US intelligence operations - so it is

parts of their agenda that we don’t like. Hopefully,

not indiscriminate. It’s probably important to point

a strong and free press in Australia means that if

out also that gathering information on a country’s

we do, people speak up loudly and we clarify. But

leaders is different from spying on you or me. The

if you are involved in those countries, you will

main concern that we read in public debate, which

sometimes get it wrong. The national question

is a very reasonable concern, is about citizens

is always going to be, ultimately, do we believe

having their rights violated. But a state seeking

we can morally live with it and will it serve

to understand the intentions of another state - by

our national interests? For example, given the

whatever means - seems “situation normal” to me

complexities post 9/11 of things we did and didn’t


get involved in, I think in an exceptionally morally complicated environment, we did a very good job

Rufus talked about how Australia could not be described as

of navigating through all of that. There are always

having an ‘imperial agenda.’ With regards to Australia’s

going to be the big questions like whether or not

involvement in foreign countries, considering Australia’s

we should have been involved in Afghanistan and

very close ties with the US, especially in terms of foreign

other places. They are big questions and definitely

policy, could that problematize the idea of Australia not

worth separately debating, but I do think Australia

having an imperial agenda?

has the capability to navigate very complicated relationships and find the middle point between

Rufus: There’s a world of difference between

ethics and interest.

dealing with a global super power and having an imperial agenda. It is overwhelmingly in our

Edward: We’re talking about a rules based global

interests to have a deeply constructive relationship

order, which is essentially about openness and

with the United States. Whether you want a player

transparency and that’s what’s promoted. One

who is maintaining a global and essentially a

of the first things I always observe is their desire

rules based order, recognising at every time super

to build up a country so it can manage itself, and

powers are compromised, an American internal

that’s not wanting to rule a country. The question

critique could be every bit as great as an external

about implying imperial interest on a power who

critique. You take on board the moral complexity

work actively to make sure that, not withstanding

of dealing with that when it is overwhelmingly

their interests in those countries, a country can run

in your national interests, nevertheless, to have

itself is an important point to make. The language

a good relationship with them. The skill of any

of imperialism is not a good descriptive term in the

middle power is to work out how we have that

modern world.

relationship without finding ourselves caught up in the parts of their actions and agenda that we find unacceptable. Some countries choose the easy 68


Menu at the End of the Universe Buster Davidson Arts 3

I’m in the car and I’m almost all right and I grip the bottle tighter. I’m still phased out on diazepam, the time is 11:09 and although I feel okay, although I feel fine, I know just how bad this will be. The knowledge of my impending trauma is cool and brilliant. The funeral started at 11:00. I put on an Elvis Costello CD but the disk is scratched. Past repair. At the lights my mother turns and makes a face that looks like a grimace. I feel weak and baleful. The morning feels weak and baleful. I am not a bad person, though I am surrounded by them. Our car pulls into the car-park and we begin to recognise faces, solemn and slate-coloured. I am on a ship of fools sailing towards some kind of leper oblivion. Everything that has come before this point in time has passed, inexorably into the realm of the unalterable. I am immensely drunk. Bathos. THE PROFANE The funeral I am attending this afternoon is for a brilliant woman. She died at the age of 83 after fighting stomach cancer for a year. She was the mother of my own mother’s husband. I didn’t really know her. I met her maybe two times and although she was always kind I never came to think of her as family. Maybe that is significant. The family is like any other upper-middle class dynasty: tired, sunbathed, money-fucked. When the mother was diagnosed, her son, Ian, pressured her into selling her beach house. He bought it for himself, simultaneously cheating his mother and three siblings. Before the deed was signed he insisted that his mother pay to have the carpets shampooed. Following the sale, the third brother, Paul, flew off the handle. After a breakfast’s worth of gin he drove down to the house and dug up his father’s ashes. Ian was indignant. A childhood of bullying at the hands of his brothers meant he could play the victim well. The dying mother acted as the mediator and the ashes were soon returned. These are not my problems but the problems of those around me. They affect me only in their proximity. I don’t know how they happen. I don’t know if they mean anything. Cool, distant, modern—although the tone is worryingly sincere. My mother’s boyfriend is an innocuous man named Mark. His nerves are shot. He’s raw and stunned— like those meandering, milk-eyed freaks that bake themselves in the St. Kilda sun. They’ve been dating since we returned from Los Angeles.


I wish: Ian was the villain of this story. He is the right balance of pettiness, pusillanimity and malice to be a figure of 19th century evil. But he isn’t adequate. He’s simply a plot device, something shaped like a villain that passed through my field of vision. Cut—nostalgic We arrive in the church’s parking lot as Janis Joplin launches into another desperate bellow. I spot Paul. He is wearing the Southey Grammar tie, like most of the other men his age. He is distraught; I offer my condolences and let him move on. A week ago while arguing with Ian on the phone, Paul, throws a conniption fit and threatens to “kill, [his] fucking dickhead” brother. Ian later phoned the police, fearing for his life. Years later Ian’s wife, Cordelia, would claim that she could “see the hate in Paul’s eyes” as he made the threat. These are not good people, they just happen to be near me. This story is devolving into farce—autobiography will need to be excised Walking up the steps of the church I receive a text message from a girl I slept with earlier in the semester. Previously, she has threatened to ‘fuck me to death’. I suppose that’s more of an offer than a threat. She asks me what I am wearing. I reference my charcoal grey Brioni tie and white Charvet shirt. I doubt this is the response she is seeking. The funeral service is beginning. We are sitting at the very front of the church. The coffin is lying only a few metres before me, resting plaintively on a velvet catafalque. At the back of the church is Carol, Mark’s ex-wife. She was almost sane until Mark left her. Now she is crazy. Clinical, head-fucked; there is no term too diminutive or derogatory. Carol expected to be well paid by the divorce. She wanted all the money; she wanted all of his assets and his sanity and his future, his furniture and his manhood. Carol is the reason my mother has taken so much Valium. Sitting in the front row I hear a low, hesitant scraping noise. After a few minutes of this shuffling an ancient specimen in ecclesiastical robes ambles past. The priest’s crumbling maw opens in anticipation; my phone convulses. A few early pangs of deus ex. I surreptitiously withdraw my phone and check the message. The sex murderess has sent me a photo of an inexplicably, almost unthinkably graphic nature. It’s more gynecological than pornographic. It should be illegal. I don’t reply. The headache returns. Silence descends. Farce. I am not a bad person though I often appear it.


VALEDICTION The priest that is performing the service is an old family friend. He is 94-years-old and his name is Donald Seachley, although we have been told to call him ‘Don’. The service begins. There is singing. Tears are wrought. I sit awkwardly while a news report’s worth of anguish and weeping washes over my back. I have removed my pair of sunglasses and the light glares in through the stained windows, sharking in low, refracted and prismatic, to assault my retinas. A migraine percolates in the base of my skull. Above us there are a few tokenistic images of Jesus healing and just generally bothering people. The painter is unskilled—he looks like an unprepossessing Kurt Cobain. Decades ago when the family believed in God they had regularly attended this church. It is now a Korean Pentecostal franchise. As Paul performs the first eulogy everyone starts crying again. The first harping sighs sound the hardest. And: struggling persists. The presence of Carol at the funeral is contentious. A couple of months after I moved into Hurlingham College, I received a call from my mother. Carol had broken into Mark’s house. Once inside, Carol rifled through everything surgically, mother’s underwear and toiletries were turned over; privacies were raped. The imagined Carol fills a garbage bag with DVDs, underwear and banking information, turns and leaves. I am out in the middle of a frozen lake, naked, frictionless, surrounded by drunks and grave robbers. I am not a bad person but I can’t stop this. I think I stole that line from a song by the Doors. Don has just referred to the deceased with the wrong name for the sixth time. I receive another message from the sex murderess and sweat more into my Charvet shirt. Mark’s sister is doing the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. She claims that her mother told her to delay the funeral until her holiday was over. The funeral went ahead anyway. Consequently there is a man in the church with a big, technically immense camera on a tripod. The cameraman appears just as old as the pastor. He wears a stained bomber jacket with ‘Serenity Productions’ embroidered on the back. My mother seems all right. She has calmed herself. I can’t help but notice that Ian has a pair of Oakley sports sunglasses on the crown of his head. He gives his speech, tactfully referred to as ‘Reflections’ in the service guide. As I walked through the carpark I saw that Ian had brought a family friend, a six-foot-who-gives-a-fucktall bouncer of a man. His suit was tailored by a man that only possesses a right angle. He looks like someone that would sell you fake ray-bans before mugging you, he looks like the logical end of metaphor, 73

he exceeds description with his wealth of detail. The fake bouncer is the most real object I have ever seen. Ian’s eulogy is a précis of tennis games, drunken lunches and masculinity. Ian wins. Mark stands beside the coffin and delivers the main eulogy. As he describes how his parents met, the cameraman begins to talk with ‘Don’, who is seated in the knave. They speak loudly through Mark. Their conversation is meaningless, nothing is wrong, one of them asks about the weather. Mark has to halt his eulogy and ask if everything is okay. The cameraman says he’s fine and continues speaking. I want to tear his head off. I want to feast on them. I want to spit heroin into that priest’s eyes. I want to consume everything; they’d bring back the death penalty just for me. The service is ending but I am thinking about last night. IN MEMORIAM I am staying at Mark’s house tonight so that we can make it to the funeral on time. For an hour I lie in the guesthouse trying to read Life: a User’s Manual. Eventually I quit it in favour of the living room. I am sitting in a 4-bedroom, something-bathroom house watching Celebrity Firefighting Academy or Golf Island on TV. My mother’s make-up is finally in place. We are going to go out for dinner, to enjoy ourselves and forget the mortification of tomorrow’s funeral. Word-play The dinner went badly. We decided upon an upmarket Chinese restaurant started by a few of the disgruntled investors from Pakesan-Ha Restaurant Venture. After the first glass of wine I went to the bathroom. A girl I’m quite enamored with had sent me a text message. I have no idea what she feels for me. Although I may have tried to come across as desirable, compassionate, even tender toward her, she makes me feel as if I am floating in glycerin, in a tank made with triple laminated glass. I tried to message her at the restaurant but my phone had poor reception. Callow set-up, confusing symbolism—this ‘love’ story-arc is entirely superfluous I’m liable to read hidden meaning into everything she says, suppress every instance of disinterest and amplify her laughter until it detaches my retina. I will assign false motive to every syllable unless it aligns with some reconciliatory narrative. This intensity doesn’t bother me, I’m floating in glycerin. After receiving the message I exited through the kitchen and had a cigarette in the parking lot. Now how can I claim to have been genuinely affected by a reminder of her coolness—maybe I just wanted to smoke. When I got back to the table my mother said something caustic about how long I’d been in the bathroom. I lied and told her I’d gotten a call from my father. 3:17 am. The time in Century City, Los 74

Angeles, was 3:17 am. But: she doesn’t bother to do the arithmetic, or she can be bothered so this was allowed to pass in silence. At some point in the night Mark gets a call from the stables where his daughter’s horse is stored. “The horse is ailing” is all that is said. The veterinarian has been called. Mark is yelling something racist about Chinese economic policy at the restaurant’s owner, who is also called Mark. All I am thinking about is the girl—and Peking duck—and my cretinous appetites. The horse is dead. It goes to the vet. It goes to the vivisectionist. It becomes dog-food or hairnets or throw pillows. My mother’s boyfriend will now have to tell his 17-year old daughter that her horse has died on the day of her grandmother’s funeral. There is a chance that I will appreciate this irony later but for now the Xanax has phased me. That night we drive back to Mark’s house to watch a film called Bloodsports. Wesley Snipes shouts, “Always bet on black” before executing a nondescript crony. We all pass out before the film finishes. The Horse is dead. POSITION I have only had 4 hours of narcotic sleep. My hangover bristles behind a taffeta curtain of diazepam and codeine. We are in the car going to the funeral. “I Touch Myself” by the Divinyls is playing on the radio. A purple truck pulls up next to us. I love you, Golden Blue. The driver looks across. He is shocked at the sight of me, eyes cordoned off by sunglasses, drinking at 11 o’clock. My mother asks whom I’m starring at, like it is important, like something depends on my answer. As we approach the church a homeless man screams “Visit my website!”. He laughs, plangent and eschatological. In the carpark somebody has dropped a take-away coffee. Everybody is hurried into the church for the service. I stare at the jagged puddle of coffee on pavement. After half a million mortars and 4 years the siege of Sarajevo ended and artists began to fill in the scars left by Serbian shells with resin. The marks left behind now are called Sarajevo roses. Maybe they look like the coffee. The service ends and everyone begins shuffling out of the church to the community centre at the back. The grievers have resumed their public demeanours. The time for mourning now over, they talk about school fees and football. On the 9th of October an ascendant Mike Tyson took one minute and twenty-eight seconds to knock out veteran Donnie Long. Footage shows the umpire tugging at Long’s arms before he collapses. Long claims he can only remember arriving at the arena and the rest is blank. 75

AMYLASE In the community centre there is a table laid out with coffee and tea. In the centre of the hall there is food—reassuringly westernised sushi, sandwiches, cakes, etc. At the back of the hall there are eight tables of alcohol. I do not feel healthy enough to eat the food so instead I pour myself a cup of coffee. It’s orange and greasy. The kind of grimy, instant filth you get served in a waiting room. There is warmth, there is food, and I can almost see the end of this day. I am not a bad person, though I currently taste like one. ‘Don’ hobbles up to me and asks if I’m a member of the family. “No, I’m just a friend of Mark’s”— The priest, pastor, reverend, clergyman & co. sniffs at this and asks me if I can get him a glass of red wine. I have no idea how to refuse him. I’m not sure if he’s a reprobate fuck or just senile. As I pour a glass of wine a middle-aged waitress approaches me. She works for Rest in Peace catering. She asks if she can pour me a drink before necking the bottle and walking off. I get another message from the sex murderess. She is now masturbating to the scent of burning hair or performing some equally torrid ritual. I don’t know what I’ve done to make her think I enjoy this. I try to check my emails but the internet is out. No Connection Possible. I ask my mother for the car keys and retrieve a few extra Valium from the glove box. I take the entire tube. I’ve begun drinking and I’m currently talking to a cousin, niece, etc. of the deceased about her MBA or voluntourism or something. She bores me lifeless but while I’m talking to her I’m safe from the family, from the brothers, and Carol. The family walks through the car-park, the brothers arguing with each other under their breath. While I was outside my mother and Carol began arguing. Mark is completely voluble. My mother has stabilised herself with alprazolam or diazepam. One of the brothers suggests we go to the Chinese restaurant we were at last night. The same restaurant, the same owner (also named Mark). I am sitting at the table. Around me twelve faces, jowls, teeth, meat between them. Slick skin in the dimmed lights. Things become very impressionistic. A napkin is thrown, crumpling into an origami mountain range in the middle of the table. Quaint imagery amidst the tension, tiresome but necessary. “Mother, I need to go. Can I have Mark’s keys?” I pull a case of Italian beer left over from the wake from Mark’s car. I drop the keys back with my 76

mother, leaving the beer outside the restaurant. I hail a cab. The driver pulls away before I tell him the destination. RACHMANINOFF I rest against the taxi window. The oil of a hundred people’s heads marks this double glazed window. Key-scratched names digging in the Plexiglas partition protecting the driver from knife violence. The drowned roar of fluorescent lighting. Outside, everything is made of galvanized iron. A woman on a billboard tells me in a shrill voice how much I should use Glorva-lax carpet cleaner. Another advertisement is plastered a hundred times over, a stripe that runs into a tunnel somewhere in the distance. It’s an advertisement for “Nivea for MEN” deodorant. “Control your profile”. The most inspiring thing I’ve witnessed in the last year has been an advertisement for Lacoste. Mark your man. Let her know what you want. This is just the Beginning. Everybody will want to know. They all go floating by, an inch from taxi window. Back at college my head swims; I drop the case of beer and pass into sleep. I dream about French vodka, sexless nights, equestrian and hating LA. When I awake I realize that there’s a party tonight at college. In the corridor a friend wrapped in toilet paper runs by. “DB COOPER, DB COOPER!” He drunkenly screams. I can’t imagine enjoying the party and I think I’ve just seen the girl, my girl, some girl talking to another him so I head upstairs to the college Oratory. I sit at the organ smoking. I let a heavy finger drop onto an organ key but it produces no noise. A light flicks on and a girl in a party frock clatters in. She sits at the piano on the other side of the room and begins playing something brooding. It is a surprisingly gentle moment. I have not used the word “gentle” in a long time. I want to use that line, that negative affirmation. I want to tell you that I’m not a bad person, but I won’t. I will leave these things unsaid for now. I will let her play her piece. The architecture of the room is indeterminate in the dark. I’m almost blind but I think I see a cat dark across the door. Although the girl is gorgeous I won’t bother her. My lighter cracks as I put flame to a new cigarette. I take a deep pull on it and every nerve in my body settles. I press a key on the organ but it still won’t make a sound.



Suffrage and Spectacle Jules Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Donnell Arts 3

In 1914, a comely Edwardian woman of ‘distinctly peaceable appearance’ entered The National Gallery in London. She wasn’t there for your typical gander, though she had a particular painting in mind. It was John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Henry James. She approached it, opened her coat, drew a meat cleaver from an inside pocket, and proceeded to slash the painting to ribbons, not pausing from the carnage until restrained by onlookers.1 This woman was suffragette Mary Aldham. In defense of her actions, she said: ‘I wish to show the public that they have no security for their property nor for their art treasures until women are given their political freedom’2. Some 70 years later, the Guerilla Girls collective aimed to embarrass the curators of the western art world with another art installation. Instead of the balding Henry James, a naked woman lay prostrate, asking: ‘[d]o women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?’3. The Guerilla Girls used the art scene to fight for artistic representation. After all, Mary Aldham had used it to fight for political representation. Why not further her efforts? It is the contention of this essay that the likeness of these protests is no coincidence. Through various forms of theatrical protest, the suffragettes added spectacle to the feminist arsenal, or what Charles Tilly would call their repetoire of contention. In doing so, the suffragettes informed further feminist movements across the 20th century until the present day. Faced with processions of thousands of women in the early 20th century demanding female suffrage, the British Parliament could not deny the spectacle of the suffragette plight, nor predict its endurance as a form of feminist rebellion. They succeeded in a way that Chartist petitions had not some hundred years earlier. ‘Petitions go into Parliamentary waste-paper baskets’, argues Lisa Tickner, ‘they cannot put a procession of fifteen thousand women into the waste-paper basket’.4 Here Tickner locates a distinguishing feature of the suffragette campaign: spectacle. Processions of thousands drew attention, disruptions of parliament embarrassed politicians, and circulating media images contravened what Prime Minister William Gladstone referred to as ‘the delicacy, the purity, the refinement’ of the female subject.5 While spectacle was not an entirely new characteristic of rebellious movements, the suffragettes deployed the spectacular to victorious and enduring ends, giving it a subversive, feminine flavour. Barbara Green associates suffragette spectacle with ‘the deliberate and sensational tactics used to draw public attention to the cause’6. The suffragettes attached spectacle to subversive performances of the female body – ‘making the feminine body into a civic body’7. They embarked on theatrical processions in London streets, invaded ‘male’ public space by interrupting parliament, and used the female body to subvert conservative ideologues (such as Gladstone) that associated femininity with meekness and passivity. Emmeline Pankhurst rationalizes these tactics as a plight to ‘make more noise than anyone else’, arguing that ‘you have to fill the papers more than anyone else’.8 Christabel Pankhurst did just this in October 1905 when she disrupted Liberal politician Sir Edward Grey’s public address, demanding to know whether women would be given the vote. Upon her subsequent arrest, she spat in a policeman’s face.9 Other examples include suffragettes chaining themselves to number 10 Downing 79

Street, and processions with drums and music, which literally made more noise. These disruptive displays of femininity were performed for both immediate and mediatized audiences. ‘The two women [Pankhurst and Kenney] were arrested, the newspapers carried the story on the front page, and militancy was born’10. The audience – the newspaper consumer, the onlooker – bore witness to what Sylvia Pankhurst referred to as ‘the spirit of enterprise and fight’11. The status quo, represented primarily by a male parliament, was to be embarrassed by such displays and their popular support. As Christabel Pankhurst put it: ‘The present Prime Minister is not going to give us the vote until he is badgered into giving it, shamed into giving it’12. While the suffragettes’ primary objective was to gain the vote, they simultaneously capitalised on their publicity to construct and transform new ideas of femininity and the female image. As Barbara Green puts it, the suffragettes altered ‘what we think of as the modern’13. This is a reference to modern contention, yet also, a modern woman, whose is engaged in public life, and who actively determines her role within it. The suffragettes constructed an image of women whose role in society was not confined to the home and various duties of domesticity. As Leslie Hill puts it, the suffragettes coined the phrase ‘the personal is political’, with the message that women’s roles should extend into the public sphere.14 The key features of suffragette activism which endure in modern feminist campaigns are precisely these elements: drawing attention to the cause through sensationalism (and the feminine body); embarrassing and challenging the status quo with subversive performance; capitalizing on media outlets to extend popular support networks and, perhaps most significantly, constructing an image of women that mobilized their role from the domestic to the public sphere. Performative elements of suffragette activism are visible in second wave feminist performance art, which emerged in the 1960s and 1970s. Leslie Hill is so convinced by the continuity between the suffragettes and later developments in performance art, that she goes as far as to suggest that the suffragettes invented the practice. She writes: [l]ong before Karen Finley smeared chocolate on her bottom … comely Edwardian ladies were pioneering a new hybrid art form in which the personal was political, the political was performative, and the performance was public.15 Second wave feminist performance art presented the female body so as to destabilise gender dichotomies. Karen Finley, mentioned by Leslie Hill above, began performing in the 1970s. In one of her better-known pieces, I’m an Ass Man, Finley takes on the persona of a patriarchal male, impersonating and parodying the figure.16 She uses the female body to mirror and assume a position of masculine dominance, performing the male role back to her audience. Kathy Battista argues that the 80

use of the body in such performance art ‘elevated the female form from muse to master while exposing previously taboo topics’17. This use of the female body adapts and enhances the way Christabel Pankhurst used the female body to rattle an image of feminine purity by spitting on a policeman and engaging in a physical confrontation. The new suffragette audience, in this case the performance art viewer, is confronted with a construction of gender or femininity which challenges the norm. The aforementioned Guerilla Girls emerged during second wave feminism. They challenged gender inequality in the arts by invading male-dominant cultural spaces in a similar way to the Christabel Pankhurst’s intrusion on parliament. The group formed in 1985 with the initiative of exposing gender inequality particularly within the arts, such as cinema and visual art. Since their formation, they have produced billboards, posters, books and other projects which draw attention to this inequity. One particular billboard highlights the masculinity associated with the Academy Award trophy, the Oscar’ as emblematic of male domination in popular cinema.18 They use statistics to quantify their visual, rhetorical protests, such as the fact that 94% of Academy Awards for writing have been given to men.19 Through their theatrical techniques, with conspicuous billboards and use of gorilla masks to collectivize the identity of the movement, ‘they succeeded in drawing international attention to inequalities in the art world’20. These tactics adopt suffragette strategies in a number of ways. First, the Guerilla Girls intentionally encroach upon male space – the fine arts sector – to draw attention to their lack of representation. Second, they alter the feminine image by donning brutish, gorilla masks, which veil the ‘feminine’ features. This gesture also asks the Guerilla Girls audience to consider the movement as collective and trans-individual, as the suffragettes did when they paraded in their thousands. Rather than Mary Aldham’s political freedom, they protested for artistic freedom and representation. As the British parliament may have found it difficult to toss processions of thousands of suffragettes in a ‘waste-paper basket’, so too would the curators and awards mediators find it difficult to ignore the Guerilla Girls and their international following. Another masked feminist group, Pussy Riot, have gathered international attention, using the spectacular not only to promote gender equality, but to extend their criticisms to racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination. They conceal their faces behind colourful balaclava masks, which in the contemporary era playfully juxtapose connotations of terror with traditionally girlish colours such as pink and turquoise blue. Before even considering their demonstrations, it is worth noting that their title, ‘Pussy Riot’, draws immediate (and potentially embarrassing) attention to the female body. It associates the female body with the riotous and the rebellious, contravening a timid, passive image of woman just as the suffragettes sought to do. In interviews, members of Pussy Riot have promoted their ideology: “women are men’s equals, they have a voice. We oppose inequality, we support equal rights for absolutely all citizens – including LGBT … we’re against the old world, we’re for the new world”21. The Pussy Riot ‘manifesto’ echoes core 81

suffragette values. First, they emphasize that women have a voice, a say. The most literal manifestation of a voice is the vote. Modern feminists have mobilized the female voice from suffrage claims to less concrete forms of representation in cultural practice. Notably, Pussy Riot extend their activism to expose discrimination on the basis of sexuality and race, ascribing the voice to LGBT individuals. They oppose any privilege ‘assigned by birthright’22. In doing so, they assimilate a general egalitarian movement into a feminist repertoire of contention. On February 21, 2012, Pussy Riot staged a musical protest that reenacted key suffragette images. They appeared at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow and performed their song ‘God Save Us From Putin’. Wearing their flamboyantly-coloured balaclavas and mini-skirts, they evade security guards attempting to restrain them, and perform for an unsuspecting audience of churchgoers. In the YouTube video recording of the event, church officials are seen ushering people out of the church, with a ‘nothing to see here’- attitude.23 Pussy Riot intervened in the male-dominated space of the church to perform a disruptive display of femininity. The response to this intervention by the authorities further mirrors suffragette activism. Pictures circulating on the Internet show members of Pussy Riot being restrained by security guards and police officers (see Figure 1). The mediatized images of these young Russian women being restrained evoke the same visual representation of the riotous, assertive female, whose body is restrained by representatives of the status quo that they are trying to subvert. The media attention around Pussy Riot’s performance, along with the spectacle of their arrest,

Figure 1: Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst (left) and Pussy Riot member are restrained by police.[24][25]

echoes Emmeline Pankhurst’s call to ‘make more noise than anyone else’. A month after Pussy Riot’s performance in the church, supporters and journalists packed into the courtroom where the group were charged with hooliganism and subsequently imprisoned. Images of their incarceration were yet another recapitulation of suffragette imagery. In 2012, photos were released showing male guards surrounding a Pussy Riot member, some taking photos.26 Some 70 years earlier, suffragette Mary Richardson was imprisoned. She recalled her time in jail, noting the awe and discomfort of the male guards in seeing a ‘comely Edwardian’ lady behind bars. She writes: ‘[p]hotographs were taken. One man had a sketch block and appeared to be making a sketch of me. I felt like something in a zoo’27. The spectacle of a woman put behind bars for her subversive gestures gathers an immediate audience. Lisa Tickner discusses the importance of the media circulation of such images, emphasizing ‘the hold it [suffragette spectacle] gave on newspapers.’ In the time of the suffragettes, The Times and The Daily 82

Mail saw surges in circulation and print, suggestion a proliferation in the audience of the suffragette movement.28 Today, groups such as Pussy Riot and The Guerilla Girls gain similar levels of media circulation, though their reach has lengthened with the availability of the Internet and social media outlets. The Pussy Riot Facebook page has over 150,000 ‘likes’29, and the video-clip to their song ‘Punk Prayer’ has over 1,700,000 views (as of June 2014).30 Vast levels of circulation of their protests against the discrimination of marginalized groups facilitate popularity, fostering what Christabel Pankhurst referred to as a ‘big determined popular movement’31. A mass audience witnesses the association of the feminine subject with the spectacular and the subversive, demonstrating that the performance of spectacle is not only a complimentary aspect of the movement, but a key feminist strategy which sees continuity over a century. However, the line drawn between suffragette theatricality and later feminist movements presents an empirical issue. It is difficult to draw a strong line of causation between the suffragettes and these feminist movements. As these groups are anonymous, it is difficult to locate their inspirations, or query the influence that the suffragette movement has on their own. It is also difficult to assess the effectiveness of theatrical techniques for these later feminist movements. Suffragette success can be measured with the passing of legislation, yet these later movements are also concerned with cultural practices, which are difficult to quantify. The continuity that is visible between these movements is the use of spectacle as a method of ‘contention’ to promote feminist issues. Key moments and events in both Suffragette and later campaigns use spectacle to gather media coverage, draw attention to the feminine subversive body and rattle or embarrass the status quo through theatricality or humor. What is being argued here is not that the Suffragettes have directly influenced Pussy Riot and the Guerilla Girls, nor that theatrical techniques are the most effective forms of rebellion. What follows from the examples presented is that the suffragettes propelled sensation, performance and spectacle into a feminist repertoire of contention, and that subsequent movements have drawn from such a repertoire to adapt and further suffragette ideology and techniques according to the issues women (and other marginalized groups) face in respective historical periods. These groups echo an analogy used by Emmeline Pankhurst to rationalize their techniques: ‘one baby is a patient baby … the other is an impatient baby and cries lustily, screams and kicks … we know perfectly well which baby is attended to first’32. The analogy plays out what Leslie Hill identified as the shift of the female role from the home to the public sphere. The crying child – ironically emblematic of domestic duty – demands public notice.


Endnotes El-Rayess, M 2010, ‘The Violence of Representation: James, Sargent and the Suffragette,’ Critical Quarterly, vol. 53, p. 30. 2 Ibid 3 ‘Guerilla Girls Exhibition’ February 2012, Guerilla Girls Website, < shtml>. 3 Tickner, L 1987, The Spectacle of Women: Imagery of the Suffrage Campaign, 1907-14, Chatto and Windus: London, p. 55. 4 Isba, A 2006, Gladstone and Women, Hambedon Continuum: London, p. 151. 5 Green, B 1977, Spectacular Confessions: Autobiography, Performative Activism, and the Sites of Suffrage, 1905-1938, St. Martin’s Press: New York, p. 7. 6 Ibid., p. 1. 7 Pankhurst, E quoted in, ‘Emmeline Pankhurst: Freedom or Death’, The Guardian 26 April 2007, <> 8 Larsen, T 2002, Christabel Pankhurst: Fundamentalism and Feminism in Coalition, UK Boydell Press: London, p. 1. 9 Green, Spectacular Confessions, p. 3. 1

Marcus, J (ed.) 1987, Suffrage and the Pankhursts, Routledge & Kegan Paul: London, p. 254. 11 Ibid., p. 40. 12 Green, Spectacular Confessions, p. 14. 13 Hill, L 2000, ‘Suffragettes Invented Performance Activism’, in (eds.) Goodman, L and de Gay, J, The Routledge Reader in Politics and Performance, Routledge: London, p.154. 14 Ibid., p. 150. 15 Finley, K 6 November, 2010, ‘I’m An Ass Man’ YouTube, no viewed date <>. 16 Battista, K, 2011, ‘Performing Feminism: Kathy Battista on Feminist Performance Art in 1970s London’, Art Monthly, vol. 343, p. 1. 17 Northover, K 2012, ‘Gorilla Warfare as Women Activists Don the Mask for Art’s Sake,’ The Age 16 May. 18 Stetler, C 2011, ‘Rutgers Exhibit Celebrates Guerilla Girls Crusade Against Sexism in the Art World and Society,’ States News Service, 23 August. 10


Stetler, ‘Rutgers Exhibit’. Schuler, C 2013, ‘Reinventing the Show Trial: Putin and Pussy Riot’, The Drama Review, vol. 57, p. 9. 20 Schuler, ‘Reinventing the Show Trial,’ p. 9. 21 Performance Video, YouTube, viewed 15 September, 2013, <>. 22 Emmeline Pankhurst is Arrested, photograph, viewed September, 2013, suffargette-emmeline-pankhurst.html 23 Shemetov, M 2012, photograph, ABC Online, viewed 24 September, 2013, < pussy-riot-singer-arrives-at-court/4275254> 24 Photograph, viewed 19 September, 2013, <http://i1.cdnds. net/12/31/618x365/music_pussy_riot.jpg> 25 Richardson, M 1953, Laugh a Defiance, G. Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London, p. 117. 26 Tickner, The Spectacle of Women, p. 56. 27 Pussy Riot 2014, Facebook, viewed 19 September, 2013, <> 28 Pussy Riot 2014, Punk Prayer, YouTube, viewed 20 August, 2013, <> 29 Marcus, Suffrage and the Pankhursts, p. 40. 30 Pankurst, quoted in ‘Emmeline Pankhurst’. 19 21


Standing in the self-help isle at Dymocks Merry Li Biomedecine 2

Whenever my mother begins her soliloquy: the importance of goals, aspirations, a plan, my mind drifts to Armageddon: post-apocalyptic tableaux of dirt-streaked men on plains, our old fridge with its real estate agency calendars finding a new lease on life as space junk orbiting some nameless mass. Here, under the fluorescent lights of Dymocks, I thumb through chapters and anecdotes, read the helpful tips written in a font that resembles absolutely nobodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s handwriting. Soon, I think, all these clean-shaven men with side parts and women with luscious strawberries-and-cream smiles will be immortalised Pompeii-style, ashen bodies slapping gold stars on each other. At ten to five someone turns off half the lights, a passive-aggressive gesture of sorts. I leave the go-getters and up-starters living life proactively like seniors in a margarine commercial. Outside, the pavement is warm and the sky is stretched tightly as ever over pine trees black as shadow puppets.

Suburban Sonnet Merry Li Biomedecine 2

step on a line, break your spine, step on a crack, break your motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s back: a rhyme so far removed from children kicking a stray pebble along the footpath, charting the rise and fall of cardboard nations on this street drugged by the warm exhales of parked cars with still-ticking underbellies. here, where the sun and the local council have turned a blind eye to the sprinklers and hoses suffering from premature ejaculation. inside, women look at their lovers in past tense as they drink the last of the sea breeze. itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dinnertime and they are making spaghetti for their children to suckle while the pebble rests.

Long walks along the beach at sunset Merry Li Biomedecine 2

The sun has already set, leaving a snail trail of pink and orange and blue down to its enormous navel that could probably swallow us whole. A few people are being slapped about by waves in the shadowed shallows, others are eating fish and chips on butchers’ paper, salt on salt. Joggers’ bodies move heavily through the still air – I imagine these evening joggers are those who hit snooze, those who will never be the ones to find a dead body in bushland on their 5am run. No, not these people who eat chocolate every January 2nd and smile at crotch-licking dogs. Cockatoos squat on every branch of every Norfolk pine like dripping candle wax. They are deafening, reminding me of the footage of the New York Stock Exchange they show on the evening news, the same desperation in their squawks to close a deal before they get sprayed by sprinklers from the golf course. Sinking into the slowest rubber quicksand, parents push their children on swings, little feet kicking the horizon where ships carrying our futures in steel containers slice the horizon slowly.


Censorship and sExuality Literature

William Abbey Arts 3

Warning: This essay contains explicit language.

From its publication in 1928 to the overturning of bans in 1959 and 1960 in the United States and United Kingdom respectively, debates surrounding Lady Chatterley’s Lover focused on the role of censorship and questioned the necessity of the obscene material and imagery. The novel challenged the prevailing social views towards sexuality, however the censorship debates obscured discussions regarding other ideologies, particularly DH Lawrence’s gender politics. While debates surrounding censorship raise important arguments regarding the ideologies at play in a text, Lady Chatterley’s Lover (hereafter LCL) demonstrates how censorship debate can narrow the scope of critical discussion and allow problematic ideologies to be obscured and unprobed. it is illustrated herein that effective holistic ways of reading and evaluating texts are needed, if the true range of relevant ideologies and contexts that function within the text are to be acknowledged. British society took immediate offence at the use of explicit sexual imagery and language in LCL and mainstream reviews uniformly criticised it.1 F.R. Leavis wrote the ‘willed insistence on the words and the facts it seems to me, whatever the intention, something unacceptable, something offensive about it’2. Lawrence’s Pornography and Obscenity defends LCL and articulates opposition to pornography. Lawrence distinguishes fulfilling sex, which is invaluable, from masturbation and other secretive and repressed acts which are the ‘dangerous cancer of our civilisation’3. Lawrence endorses censoring ‘genuine pornography’ because it insults sex and does ‘dirt on it’.4 In contrast, his own work is literary and brings sex ‘naturally into the open’5. This view of sex is enacted through LCL through the progression of Connie. Dissatisfied with her sexless marriage, Connie begins to suffer from an illness that makes her ‘miserable’ and is implied to be psychological.6 Her cure is the sexual relationship with Mellors and her spiritual death that leads to her being ‘born: a woman’7. Lawrence uses imagery of animals, such as Connie’s ‘animal breasts’ to suggest she and Mellors belong to a natural order.8 This is reinforced when Clifford mockingly compares the ‘life of the body’ to the ‘life of the animals’, underlining Lawrence’s metaphor whilst exposing Clifford’s lack of engagement with bodily pleasure.9 Arguments raised in the actual trials reflected the critical points mentioned above. In the American obscenity trial, the prosecution argued the merit of the novel was ‘outweighed by the obscenity’ while the defence argued the novel was not obscene due to its moral notion of sex, philosophical opposition to promiscuity and use of profanity for artistic effect.10 The British obscenity trial focused on similar issues, the prosecution believed the ‘adultery’ and ‘four-letter words’ were dangerous and the novel would ‘deprave and corrupt persons’.11 The text is conscious that institutions will take positions against the novel; Duncan Forbes, external to Connie’s world, says: It’s the one thing they won’t let you be, straight and open in your sex. You can be as dirty as you like. In fact the more dirt you do on sex, the better they like it. But if you believe in your own sex, and won’t have it done dirt to: they’ll down you. It’s the one insane taboo left: sex as a natural and vital thing.12


By evoking the terms of Pornography and Obscenity, Lawrence is subtly equating the society his novel condemns with the society and values that condemn his novel. Despite Lawrence’s progressive approach to sexuality, the gender politics of LCL require vigilant critique. The early parts of the novel illustrate that Connie, who was once ‘free’ in Dresden, has little place in the male hierarchy that ‘resents’ her contribution to conversation.13 Pseudo-intellectual Tommy Dukes is labelled an ‘oracle’ to Connie, reinforcing an intellectual powerlessness.14 Connie’s sexual fulfilment is tied to a distinct male dominance. Connie and Mellors’ initial love scene is unsettling; Mellors is instructive, his ‘soft’ voice tied to the imperative ‘you lie there!’ is manipulative, and Connie is discomfortingly inactive, as if ‘in a sort of sleep’.15 Mellors maintains a position of control in sex and Connie loses her agency: before Connie’s first orgasm she asks Mellors ‘Don’t leave me!’ and, just before departing for Venice, she is ‘frightened’ but ‘let[s] him have his way’.16 Furthermore, while using ‘cunt’ aims for ‘natural fresh openness’, its usage often conveys Mellors’ possession, such as when speaking of his penis John Thomas, Mellors says, ‘Cunt, that’s what tha’rt after’17. Feminist critiques support this reading of sexism and interpret it as Lawrence voicing opposition to the sexual development of the period. Kate Millett argues that in portraying the woman as passive, Lawrence desires a form of ‘dependence’, rather than allowing women ‘autonomy’ and Hilary Simpson identifies passive sexuality as a recurrent feature of Lawrence.18 In contrast to LCL, Pornography and Obscenity does not discuss difference between genders while the valuing of mutual ‘give and take’ implies a sexual equality. This ideology seems incongruous with the submissive relationship Connie develops with Mellors.19 The critique of gender politics in LCL, however, was obscured during the censorship period and the years following due to the narrow focus of the censorship debate and a false consensus that the work was moral following the debate’s resolution. To that effect, debates regarding obscenity place significant emphasis on specific aspects of LCL. In the obscenity trials, this was the adulterous relationship and the use of the words cunt and fuck.20 Adam Parkes writes the British trial concentrated on ‘four-letter words’ while ignoring some of the contentious use of ‘sexual language’ within the novel.21 Letters to The Guardian and Kenneth Tynan’s summary in The Observer illustrate public opinion focused on the issues raised in the trial and did not explore or critique the type of unequal relationships Lawrence presents.22 The resolution of the trials appears to have engendered consensus and affirmation that the work is moral. Geoffrey Robertson suggests the trials led to a new ‘frankness’ towards sexual matters.23 By 1964, excerpts of LCL were included in British schoolbooks, indicating the change in community standards.24 Philip Larkin captures the mood of this cultural moment in his poem Annus Mirabilis, writing in the first stanza: Sexual intercourse began In nineteen sixty-three (which was rather late for me) Between the end of the Chatterley ban And the Beatles’ first LP.25 92

Furthermore, Robertson identifies ‘The Spycatcher effect’, being the commercial effect of a censorship trial in boosting sales and in glamourising and normalising the text.26 Despite contention that feminist critiques were not prominent until the 1970s and were therefore not considered in the obscenity debates, such critiques were clearly raised at the time of the novel’s publication. Ruth Suckow stated Lawrence had a ‘peculiar fear of women’ and a ‘frequently hysterical emphasis upon the need for male domination to save this modern world’.27 This line of criticism is absent from the trials and public debate of the period as a result of the obfuscating influence of the obscenity debate. Censorship and prohibition are shown to obscure ideological issues in a text and responding to these criticisms by introducing new prohibitions will only continue to limit critical debate. However, the reading of sexuality or gender in LCL cannot be fully considered without the context of post-war Britain. This emphasises the need for rejecting single lines of debate and embracing holistic approaches. The war ‘marks a turning-point’ for Lawrence’s oeuvre.28 Certainly, the war’s presence is felt from the beginning of LCL. Both Clifford and Connie are forced by the war to leave Germany and they meet as a result of their service.29 Just six months after their marriage, the destructive potential of war is emphasised when Clifford nearly dies and is paralysed from waist down.30 Thus, Clifford cannot father an heir nor sexually satisfy Connie, voiding central elements of his masculinity. This leads Clifford to construct a masculinity in opposition to Mrs Bolton, though Laura Fasick notes it is false masculinity because it is ‘based on his class position’31. Clifford is not the only character to lack a natural gender and class identity. Mellors’ class role is unclear; when Connie sees him in London, she describes him as having ‘native breeding which was really much nicer than the cut-to-pattern class’32. However, Mellors’ identity is also partly self-fashioned, notably the accent appears constructed and Mellors speaks more naturally without it in many sections of the book. In contrast, Michaelis does not fit into the old social order and ‘pines’ to be a part of the English upper classes.33 Gender identities are also challenged: Tommy Dukes comments, ‘There might even be real men, in the next phase.... Real intelligent wholesome men, and wholesome nice women!’, which is echoed by Mellors who says, ‘It’s because th’ men aren’t men, that th’ women have to be’.34 While Lawrence seeks social change, he is uncomfortable with the way that women have ‘merely become more like men’35. As identified in much critical literature, Lawrence proposes gender divisions and masculine dominance as a new social structure for a society that is lost as a result of the war.36 Parkes notes that the novel questions Mellors’ ‘dogmatic tendencies’ by having Clifford use the same language in an ‘hysterical moment’. Here, the male dominance of the novel becomes an element of a broader social hysteria and critique.37 This theme recurs throughout Lawrence’s work, such as his three novellas: The Fox, The Captain’s Doll and The Ladybird, each of which challenges unnatural social structures with natural metaphors that represent male-dominant social relationships (the fox, the glacier and the ladybird respectively).38 Gerald Gardiner evoked this in his opening statements for the defence during the British trial, when he said Lawrence thought ‘the society of his day in England was sick’39. It is a clear that a richer analysis is possible when the novel’s comment on sexuality and gender is read in the historical context and the social conditions to which Lawrence was responding. 93

Through close reading of Lady Chatterleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lover and consideration of historical circumstances, it is apparent any narrow critical reading will be ineffective and obscure key contextual or ideological themes. Censorship debates cause a narrowing of scope in various ways, texts can be glamourised as readers are curious about what is obscene while some debates emphasise contested areas of obscenity to the detriment of obscuring more complex ideas. However, any critical position can be treated in isolation to equal detriment, regardless of whether the cause is censorship. For example, Lawrenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s portrayal of gender relations appears less nuanced when removed from the war context. New prohibitions will continue to obscure ideological issues in a range of texts, whereas a holistic critical approach towards a text offers a valuable criticism that is vigilant and inclusive, but requires a broad consideration of context and a high standard of public debate.


Endnotes Buckley, W.K 1993, Lady Chatterley’s Lover: Loss and Hope, Twayne Publishers: New York, p. 16. 2 FR Leavis is one of the most influential critics of English Literature in the 20th century and was an authority on the work of D.H. Lawrence. Ibid, p. 18. 3 Lawrence, D.H 1936, ‘Pornography and Obscenity’, in (ed.) McDonald E.D., Phoenix, Heinemann: London, pp. 174, 78 79. 4 Ibid., 175. 5 Ibid., 181. 6 Lawrence, D.H 2006 (1928), Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Penguin: London, p. 71. 7 Ibid., p. 174. 8 Ibid., p. 221. 9 Ibid., p. 234. 10 Rembar, C 1969, ‘Lady Chatterley: The Trial’, in The End of Obscenity: The Trials of ‘Lady Chatterley’, ‘Tropic of Cancer’ and ‘Fanny Hill’, Deutsch: London, p. 65, 82. 11 ‘Deprave and corrupt persons’ is the standard that British law at the time used to determine a text’s obscenity or artistic merit. Tynan, K 1960, ‘Lady Chatterley’s Trial’, The Observer; Rolph, C.H 1990, The Trial of Lady Chatterley: Regina V. Penguin Books Limited: The Transcript of the Trial, Penguin Books London; New York, p. 10. 12 Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, p. 264. 13 Ibid., p. 8, 40. 14 Ibid., p. 56. 15 Ibid., p. 116. 16 Ibid., p. 173, 246. 17 Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, p. 264. 18 Feminist readings of Lady Chatterley’s Lover gained prominence in the 1970s. Millett’s reading is probably one of the most significant critiques of Lawrence’s novel Millett, K 1972, ‘D. H. Lawrence,’ in Sexual Politics, Sphere Books: London, p. 240-41; Simpson, H 1982, D.H. Lawrence and Feminism, Croom Helm: London & Canberra, p. 125. 19 Lawrence, ‘Pornography and Obscenity’, p.179. 20 The trial in the United Kingdom, lasted five days rather than one, and so was somewhat broader in addressing other aspects of the novel. However, the focus remained on those particular issues given they are the sites of obscenity. 1

Parkes, A 1996, ‘Postwar Hysteria: The Case of Lady Chatterley’s Lover’, in Modernism and the Theater of Censorship, Oxford University Press: New York, p. 141. 22 Tynan, ‘Lady Chatterley’s Trial.’; ‘Letters to the Editors’, The Guardian, 1960. 23 Robertson, G 1990, ‘Foreword: The Gamekeeper Has a Wife Also’, in (ed.) Rolph C.H, The Trial of Lady Chatterley: Regina V. Penguin Books Limited: The Transcript of the Trial, Penguin Books: New York, p. xv. 24 “School Books Include ‘Lady Chatterley’’, The Guardian, April 24 1964 25 Larkin, P 2003, ‘Annus Mirabilis’, in (ed.) Thwaite, A, Collected Poems, Marvell and Faber: London. 26 Robertson, ‘Foreword: The Gamekeeper Has a Wife Also’, p. xv. 27 Parkes, ‘Postwar Hysteria: The Case of Lady Chatterley’s Lover’, p. 114. 28 Simpson, D.H. Lawrence and Feminism, p. 64. 29 Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, p. 10. 30 Ibid., p. 5. 31 Fasick, L 1997, ‘The Servant’s Body in Pamela and Lady Chatterley’s Lover’, in Vessels of Meaning: Women’s Bodies, Gender Norms, and Class Bias from Richardson to Lawrence, Northern Illinois University Press: DeKalb, p. 159. 32 Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, p. 274. 33 Ibid., 22. 34 Lawrence, p. 75, 219 35 Simpson, D.H. Lawrence and Feminism, p. 67. 36 Fasick, ‘The Servant’s Body in Pamela and Lady Chatterley’s Lover’, p. 165; Pease, A 2000, ‘Sexology and Aesthetic Disinterest’, in Modernism, Mass Culture and the Aesthetics of Obscenity, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, p. 151; Parkes, ‘Postwar Hysteria: The Case of Lady Chatterley’s Lover’, p. 119. 37 Ibid., 138. 38 Lawrence, D.H 2006, The Fox; the Captain’s Doll; the Ladybird, Penguin: London. 39 Rolph, The Trial of Lady Chatterley: Regina V. Penguin Books Limited: The Transcript of the Trial, p. 34. 21


Lost in Translation Literature

Lachlan Grey Arts 2

A Court of Eloquence: From Atkin to Cummins I have often felt dispirited by the lack of eloquence in the submissions of present day counsel.1 The renowned wartime adjudication of the House of Lords in Liversidge v Anderson, a watershed moment in literary-judicial symbiosis, was delivered in late 1942.2 The war had already ravaged much of Great Britain and it showed no signs of relenting. Yet, as chaos erupted around him, Lord Atkin, a prominent judicial figure of Australian parentage, composed a ‘brilliant dissent to the proposition that a recital that the minister had reasonable cause to believe that a person had hostile associations was sufficient to render the decision unreviewable in an English court of law’3. The statement follows: I know of only one authority which might justify the suggested method of construction: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less. “The question is”, said Alice “whether you can make words mean so many different things” “The question is”, said Humpty Dumpty “which is to be master - that’s all” (Through the Looking Glass, c vi).  After all this long discussion the question is whether the words ‘if a man has’ can mean ‘if a man thinks he has’.  I am of opinion that they cannot, and that the case should be decided accordingly.4 This unprecedented quotation of literature in judicial proceedings was a radical divergence from established court conduct, sowing controversy amongst the legal community. Many of the participating Law Lords took grievous offence to Atkin’s interpretation of the case, perhaps suggesting that his poor conduct and sensationalist comments were as a direct result of his Australian origins.5 Conversely, this literate retort was supported by a number of leading academic lawyers, including Justice Stable, who regarded Atkin’s eloquence with the highest esteem.6 Now consider the recent Australian case of R v Whiteside & Dieber, in which the appellants, John Whiteside and Kristian Peter Dieber, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Keith Hibbens.7 On June 23, 2000, Justice Cummins, widely renowned as a ‘tough sentencer’8, handed down arguably the most controversial sentence in Australian judicial history, sentencing Mr. Dieber to three years imprisonment, 30 months suspended, and Mr. Whiteside to three years imprisonment, 31 months suspended.9 Despite both the fatal consequences of the appellants’ actions and the circumstances of the case, Justice Cummins deemed their conduct to be of the least culpability, making allusion to Shakespearean literature with the following statement: 97

You are, of course, responsible for your own actions. No one suggests otherwise: “Men at some time are masters of their fates; the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves...” But you and the victims were under a malevolent star that Anzac night.10 Essentially, this decree insinuated that the actions of both Whiteside and Dieber, whilst condemnable, were, to some extent, influenced by providence – an ‘unfolding tragedy’11 beyond their control. Thus, with much community outrage and judicial critique, both men were released from custody.12 Although a later appeal found Justice Cummins had erred, consequently re-sentencing both Whiteside and Dieber to six years imprisonment, it nevertheless begs the pertinence of literary allusion during judicial proceedings, specifically with regards to the use of literary allusion by judges in sentencing. A Definitive Coexistence As displayed in the aforementioned cases, the definitive coexistence of both literature and judicial ideologies within the legal realm is a valuable, yet undeniably disconcerting actuality. Valuable, in that the reading of literature strengthens of understanding of law; disconcerting in the misapplication it can entail.13 Whilst it is inescapable that judicial ideas be conveyed in words and sentences, due primarily to the literary inclination of contemporary judicial education, R v Whiteside & Dieber demonstrates the resulting inaccuracy and misimpression that literary allusion can create.14 Justice Michael Kirby, a prominent judicial figure in the Australian community, is quick to note the dangerous nature of literary-judicial symbiosis, stating, ‘The power of such thoughts can be dangerous’15. Conversely, Meehan and Posner are emphatic in supporting the symbiosis of literature and judicial proceedings. Posner, in particular, explains that literature ‘is a source of historical knowledge that deepens our understanding of general philosophy, legal theory, legal processes, differences between legal systems and interpretive methods’16. Alter agrees, identifying the benefits of reading and education in classical and contemporary literature as ‘improving ability to grasp analogies, parallelisms, antitheses, significant repetitions, ellipses [sic], ironies, double meanings, even cryptograms’.17 The Influence of Literary Education If such thought is to be considered potentially dangerous, as Kirby suggests, we must first determine the manner in which this definitive coexistence originated. According to Posner, the foundations of literary knowledge are laid during primary education and substantiated during higher learning, for ‘ordinarily, they have been educated in literature’.18 Kirby makes allusion to the literary element of both primary and tertiary education as crucial to the development of both legal rhetoric and understanding. In his mind, ‘the parallels between literature and law’19 encouraged the utilisation of both imagery and ideology that can be drawn from creative writing. Villez agrees, identifying the manner in which legal understanding is enhanced through literature as critical to the advancement of 98

legal and judiciary bodies.20 Moreover, Alter moves to suggest that fundamental literary education and understanding is a necessity for legal thinking, philosophical argumentation and legal practice.21 In reading literary texts that incorporate ethical and linguistic themes and notions to which we are unaccustomed, Alter posits, we teach our minds to think both conceptually and philosophically.22 Thus, he concludes, a literary education not only positions legal and judicial entities to better understand and interpret material, it also expands our greater understanding of philosophical argumentation and rhetoric. Heikkila agrees, alluding to the manner in which ‘significant legal arguments are often a result of clashes in philosophy’23 as being evidentiary of the benefits of fundamental literary understanding. Yet, such literature-orientated education is not always provided. Particularly in Australia, the teaching of domestic literature at a primary level is often forsaken.24 Kirby reflects upon his own experiences, stating that the gap in Australian literary education was ‘a misfortune…[as] there are many parallels between law and [Australian] literature. They both encourage utilisation of imagery, language and ideas that come with creative writing of every kind’25. Ever the pragmatist, Kirby is quick to also emphasise the ‘inescapable differences between legal writing and writing as literature and poetry’, he articulates that the law’s words are ‘ultimately coercive’.26 Mispronunciation of Justice through Literary Allusion Whilst literary education may serve to develop and expand the legal, ethical and philosophical nature of judicial proceeding and rhetoric, literary reference is oft misunderstood, and, in extreme circumstances, can result in the mispronunciation of justice. The aforementioned R v Whiteside and Dieber is testament to this. In likening the circumstances to a Shakespearean tragedy, Cummins effectively absolved the appellants, stating that the ‘malevolence’27 of the evening was a key determinant in the death of Mr. Hibbins. Significantly, Cummins addresses the issue sympathetically, going so far as to use the word tragedy seven times. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of tragedy is twofold: An unhappy or fatal event or series of events in real life; a dreadful calamity or disaster. A play or other literary work of a serious or sorrowful character, with a fatal or disastrous conclusion.28 Whilst the first definition aptly summarises the case, Cummins’ use of the term tragedy was more closely affiliated with the second definition. Here, the term tragedy, in its Shakespearean sense, served to detract responsibility from the appellants and withdraw the element of guilt. In doing so, a grievous mispronunciation of justice was decreed, and the two appellants were handed down suspended sentences for the killing of another human being.


These eloquent judicial rulings are not limited to criminal proceedings, nor are they limited to classical literature. In 1979, one of Australia’s most renowned legal personalities and then Deputy President of the Arbitrary Commission, Justice Jim Staples, caused a public outcry for his use of literary allusion concerning a claim made by wool storemen for an increase in wages in Federated Storemen and Packers Union of Australia V Albany Wool Stores Pty Ltd and Ors.29 In this case, Staples’ awarded rises ‘of between $12.50 and $15.90 to Storemen and Packers in the wool industry’, a figure well above the ‘$8 automaton’.30 Kirby observes that whilst Staples’ generous award to the storemen ‘ordinarily…[would] have passed with a few grumble and a prompt appeal’31, it was the language with which Staples justified his decision that triggered the uproar: [With regards to arriving at the financial figure] I shall simply select a figure as Tom Collins selected a day from his diary and we shall see what turns up. Such is life.32 This allusion to Joseph Furphy’s Such Is Life, an Australian classic about the wool trade, outraged colleagues, politicians and concerned citizens alike.33 Kirby concedes that whilst Staples ‘may have had a point’ concerning the contradictory nature of the then governing wage-fixing policy, his ‘invocation of popular literature’ served only to inflame his already infamous reputation as a rhetoric sensationalist and detract legitimacy from both the case and his jurisdiction.34 Following this case, Staples was all but disregarded by the Australia judicial community, losing his seat on the Arbitrary Commission in 1985, and faded into legal anonymity – a testament to the eloquent, yet precarious nature of literary allusion in judicial proceedings.35 Instances of Applicable Literary Allusion: Doyle v Maypole Bakery Pty Ltd Whilst the aforementioned cases have been instances of misappropriated literary allusion, the judgment of Justice Neasey in the Supreme Court of Tasmania in Doyle v Maypole Bakery Pty Ltd is an excellent example of appropriate and beneficial literary application.36 In this case, the judge had to establish whether ‘a dead blowfly resting on an indentation on the surface of an iced cake could be said be to be ‘contained’ in the cake within the meaning of s 63(1) of the Public Health Act 1962 (Tas)’37. According to French, the section provided that an item of food is contaminated when it contains a foreign substance. However, as the dead blowfly was resting atop the item of food – albeit within an indentation – it was unclear whether Doyle’s claim was substantiated. So, in an attempt to determine whether the word contain was ‘apposite to something resting upon a surface’38, the judge first referred to the Oxford English Dictionary, which defined the word in it ordinary usage as: ‘To have in it, to hold; to comprise; enclose’39. This definition alone was insufficient to accurately define whether something atop an object is contained. Thus, Neasey diverted from judicial custom, making allusion to Alexander Pope’s elegiac Essay on Criticism in which the following line appears: Knights, Squires and Steeds, must enter on the Stage.


So vast a Throng the Stage can n’er contain

Then build a New, or act it in a Plain.40

Herein, the use of the word contain in the second line of prose was equivalent to something resting upon a surface. Indeed, Neasey continued, it would be permissible to suggest that ‘a depression in the ground “contains” water’41. Thus, it was determined that the blowfly was indeed contained by the cake and that, consequently, the cake was ‘adulterated within the meaning of the act’42. In this circumstance, literary allusion was utilised in an appropriate manner. It did not serve to detract blame or distort the circumstances of the case (R v Whiteside and Dieber), nor was it made in contempt of governing policies (Federated Storemen and Packers Union of Australia V Albany Wool Stores Pty Ltd and Ors). It was used specifically to define terminology and clarify events. Consequently, the appellant was successful, the bakery was fined accordingly and the case resolved. Hence, Doyle v Maypole Bakery Pty Ltd stands as proof of the positive influence literary allusion can have upon judicial proceedings and sentencing. Is Literary Allusion Justified in Contemporary Sentencing? Having demonstrated both the advantageous nature of literary allusion (Doyle v Maypole Bakery Pty Ltd) and its misapplication in judicial proceedings (R v Whiteside and Dieber/ Federated Storemen and Packers Union of Australia V Albany Wool Stores Pty Ltd and Ors), we must now determine whether the use of literary citation is justified in contemporary law. Heikkila endorses the educational value of literary allusion, stating, ‘A literary approach to the study of law…delivers a deeper appreciation of legal culture’43. By consuming literature and classical texts, students and scholars of law alike can ‘develop personal connections with the law and…become part of the culture of law’44. Thus, Heikkila concludes, a fundamental understanding of literature serves to ‘deliver confidence and proficiency in [the practice of ] law’45. Posner agrees, reminding us that primarily, lawyers and judges serve as ‘rhetoricians’46, wherein the art of advocacy lies in both eloquence and persuasion, skills enhanced only by the study of literature.47 Yet, this does not adequately address the foremost issue. Whilst literary allusion, classical expression and colourful language may serve to persuade and emphasise, it is, at best, an inexact, and often perilous addition to legal proceedings. In the aforementioned Federated Storemen and Packers Union of Australia V Albany Wool Stores Pty Ltd and Ors, Staples’ allusion to Furphy’s Such Is Life served only to undermine legitimacy from both the case and his own reputation, rather than substantiate his verdict.48 French addresses this issue, stating that ‘a distinction…must be drawn between a Judge’s literary preferences and the duty to administer justice according to law’49. Conversely, French’s statement serves to substantiate Neasey’s use of literary allusion in Doyle v Maypole Bakery Pty Ltd as his citation of Pope’s Essay on Criticism was used exclusively to define the term contain within both literary and legal contexts.50 Whilst Neasey may have indulged a personal affiliation with literature, his application was justified in that it had a direct and positive influence on proceedings. However, Cummins’ invocation of Shakespearean literature, particularly the term tragedy, in R v Whiteside and Dieber resulted in a failure to administer justice according to the law, consequently demonstrating the


hazardous nature of misapplied literary allusion. At best, the application of literary allusion in contemporary law cannot be utterly justified. Prospective Development of Literary Allusion Whilst the utilisation of literary citation in contemporary judicial proceedings cannot be wholly vindicated, there is scope for the development of literary education in legal advancement. Kirby, for one, is optimistic of the commitment to teach rhetoric and literature at a foundational level, reminding us that the skill of ‘eloquent persuasion is essential’.51 Heikkila agrees, stating that the skills of articulacy and rhetoric should be developed in law school.52 This essay is inclined to agree. As Atkins so eloquently demonstrated in Liversidge v Anderson, the utilisation of literary allusion can be a powerful persuasive tool.53 If used appropriately, it can serve to greatly influence judicial proceedings and substantiate argumentation. However, as Kirby reminds us, ‘sometimes the power of such [literary] thoughts can be dangerous’54. Lawyers, judges and citizens alike must be wary of the effects of literary allusion on judicial proceedings, as it is often misapplied within the legal environment. As French so pertinently observes:

The judge who is a poet is one thing. The judge who deploys other peoples poetry, or his or her own in judgments, is quite another. Such deployment can be a high-risk exercise.55 If the rationale behind literary allusion is, as Meehan suggests ‘to provide essential social, legal and lexicographical information’56, then the teaching of literature and law must first improve at an educational level before it is applied at a judicial level. Whilst we may be improving, our understanding is not yet sufficient enough to warrant literary allusion in contemporary judicial proceedings, save by the most scholarly judges. I leave it to French, one of the most experienced and poetically minded judges in contemporary Australian law, to close with a variant of familiar caution; ‘don’t try it at home, don’t try it at court’57.


Endnotes McHugh, M 2008, ‘The Rise (and Fall?) of the Barrister Class’ in (eds.) Gleeson, J & Higgins, R, Rediscovering Rhetoric: Law, Language and the Practice of Persuasion, The Federation Press: Sydney, p. 165, 190. 2 Liversidge v Anderson 1942, AC 206; Bingham, T 2009, ‘The Case of Liversidge v. Anderson: The Rule of Law Amid the Clash of Arms’, International Lawyer , vol. 43, no. 1. 3 Kirby, M 2001, ‘Literature in Australian Judicial Reasoning’, Australian Law Journal, vol. 75, p. 606. 4 1942 AC 206. 5 Bingham, ‘The Case of Liversidge v. Anderson’; Liversidge v Anderson 6 Stevens, R 1979, The Law and Politics: The House of Lords as a Judicial Body 1800-1976, Weidenfeld and Nicolson: London; Kirby, ‘Literature in Australian Judicial Reasoning’. 7 Bingham, ‘The Case of Liversidge v. Anderson’. 8 R v Whitside & Dieber 2000, VSC p. 260. 9 Dow, S 2001, GAY, Common Ground: Melbourne. 10 R v Whitside & Dieber 2000, VSC p. 260. 11 Specifically, Julius Caesar. However, the term “malevolent” is ubiquitous in Shakespearean literature; R v Whitside & Dieber 2000, VSC 260. 12 Marx, J 2010, Australian Tragic: Gripping tales from the dark side of our history, Hachette: UK. 13 Dow, GAY. 14 Heikkila, K 2013, ‘Diving Into The Culture Of Law: Lessons From Literary Masters Of Law’, Journal Of The Australiasian Law Teachers Association, vol. 1, p. 1-13. 15 Kirby, ‘Literature in Australian Judicial Reasoning’. 16 Kirby, ‘Literature in Australian Judicial Reasoning’. 17 Heikkila, ‘Diving Into The Culture Of Law’. 18 Ibid. 19 Alter, R 1996, The Pleasures of Reading in an Ideological Age, WW Norton: New York; Heikkila, ‘Diving Into The Culture Of Law’. 20 Posner, R 2009, Law & Literature, Harvard University Press: London; Kirby, ‘Literature in Australian Judicial Reasoning’. 21 Kirby, ‘Literature in Australian Judicial Reasoning’. 22 Villez, B 2011, ‘Law and Literature: A Conjunction Revisited’, Law and Humanities, vol. 5, no. 1, p. 209, 217. 23 Alter, The Pleasures of Reading in an Ideological Age. 24 Heikkila, ‘Diving Into The Culture Of Law’. 25 Holmes, O 2013, The Common Law, Lexington. 26 Kirby, ‘Literature in Australian Judicial Reasoning’. 27 R v Whitside & Dieber 2000 VSC 260 28 Oxford English Dictionary 2014, Tragedy, viewed June 1 2014, < 1

Entry/204352?redirectedFrom=tragedy#eid> 29 Kirby, ‘Literature in Australian Judicial Reasoning’; Kirby, M 1989, ‘The Removal of Justice Staples and the Silent Forces of Industrial Relations’, The Journal of Industrial Relations , p. 334371; Federated Storemen and Packers Union of Australia V Albany Wool Stores Pty Ltd and Ors 1979, 231 CAR p. 388. 30 Australian National University, Unknown, ‘Chapter 11: A Union Revival’, Marxist Interventions. 31 Kirby, ‘Literature in Australian Judicial Reasoning’. 32 Federated Storemen and Packers Union of Australia V Albany Wool Stores Pty Ltd and Ors 1979, 231 CAR 388; Barnes, J 2013, ‘The Philosopher at the Foundry’, Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature , vol 13, no. 1, p. 1-17. 33 Kirby, ‘The Removal of Justice Staples and the Silent Forces of Industrial Relations’; Kirby, ‘Literature in Australian Judicial Reasoning’. 34 Kirby, ‘Literature in Australian Judicial Reasoning’. 35 Ibid. 36 Doyle v Maypole Bakery Pty Ltd 1981, TASR p. 28. 37 French, R 2013, ‘Poetry and Public Law’, Constitutional & Administrative Law, Branch: Sydney. 38 French, ‘Poetry and Public Law’. 39 Oxford English Dictionary 2014, Contain, viewed May 11, 2014, < Entry/40041?redirectedFrom=contain#eid> 40 Pope, A 1711, An Essay on Criticism. 41 Doyle v Maypole Bakery Pty Ltd 1981, TASRp 28. 42 French, ‘Poetry and Public Law’. 43 Doyle v Maypole Bakery Pty Ltd. 1981 TASR p.28; French, ‘Poetry and Public Law’; Kirby, Rhetoric in Law – A Case for Optimism?, 2008. 44 Heikkila, ‘Diving Into The Culture Of Law’. 45 Ibid 46 Posner, Law & Literature. 47 Kirby, ‘Literature in Australian Judicial Reasoning’. 48 1979, 231 CAR 388 49 French, “Poetry and Public Law’. 50 French, “Poetry and Public Law’. 51 1981 TASR, p. 28 52 Kirby, ‘Rhetoric in Law - A case for optimisim?’. 53 French, ‘Poetry and Public Law’; Heikkila, ‘Diving Into The Culture Of Law’. 54 Heikkila, ‘Diving Into The Culture Of Law’. 55 Liversidge v Anderson 1942 AC p. 206 56 Kirby, ‘Literature in Australian Judicial Reasoning’ 57 French, ‘Poetry and Public Law’.


Kelly Stuart

Martha Swift

Sebastian Kitchen

Beyond Borders Judge Rowan Downing Interview with Liam Mulvey


Judge Rowan Downing QC was a resident at Ormond

and there were lots of people who appeared in

college from 1971-1975. Following this his career has

person. The linguistic challenges were presented

seen him become a senior Australian lawyer, holding

every day, with three official languages and an

positions in various firms in Australia as well as judicial

additional two hundred or so languages which

appointments in the Pacific. Judge Downing has also

sometimes needed to be interpreted. We then

done work with the Asian Development Bank (ADB)

had significant issues in the conflict of laws. An

and is a member of the international judiciary of the

example would be where someone had died and

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

a spouse would come along and say “let me have


the administration under the French system”, because they might have done better under

I understand that you have worked extensively in

that legal framework. Their children would

international law in a few countries, particularly in

then come along and say, “no, let it be under

Vanuatu. Correct me if I’m wrong but Vanuatu seems

the English system, we like the English system”

to have an interesting mix of English common law and

believing they would be better off under the

French civil law as well as local customary law. Did

english system.

you find it much of a challenge transferring from the Australian Legal system to Vanuatu?

Do you ever find as a Judge that there is an inherent tension in upholding human rights standards that we see

Yes, I did. There were seven systems of law.

as appropriate in the West and at the same time deferring

We applied English statute law until the 1980s,

to customary indigenous law and how would you reconcile

English common law, French statute law until


the 1980s, the Joint Colonial Regulations that were by both the French and the English,

In some small areas of Vanuatu, there was quite

Vanuatu statute law , Vanuatu common law

often a conflict between the Constitutional

and then Vanuatu customary law. Possibly

rights, particularly of women and children, and

the most difficult thing to come to grips with

the customary rights. The Constitutional rights

was not so much the laws but working out the

were based upon international law, which in

societal mores, particularly with the respect to

turn largely reflects Western norms rather than

sentencing. I spent a lot of time hearing rape

cultural norms. I can give you an example: when

cases and some murder cases. I hesitate to say

there was a wedding to take place, the groom

this, but I was not fortunate to have a jury for

takes a wife from her family into his family. The

these often complicated cases. I became the

woman is regarded as an effective unit of work or

arbiter of, not only the law, but also the facts.

labour and she would have to be replaced in her

That puts a great deal of pressure on you as

family, as they needed her to work.

a Judge. The control of the Court was also important. There were advocates with very

Most distressingly I discovered it was a form of

different styles and approaches to the Bench.

trafficking in women and young girls, so if the

There were Ni-Vanuatu advocates, who were

groom had a sister, the sister would go into the

always very polite; there were expatriate

wife’s family to replace the unit of labour. If the

advocates, who were sometimes not as polite,

groom did not have a sister available, he would 109

then look for a female cousin. If he there was no

court registries so that people could fill them in

female cousin available he would have to buy a

if needed. I had the court rules changed so that

girl. A ten-year old girl in some areas could be

staff could assist in filling the forms in. The court

bought for the value of a pig. This practice was

rules were then amended so that people could

not just abhorrent to very basic human rights, it

make applications over the radio or telephone. An

was contrary to the Constitution of Vanuatu. I

urgent ex parte protection order could be granted

had a number of cases dealing with this conduct

and broadcast over the radio system throughout

before me. I recall one was a minister of religion


who was most distressed at having been arrested and charged in respect of human trafficking. He

There were also Governmental abuses in respect

insisted that his conduct was perfectly in line

of rights to property which were significant,

with customary law and the customs of his part

although unwitting. Again it was a matter of

of Vanuatu. He was correct in this respect. I had

empowering people with knowledge so they knew

to point out to him the constitution had overruled

of their rights and how to assert them. The nice

custom and I would be applying the Constitution

thing in Vanuatu was that once they discovered

and the criminal law of Vanuatu. The clash was

they had a right they would come forward to

between custom and human rights was direct and

assert it.

significant. In my view consideration of human rights must always be paramount.

In regards to empowering people, what does an organisation like the UN or ADB do well and how much

Following this case I instituted a series of human

more do local initiatives empower people on a local level?

rights lectures so that wherever the court travelled


to a meeting of island leaders, both men and

I think multilateral organisations are effective at

women would be convened. There would be a

empowerment. A very good example is that of the

seminar or workshop undertaken by senior police,

United Nations High Commissioner for Human

the prosecutor and the legal aid lawyers to talk

Rights. For some agencies it is not their core work,

about the rights of women and children, their

but through a matrix of conditions organisations

Constitutional rights, and their international

such as the Asian Development Bank may ensure

rights. We attempted to demystify these rights

that empowerment and compliance with human

and ensure that the leaders, that is the Chiefs,

rights are preconditions for payments under

knew that the women and children had rights

sovereign loan agreements. It is something in

and that they were exercised. By having women

respect of which the lawyers and the sociologists

attend as well, we attempted to empower them

who engage ADB or World Bank are well aware

though the provision of knowledge. I also

and well equipped to do something about. The

introduced a booklet that was distributed and

NGO community in any developing country will

was simply entitled â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;You Have Rightsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. It was set

often be more effective in empowering people

out for women and explained their rights and

in respect of their rights, as they are closer to

how to gain the protection that the court could

the ordinary people. They are generally smaller

give. I then had the forms of the most common

and looking at issues at a societal human level.

protection applications distributed to all the

Often an NGO will be concerned with policy

issues, but from a more micro point of view. They

operational courts there were pressures upon

will also generally be highly specialised. Quite

them preventing them dealing with some cases.

often a multilateral organisation will come to

Many of the local lawyers had also left the

the practical level but they start at the higher

country. To support the judiciary and the legal

policy level, look at the development of policy,

system I made a number of recommendations

before they assist Governments moving forward

which resulted in the Australian Government

to implementation. I think that the NGO

recruiting lawyers, judges and magistrates.

community is essential in respect of human rights empowerment.

Were those local lawyers or were some based outside of the Solomon Islands?

How did you come about working for the ECCC in Cambodia?

There were twenty three Australian lawyers. I think there was possibly one Ni-Vanuatu lawyer.

I had been involved in human rights projects or

They included Prosecutors, a Deputy Chief

projects designed to relieve poverty in fourteen or

Prosecutor, a Supreme Court Judge, some legal

fifteen countries and I just received a telephone

aid lawyers and lawyers to work in the Attorney

call from the Minister for Foreign Affairs inviting

General’s Office. There was some functionality

me to accept Australia’s nomination to the

within the legal sector due to a very clever Chief

Secretary General of the United Nations and

Justice, but he wasn’t able to deal with the people

to be appointed as a judge of the court. How I

who had been involved in the civil war and the

became known to the Minister I’m not entirely

perpetrators of many war crimes, so he needed a

sure, but I had undertaken aid work work for the

lot of assistance that Australia provided.

Australian Government in the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste and some other places.

How does one go about building or improving a legal system in countries like that? Some times people talk

In the Lao PD and Cambodia I trained judges

about legal transplants, and bringing in foreign laws and

specifically addressing the issue of independence.

foreign ways of doing things but is that effective in the

It must be remembered that in civil law countries

surrounding context?

the judicial structure is quite different from that of common law countries. Issues of discipline and

This depends on where you are starting from.

promotion for judges will come from a Ministry

If you are starting from a collapsed situation,

of Justice. This can be confronting for the

which was the Solomon Islands at the time, it is

assertion of full judicial independence.

a challenge. It was necessary to effectively ‘kick start’ the sector in respect to criminal law, so it

I also went into the Solomon Islands during the

was a matter of bringing in people. They all had

time of the civil war just to take an overview of

to be culturally sensitive and aware. At the same

what was going on in respect of the functionality

time they had to mentor the few local lawyers

of the judiciary and the legal system as a whole.

who could be persuaded to come back to work

It became clear that support was needed,

within the government sector. Where you have

as although the judges and magistrates had

a failed State, one of the problems is that people 111

are generally totally disheartened by what has

that were well before the International Criminal

gone wrong around them and they need a great

Court (ICC), so the ICC could not have been

deal of assistance to return to a fully functioning

considered as an avenue for considering the cases

level. The psychological pressure upon people in

arising out of the Khmer Rouge period. Thus

a failed State canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be underestimated and they

there had to be a Specialist Tribunal. I think

need support. In the legal area they need support

the preferred avenue now is not actually this

from fellow professionals, people whom they can

model but the rather to have reference to the

bounce ideas off, have their views confirmed

ICC. There are political and diplomatic realities

and just regain their professional confidence.

around this and some significant problems if

Once functionality has returned, that is, there is

the alleged criminal activities did not occur in

confidence in the system again, its important for

a Member State of the ICC and any proposed

the assistance to withdraw because it is merely

reference by the Security Council is subject to a

assistance and no more. When the job is done you

veto. It may well be that we find that there will

leave. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t create a system so that it is self-

be some repeats of the hybrid courts such as the

perpetuating for the foreign individuals involved.

ECCC. There are a number of advantages of this such a court. The first is that it is within the

Maybe in the context of the work you are doing now with

geographical area where the alleged crimes took

the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

place. This means you can have participation in

(ECCC) Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m wondering when it is best for a body like the

the process of those who have been victims or

UN to come in and set up an Extraordinary Chambers

claimed to be victims of the alleged crimes. That

and when it is better for a local judiciary to deal with these

can have a healing affect. The second advantage


may be in relation to the support given to the local judiciary. After a collapse of a State

That is a highly difficult question to answer. For

following mass atrocity crimes the judiciary and

there to be a court of the nature of the ECCC

the legal profession can be found to have been

you need to have the government of the country

decimated. As a country rebuilds, it rebuilds its

actually requesting the United Nations for such

judiciary and legal sector. This can take some

assistance, and then having done that, you need

time. Those involved may be skilled in civil law

to look at the modalities involved. The ECCC was

and domestic crimes, but they are not skilled in

indeed the subject of a request by the Cambodian

international criminal law. Thus the desirability

government to the United Nations. As established

to have international judges sitting on the bench,

it applies international law and Cambodian

but not necessarily in the majority on the bench.

law. Cambodian law is based on the French

Justice has to be carefully and individually

domestic system. This presents some issues, as a

considered in respect of courts established to deal

domestic system, no matter how good it is does

with mass atrocity crimes. There are cultural

not necessarily work all that well for mass atrocity

and systemic considerations, which are individual


to each court. In the case of the ECCC you are looking at something established more than


When is it appropriate to do it? The request by

thirty years the alleged events. This may cause

the Cambodian Government dealt with matters

other issues. One has to consider that people

have spent more than thirty years learning how

On a more positive note, it is to be remembered

to cope. Will the establishment of such a court

that countries develop at different rates. The base

actually re-enliven the horrors in their minds?

from which they start is also different, but I think

This can be a pivotal issue to consider. Judges

over the last twenty years or so there has been

need to ensure that there is no impunity from

a pleasing development in respect of knowledge

whilst ensuring that there is sensitivity for the

of human rights. Assertion of rights, however,

victims and fair trials for the accused.

still leaves a great deal to be desired. Knowledge is power and thus the power to enforce human

I will finish with one last broad question, as someone who

rights is growing. There are a lot of very brave

has done a lot of domestic and international legal work,

lawyers who take up human rights cases and

have you seen over your career a greater awareness of

are to be commended for doing so. The mere

human rights within the international political sphere and

assertion of human rights raises awareness of

how would you characterise that evolution?

such and appears to often lead to societal change and support the rule of law. I think that there is

I think I have seen a greater awareness of

reason to be optimistic in the long term.

human rights. I think it comes about through a maturation of governmental systems and nation

Thank you

building. The issues involved are highly complex, but I observe that a great number of nations that have gained independence from colonial powers have to find their way to national statehood. History discloses that former colonies are all too often left without the necessary governmental and governance systems in place to provide for functional stability and growth. Often colonial powers formed colonial administrations over disparate groups of people who lacked the necessary commonality of culture, language and history to actually be able to coalesce into a modern nation state within the boundaries set by the coloniser. This has so often lead to internal conflict, the abuse of human rights and the perpetration of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In recent years, experience has often disclosed there can be a rebuilding of a State leading to the assertion of human rights and the rule of law. The cost in human life of getting to such a point can be immense and nothing but tragedy. The loss of one life in a conflict is a tragedy for mankind. 113


Getting Out of Gitmo Isabella Borshoff Arts 3

Introduction Guantanamo Bay was once a relatively unknown American port on the Southeastern tip of Cuba; now, it looms large and controversial in the public imagination. Since the early days of the war on terror, the United States has used the island’s detention camp to house enemy combatants. Chosen for its ambiguous territorial status that facilitated actions illegal under domestic US law, the camp has attracted widespread international condemnation.1 For the United States, a supposed paragon of liberal democratic ideals, Guantanamo poses a significant normative contradiction. George W. Bush eventually stated his wish to see the camp closed, and Barack Obama campaigned on the issue in the lead up to the 2008 election.2 Yet, in 2014, the camp remains open. This essay asks why? At the outset, the liberal values that underpin both American and international law are outlined, followed by an explanation of how they are violated by detention practices at Guantanamo. The essay’s second section investigates whether international politics can explain the endurance of this violation, seeking an adequate explanation of Guantanamo’s failed closure. The third section explores domestic political factors, and their key links to the camp’s endurance. Ultimately, it is argued that public resistance and legal uncertainty have driven Congressional opposition to the policy, and that Obama’s failure to overcome this may be partly attributed to prioritisation of finite political capital. Liberal Past, Illiberal Present A study of US history exposes a fundamental concern with the protection of individual liberty. The Declaration of Independence endows upon the individual a set of ‘inalienable rights’, including ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’.3 The constitution asserts that the state may not ‘deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws’4. A similar emphasis on individual liberty is reflected in international law. Detention without trial is illegal in almost all situations, the primary exception being the case of combatants in active warfare: the Geneva Convention recognises a right to detain enemy combatants until the conclusion of hostilities.5 US operations at Guantanamo seem to run counter to this historic and legal emphasis on individual rights in two ways. First, even acknowledging that wartime detention of combatants (and denial of habeas corpus rights) is acceptable, the detention of captives in the war on terror is problematic. In traditional interstate warfare, combatants are generally identifiable and therefore questions over combatant classification are rare.6 In an unconventional war, such as the one being waged against al Qaeda, identifying combatants is much more difficult, and therefore the ‘possibility of erroneous detentions is much higher’7. The Third Geneva Convention asserts that where doubt exists regarding a prisoner’s status, a ‘competent tribunal’ must form a judgment.8 Although the Bush administration held that such rules didn’t apply to Guantanamo detainees, as they are beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the United States, the Supreme Court rejected this argument in Rasul v. Bush, and thus granted alien detainees the writ of habeas corpus.9 Combatant Status Review Tribunals, providing the mechanism through which a detainee can challenge their detention, have been criticised by the Court as insufficient replacements for habeas rights.10 Despite this, they remain the only means for a detainee to question his status, which places the United States in an interesting position with respect to both constitutional and international law.


In a broader sense, Guantanamo has paved the way for a second contradiction: detention that is both legal and indefinite. Provisions for the detention of enemy combatants were drafted with conventional warfare in mind, whereby hostilities would end and prisoners would be repatriated. As terrorism requires no cohesive armed force, but rather adherents to an ideology, the war on terror has the potential to continue indefinitely.11 Insofar as preventive detention of enemy combatants is legal in the United States, indefinite detention without trial becomes de facto lawful. This is unprecedented in US legal history, and arguably represents a paradox of principle for a state that upholds individual liberty as a core value.12 As the Supreme Court noted, ‘in our society, liberty is the norm’, and thus preventive detention must be ‘the carefully limited exception’13. The war on terror has created a situation in which this exception becomes the norm. In light of such contradictions, Guantanamo has become a symbol of what Harold Koh refers to as the ‘most problematic face of American exceptionalism’: the double standard.14 It has cemented the perception that the United States only selectively adheres to the values it espouses or the international legal system it champions. Recognising the damage this has done to the country’s image, one of Obama’s campaign promises was to close the facility at Guantanamo, noting that ‘history will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect of our fight against terrorism and those of us who fail to end it’15. So why is the camp still open? Power and Values in the International System Because of the international political aspect of this issue, it makes sense to turn to international relations (IR) theory for an explanation. Broadly speaking, there are two theoretical schools of thought most relevant to this study: those who see power dynamics as the driving force of international politics and those who emphasise the importance of norms and ideas. Realism, the most prominent of the power-centric IR theories, suggests that states are self-interested actors seeking to maintain or increase their relative power position in the international system.16 As such, realists are sceptical that international institutions – such as international law – can impact state relations independently of power dynamics.17 From this perspective, it is not surprising that Guantanamo Bay remains open: as the global hegemon, the United States faces limited countervailing power and as such can treat international law as negotiable.18 In an analysis consistent with this theory, Nico Krisch suggests that, since rising to sole superpower status, unilateralism in US foreign policy has become more marked. He refers specifically to its approach to treaties, noting: Apart from the ICC and the Ottawa Convention, the United States also declined to ratify the CTBT, the amended Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Convention on Biological Diversity … despite the country’s strong, often dominating impact on the negotiations of each of these instruments.19


From a realist perspective, therefore, indefinite detention at Guantanamo Bay is a product of US hard power: a state should be unwilling to relinquish military power in recognition of a value or idea. Thus, the United States has no incentive to release anybody it suspects could take up arms against it, and the normative contradiction is of little relevance. Although this theoretical approach has merit in some cases, it fails to acknowledge that US foreign policy has been at least somewhat constrained by normative considerations in the past. For example, revelations that the Bush administration had sanctioned torture of terror suspects prompted international condemnation. Clearly, this had a significant impact on subsequent policy decisions as one of Obama’s first acts as President was to ban ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’20. That the US government responded to a values-based anti-torture argument affirms Wendt’s assertion that state interests are socially constructed rather than narrowly defined in hard power terms.21 The issue with this approach to Guantanamo, however, is the contradictory outcome it produces. If values matter in international politics, one would expect the normative contradiction posed by Guantanamo to be unsustainable and for the camp to have been closed. Domestic Determinants The inadequacy of both theoretical frameworks suggests that international political dynamics are not the primary reason for Guantanamo’s endurance. Where else might we look for an explanation? This section examines how domestic factors have influenced Obama’s ability to close the camp. It poses the argument that, in light of Congress’s refusal to fund either the transfer of prisoners from the prison or their trials on US soil, legislative-executive conflict has played a determining role in preventing Guantanamo’s closure. It suggests that Congress’ obstructionism stems from two distinct but interrelated sources: public resistance and legal uncertainty. Finally, it claims that Obama’s failure to overcome Congressional opposition has been exacerbated by the limited political capital he can afford to devote to the issue in the face of public resistance. Public opinion matters primarily because members of Congress are dependent on their local constituents for re-election, and have no formal obligation to the president.22 This inhibits the ability of the executive branch to unilaterally pursue policy objectives.23 In January 2009, just after Obama’s inauguration, a Gallup poll estimated that 45% of the American public supported keeping the prison open, while only 35% wanted it closed (and a remaining 20% were unsure).24 This general lack of enthusiasm for the policy belies even stronger Republican opposition: 69% of Republican voters were in favour of keeping Guantanamo open.25 As Corcoran notes, members of Congress are unlikely to support a controversial government policy if it risks alienating their voter base and, therefore, opposing the closure was (and still is) in the interests of Republican representatives.26 In the weeks following Obama’s 2009 executive order, prominent Republicans emphasised the supposed danger of moving detainees onto US soil.27 Corcoran attributes the general increase in opposition to the policy during this period to the climate of fear created by such heightened rhetoric: Once the public came ‘to equate the closing of Guantanamo Bay with a terrorist moving into their neighbourhood’,28 they were much less 117

likely to support Obama’s position.29 A cycle is then perpetuated whereby increasing public opposition to the policy is mirrored in Congress as representatives seek to align themselves with their constituents. Obama’s ability to build congressional support has been further undermined by the complex legal dilemmas associated with closing Guantanamo Bay. Each subset of detainees presents its own challenges to the administration. Firstly, if a detainee is cleared for release, to where should he be returned? In traditional interstate conflict, prisoners of war are repatriated to their home country, in whose armed forces they served.30 John Bellinger III, a US Department of State lawyer who advocated for the closure of Guantanamo, notes, ‘Sometimes we could not even identify a target state for repatriation because no state claimed an interest in the detainee in question’31. Furthermore, repatriation requires reasonable certainty that the released individual will not be subject to mistreatment after transfer, a guarantee that many of the detainees’ countries of origin cannot provide.32 These unanswered questions are likely to have reduced Obama’s support in the legislature, as many representatives who supported the policy in principle were reluctant to do so in reality in the absence of a comprehensive plan for these detainees. For example, Democratic Senator from Hawaii Daniel Inouye, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, had put aside funds for Guantanamo’s closure if the administration proposed such a plan. In defending his decision to ultimately deny funding for the policy, he stated, ‘The fact that the administration has not offered a workable plan at this point made that decision rather easy’33. In a broader sense, a question remains regarding those detainees who, like prisoners of war in conventional conflict, are deemed too dangerous to release but not suitable for trial due to inadmissible or insufficient evidence.34 In interstate warfare, these individuals would be held until the discontinuation of hostilities, at which point they would be repatriated. Under these conditions, preventive detention without trial is made legal in the knowledge that it will be temporally limited. The war on terror, however, is a different story. Even as US forces left Iraq and Afghanistan, the ‘war’ itself could have extended indefinitely into the future. How do you govern preventive detention in this kind of conflict? The Geneva Conventions were not drafted with unconventional war in mind.35 Closing Guantanamo will not in itself solve this problem; rather, a legal framework for dealing with non-state actors needs to be developed so that such questions can be addressed. The notion that congressional opposition has forestalled the closure of Guantanamo is relatively undisputed. However, some critics argue that the Obama administration has used this as an excuse for inaction, employing empty rhetoric to appease a liberal voter base while secretly enjoying the benefits of maintaining the status quo. Although it is impossible to know what Obama is thinking, this argument seems unconvincing: campaigning on the Guantanamo issue, signing an executive order for its closure within a week of inauguration, and persistently referring to the threat it poses to national security together imply that Obama’s intention is sincere. As Jack Goldsmith notes, ‘Despite the mismatch between rhetoric and reality in his speech, there is no reason to doubt that Obama genuinely wants to close Guantánamo Bay’36. The more interesting question concerns political will. Obama may personally wish to see the camp closed, but how much political capital he is willing to devote to this end is a separate 118

issue. It may be that Obama has calculated the political costs of going head to head with Congress, and decided that they outweigh the benefits of closing the camp. Undoubtedly, building support amongst citizens and Congress would require significant time and effort. Firstly, evidence suggests that the public has a low tolerance threshold for threats (or perceived threats) to national security.37 Secondly, it is a mistake to assume public support for a policy is equivalent to public prioritisation of the issue.38 Closing Guantanamo has ranked consistently low on the agenda for the American public. Prior to Obama’s inauguration in 2009, one ABC-Washington Post poll found the issue ‘last on an eight item list of things he should do after taking office’39. With the option of addressing less controversial, more popular, and more salient issues like the economy, the Obama administration arguably lacks the political will to move forward on the Guantanamo issue. Conclusion President Obama has acknowledged that the continued use of detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay is inconsistent with both American values and international law.40 Despite this, the camp remains open. Although the United States has the power to act independently of international constraints at times, America’s superpower status cannot explain why it has been constrained by normative considerations in some cases but not with respect to Guantanamo. However, a values based approach is equally unsatisfactory, insofar as the outcome contradicts the theoretical prediction. Ultimately, this essay posits that domestic political factors have been the primary determinants of the current situation. Firstly, public resistance has fuelled Congress’s obstructionism. Secondly, legal dilemmas have exacerbated the latter’s unwillingness to fund the closure. Finally, while Obama seems to genuinely believe that Guantanamo must be shut, he is arguably constrained by the limited political capital he has to deploy across a number of issues. As the Guantanamo problem remains both controversial and low priority for most Americans, executing this campaign promise would require a level of effort that Obama may see as better spent elsewhere.


Endnotes 1

Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas 2014, ‘Calls for the Closure of Guantanamo’,’ viewed July 18 2014, <> 2 Bush Jr., G.W 2006, quoted in McNamara, M May 8, 2006, ‘Bush Says He Wants To Close Guantanamo’, CBS News, viewed July 18 2014, <>; Obama, B 2007, quoted in, ‘Obama’s Speech at Woodrow Wilson Centre’, in CFR August 1, 2007, Council on Foreign Relations, viewed July 14, 2014, <>. 3 US Declaration of Independence. July 4, 1776, viewed July 15, 2014, < declaration_transcript.html>. 4 Despite this, the constitution does account for situations of ‘public danger’ such as warstime, whereby the liberty of the individual may be subject to constraint. Specifically, this requires suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, a constitutional provision that has been utilised rarely and with reluctance by US governments. See Ekeland, T 2005, ‘Suspending Habeas Corpus: Article I, Section 9, Clause 2, or the United States Constitution and the War on Terror’, Fordham Law Review, vol. 74, no. 3, p. 1476. 5 Sassoli, M 2004, ‘The Status of Persons Held in Guantanamo Under International Humanitarian Law’, Journal of International Criminal Justice, vol. 2, no. 1, p. 103. 6 Cole, D 2009, ‘Out of the Shadows: Preventive Detention, Suspected Terrorists, and War’, California Law Review, vol. 97, no. 3, p. 744. 7 Ibid., p. 745. 8 Bellinger, J.B III & Padmanabhan, V.M 2011, ‘Detention Operations in Contemporary Conflicts: Four Challenges for the Geneva Conventions and Other Existing Law’, The American Journal of International Law, vol. 105, no. 2, p. 222. 9 Supreme Court of the United States, ‘Rasul V. Bush’, viewed July 15, 2014, <>. 10 Garcia, M J 2008, ‘Boumediene v. Bush: Guantanamo Detainees’ Right to Habeas Corpus’, Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, viewed July 18 2014, < natsec/RL34536.pdf>.

Detainee Release to be Restarted as part of Obama Plan,’ The Guardian, viewed July 16, 2014, <http://www.>, 16 Waltz, K 1979, Theory of International Politics, McGraw Hill: New York, p. 121. 17 Mearsheimer, J.J 1995, ‘The False Promise of International Institutions’, International Security, vol. 19, no. 3, p. 7. 18 Scott, S.V 2004, ‘Is There Room for International Law in Realpolitik?: Accounting for the US ‘Attitude’ Towards International Law’, Review of International Studies, vol. 30, no. 1, p. 83. 19 Krisch, N 2006, ‘Weak as Constraint, Strong as Tool: The Place of International Law in US Foreign Policy’, in (eds.) Malone, D and Khong, Y.F, Unilateralism and U.S. Foreign Policy: International Perspectives, Lynne Rienne Publishers: Boulder, p. 46. 20 Rudesill, D.S 2010, ‘Foreign Public Opinion and National Security’, William Mitchell Law Review, vol. 36, no. 5, p. 5238. 21 Wendt, A 1992, ‘Anarchy is What States Make of it: the Social Construction of Power Politics’, International organization, vol. 46, n. 2, p. 424. 22 Bond, J.R & Fleisher, R 1990, The President in the Legislative Arena, Chicago University Press, Chicago, p. 13. 23 Risse-Kappen, T 1991, ‘Public Opinion, Domestic Structure, and Foreign Policy in Liberal Democracies’, World Politics, vol. 43, no. 4, p. 502. 24 Gallup January 21 2009, ‘Americans Send No Clear Mandate On Guantanamo Bay,’ viewed July 15 2014, <>. 25 Ibid. 26 Corcoran, E.B 2011, ‘Obama’s Failed Attempt to Close Gitmo: Why Executive Orders Can’t Bring About Systemic Change’, University of New Hampshire Law Review, vol. 9, no. 2, p. 233. 27 Congressional Record, Senate, May 19, 2009, viewed July 17, 2014, <>. 28 Ibid, p. 234 29 Gallup, ‘Americans Oppose Closing Gitmo and Moving Prisoners to U.S.’, viewed July 15, 2014, <

Butler, J 2004, The Powers of Mourning and Violence, Verso: London, p. 79. 12 Cole, ‘Out of the Shadows’, p. 708. 13 Ibid. 14 Koh, H.H 2003, ‘On American Exceptionalism’, Stanford Law Review, vol. 55, p. 1485. 15 Obama, B, quoted in Harris, P May 24 2013, ‘Guantanamo

com/poll/119393/americans-oppose-closing-gitmo-movingprisoners.aspx>; Corcoran, ‘Obama’s Failed Attempt’, p. 234. 30 Bellinger III and Padmanabhan, ‘Detention Operations’, p. 233. 31 Ibid. 32 Ibid. 33 Inouye, D, quoted in Glenn Greenwald July 23, 2012,



‘The Obama GITMO Myth’, Salon, viewed July 16, 2014, < myth/>. 34 Bellinger III and Padmanabhan, ‘Detention Operations’, p. 212. 35 Cole, ‘Out of the Shadows’, p. 695. 36 Goldsmith, J May 23, 2013, ‘Obama Passes the Buck: The President’s Empty Rhetoric on Counterterrorism’, Foreign Affairs, viewed July 18, 2014, <http://www.foreignaffairs. com/articles/139403/jack-goldsmith/obama-passes-thebuck>. 37 Cardenas, S 2004, ‘Norm Collision: Explaining the Effects of International Human Rights Pressure on State Behavior’, International studies Review, vol. 6, no. 2, p. 221. 38 Corcoran, ‘Obama’s Failed Attempt’, p. 232. 39 Cohen, J and Agiesta, J January 22, 2009, ‘Most Agree with Obama Plan to Close Guantanamo Bay, Poll Finds’, The Washington Post, viewed July 13, 2014, <http://www. AR2009012103652.html>. 40 Obama, B May 21, 2009, ‘Remarks by the President on National Security’, The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, viewed 18 July 2014, <http://www.>.


King Of Nothing Sophie Clews

When Vincent Morris was four years old, he dreamed that he stole a boat from an old man on the seashore. He sailed until the horizon swallowed the sun, until someone dislodged the ocean’s plug. The sea drowned him on its way down the drain, followed by the land, the sky, stars that lit his path across the ocean. When he woke, he had wet the bed and his mother spanked him so firmly that it hurt to sit for a week. *



Twenty years later, in a landlocked town, Vincent Morris lined his pockets with stones and walked into a lake. It took four days for anyone to notice he was missing, his boss leaving a message on his answering machine to say he needn’t bother coming into work. Two days after that, an eleven year old boy looking for dead fish at the water’s edge came across his body, bloated, blue, missing pieces which would later turn up in a game of fetch with a terrier. The boy got counseling but still ended up a delinquent and the dog got an extra can of food at dinner but was hit by a car a month later. By the time he died, Vincent Morris’ parents had divorced after his mother had threatened to stab his father with a knitting needle. They moved to opposite sides of the country and died within two weeks of each other. Their families opted to bury them without Vincent, instead choosing to email him with notification of their deaths. As such, after he had been pulled out of the lake and shuttled to the morgue, Vincent Morris’ body ended up in a storage facility at the local crematorium, burnt until he could fit into a box the size of a large teapot. The town, below eight hundred in population, carried on without disruption. The only person who stopped to think on the death of Vincent Morris was a girl who had once nursed a crush on him when they were sixteen and he had braces and she had acne. Whilst reading the newspaper one morning, she found a small article on the discovery of a body in a lake three towns over. She wondered for a moment if it was Vincent Morris, who had always been morose, even as a boy, shook that notion out of her head, resolved to call her former flame, then promptly forgot about it upon seeing an article on a school’s upcoming carnival. As it happened, she managed to oversleep and miss the carnival, and still not spare another thought for her dead crush. Within two days of his body being found, the owner of the butchers in town where Vincent Morris had worked found a replacement who, unlike his dead predecessor (“What was his name? Vaughn? Vance?”), didn’t remind him of a serial killer he had heard about on the wireless. Seventeen years after Vincent Morris had died, the boy who had replaced him at the butcher shop was arrested, nine bodies in his backyard. Six and a half weeks after Vincent died, his house on the outskirts but still only thirteen minutes from the centre, was sold to a recently married couple. They gave the furniture to charity, tossed a photo frame that sat on his beside table and housed a photograph of his parents into the garbage can in the kitchen. 123 123

One week later, a bulldozer arrived, wiping away any trace of the only place he had ever thought of as home. Seven months after Vincent Morris died, the editor of the town’s newspaper, described as a “pillar of the community” in his obituary, drank a bottle of whiskey in his office and decided to drive home. On his way, he almost ran over the owner of the only pub in town and drove into the lake. The next morning, his body was found inside the metal carcass and the town decided to drain the lake where Vincent Morris had drowned himself. Eight years following his death, the town went through a population boom after the birth of a piano prodigy whose video of him playing Mozart at age three went viral online. As such, the crematorium where Vincent Morris had been laid to rest in a box the size of a large teapot was bulldozed. Leftovers disposed of in an environmentally unfriendly way, the crematorium was rebuilt with twice the storage capacity for abandoned ashes. Two years on, a member of the town council opted to steal money that had been raised to build a new school. When he was arrested halfway to the Caribbean, money still in his bank account and the school still unfinished, families began to move two towns over where a batch of computers had been donated to a school by a local benefactor. A month later, the butcher shop and the only pub in town closed, sending most other residents on their way. Four months later, the crematorium where Vincent Morris had been disposed of, shut its furnace down for the last time. *



The night before he died, Vincent Morris dreamed of stealing a boat from an old man on the seashore, sailing until the horizon swallowed the sun. He continued until someone dislodged the ocean’s plug, he and his vessel pulled beneath the surface. Blackness, which clung to everything twenty years ago, dissolved, his dinghy fragmenting with it, until he was all that was left. He inhaled, but there was no clawing as water filled his lungs, just coolness. Alone, his body sunk further into the absence. Rowboat splinters softened into dust, melted into blue. When Vincent Morris breathed in again, he felt himself rise. Drifting above to where sunlight cut ribbons across the water, he saw an oar slip below. The tide pulled him in until his feet were sinking in sand and his stolen boat was lost. *



Vincent Morris woke, lined his pockets with stones, and walked into a lake.


Martha Swift



War is Peace Caitlin Clifford Arts 3

A ‘cataclysmic event’ in the history of the modern Middle East, the Iranian Revolution (1979) is decried most commonly as a source of regional instability.1 Replacing a western-oriented monarch with a clerically led Islamic regime, the Iranian Revolution displaced what Kissinger described as the ‘most powerful and stable state’ within the Middle East.2 Iran’s postrevolutionary posture provoked fears of Islamic expansionism and removed a critical buffer against the potential threat of Soviet incursion.3 However, to what extent did the Iranian Revolution engender regional instability? To what degree did the surrounding states benefit from Iran’s postrevolutionary enmity? Contrary to popular scholarship, it is argued here that the Iranian Revolution increased regional stability. It precipitated a shift in Iran’s foreign policy orientation, in which the country changed from a status quo power to one that articulated and exercised revolutionary ambitions. However, in response to Iran’s new posture, the Gulf States aligned in a common security framework. This stabilised relations within the Middle East and produced a symbiotic relationship between the Gulf States and America. This state of symbiosis continues to influence foreign policy. Prior to the Iranian Revolution, Iran courted, cultivated and expanded American involvement.4 Its leaders encouraged American influence and preserved the status quo. Throughout history, Iran encouraged American involvement as a counterweight to the European powers. As early as 1851, Iran approached the United States to purchase war ships in order to patrol its coast on the Persian Gulf.5 It sought to bolster American influence as a means to mitigate Russo-British competition.6 However, by 1941, Iran was under de facto rule by Britain and the Soviet Union. This heightened Iran’s call for American intervention. By 1943, Roosevelt acceded to Iran’s demands, assisting the state’s pursuit for independence through his support for the Tehran Declaration (1943).8 Iran deployed proactive strategies across the following decade, exploiting America’s power as an international heavyweight. In 1951, Iran asked the United States to mediate their dispute with Britain over the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.9 This created a historical precedent in which Iran expanded America’s involvement in order to secure domestic benefits. However, collaboration with America was most pronounced during the second term of the Shah. In 1953, the United States aided a coup d’état that that removed the democratically elected Prime Minister and reinstalled Mohammad Pahlavi as Shah.10 This produced conditions in which the Shah conceded that he ‘owed his throne’11 to America.12 However, Pahlavi was not a pawn of great power politics and he exploited Iran’s importance as America’s ‘regional stabiliser’13. The Shah ‘made every effort’14 to extend his imperial influence, asserting that he was ‘happy to be an ally’15 of America. The Shah manipulated the Iranian-American alliance as a means to protect his nascent power against domestic and foreign opponents.16 In 1966, the Shah appealed to America arguing that “a strong Iran can…avert the spreading of conflicts in the region”17 and will “guarantee the smooth…flow of oil to the west”18. This coincided with bellicose requests for increased military hardware.19 The Shah thus 127

recognised Iran’s geostrategic importance, and attracted material support for his Western-oriented program.20 In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson agreed to provide the Shah $100 million in military sales credits.21 State Secretary Henry Kissinger mirrored this commitment, pledging $10 billion in military equipment between 1976 and 1982.22 However, while Iran used overt strategies to deepen America’s involvement, their special relationship rendered Iran a regional surrogate for America’s political agenda.23 Under the Shah’s despotic leadership, Iran operated as a status quo power receptive to America’s interests. The Shah’s defence program, economic transactions and oil policies were conducive to America’s development.24 The Shah was hostile to Soviet expansionism, allocated favourable oil quotas, and signed lucrative purchasing agreements to obtain American military hardware.25 This created conditions in which Iran was perceived as a ‘semi-client state’26 and a creature of American imperialism. In December 1977, President Carter lauded the Shah’s ‘faithfulness’28 and ‘stability’29. This strengthened the existing political narrative that Iran was a status quo power cognisant of America’s interests. However, after the Iranian Revolution, Iran adopted a hostile posture dedicated to subverting the status quo.30 Khomeini’s rhetoric and foreign policy decisions embodied this postrevolutionary program. The ascendency of exiled cleric Khomeini occasioned a ‘momentous change’31 in Iran’s foreign policy. Iran’s new polity rejected the paradigm of American involvement and moved increasingly towards a stance of non-alignment.32 Their hostile policy was exemplified by Khomeini’s inflammatory rhetoric.33 Khomeini denounced Iran’s deference to “satanic, dictatorial rule”34 and encouraged Iranians to ‘ma[k]e manifest [their] own initiative’35. He decried the ‘polluted hand[s]’36 of the superpowers and lauded the way in which the revolution had ‘severed the tentacles of the[se] tyrannical world-mongers’37. This diverged from Shah Pahlavi’s deferential attitude. Also, Khomeini espoused a transnational mission to spread revolutionary Islam38. This contradicted Iran’s previous stance that had encouraged foreign involvement. Declaring his desire for ‘our nation [to] become of model for all countries’39, Khomeini demanded that Iran ‘check and thwart’40 the ascendency of American power. Khomeini encouraged Shia populations to ‘spread [the Revolution] everywhere’41, espousing emotive language in order to mobilise Shias both inside and outside the region.42 Iran’s revolutionary posture was compounded by three foreign policy decisions. Iran’s interference in Lebanon, support for Hezbollah, and its hostility towards Iraq epitomised Iran’s rejection of its role as a status quo power.43 Iran’s shift from deference to confrontation was exemplified by its interference in southern Lebanon.44 As a response to Israel’s expeditious invasion in 1982, Iran’s involvement in Lebanon served as a fulcrum of its revolutionary movement.45 While the Lebanese situation proffered a unique opportunity for Khomeini to propagate Islamic expansionism, its significance derived from Iran’s shifting posture towards Israel and America.46 The Iranian Revolution replaced a regime highly favourable towards Israel with a regime that was ‘implacably hostile’47. Khomeini adopted a ‘virulent’48 stance that contradicted the ‘close relations’49 cultivated under the Shah. While the Shah considered 128

Israel to be a ‘close’50 and ‘natural ally’,51 Khomeini deplored the state as a ‘cancerous growth’52 that should be obliterated. Condemning Israel as a politic ‘dominated by…imperialists’,53 Khomeini conceived Iran’s Lebanese intervention as a means to resist imperial powers54. In 1982, Iran deployed a small contingent of guards to supply training, materials and funding to local Shia militias.55 These Revolutionary Guards engaged in armed conflict with the occupying Israeli forces.56 Iran’s intervention in Lebanon ‘dramatically altered’57 relations in the Middle East, creating conditions in which Iran resisted acts of foreign interference.58 Khomeini’s regime also exhibited strong support for Hezbollah.59 This constitutes the second pillar of Iran’s postrevolutionary posture. Formed as a means to resist Israel’s military occupation in Lebanon, Hezbollah’s guiding axiom aligned with Iran’s anti-imperialist agenda.60 From 1882, Iran raised funds, created infrastructure, and built fortified positions to support this Shia-oriented militia.61 By 1989, Iran’s material support averaged $10 million per month.62 Iran’s decision to support Hezbollah symbolised its commitment to the vanguard of the struggle against imperialism and their corresponding ‘puppet’63 governments. Accused of attacking the United States’ embassy in Lebanon (1983), Hezbollah’s activities were rendered inflammatory, and fiercely anti-American.64 Iran’s continued support for Hezbollah’s militia emphasised the regime’s stalwart position as a non-aligned power. Iran’s stance towards Iraq strengthened its postrevolutionary posture. This constitutes the third decision that altered Iran’s stance as a status quo power. In contrast to Shah Pahlavi, who had encouraged solidarity with Iraq, Khomeini expressed inflammatory statements redolent of their sectarian differences.65 These provocative statements exacerbated tensions between the two competing regional powers.66 Khomeini’s request that Iran ‘deal with [its enemies] harshly’67 elicited fears about Islamic expansion, and fears that the Revolution would compromise Iraq’s minority Ba’th government.68 Iran will ‘destroy [your] group…with the same fist that we destroyed the regime’,69 Khomeini espoused, using explosive language that heightened fears of regional confrontation. Also, Khomeini violated the terms of the 1975 Algiers Agreement. This was a provocative gesture emblematic of Iran’s new revolutionary posture.70 While scholars dissent over the primary forces that motivated Iraq’s invasion of Iran, Khomeini’s decisions emphasised the regime’s shift from coexistence to confrontation.71 Like Iraq, the Gulf States perceived Iran as a threat to security in the region. While the Persian Gulf had benefitted from Pahlavi’s stabilising, status-quo posture, Khomeini targeted the region as a conduit for ‘hostility’72 and revolutionary incursion. The principal objects of Islamic expansionism – due to their Shia minorities – the Gulf States were threatened by the perceived threat of Islamic expansionism.74 Khomeini targeted the Saudi and Gulf governments, asserting that the “treacherous hands” of Iran’s enemies ‘must be severed’75. For Saudi Arabia, the concentration of its Shia minority in its oil-rich eastern province exacerbated fears of ideological contamination that might displace their despotic monarch.76 Iran’s revolutionary posture demonstrated the capacity for Islam to ‘control 129

and dominate’ monarchs, eliciting fear among the Gulf’s conservative governments who sought to consolidate their domestic powers.77 However, fears of Islamic expansionism provoked greater regional cooperation.78 Recognising the constraints on their military power – which ‘in no way’ could equal Iraq or Iran79 – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar aligned in a common security formation. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) provided a regional security framework, ‘unnecessary’ and ‘unrealisable’ without the Iranian Revolution.80 While efforts to develop a security framework were articulated in the 1960s, territorial disputes, and the Iranian-Iraqi rivalry, prevented its realisation.81 The Iranian Revolution provided the ‘common threat’ necessary to transcend these territorial disagreements.82 Further, the Gulf States averted Iraqi-Iranian tensions because the Iran-Iraq War – provoked by the Revolution – preoccupied these stalwart aggressors.83 The Council’s origins as a response to the Revolution are exemplified by its founding documents.84 The Preamble to the GCC emphasised that its chief purpose was the ‘collection and sharing of intelligence…regarding subversive and opposition groups’85. The President of the UAE, Sheikh Al-Nahyan affirmed these sentiments asserting that the Council provided ‘the addition of a new protective shield’ for the Persian Gulf nations.86 However, the ‘stiff communiqué’ on 5 March 1986 provides the most salient example of its security imperative, warning Iran that an attack on any of the GCC countries would be regarded as an attack on them all.87 Lauded as one of the most important outcomes of the Iranian Revolution,88 the formation of the Gulf Cooperation Council had profound regional consequences. The GCC buttressed stability across the Middle East, creating conditions in which the Gulf States displayed ‘increased readiness’ to coordinate regional policies.89 For the first time in the twentieth century, forces from all six states participated in cooperative activity aimed at defending their territories.90 This encompassed support for Iraq in its efforts in war against Iran.91 By 1983, the Heads of State all of the GCC pledged to support UN Security Council Resolution 540 that called for an ‘end to all military activities and hostilities in the Gulf’92. Therefore, the Iranian Revolution produced regional security gains, in which the stability of the Gulf augmented security across the wider Middle East.93 The capacity for the GCC to mitigate territorial disputes provides a cogent example. Offering a forum for dialogue and dispute resolution, the Council reduced tensions between its regional neighbours.94 In 1982, it resolved frictions between Bahrain and Qatar over the Howar Island by encouraging collaborative discourse between the two GCC nations.95 However, the formation of the GCC also produced stronger ties with America. This constitutes the final shift occasioned by the Iranian Revolution. While the removal of Shah Pahlavi undermined the credibility of American intervention, the Gulf States aligned with America in order to augment their security agendas.96 While America’s interventions in Afghanistan (1979 – 1988), the Iran-Iraq War (1980 – 1988) and Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait (1990) produced controversy and condemnation, the Iranian Revolution halted the trajectory of America’s decline throughout the Gulf region.97 The 130

Iranian Revolution produced paradoxical consequences, in which Iran’s call for Islamic expansionism strengthened the United States’ security position.98 While the Gulf States articulated their support for non-alignment,99 the Council strengthened their ties with America in order to bolster its security arrangements.100 The Gulf States exploited America as a ‘protective shield’ against Iran, the terms of which were enshrined in the 1980 Carter Doctrine.101 Carter’s Administration asserted that any ‘attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian [Gulf ] will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America’102. It declared that such an assault would ‘be repelled by any means necessary, including military force’103. This was emphasised by America’s material support. The United States provided the Gulf with significant military hardware, the most cogent of which was Reagan’s decision to support the sale of AWACS and F-15s to Saudi Arabia104. The Iranian Revolution altered international relations in the Middle East, creating conditions in which the GCC entertained closer ties with America105. While it is ‘very difficult to discuss the international consequences of the Iranian [R]evolution, especially after 1989’, the ascendency of Iran as an aggressive power produced outcomes with contemporary consequences106. While the American-Iranian relationship has been altered by competing circumstances,107 the formation of the Gulf Cooperation Council is an issue of contemporary relevance.108 The formation of the GCC as a body that relied on the United States produced a symbiotic arrangement that continues to influence international relations. While the GCC forged an economic bloc of powerful, oil rich nations, the Persian Gulf is vulnerable to an attack from Iran and external powers.109 Iran and Iraq have more military power than the countries in the Persian Gulf combined, rendering the region dependent upon America’s material protection.110 Conversely, the Persian Gulf is vital to America’s interests, controlling 45% of the world’s oil reserves, and cultivating a growing gross domestic product.111 While the GCC has the capacity to deploy oil as a political weapon, they are aware of the military interests that tie them closer to America.112 Therefore, the Iranian Revolution continues to influence stability in the region, creating conditions in which America and the Gulf’s foreign policy agendas reflect their political interdependence. Lauded first as an ‘island of stability’ in the tumultuous Middle East, Iran’s removal of the Shah engendered fears of regional insecurity.113 However, contrary to popular discourse the Gulf States exploited Iran’s postrevolutionary antipathy, forging a security alliance with America that altered the Middle East’s foreign politics. Contemporary relations between the Gulf and America are informed by their interdependence, highlighting the central paradox that the Iranian Revolution augmented stability and American influence.


Endnotes 1

Emery, C 2013, US Foreign Policy and the Iranian

Revolution: The Cold War Dynamics of Engagement and Strategic Alliance, Palgrave MacMillan: Hampshire, p. 3. 2 Kissinger, H, cited in Alvandi, R 2012, ‘Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah: The Origins of Iranian Primacy in the Persian Gulf ’, Diplomatic History, vol. 36, p. 356. 3 Esposito, J 1990, The Iranian Revolution: its Global Impact, International University Press: Florida; Moens, A 1991, ‘President Carter’s Advisors and the Fall of the Shah’, Political Science Quarterly, vol. 106, p. 211. 4 Ramazani, R.K 1982, ‘Who Lost America? The Case of Iran’, Middle East Journal vol.36, p. 13, 8. Hunter, S 2012, Iran’s Foreign Policy in the Post-Soviet Era: Resisting the New International Order, Praeger: Santa Barbara, p. 34. 6 Ibid. 7 Moens, ‘President Carter’s Advisors’, p. 212. 8 Ramazani, ‘Who Lost America?’, p. 9. 9 Moens, ‘President Carter’s Advisors’, p. 213. 5

Emery, US Foreign Policy, p. 4. Ramazani, ‘Who Lost America?’, p. 10. 12 Ibid. 13 Emery, US Foreign Policy, p. 23; Cottam, R 1979, ‘Goodbye to America’s Shah’, Foreign Policy vol. 34, p. 9. 14 Ramazani, ‘Who Lost America?’, p. 14 15 Pahlavi, M, cited Ramazani, ‘Who Lost America?, p. 8. 16 Alvandi, ‘Nixon, Kissinger and the Shah’, p. 337. 17 Mohammad, P, cited in Alvandi, ‘Nixon, Kissinger and the Shah’, p. 345. 18 Ibid.. 19 Emery, US Foreign Policy, p. 23. 20 In 1969, Under Secretary of State Elliot Richardson (as cited in Alvandi, ‘Nixon, Kissinger and the Shah’, p. 355) emphasised Iran’s geostrategic importance. He asserted that America “fully appreciate [the] unique contribution Iran can make to [the] defen[c]e of the free world interest in [the] Gulf ”. This reinforced Carter’s (Moens 1977, ‘President Carter’s Advisors’, p. 215) sentiment that Iran was an “island of stability” in the Middle East.; Esposito, The Iranian Revolution, p. 20. 21 Alvandi, ‘Nixon, Kissinger and the Shah’, p. 346. 22 Ramazani, ‘Who Lost America?’, p. 12. 23 Kissinger, cited in Alvandi, ‘Nixon, Kissinger and the Shah’, p. 353; Cottam, ‘Goodbye to America’s Shah’, p. 3 – 4. 24 Cottam, ‘Goodbye to America’s Shah’, p. 3 – 4. 10 11

Emery, US Foreign Policy, p. 23. Ibid., p. 2. 27 Long, D 1990, ‘The Impact of the Iranian Revolution on the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf States,’ in (ed.) Esposito, J, The Iranian Revolution: its Global Impact, International University Press: Florida, p. 104. 28 Carter, J, cited in Cottam, ‘Goodbye to America’s Shah’, p. 12. 25 26


Ibid. Baxter, K & Akbarzadeh, S, 2008, US Foreign Policy in the Middle East: The Roots of Anti-Americanism, Routledge: New York, p. 83. 31 Menashri, D 2006, ‘Iran, Israel and the Middle East Conflict’, Israel Affairs, vol. 12, p.107. 32 Alam, S 2001, ‘The changing perception of Iran towards the Gulf States’, Strategic Analysis, vol. 24, p. 2086; Buchan, J 2013, ‘The Iranian Revolution of 1979’, Asian Affairs, vol. 44, p. 418. 33 Panah, M 2007, The Islamic Republic and the World: Global Dimensions of the Iranian Revolution, Pluto Press: London, p.65. 34 Khomeini, A 1989, Testament, The Islamic Thought Foundation, viewed 1 May 2014, <http://www. aspx?cid=1341&h=13&f=14&pid=1430>. 29 30

Ibid. Ibid 37 Khomeini, A 1981, Advice for safeguarding and perpetuating the Islamic movement 1981, The Islamic Thought Foundation, viewed 1 May 2014, < showitem.aspx?cid=2120&pid=2454&h=13&f=14>. 38 Ibid. 39 Khomeini, A 1979, The Most Truthful Individual in Recent History, viewed 1 May 2014, <>; Khomeini, Testament. 40 Khomeini, The Most Truthful Individual in Recent History; Khomeini, Testament. 41 Khomeini A, cited in Esposito, J & Piscatori, J 1990, ‘The Global Impact of the Iranian Revolution: A Policy Perspective’ in (ed.) Esposito, J, The Iranian Revolution: its Global Impact, International University Press Florida, p.321. 42 While Khomeini “deliberately projected a universalist image” (Esposito & Piscatori, ‘The Global Impact of the Iranian Revolution, p. 318), the success of his transnational mission cannot be considered in an essay of this breadth. However, for literature that discusses the impact of the Iranian Revolution abroad see Von der Mehden, F 1990, ‘Malaysian and Indonesian Islamic Movements and the Iranian Connection’ in (ed.) Esposito, J, The Iranian Revolution: its Global Impact, International University Press: Florida, p. 233 – 254, (Indonesia); Cesar Majul, A 1990, ‘The Iranian Revolution and the Muslims in the Philippines’ in, (ed.) Esposito, J, The Iranian Revolution: its Global Impact, International University Press: Florida, p. 255 – 282, (Philippines); Esposito, J, The Iranian Revolution, p. 11 – 13 (South-East Asia); Voll, J 1990, ‘Islamization in the Sudan and the Iranian Revolution’ in (ed.) Esposito, J, The Iranian Revolution: its Global Impact, International University Press: Florida, p. 283 301 (Sudan); Gambari, I 1990, ‘Islamic Revivalism in Nigeria: Homegrown or Externally Induced?’ in (ed.) Esposito, J, The Iranian Revolution: its Global Impact, International University Press: Florida p. 302 - 316, (Nigeria) and Esposito, J, The Iranian Revolution, p. 13 – 16 (Africa). 43 While the hostage crisis was a “critical turning point” that provoked Iranian-American discord (Hunter, Iran’s Foreign 35 36

Policy, p. 37), the attacks were neither planned nor executed by parties with authority in Tehran (Panah, The Islamic Republic, p. 65; Emery, US Foreign Policy, p. 3). Instead, the attacks were conducted by a group of Iranian students who were not linked to Khomeini’s government (Baxter & Akbarzadeh, US Foreign Policy, p. 81). While Khomeini manipulated the situation for shrewd political purposes, the hostage crisis cannot be considered a pillar of Iran’s new foreign policy posture (Hunter, Iran’s Foreign Policy, p. 38). 44 Hunter, S 1990, Iran and the World: Continuity in a Revolutionary Decade, Indiana University Press: Bloomington p. 46, 33. 45 Baxter & Akbarzadeh, US Foreign Policy in the Middle East, p. 61; Panah, The Islamic Republic, p. 73. 46 Hunter, Iran and the World, p. 123.; Mattair, T 2008, Global


Hunter, ‘Iran and the Arab World’, p. 103. Khomeini, The Most Truthful Individual in Recent History, p. 3. 70 Baxter & Akbarzadeh, US Foreign Policy in the Middle East, p. 115. 71 Scholars debate the primary forces that motivated Iraq’s invasion of Iran. While some assert that Iraq’s principal motive was the fear of Islamic contagion (Gause G, ‘Iraq’s Decision to Go to War, 1980 and 1990’, Middle East Journal, vol. 56, p. 48), others emphasise Hussein’s predilection towards violence and expansionism (Hunter, ‘Iran and the Arab World’, p. 103). For literature that interrogates the veracity of these conflicting accounts see Hunter, ‘Iran and the Arab World’, p. 103 – 104; Chubin, S 1989, ‘Iran and the War: from Stalemate to Ceasefire’ in (ed.) Rezun, M, Iran at the Crossroads: Global Relations in a

Security Watch: A Reference Handbook: Iran, Praegar Security International: Westport p.35. 47 Bakhash, S 1989, ‘Iran’s Relations with Israel, Syria and Lebanon’, in (ed.) Rezun, M, Iran at the Crossroads: Global Relations in a Turbulent Decade, Westview Press: Boulder, p.116. 48 Hunter, S 1989, ‘Iran and the Arab World’ in (ed.) Rezun, Iran at the Crossroads: Global Relations in a Turbulent Decade, Westview Press: Boulder, p.102. 49 Hunter, ‘Iran and the Arab World’, p.102. 50 Menashri, ‘Iran, Israel and the Middle East’, p. 108. 51 Ibid. 52 Khomeini, cited in Bakhash, ‘Iran’s Relations with Israel’, p. 119. 53 Menashri, ‘Iran, Israel and the Middle East’, p. 108; Mattair, Global Security Watch, p. 32, 35. 54 Menashri, ‘Iran, Israel and the Middle East’, p. 108; Mattair, Global Security Watch, p. 32, 35. 55 Esposito, The Iranian Revolution, p. 35; Bakhash, ‘Iran’s Relations with Israel’, p. 125. 56 Ramazani, R.K 1990, ‘Iran’s Export of the Revolution Abroad’, in (ed.) Esposito, J, The Iranian Revolution: its Global Impact, International University Press: Florida, p. 53. 57 Esposito & Piscatori, ‘The Global Impact of the Iranian Revolution’, p. 323. 58 Ibid. 59 Hunter, Iran’s Foreign Policy, p. 33; Bakhash, ‘Iran’s Relations with Israel’, p. 125. 60 Baxter & Akbarzadeh, US Foreign Policy in the Middle East, p. 63. 61 Esposito, The Iranian Revolution, p. 7; Schiff, Z 2006, ‘Israel’s War with Iran’, Foreign Affairs, vol.85, p.23. 62 Norton, R 1990, ‘Lebanon: The Internal Conflict and the Iranian Connection’, in (ed.) Esposito, J, The Iranian Revolution: its Global Impact, International University Press: Florida, p.127. 63 Panah, The Islamic Republic, p. 73; Khomeini, Testament. 64 Mattair, Global Security Watch, p. 35. 65 Dawisha, A 1999, ’Identity’ and Political Survival in Saddam’s Iraq’, Middle East Journal, vol. 53, p. 554. 66 Long, ‘The Impact of the Iranian Revolution’, p. 111. 67 Khomeini, The Most Truthful Individual in Recent History, p. 3.

Turbulent Decade, Westview Press: Boulder, p.132; Esposito, The Iranian Revolution, p. 6; Robins, P 1990, ‘Iraq: Revolutionary Threats and Regime Responses’ in (ed.) Esposito, J, The Iranian Revolution: its Global Impact, International University Press: Florida, p. 83- 84; Adib-Moghaddam, A 2007, Iran in World Politics: The Question of the Islamic Republic, Hurst & Company: London, p. 87 – 88, 94 – 98; Hunter, Iran and the World, p. 105 and Gause 2002, p. 47 – 70.; Chubin, ‘Iran and the War’, p. 133. 72 Bakhash, ‘Iran’s Relations with Israel’, p. 118; Rizvi, H 1982, ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’, Pakistan Horizon, vol. 35, p. 30. 73 Bakhash, ‘Iran’s Relations with Israel’, p. 118; Rizvi, H 1982, ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’, p. 30. 74 Long, ‘The Impact of the Iranian Revolution’, p. 105; Ramazani, ‘Iran’s Export of the Revolution’ p. 53. 75 Khomeini, A 1979. Advice for safeguarding and perpetuating the Islamic movement, The Islamic Thought Foundation, viewed 1 May 2014, < english/showitem.aspx?cid=2120&pid=2454&h=13&f=14> 76 Hunter, Iran’s Foreign Policy, p. 192. 77 Inafuku, E 2010, ‘How does the 1979 Iranian Revolution Affect Current Iranian Fundamentalism and International Politics?’, Journal of Applied Security Research, vol. 5, p. 420. 78 Mattair, Global Security Watch, p. 34. 79 Pasha, A.K 2012, ‘The Gulf Cooperation Council: a regional approach to peace, security and development’, Journal of the Indian Ocean Ridge, vol. 8, p. 91. 80 Hunter, Iran and the World, p. 120. 81 Hunter, ‘Iran and the Arab World’, p. 107. 82 Adib-Moghaddam, Iran in World Politics, p. 101. 83 Long, ‘The Impact of the Iranian Revolution’, p. 113. 84 Rizvi, ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’, p. 33; Renner, M 198, ‘Determinants of the Islamic Republic’s Oil Policies: Iranian Revenue Needs, the Gulf War, and the Transformation of the World Oil Market’ in (eds.) Amirahmadi, H and Parvin, M, PostRevolutionary Iran, Westview Press: Boulder, p. 183. 85 Preamble to the GCC, cited in Pasha, ‘The Gulf Cooperation Council’, p. 90. 86 Al-Nahyan, S, cited in Qureshi, Y 1982 ‘Gulf Cooperation



Council’, Pakistan Horizon, vol. 35, p. 85. 87 Hunter, Iran and the World, p. 109. 88 Ibid., p. 12. 89 Heard-Bey, F 2006, ‘Conflict Resolution and Regional Cooperation: the Role of the Gulf Cooperation Council 1970 – 2002.’ Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 42 p. 209. 90 Kechichian, J 1986, ‘The Gulf Cooperation Council: Search for Security’, Third World Quarterly, vol. 7, p. 860. 91 Hunter, Iran and the World, p. 40. Despite this, cooperation between Iraq and the Gulf changed dramatically after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait (1990) (Baxter & Akbarzadeh, US Foreign Policy in the Middle East, p. 118). 92 SC Res 540, UNSCOR, 2493rd mtg, UN DOC S/RES/540 (31 October 1983).

Akbarzadeh, US Foreign Policy, p. 120 – 121 (Pro-Contra and dual bleed); Rice, ‘Campaign 2000’, p. 60 – 62 (Israel and Iran’s nuclear polices); Downes, Iran’s Unresolved Resolution, p. 161 (Iran as a sponsor of terrorism) and Ghasemi, ‘Obama’, p.107 – 115 (Iran as a sponsor of terrorism). 108 Inafuku, ‘How does the 1979 Iranian Revolution Affect Current Iranian Fundamentalism’, p. 414. 109 Pasha, ‘The Gulf Cooperation Council’, p. 94, 92. 110 Kechichian, ‘The Gulf Cooperation Council’, p. 854. 111 Panah, The Islamic Republic, p. 88; Chami, S, Elekdag, S & Tchakarov, I 2007, ‘What are the Potential Economic Benefits of Enlarging the Gulf Cooperation Council?’, International Economic Journal, vol. 21, p. 522; Bessma, M 2008, ‘Gulf Cooperation Council Oil Exporters and the Future of the Dollar’, New

Qureshi, ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’, p. 85; Bearce, D H 2003 ‘Grasping the Commercial Institutional Peace,’ International Studies Quarterly, vol. 47 p. 361. 94 Heard-Bey, ‘Conflict Resolution’, p. 209 – 210. 95 Qureshi, ‘Gulf Cooperation Council’, p. 92. 96 Hunter, Iran and the World, p. 61; Pasha, ‘The Gulf Cooperation Council’, p. 90. 97 Yetiv, S 1995, America and the Persian Gulf: The Third Party Dimension in World Politics, Praeger Publishers: Westport, p. 2. 98 Yetiv, America and the Persian Gulf, p. 1. 99 Qureshi, ‘Gulf Cooperation Council, p. 87. 100 Pasha, ‘The Gulf Cooperation Council’, p. 96. 101 Hunter, Iran and the World, p. 87. 102 Carter, J 1980, The State of the Union Address Delivered Before a Joint Session of the Congress, The American Presidency Project, viewed 2 May 2014, < ws/?pid=33079>. 103 Ibid. 104 Mattair, Global Security Watch, p. 59. 105 Esposito & Piscatori, ‘The Global Impact of the Iranian Revolution’, p. 325. 106 Hunter, S, Email Correspondence, 14 May 2014. 107 It is impossible to discern the lasting influence of the Iranian Revolution upon American-Iranian relations (Hunter 2014, email correspondence). The Iran-Contra scandal; America’s policy of dual bleed in the Iran-Iraq War (Baxter & Akbarzadeh, US Foreign Policy, p. 120 – 121); the discrepancy in America’s attitudes toward Israel and Iran’s nuclear programs (Rice, C 2000, ‘Campaign 2000: Promoting the National Interest’ Foreign Affairs, vol. 79, p. 61); and America’s denigration of Iran as part of the ‘Axis of Evil’ following September 11 (Ghasemi, H 2010 p. 108, ‘Obama and the Policy of Changing Relations with Iran: Measures and Obstacles.’ in (ed.) Navazeni, B, Iran and the World: Some Contemporary Developments, Scholars Publishing: Cambridge; Downes, D 2002, Iran’s Unresolved Revolution, Ashgate Publishing Limited: Aldershot have muddied the discernable consequences of the Iranian Revolution. However, for literature that discusses the impact of these changes upon American-Iranian relations see Baxter &

Political Economy, vol. 13 p. 293 – 314; Momani, B 2008, ‘Gulf Cooperation Council Oil Exporters and the Future of the Dollar’, New Political Economy, vol. 13 p. 394. 112 Heard-Bey, ‘Conflict Resolution’, p. 200; Telhami, S 2002, ‘The Persian Gulf: Understanding the American Oil Strategy’, The Brookings Review, vol. 20, p. 32. 113 Carter, J, cited in Moens, ‘President Carter’s Advisors’, p. 215.




The Other side of the fence Propaganda in Pyongyang: A photo essay Sam Hodgson














Memory in Urban Space Brigid Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;FarreLl Arts 3

Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past.1 The legacy of civil war from 1975 to 1990 continues to have ramifications across both public and private spheres of everyday life in Lebanon. Despite state-sponsored attempts to impose historical amnesia, the legacy of the war has been expressed through diverse forms of memory production including film, literature, art, individual testimony, political discourse and mass media, from a range of different perspectives. The case of Lebanon raises important questions about the role and politics of memory. Why are certain acts of violence forgotten and others remembered? In what ways do societies seek to supress or express memory cultures? Can we distinguish past from present when we consider violent events? Lebanon’s memory cultures continue to dominate the national consciousness and have played a formative role in the nation’s self-perception and identity.1 This essay seeks to analyse how the ongoing struggle between forgetting and remembering the civil war is reflected in the architecture and culture of Lebanon’s urban landscapes. Despite state attempts to erase all memory of the war through the official process of reconstruction, public memory has transcended this repression and remains evident in the spatial arrangement and visual street culture of Beirut today. The city and its walls have become a site for the challenging of dominant war memory discourses and promoting open discussion of past violence. They also act as a constant, painful reminder of the centrality of civil war in Lebanese history and national identity. In this sense, the representation of Lebanese post-war memory through the urban landscape of Beirut traverses the lines that distinguish past from present, remembering from forgetting and public from private. The Lebanese Civil War was a lengthy and complex period of internal conflict, significantly influenced by external powers. Whilst there were many changing players, agendas, twists and turns throughout the fifteen years, the war is largely characterised by ongoing confrontations between militias, communal violence and foreign interventions.2 The human and financial costs of the Lebanese civil war were immense. 144,000 people were killed with 184,000 injured, 13,000 kidnapped and at least 17,000 went missing. Approximately 175 towns were destroyed and the total damage bill was estimated at $25 billion.3 Despite the official end of the war in 1990, Lebanon has continued to experience intermittent violence including assassinations, explosions and skirmishes, including the assassination of Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005, conflict with Israel in 2006 and factional violence in 2008.4 As a result of this fragmentation and complexity, the war is often colloquially referred to as ‘the events’ rather than as a single conflict.5 In many ways, the civil war has been forgotten in Lebanese history. Official state attempts to limit discussion of Lebanon’s past have had a significant impact on the ways in which the civil war is remembered. From the outset, the Lebanese state has continually failed to address the root causes of 149

Figure One: Solidere brochures describing Beirut as ‘Hong Kong of the Mediterranean’ and ‘Paris of the Middle East’.i

Figure Two: Banner protesting Solidere’s expropriation of historic buildings on the St George’s Hotel, Beirut waterfront.ii

conflict and provide long-term resolutions.6 Many contend that ongoing violence in Lebanon is largely the result of government failure to openly discuss and more fully resolve the issues underlying the civil war. Whilst the Ta’if Accord (1989) did bring an official end to the conflict, it was a settlement that appeased the elite without addressing the issue of national reconciliation on a deeper level. As Ghosn and Khoury argue, the Ta’if accord failed to consider the diversity of the Lebanese population and in fact reinstated the sectarian divisions in the political system and perpetuated growing inequalities and differences between groups.7 This was further exacerbated by the General Amnesty Law (no. 84/91) passed by the Lebanese Parliament in August of 1991, which pardoned all crimes committed during the war. This ‘clean slate’ brought many militia leaders into powerful positions and instituted an official policy of state-sponsored amnesia.8 Under Syrian hegemony, media and politics were heavily censored, democratic institutions were monitored and Christian or left-wing parties were excluded.9 Given that those most responsible for the massacres and gross violations of human rights were sitting in positions of power, the notion of justice or reparations was inconceivable.10 As a consequence of these measures, there was no official narrative of the war – no acknowledgement of suffering nor attempts at explanation for the atrocities that had occurred.11 The dominant popular discourses surrounding the war were equally dismissive. The post-war formula of ‘No Victor, No Vanquished’ propagated national unity by implying a sense of balanced political power and casting all Lebanese as responsible.12 Perhaps the strongest master narrative claimed that the conflict was ‘the war of others’ and that Lebanon had acted as ‘a proxy battle field’ for the fighting of foreign counties.13 This convenient mythology shifted the blame to external powers and eliminated the need for critical self-examination. The combined effect of official state policy and dominant narratives of denial filtered down to the level of local politics where community leaders also acted to impose silence about the war.14 Even Lebanese schools ‘mirror the country’s post-war stasis’15. Despite Ta’if promises and subsequent proposals from an educational committee, there is no official text for studying Lebanese history. Instead, teaching reaches the ‘end of history in 1943’ and modern Lebanon is described as a ‘tolerant society whose members love one another and associate as brothers’16. Even school noticeboards 150

warn students that sisyasa mamnua – politics is forbidden on school grounds.17 As one Lebanese woman stated, ‘When the war ended in Lebanon, it was like it never happened’18. Evidently, in the years following the war, the Lebanese state embarked on a project of limiting and manipulating public memory in order to preserve the personal interests and political agendas of the powerful elite.19 Any discussion that did occur was predicated on ‘preventing divergent and potentially acrimonious public discussions of the recent past’20. However, this official policy of post-war silence certainly did not amount to ‘collective amnesia’ or a ‘national culture of forgetfulness’21. Private and individual memories of the conflict were deeply embedded and resisted these dominant discourses of evasion. As one young Lebanese person described, ‘You can’t really forget what happened. It’s always there hiding in unexpected places’22. The national policy of forgetting therefore presents just one discourse among a variety of competing and conflicting historical narratives of Lebanon’s civil war. Memories of the war have found expression through a myriad of forms, many of which critique the public policy of denial and outline the negative long-term effects of this for the nation. Elite and popular cultural production of film, literature and art has been a key means of expression for the individual voice.23 Lebanese fiction author Elias Khoury has written prolifically on the war and its impact – prominent examples include The Kingdom of the Strangers (1993) and Gate of Sun (2000). The film Out of Life (1991), directed by Maroun Baghdadi, received the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival for its depiction of the experience of a kidnapped French photographer. The critically acclaimed 2008 animated documentary Waltz with Bashir also deals with the legacy of war in Lebanon (the film is officially banned in Lebanon). Memory of the war has also been expressed through art exhibitions. In 2008, Saleh Barakat curated The Road to Peace at the Beirut Art Centre. Evidently, cultural expression of memory has been highly significant in Lebanon’s post-war reconstruction. More recently, Lebanon has also seen the rise of academic and ethnographic engagement with the issue of civil war memory.24 The ‘Right to Know’ campaign emerged in 1991, seeking to challenge dominant war discourses and construct a fuller narrative of Lebanon’s civil war experience. 2001 saw the establishment of Lebanon’s first official organisation devoted to war memory – Memory for the Future – and a conference was held in the same year, to promote a more open discussion of the war and its legacy. The Committtee of the Families of the Kidnapped and Disappeared in Lebanon (CFKDL) and Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE) have also made significant contributions in addressing the issue of post-war memory and reconciliation. Earlier this year, the International Center for Transitional Justice published a report entitled Failing to Deal with the Past: What Cost to Lebanon? This document addresses the ongoing impact of past violence on modern day Lebanese society.25 Academic writing from Lebanese sources on the war and its legacy has also steadily increased in recent years. Given the length, brutality and expense of the war, as well as its changing agendas and players, it’s not surprising that memory of the war is just as confused and multi-vocal as the conflict itself.26 The dynamic and multi-faceted memory cultures of post-war Lebanon continue to play an important role in 151

Figure Three: Symbols and political posters on the streets of Beirut iii

the reconstitution of Lebanese national identity and bridging the distinction between remembering and forgetting past violence.27 One of the most notable examples of these memory cultures is the spatial arrangement and reconstruction of Lebanon’s physical landscapes, particularly in an urban context. Remnants of the war, evidence of displacement, the rebuilt urban centre and territorial codes of signs and symbols mark public spaces, reflecting and informing identities, interactions and understandings of the past. In the years immediately following the conflict, devastated landscapes of rubble acted as a constant reminder of violence. Physical traces of destruction including derelict houses, bullet-pocked walls and damaged monuments and landmarks are considered by many citizens to be the most enduring reminders of the war.28 For those who are surrounded by these landscapes on a daily basis, the immediacy and visual intensity of these ‘unintentional monuments’ carries great emotional weight.29 These are often ‘intimate spaces in which memories can be inhabited and relived’30. Equally as salient as these visible traces of the war’s destruction are the invisible reminders - the ‘silences, empty spaces and voids’ that represent the dislocating effect of civil conflict.31 With over half the country’s population internally displaced, public space and communities were severely fragmented. Whereas once communities would have been made up of multiple religious and ethnic groups, today public space and neighbourhoods are organised along strictly sectarian lines. The ‘Green Line’ that physically divided east and west (and was the main line of fire) still remains today as a lingering psychological and social demarcation.32

Figure Four: Symbols and political posters on the streets of Beirut. iv


The symbolic, and highly politicised, reconstruction of Beirut’s city centre evidences the impact of the civil war on Lebanon’s memory cultures. The process of reconstructing the downtown area epitomises the state policy of amnesia. The strength of public opposition to this project is indicative of the strength of public memory surrounding the war and the deep connection that many Lebanese feel with this period of their nation’s history. Shortly following the end of the war, a private Lebanese company, Solidere, was established and charged with the task of reconstructing and developing central Beirut.33 Solidere was also given the power to expropriate land and property from existing owners in exchange for shares in the company’s stock through an amendment to national planning legislation law 117.34 This privatisation of the reconstruction process was controversial, especially given that Solidere was owned by Rafik Hariri, a prominent politician who would later become the nation’s Prime Minister.35 The government, in conjunction with Solidere, embarked on a project to re-make the city in an idealised, nostalgic form that would evoke, and eventually re-instate, the city’s former glory. Rather than spreading reconstruction efforts across the metropolitan area in order to reconnect urban and social groups, development was solely concentrated in the downtown zone.36 Prior to the civil war, Beirut was a ‘city of contrasts’ - an urban hub of converging sights, tastes, sounds and smells as well as the meeting place for different social and religious groups. The streets (never sparkling clean, but always bustling) were comprised of government and official institutions, cafes, retail stores, transport terminals, hotels, markets and even less reputable places like bars, gambling houses and brothels.37 In reconstructing the city, Solidere removed all traces of this diversity to instate an immaculate urban space catering for an exclusive, elite market. The souks (traditional markets selling local goods) were replaced with large Western-style shopping malls filled with luxury and designer boutiques. The few buildings that escaped demolition were renovated in the style of ‘old’ Beirut from the 50s and 60s as a nostalgic reminder of the nation’s former wealth and cultural prosperity. The project’s slogan ‘An ancient city for the future’, epitomises the political intention of Hariri to highlight the dynamism and heritage of Beirut and reestablish the city as the centre of commerce in the Middle East.38 Solidere have also described their vision as recreating Lebanon’s former reputation as ‘Hong Kong of the Mediterranean’ or ‘Paris of the Middle East’ (See Figure 1)39 Downtown Beirut has become a heavily regulated social space that caters exclusively for the luxurious lifestyles of the elite rather than providing an open forum for interaction and inclusion. It is now common for Lebanese people to say that they are ‘going to Solidere’ rather than calling the reconstructed area ‘Beirut’ and claiming the city centre as their own.40 Clearly, the architectural reconstruction of this public space has both reflected and produced post-war memory in Lebanese society. Mona Hallah, an architect who fought for the preservation of the city’s architectural heritage, describes how the loss of these buildings is ‘symptomatic’ of Lebanon’s past.41 Solidere’s official company policy of ‘tabula rasa’ resulted in the demolition of at least 800 buildings more than during the fifteen-year civil war itself. A young Lebanese University student explains, ‘The Downtown always reminded us of our loss, it was like having a city without a soul…’42. In erasing all evidence of the war’s existence, Solidere has reinstated the nation’s official policy of forgetting in the spatial arrangement and architectural construction of Lebanon’s urban centre. Whilst project plans for a 153

war monument in the central Martyr’s Square, and a Garden of Forgiveness as a public reminder of the civil war have been presented, these have not yet been carried out.43 From a public perspective, the plans are commonly regarded as a tokenistic gesture that will not change the state’s lack of an official discourse about the war. In glossing over the violence of the civil war period and focusing on Lebanon’s earlier, more heroic past and future aspirations, the reconstruction project has been described as a ‘spectacle of history’ that preserves the appearance of authenticity without acknowledging or engaging with actual lived experiences of the past.44 Michael Sorkin likens the new city centre to a Disneyland ‘theme-park’ whose ‘architecture of deception... in its happy-face familiarity, constantly distances itself from the most fundamental realities’45. In the urban landscape of Beirut, the politics of memory in blurring the distinction between remembering and forgetting, past and present, are captured. Public responses to the widespread demolitions, expropriation mandate and covert decision-making that underlined the practices of Solidere demonstrate public resilience to forgetting Lebanon’s past. Interest and action groups have expressed their opposition to the heavily commercialised process through the media, banners (a symbolic reclaiming of visual space) and public protest (Figure 2). The resistance of the public to the erasing of war-memory from the urban landscape of central Beirut illustrates the crucial ways in which the Lebanese community ‘regard and imagine particular locales in the formation of urban identities and loyalties’46. Their protests prove that memories of the civil war continue to pervade the everyday lives, habits and interactions of Lebanese people. Downtown Beirut has once again become a battle zone, embodying the ongoing struggle between official ‘forgetting’ and the anguish of public remembrance in spatial and architectural form.47 Expression of war memory is also evident through the territorial codes of signs and symbols that appear in abundance across the walls of the city. During the civil war, the visual expression of cultural, religious and political affiliation, whether in the form of posters, banners, flags, bumper stickers or graffiti, was extremely common. The marking of territory and achievement of ‘wall dominance’ expressed a party’s ownership over a space and its inhabitants.48 In the aftermath of violence, these practices have continued to play a role in the construction of sectarian identities through the ‘production of social space’49. Symbols and emblems of political parties dot the walls of the city and act as a constant reminder of the dominant worldview and ethno-religious make-up of each neighbourhood (Figures 3 and 4)50. These ‘separate, exclusive and self-sufficient spaces’ evolved during the civil war and are now deeply embedded in everyday life.51 For one citizen, her everyday bus ride passes images of ‘Nasrallah, Berri, Aoun, Jumblatt and Hariri’ (Lebanese political figures) with each photo marking ‘confessional boundaries’52. She says that ‘communities are defined by the boundaries and markings on their walls… the posters carry memories of the war and identity’53. Memories of the war both inform and are reflected in these visual markings. Cheap and anonymous, graffiti and street art has become a means of communication for many Lebanese, particularly among the youth population.54 The memory of war and its traumatic impact on Lebanese society is a key theme of many depictions, and many also use wall space for the expression of social and political dissent. As Ali 154

Al-Rafei, a local graffiti artist in Beirut describes: ‘My duty as an artist is to tell the truth and shed light on subjects no-one talks about’55. The walls of the city have been described as literally ‘speaking’ the history and identity of Lebanon in graphic form. The symbolic reclaiming of territory and expression of individual voices in Lebanon’s visual street culture clearly represents the ongoing public effort to remember the civil war and negotiate its ongoing legacy. There is an obvious relationship between past and present in contemporary Lebanon today. Despite state attempts to invoke a code of silence in the aftermath of civil war, the country’s memory cultures are pervasive in the everyday lives of citizens, influencing literature, art, media and the construction of urban space. Memory in Lebanon is deeply politicised and the debates surrounding the war play into longstanding issues of sectarianism and national identity.56 Indeed, the inter- and intra-sectarian aspect of the war is not only painful on a personal level, but could be disruptive politically.57 It is therefore not surprising that Lebanon’s complex and divided past has been left largely unaddressed. However, in attempting to circumvent these deep-seated ethno-religious divisions in favour of nostalgic views of pre-war prosperity and mythic conceptions of renewed Lebanese nationalism, Lebanon has failed to facilitate the open debate and discussion that is necessary in order to truly move on from past violence. Lebanese citizens continue to feel trapped in the past and remittent cycles of conflict. Many (both within and beyond Lebanon) have criticised Lebanon’s refusal to openly engage with its national experience of violence and have cited this as a key factor in the ongoing instability and violence today.58 Ultimately, the formation of Lebanese national identity is largely informed by the country’s experience of civil war and the enduring, deep-seated social divisions that persist today. Walking the line between remembering and forgetting the civil war has had a significant impact on the relationship between past and present in Lebanon. Today, urban space continues to tell the story of the war – from the visible marks of bullet holes and sectarian graffiti symbols to urban gaps caused by displacement and the amnesic official reconstruction of the city centre. Just one of Lebanon’s many and varied memory cultures, the physical landscapes and public space of modern Beirut both embody and exacerbate the nation’s complicated struggle between official silence and personal memory. Against corruption, inequality and segregation, the streets act as a site for citizens to challenge dominant discourses of forgetting and exclusion and contribute to the formation of Lebanese identity (or identities). The spatial and cultural legacy of the Lebanese civil sar clearly demonstrates the resilience of memory and the complex, often blurred, relationship between past and present in the aftermath of violence.


Endnotes 1

Haugbolle, S 2010, War and Memory in Lebanon, Cambridge

University Press: New York, p. 8. 2

Ghosn, F & Khoury, A 2011, ‘Lebanon After The Civil War:

Peleikis, ‘The Making and Unmaking of Memories’, p. 143.


Larkin, ‘Beyond the War’, p. 631.


Ali from Aley, a mountain village overlooking Beirut quoted

Peace Or The Illusion Of Peace?’, The Middle East Journal,

in Larkin, ‘Beyond the War’, p. 616.

vol. 65, no. 3, p. 382; Larkin, C 2010 ‘Beyond the War? The


Lebanese Post-memory Experience’, International Journal of

memory refer to: Abdelhady, D 2007, ‘Cultural Production

Middle East Studies, vol. 42, p. 617.

in the Lebanese Diaspora: Memory, Nostalgia and

For further literature on cultural production of post-war


Ghosn & Khoury, ‘Lebanon After The Civil War’, p. 382.

Displacement’, Journal of Political and Military Sociolog y vol. 35,


Ghosn & Khoury, ‘Lebanon After The Civil War’, p. 388.

no. 1, p. 39-62; Khatib, L 2008, Lebanese cinema: imaging


Larkin, ‘Beyond the War? The Lebanese Post-memory

the civil war and beyond, Tauris: London; Hout, Syrine

Experience’, p. 617. 6

For further literature on this issue see: Ghosn & Khoury,

‘Lebanon After The Civil War’, p. 388.

2011, ‘Cultural hybridity, trauma, and memory in diasporic Anglophone Lebanese fiction’, Journal of Postcolonial Writing, vol. 47, no. 3, p. 330-342; Mostafa, D.S 2009, ‘Literary


Ghosn & Khoury, ‘Lebanon After The Civil War’, p. 392.

Representations of Trauma, Memory, and Identity in the


Ibid, p. 388.

Novels of Elias Khoury and Rabi Jabir’, Journal of Arabic


Assi, E.A 2010, ‘Collective memory and management of

Literature, vol. 40, p. 208 -236.

the past: the entrepreneurs of civil war memory in post-war


Lebanon’, International Social Science Journal, vol. 61, no. 202, p.

memory and management of the past’, p. 399-409.




Peleikis, A 2006, ‘The Making and Unmaking of Memories:

For more literature in this field, refer to: Assi, ‘Collective Smaria, D & Cassehgari, R 2014, ‘Failing to Deal with

the Past: What Cost to Lebanon?’, International Center For

The Case of a Multi-Confessional Village in Lebanon’, in

Transitional Justice Report, p. 1-38.

Makdisi, Samir, U & Silverstein, P.A, Memory and violence


Haugebolle, ‘War and Memory in Lebanon, p. 15.

in the Middle East and North Africa, Indiana University Press:


Larkin, ‘Beyond the War’, p. 632

Bloomington, p. 146.


Ibid., p. 621.


Bevan, R 2006, The Destruction of Memory: Architecture at War,


For the purposes of this essay, the term ‘post-war’ will

be used to refer to Lebanese society from 1990 onwards.

Reaktion: London, p. 6.

For further literature on this issue see: Ghosn and Khoury,


Larkin, ‘Beyond the War’, p. 621

‘Lebanon After The Civil War’, p. 381-382.




De Cauter, L 2011, ‘Towards a Phenomenology of Civil War:


Assi, ‘Collective memory and management of the past’, p.

400-401. 13

Khalaf, S 2005, ‘al-Nahar’ 29 March 2005, quoted in

Haugebolle, ‘War and Memory in Lebanon’, p.14.



Hobbes Meets Benjamin in Beirut’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 35, no. 2, p.423. 33

Larkin, C 2009, ‘Reconstructing and Deconstructing Beirut:


Peleikis, ‘The Making and Unmaking of Memories’, p. 144.

Space, Memory and Lebanese Youth’, Conflict in Cities and the


Messara, A 1995, ‘Madha Yatallam al-Talamidha fi Kutub

Contested State Working Paper, no. 8, p.5.

Tarikh Lubnan al-Madrasiyya’, What Do the Students Learn



in School Textbooks on Lebanese History?, al-Difaal-Watani al-


Makarem, H 2012, ‘Downtown Beirut: Between Amnesia

Lubnani, vol. 13, p. 78.

and Nostalgia’, London School of Economics and Political Science,



vol. 1, viewed June 2, 2014, <


Larkin, ‘Beyond the War’, p. 617.



Haugebolle, ‘War and Memory in Lebanon’, p. 1.



Larkin, ‘Beyond the War’, p. 618


Martinez-Garrido, L 2008, ‘Beirut Reconstruction: A

Missed Opportunity for Conflict Resolution’, The Fletcher School



Online Journal on Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization, vol. Fall,


Walls That Speak 2013, Documentary, Aljazeera, Beirut,

p. 7.

viewed June 2, 2013, <


Makarem, ‘Downtown Beirut: Between Amnesia and

Nostalgia’, accessed online.

html>. 55


Architectural reconstruction and reconciliation in Beirut’,


Volk, L 2010, Memorials and martyrs in modern Lebanon, Indiana

Middle East Political and Economic Institute, vol. 1, viewed June

University Press: Bloomington, p.17.

2, 2014, <


Haugebolle, ‘War and memory in Lebanon’, p. 15.



Peleikis writes of the danger of Lebanon’s memories being


‘buried’ and has cited suppressed discussion of the war as a



Badescu, G 2011, ‘‘Do you want to go to Solidere?’:


Schmid, H 2006. ‘Privatized urbanity or a politicized

key contributing factor in the ongoing instability, factionalism

society? Reconstruction in Beirut after the civil war’, European

and violence in Lebanon today. In the opening lecture for the

Planning Studies, vol. 14, no. 3, p.375.

conference ‘Memory for the Future’ held in Beirut in March of


Badescu, ‘‘Do you want to go to Solidere?’’.

2001 Amal Makaram also described the necessity of ‘turning


De Cauter, ‘Phenomenology of the Civil War’, p. 425.

the page’. However, she quickly adds that it is important to


Larkin, ‘Reconstructing and Deconstructing Beirut’, p. 9.

first read the page and undertaking a process of ‘finding out


Badescu, ‘‘Do you want to go to Solidere?’’.

what happened to the dead, the missing and the kidnapped,


Larkin, ‘Reconstructing and Deconstructing Beirut’, p. 13.

listening to stories’. Peleikis, A ‘The Making and Unmaking


Sorkin, M 1992, Variations on a theme park: the new American city

of Memories’, in Memory and violence in the Middle East and North

and the end of public space, Hill and Wang: New York, p. 32. 46

Abowd, A 2013, ‘Book Review: Aseel Sawalha,

Reconstructing Beirut: Memory and Space in a Postwar Arab City’, Anthropological Quarterly, vol. 86, no. 3, p. 923. 47

Young, M April 1, 2007, ‘The battle for downtown: Solidere

symbolizes much’, Executive, viewed June 7, 2014, <http://>. 48

Toufiq, F, Master of the Walls - Beirut’s graffiti...revisited: complex

histories, unspoken meanings and esoteric connotations, East Jerusalem and its Environs, viewed June 10, 2014, <http://www.umam-dr. org/template.php?id=5 >. 49

Haugbolle, S 2005, ‘Public and Private Memory of the

Lebanese Civil War’, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and

Africa, p.145. Images i Schmid, H 2006, ‘Privatized urbanity or a politicized society? Reconstruction in Beirut after the civil war’, European Planning Studies, vol. 14, no. 3, p. 375. ii Battah, Habib, ‘The Beirut Report: Hariri Vs. St. Georges: Eternal Standoff?’, The Beirut Report: Lebanon, the Middle East and its media. hariri-vs-st-georges-eternal-standoff.html (accessed June 7, 2014). iii Holdstock, Nick, ‘Beirut Graffiti’, LRB Blog, http://www. (accessed June 7, 2014). iv Holdstock, Nick, ‘Beirut Graffiti’, LRB Blog, http://www. (accessed June 7, 2014).

the Middle East, vol. 25, no. 1, p.200. 50



NOW News, Tastefully Offensive: The politics of graffiti in

Lebanon’m Now Media, viewed June 10, 2014, <https://now. politics_of_graffiti_in_lebanon>. 52

Larkin, ‘Reconstructing and Deconstructing Beirut’, p. 15.


a march

Amelia Burke


This script is for a female performer. If the text is footnoted, the performer should pay attention to the tone, pacing and general body language of the speaker in the source. However, she should not attempt total mimicry. A rectangular black panel sits upstage and one half of the front facing side is covered in red poppies. The other half is left blank. An AV screen is raised above the panel. The performer is wearing a camouflage army uniform. I look forward to a career of growth and experience and serving my country. I look forward to being in a position of leading troops to complete various missions and tasks. Everything we do today and we do in the future, we strive to live the ANZAC spirit and have the courage to be as brave as those who were before us. Everyday we will remember them.1 The performer goes up to the black panel and moves one of the poppies across to the blank side, her back to the audience. As she does this, the following line appears on the AV screen. Private Allan Thwaites. 9th Batallion, 3rd Brigade, Australian Division Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It was a very exciting time. Well I always remember uh I know one of the high commands addressing it before we leaving the ship to get on to a destroyer. He says, “Well all I can say is to you that it took a lot of er transport to get you here but I’m afraid…the-there won’t be something to get you back.” I always remember that. With that we were put on on to destroyers. And that was a very exciting time. They uh took us all right, as close as possible, in the deepest water. Then we had to get into rowing boats and uh we had to row ashore and we couldn’t get stuck so we had to jump out up, or up, up I suppose up to my hips. And uh with that we made for the shore. But I always remember…uh in my boat was er…was Lietutant Gordon Monroe and he was my platoon advisor and he says uh “Private Thwaithes it sets itself to be.” With that, uh Gordon, made made for the land and we, I come to the invite for a long way, but he eventually never turned, we never saw him again. He went right too far and the Turks…er got him. But that was a very exciting time.2 The performer returns to the panel and moves a second poppy to the blank side. The following line appears on the AV screen as she does this. Murat Ersavci. Turkish Ambassador to Australia between 2006 and 2009.


Anonymous female Junior Officer in the ADF, 2014


Australian Broadcasting Corporation, “Private Allan Thwaites”, Gallipoli: The First Day, aired 2009, Television Broadcast.


The message is this: uh war was futile, definitely, like all wars, it’s very futile. However… there are no other countries in the world that has been able to… change an ancient…war without carrying on the enmity but turning into a very strong, close friendship, a bond, an emotional bond so to speak. And uh… because uh…to be frank I found out more about Canakkale, or Gallipoli as you call it, uh after my arrival into uh Australia the the uh visits, yearly visits, that have been uh…going on especially by young Australians (clears throat) was remarkable and uh the friendship between them that I’ve seen there was also remarkable. So I think my main message is uh let’s…keep on and and tell the world about it, this this uh unique friendship which has not been seen in any other country.3 The projector screen goes blank. The cadet squadrons marched through first. We were kind of asked to hold banners for the ex-serviceman and stuff. Of the different platoons and that sort of thing. And meeting them and…kind of being involved in that was quite-a part of me was like this is amazing because they are being commemorated for something- you know the people who weren’t there obviously- it was remembering them-which is really important because they died serving the country and all that kind of thing but you also kind of think this is a huge thing for a war and wars, all wars, that kind of-they should be celebrated but should they really be celebrated to that degree. Because its kind of like this is something good to do rather than, you know, we don’t want this to happen again because look at how few people survived all these different conflicts and stuff. The performer returns to the panel and moves a third poppy to the blank side. The following line appears on the AV screen as she does this. Charles Bean. Australia’s official war correspondent in WW1. For the Australian, Gallipoli was of course the episode in which the ANZAC tradition was made, the tradition of the AIF. The first tradition was that of going…straight at the job. The uh men who landed there knew that they had to make a tradition for their-we’d never been tried, in that sort of warfare before,



Australian Broadcasting Corporation, “Australian-Turkish relations”, Gallipoli: The First Day, aired 2009, Television Broadcast.

and they were determined to make a success of it. From the start. And from the moment that they landed uh they went straight up that first 300ft slope. It took them 20 minutes to get to the top. And uh, they were determined to make of a success of it and they did. That was really the succe-the suc-secret of the successful landing at the bay.4

The projector screen goes blank. The cadet squadrons marched through first. We were kind of asked to hold banners for the ex-serviceman and stuff. Of the different platoons and that sort of thing. And meeting them and…kind of being involved in that was quite-a part of me was like this is amazing because they are being commemorated for something- you know the people who weren’t there obviously- it was remembering them-which is really important because they died serving the country and all that kind of thing but you also kind of think this is a huge thing for a war and wars, all wars, that kind of-they should be celebrated but should they really be celebrated to that degree. Because its kind of like this is something good to do rather than, you know, we don’t want this to happen again because look at how few people survived all these different conflicts and stuff.5 The performer returns to the panel and moves a fourth poppy to the blank side. The following line appears on the AV screen as she does this. Private Tom Usher. 9th Battalion, 3rd Brigade, Australian Division, Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. A lot of them got drowned too with the weight of the ah packs and that. [Pause.] Scramble ashore and take shelter as quick as you could. [Pause.] You’re only lookin afta yourself, you couldn’t worry about the other bloke. You had ta get gedda gedda ashore as quick as you can. Just keep y-your raft floatin above your head. Ke-Keep that dry. I remember one bloke he got hit in the mouth he like lost part of his tongue he-I couldn’t understand he was talking about. Course they were hoping to get some of them on the ships as quick as they could. They weren’t prepared for the ah, for the slaughter. Y-you try to forget it you know…sad. Aw s-some-some of my-some of the best mates I ever had. [Sighs.]6


ABC Radio National Podcasts, “World War One Correspondents”, aired 2008.


Anonymous female civilian, 2011


Australian Broadcasting Corporation, “Private Tom Usher”, Gallipoli: The First Day, aired 2009, Television Broadcast.


The performer returns to the panel, pauses, and turns back to the audience. So I just went downstairs, turned on the light and opened the door and… um, it’s-you read about it in books and you see it in TV shows and on movies where someone opens the door…and there are men and women there in uniform…but to actually have it happen…I can’t even put it in to words.7 The performer turns back to the panel and moves a fifth poppy to the blank side. The following line appears on the AV screen as she does this. Gary Oakley. President of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans and Services Association of Australia. I always get the impression that it’s all about this like god-hero types, you know these tall, lanky, fair-haired Australians landing on this far away place to to you know to make a name for themselves in the world…and it leaves out the indigenous person totally um…so I really I don’t think it means a great deal…to to indigenous people as part of the nation-making thing but it does mean a great deal to indigenous people, to be able to say: we had men there and they served too. And … through recognition that will that will come about it’s just that um we now have to knuckle down and find these, find these stories…so that the rest of Australia will be able to say the myth does include…its original inhabitants.8 The performer returns to the panel and moves a sixth poppy to the blank side. The Gallipoli film clip is shown via the AV screen.9 After the clip, the performer moves a seventh poppy across to the blank side of the panel. The following line appears on the AV screen as she does this. Paul Keating. Prime Minister of Australia between 1991 and 1996. Homage to these people has to be homage to them and about them and not to some idealised or jingoistic reduction of what their lives really meant. One thing is certain: young Australians, like the young Europeans I mentioned earlier, can no longer be dragooned en masse into military enterprises of the former imperial variety on the whim of so-called statesmen. They are fortunately too wise to

Elvi Wood, female civilian, 2013. Australian Broadcasting Corporation, “Gary Oakley: President of ATSIVA”, Gallipoli: The First Day, aired 2009, Television Broadcast. 9 “Gallipoli”, dir. Peter Weir, DVD, Paramount, 1981. 10 Sydney Morning Herald, “Paul Keating decries Great War in Remembrance Day address”, 2013, federal-politics/political-news/paul-keating-decries-great-war-in-remembrance-day-address-20131111-2xbla.html 7 8


the world to be cannon fodder of the kind their young forebears became: young innocents who had little or no choice.10 The performer returns to the panel and moves an eighth poppy to the blank side. The following line appears on the AV as she does this. John Howard. Prime Minister of Australia between 1996 and 2007. Well I think I think how people rightly see it is a is is a time and a place and an event, tragic one, that that-that put some wonderful Australian characteristics on display. There is a very strong emotional thing about Gallipoli. It has been taken to the bosom by every generation of Australians. It’s the, it’s the…undisputed, iconic moment in Australian history. No matter how hard some people may try to say that it shouldn’t be like that or it wasn’t like that, the fact is it it’s got this place in our hearts and our history that will never be removed.11

The AV screen goes blank. I guess when you learn about it in school and when you, I don’t know, watch the movie it’s all about mateship and it’s not mateship between women, or between men and women, it’s mateship between men. Of course it probably was mostly men because I think women have only recently been allowed on the front line, or are still not. So…I guess there is some emphasis on what they did back home and how that support helped, you know, Australia not collapse and stuff like that. It wasn’t like they were sitting back and waiting for everyone to come back. I guess it depends on how…much the emphasis is placed on…the people who actually fought and, I don’t know, where that priority lies. I guess in some ways it was the men that fought and the men that died, predominantly, so can you really be like “oh but women did this”, “we’re also important”.12 End.

11 12

Australian Broadcasting Corporation, “John Howard”, Gallipoli: The First Day, aired 2009, Television Broadcast. Anonymous female civilian, 2014.



Remembering The Troubles

Harvey Duckett Arts 2

The Troubles was a period of ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland in the latter half of the twentieth century. It was waged between the Loyalists, who wanted Northern Ireland to retain ties with Britain, and the Republicans, who desired a united Ireland divorced from Britain. Drawing upon the theories of Bergoffen and Lacan, this essay will probe how the British cannot remember the conflict in an intersubjective way.1 Instead they selectively remember it through a narrative and Symbolic order that foregrounds infractions against them and neglects the terror their nation-state inflicted upon the Irish in order to fortify their ideal-ego of resilient victim.2 Through the Symbolic register, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) paramilitary was judicially constructed and is remembered as the terrorist, British claims to victimhood are legitimated and their own state terror is rendered an ideological axiom – traceless.3 The essay will then explore how the British inability to remember has impacted the Irish. As the constituent that bore the brunt of death and damage during the Troubles, the Irish experienced the most trauma, the most Real. Yet the Symbolic register at the disposal of the Irish is that imposed upon them by the British. The official state-sanctioned memory of the British imagination has infected the Symbolic and rendered it inadequate to overlay the Irish’s Real.4 Consequently the Irish remain stuck in cyclic perpetuation of violence; it has become their own Symbolic register. It is a way to remember, construct and consolidate group memory, to assert remembrance vis-à-vis the hegemonic British desire to forget. The thesis statement would be better rephrased, as ‘The Irish cannot forget because the British cannot remember’. If the British were to engage in dialogue that recognised and reified Irish claims to subjectivity and subsequently engaged in a shifting of the Symbolic order, perhaps a ‘dynamic relationship of memory and forgetting’5 could be achieved. Although it focuses on America and 9/11, tenets of Bergoffen’s work are applicable to how the British remember the Troubles. Britain is a powerful nation, the dominant constituent in Anglo-Irish relations, which continually and historically imagines itself as resilient victim. Stephens and Dawson note that in the aftermath of the 2005 London bombings, British newspapers ran reports that paralleled the contemporary Islamic terrorist attacks with those of the IRA bombing campaigns that took place on English soil.6 The media reaffirmed Britain as a mediating state, innocently caught in crossfire between ‘warring tribes’7. In the Troubles, the tribes were Republicans and Loyalists, paralleling the United States and Iraq. Memories of the IRA attacks coalesced with newly formed ones of the 2005 attacks to perpetuate trans historical British imaginings of itself as victim and, by implication, of the IRA as the aggressor-other. This imaginative remembering was not limited to retroactive construction; throughout the Troubles cultural iconography etched IRA attacks and their attrition of innocents into the collective British memory. After a bomb exploded in Hyde Park in 1982, killing 12 soldiers on horseback, it was one of the surviving horses, not a soldier, which was instituted as an enduring national symbol of resistance to the violence of the IRA.8 Both during and after the conflict, a narrative of victimisation for Britain was constituted.

However, McKittrick and McVea also note that attacks on English soil were sporadic, few, and 165

incurring a low death toll relative to the total 3636 killed in Ireland throughout the Troubles.9 The attacks are remembered only because of their political impact, concomitant with Feldman’s assertion that events do not have innate significance in and of themselves, but are imbued with significance by state powers.10 They helped comprise a narrative for the British integral to their formation of domination. The British foregrounded attacks against them, whilst neglecting the context in which they arose. They do not acknowledge their part in either perpetuating the conflict, through acts of terror committed by the state, or instigating it.11 Dawson, McKittrick and Mcvea, and Bew and Patterson surmise that by instituting the State of Northern Ireland in 1921, the British were responsible for the tensions that erupted in 1960s.12 The British also nullified the conspicuousness of their own terror though the judicial construction of the terrorist other. Dawson argues that the polarising ideological discourse of terrorism was used to curtail any possible dialogue between the British and Irish by denying Republicans a voice and right to identification by ascribing categories of criminality and terrorism to them.13 The British cannot remember the conflict in a way that would invite subjectivity. The reason that that the British cannot remember, rather than it simply being a matter of choice, lies in Lacanian ideas of the sacrosanctity of the ideal-imagination of nation, the ideal-ego. As an ‘imagined community’,14 conception of the nation is bound up with the sense of self.15 Just as the proverbial Other is looked to in the Mirror stage to inform desires and sense of identity, so too is the nation state seen as the informant of our Imago when we move beyond the Mirror stage and become embroiled in ‘the dialectic… that links the I to socially elaborated situations’16. The nation-state comes to occupy the space of the Other, the body ideal which confers upon subjects a constitution of their own united body through the Symbolic order, and its Imago unity is paramount; we equate any attack on it as tantamount to an attack upon our own united self.17 As a result, if it is perceived to be under threat, subjects cannot help but justify violence as recourse.18 State terror is rendered implicit in repressive state ideology. It becomes traceless, and, somewhat paradoxically, the interpellation of victim holds steady as a result. The British literally cannot remember the Troubles in a way that acknowledges Irish subjectivity, their claims to trauma, because to do so would be to do the unthinkable, to precipitate exposure to discourse implying they were the aggressor, that they are the categorically defined terrorist. It would undercut their entire Imaginative and Symbolic construction of victimhood. Lacan contends that the Imaginary register, both at the level of the self and of nation, is crucial to development of identity.19 However, there exists a danger that the body ideal constituted can become incompatible with the other registers. The self, in its narcissistic and megalomaniac adherence to the Imago, will be unable to conceive of the Real in an ethical fashion and will consequently distort the Symbolic (the ego-ideal) as a coping mechanism. This is arguably what has happened with British imagination. Through cultural memory production, certain events have been interwoven into a historical narrative that reaffirms the myth of the self, and Britain, as unwaveringly innocent and resilient in the face of enemy evils.20 Yet such Imaginative cannot adequately cover the Real in a way that invites the requisite intersubjectivity.21 The Bloody Sunday incident of 1972 exemplifies this. Tthe pivotal question, “Who fired first?”, was not dealt with by the British in dialogue with the Irish 166

imagination and memories held by survivors and onlookers, but instead by imposing an official memory through the symbols of ‘the Government, army and the judiciary’22. The Real, the killing of civilian marchers in Londonderry by the British army, was at its base a threat to the British memory of innocence and, as Lacan states, any threat to this ideal-ego must be destroyed. The Widgery Report exonerated the soldiers from responsibility and, as a key ‘memory-text’,23 has had lasting implications for how Britain at large conceives of its role in the conflict. Although the British government has now formally apologised for the killings, the use of such a judicial symbol achieved what it set out to do at the time, to quash the memories of the other – ‘they were marginalised or forgotten’24 – and to ensure that the British narrative of innocence, and by implication of the other as guilty, was maintained. The British Imaginary also infected the Symbolic in regards to which cultural markers have not been permitted to exist in the Irish space. Devenny and McLaughlin report that Northern Ireland’s Art Council has spent £3.3million on whitewashing many of the murals that adorn Belfast’s public spaces, those that symbolically inscribe the Irish version of events.25 Murer argues that such memorials can forestall workingthrough, but Graham and Whelan rightly suggest that they are instead highly symbolic and key to memory.26 Removing these inscriptions, and ensuring memorialisation is distant and geographically obscure (there are no state-deigned memorials in the state, only outside of it), again demonstrates how the British imagination of innocence, the fervent inability to remember, has polluted the validity of the Symbolic. The British are unable to accept the force of the limit, to consciously realise the insufficiencies of their hegemonic Symbolic order to properly overlay the Real, lest it compromise their ideal-imagination.27 This has had devastating and distortive consequences for the Irish. As an ancillary of Great Britain proper, Ireland has the British state’s Symbolic imposed upon them yet the Real it experienced, trauma borne of decades of conflict, has largely been neglected by this hegemon’s Symbolic. The extent to which this has prevented the Irish from conceptualising and working-through their own lived experiences is epitomised in Alex Nash’s recount of violence.28 His fragmented, heavily elliptic speech demonstrates the insufficiency of linguistic structures at his disposal to adequately describe his experience of the Real. It is not so much, as Hutchinson contends, that trauma uniformly ‘destroys the understanding that patterns of language have…constituted’29. In the case of the Troubles, the language was used constructively, to reaffirm British memory. It was only the Irish that had their understanding destroyed. The Irish ideal-ego conception of self, community and nation was catatonically fragmented. They have used memory to re-member, to realign, but their memory has different impetus to the British: they cannot forget the Troubles. Feldman notes how the Irish perceive forgetting The Troubles as tantamount to an abrogation of political subjecthood.30 Remembering is imperative to them constituting their own ideal-ego, their own right to subjectivity. Having been denied a representative Symbolic register, violence and attrition is the only path to this. In a way, violence itself has become their Symbolic register. Feldman probes how the continuation of lawless beatings and killings are symptomatic of how violence has superseded the conventional Symbolic

order in contemporary Belfast - it has become the coda for memory and meaning for many because judicial and state-deigned symbols leave ‘vast realms of experience un-narrated’31. Freud’s delineation of


the ‘Death Instinct’, in tandem with Lacan’s precept of the aggressivity of the ego, shows how killing or irrevocably maiming the enemy-other can help nullify the potency of the others’ narrative and, in Ireland, even death and violence against the self or group-self can be beneficial for memory.32 McVittick and McVea invoke the martyrdom of the hunger strikers during the Troubles to discuss how the body can be appropriated as a symbol of defiance to hegemonic narratives and binaries, such as that of the criminal that the British state was attempting to ascribe to Irish inmates.33 Finally, ‘the funeral ceremony’ nationalises and reifies the Irish ego-imaginary, particularly for Republicans.34 In spite of there being no actual nationstate entity for their fallen to be enshrined in, nationalising them through the Symbolic order of violence, contextualising their struggle, allows a United Ireland to be imagined as a tangible, desired future – in spite of how much British official memory says otherwise. The Irish’s inability to forget is therefore inextricably linked to the British’s inability to remember - but this is not irremediable. McKittrick and McVea posit that fractious relations between the British and Irish will persist because of the severity of violence that both parties inflicted, but Murer offers a more nuanced view in arguing it is the stultified Symbolic order, and the hegemonic, homogenous structure of British memory, that impedes reconciliation.35 The victim-aggressor binary is not implacable; in conjunction with MerleauPonty’s theory on the fluidity of the Symbolic, this suggests more ethical remembrance is possible if the British can engage in dialogue with the Irish in a way that does acknowledge their subjectivity, the validity of their own trauma, and their right to claim victimhood and recalibrate the Symbolic order accordingly.36 In being able to draw memory and meaning from the symbolic Other with the aid of symbols in the intermediate space, rather than simply from reproductive violence, Ireland would be able to forget. It would not have to look to the Troubles as informer of its memory in totality, but would instead subsume the conflict into a broader historical schema that acknowledges ambivalence in Anglo-Irish relations.37 The British and Irish constructed incommensurable narratives of the Troubles. The British narrative aggrandised the conflict into their transhistorical memory, an ideal-ego of resilient victim and mediator of conflicts to which they were not properly party, allowing them to ‘exonerate themselves from responsibility’38, and render any terror they committed axiomatic, traceless. This ‘politics of innocence that refused to recognise the subject status of the other’ assumed such preponderance that it infected the Symbolic register with its demands.39 The media, law, and other cultural/judicial ‘symbolic artefacts’40 pivoted on asserting this official narrative at any cost. The British cannot remember the Troubles in any other way than through a narrative of victimhood. For the Irish, however, such an Imaginary, and Symbolic ordering, is incompatible with their lived experience. They resorted to violence as a means of re-membering and reinscribing their own narrative, and continue to perpetuate it because they cannot forget. Iit is imperative that they remember, otherwise they risk losing their subjecthood and submitting to a hegemonic narrative which remembers them as the politically-defined terrorist. In order for the Irish to forget, the British must remember in a way that recognises Irish claims to the narrative. It is the only way that the Symbolic can be reinscribed, thereby disrupting the pathological imagination of Britain and allowing for

more equanimity when remembering the terror of the Troubles.


Endnotes Bergoffen, D.B 2006, ‘Between the ethics and politics of innocence’, Australian Feminist Law Journal, vol. 24, p. 49-68; Lacan, J 1977, ‘Aggressivity in psychoanalysis’, in Ecrits: A selection, WW Norton & Company: New York;Lacan, J 1982, ‘The meaning of the phallus’, in Feminine sexuality: Jacques Lacan and the ecole freudienne, WW Norton & Company: New York; Lacan, J 2006, ‘The mirror stage as formative of the function of I as revealed in psychoanalytic experience’, in Ecrits: the first complete edition in English, WW Norton & Company: New York. 2 Stephens, AC 2007, “Seven million Londoners, one London’: National and urban ideas of community in the aftermath of the 7 July 2005 bombings in London’, Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, vol. 32, p. 155-176. 3 Dawson, G 2007, Making peace with the past?: memory, trauma and the Irish Troubles, Manchester University Press: Manchester. 4 Ibid., p. 90. 5 Murer, JS 2009, ‘Constructing the enemy-other: anxiety, trauma and mourning in the narratives of political conflict’, 1

Pyschoanalysis, Culture & Society, vol. 14, p. 109-130. 6 Stephens, ‘Seven million Londoners’, 159; Dawson, Making peace with the past?, 330. 7 McKittrick, D & McVea, D 2000, Making sense of the Troubles, Blackstaff, Belfast, p. 150-238. 8 Ibid., p. 150. 9 Ibid, p.91 10 Manktelow, R 2007, ‘The needs of victims of the Troubles in Northern Ireland: the social work contribution’, Journal of Social Work, vol. 7 no. 1, pp. 31-50. 11 Feldman, A 2003, ‘Political terror and the technologies of memory: excuse, sacrifice, commodification, and actuarial moralities’, Radical History Review, vol. 85, pp. 58-73 12 Dawson, Making peace with the past?, p. xvii; 13 McKittrick & McVea, Making sense of the Troubles, p. 91; Bew, P & Patterson, H 1985, The British state and the Ulster crisis: from Wilson to Thatcher, Verso: London. 14 Dawson, Making peace with the past?, pp. 145-7.


Anderson, B 2006, ‘Conceptual Definition of Nationalism’, Imagined communities: reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism, Verso: London, pp. 5-10. 16 Murer, J.S 2009, ‘Constructing the enemy-other: anxiety, trauma and mourning in the narratives of political conflict’, Pyschoanalysis, Culture & Society, vol. 14, pp.109-130. 17 Lacan, The Mirror Stage as Formative, p. 5. 18 Murer, Constructing the enemy-other, pp. 113-14; Lacan, Aggressivity in psychoanalysis, pp. 39-42. 19 Bergoffen, ‘Between the ethics and politics of innocence’, p. 51, 54. 20 Ibid., p. 40. 21 Stephens, ‘Seven million Londoners’, p. 159. 22 Bergoffen, ‘Between the ethics and politics of innocence’, p. 52. 23 Dawson, Making peace with the past?, p. 90, 115. 24 Ibid. 25 Ibid., p. 90. 26 Devenny, D & McLaughlin, I 2010, ‘Whitewashing Northern Ireland’s notorious murals’, The Observers, viewed 20 April 2014, <>. 27 Murer, ‘Constructing the enemy-other’, p. 127; Graham, B & Whelan, Y 2007, ‘The legacies of the dead: commemorating the Troubles in Northern Ireland’, Environment and Planning D: Society & Space, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 476-495. 28 Lacan, ‘The meaning of the phallus’, p. 2. 15

Dawson, Making peace with the past?, p. 134. Hutchinson, E 2008, The politics of post-trauma emotions: securing community after the Bali bombing, Dept. of International Relations, RSPAS, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University: Canberra. 31 Feldman, Political terror and the technologies of memory, p. 65. 32 Ibid., p. 61. 33 Freud, S 1991, ‘Why War?’, in (eds.) Richards, A & Dickson, A, The Penguin Freud library: volume 12: civilisation, society, and religion, Penguin: London, pp. 357-58. 34 McKittrick & McVea, Making sense of the Troubles, pp. 138-48; Feldman, Political Terror and the Technologies of Memory, p.65. 35 Feldman, Political terror and the technologies of memory, p. 65. 36 McKittrick & McVea, Making sense of the Troubles, pp. 242-8; Murer, ‘Constructing the enemy-other’, pp. 69-70. 37 Merleau-Ponty M 1964, Signs, Northwestern University Press: Northwestern. 38 Murer, ‘Constructing the enemy-other’, pp. 126-28. 39 Lacan, ‘Aggressivity in psychoanalysis’, p. 60; McKittrick & McVea, Making sense of the Troubles, p. 238. 40 Bergoffen, ‘Between the ethics and politics of innocence’, pp. 53 - 56. 41 Bergoffen, ‘Between the ethics and politics of innocence’, pp. 53 - 56. 42 Hutchinson, The politics of post-trauma emotions. 29 30

Blue Band

One Poet Says

Blue band across the screen

A poet friend

Marks textual life and death,

highlights words, phrases, lines

Life and death, and the heart’s

that speak to her soul not her intellect.


Maybe she does not mean soul; certainly that bit of self that

River, death, life flows across it,

is less self-conscious.

River, life, death. it stops, Never the same river twice.

So she sets aside reflection, to silence Wyndham Lewis’

Life flows on a bed of


gross sand and pebbles.

that intervenes between

And a pike

feeling and perception,

sits under a ledge

and expressing them.

to stalk life’s prey. Feeling and perception though, need form’s Procrustean bed, to wrestle perception into communication, multiple meanings, the pleasure of hearing, vision evoked.

Michael Stone Selected Poems


Friends, Again

Unlike the bard’s

Years ago,

tomorrow always comes,

after reading Francis Bacon,

today is always here

I wrote of friends, trying

and now

to judge -- friends on the take

and when

or friends in heart, mind.

and where not? Now is the age to write In the morning it is

not a wisdom poem

today and

or adages for my age

at noon and at night.

but of friends, knowing

Light puts on

the ambiguities and greys

an orchestrated show

of selves, yours and mine,

in all its hues

of friends I have, and of others lost,

of blue and green, bright heat and

friends winnowed,

dawn grey.

thinned out by life’s scythe, by our bodies’ common fate,

Pink and grey clouds

by living.

today. Sun and shadows

Then, I did not know.

today. Night’s somber gloom

Friends are made readily

ends the today.

when you are young

And what ensues?

and do not have a lot of past living

Today again and

to remember.

dawn grey. New friends are a miracle. Now I know, but then I did not recognise it.

Why Do we Still Read Plato? Interview With Graham Priest Alexander Handley Arts 3


Graham Priest is a contemporary Australian

ancient, texts just the best resource we have at the moment?

philosopher whose areas of study include logic, and Eastern and Buddhist philosophy.

The best resource we have is our own head to think through these things. But certainly,

The central question that we will discuss today is ‘why do

understanding what people have said about these

philosophers still use texts from over two thousand years

things and their reasons is a valuable resource.

ago?’ This seems to be phenomenon that is specific to

And it’s not just that there are no new ideas in

philosophy. So, to use simple words, why do we still read

philosophy coming forward, there certainly are,

old dead guys?

but it’s good to have a broad prospective. It’s good to engage both with more current ideas but also

It’s certainly a question that many people do ask

more of the older variety. I mean, the thoughts of

and some people might suggest that because we

intelligent people provide people like you and me

are reading things that are two thousand years

with a resource to think through these questions

old that there may be no progress in philosophy

for ourselves.

at all. I don’t mean to be unfair but it may give that impression. So why do we read these things?

So do people from other fields from academia have access to

Well, I think for several reasons but for me the

this resource pool of knowledge as well? Do they treat their

most important answer is that we’re reading the

history in the same way that philosophy does?

thoughts of really smart people and their ideas are not to be ignored. Philosophy is a subject, much

I don’t think so. I mean it seems to me that the

of which involves issues that are a concern to all

relationship between philosophy and its history is

people, at all times; such as how to live. It’s good

kind of a very distinctive thing about philosophy.

to think about the ideas that smart people have

Certainly scientists do not read the history of

had about these things and use their ideas and

science – well if they do it’s a side interest. They

arguments to try and figure out whether what you

do not read Newton because they think they’ll

think about is true. I mean as I’m sure you know,

learn things from him. But I think the history of

in philosophy there’s no such thing as definitive

philosophy plays such a central role in the teaching

answers; in a philosophy class you’ve never been

of philosophy and I cannot think of any other

told that you should believe this particular theory

areas like that.

but you have to work it out for yourself. Thinking through all these ideas that have been raised by all

So what specific benefits do we get out of reading authors

these bright people for the last two thousand years

of the past? Is it in the same sense that after you listen to

is a very good way to get your own ideas on the

your favourite album for the twentieth time that you learn or


hear something new, is that similar to the reinterpretation of Plato or other authors in antiquity?

You made the point that philosophical questions are a concern for everyone; how should one live, what makes a

Well I think there are two issues here: first of all

person, what makes a work of art? Are answers, or clues

to a certain extent it is like reading a great work

even, for these questions found throughout philosophy’s

of art for the seventeenth time or listening to a

history? Have they already been concluded or are these, often

great opera for the seventeenth time. And, much 175

as with a great piece of creation like this, it has a

to make their case. They were the lawyers of their

depth such that you can go back to it and hear,

day. You want someone to support your case? Well

read, or understand more in it than before. So

they would be hired to martial your arguments for

certainly generations of philosophers have gone


back to Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and seen things that maybe Plato or the author had no idea was

So if Plato gave a solid case two thousand years ago and

there embedded in their work. When you create

sufficiently resolved the issue over that long, then how has it

something you’re not conscious of everything that’s

cropped up again in the recent past? Is this a case of people

there. Maybe we can see things that were invisible

who are not giving due consideration and reading of that

to Plato. That’s one reason why.


There’s another reason: there are a lot of

I mean ideas often come back. This is true in

important things in Plato that are highly relevant

philosophy and this is true of Plato himself.

and contain great debates, and if you do not read

Plato has rematerialised many times in different

Plato you won’t know. Take Post-Modernism, a

times in different guises in the history of Western

view of the late twentieth century and it holds

Philosophy. The views that there are no objective

there are no grand narratives, there’s no objective

truths, there is no knowledge, these are very

knowledge, there’s no such thing as objective

interesting views and you don’t expect them

truth. This is a sort of paraphrase, rushing

to disappear entirely from the scene. They are

over a number of things, but the view’s in that

certainly interesting and they can be thoughtful

ballpark. This is a view that Plato detested and

views, it’s not as though a view disappears. It is

attacked. In several of his dialogues, particularly

not uncommon in philosophy for a view to be

his Theaetetus, he delivered an enormous attack

popular for some time to then fall out of favour

on the people of his generation who held similar

when people think they can find something wrong

views. So I’m sure that most people who style

against it, and then maybe it resurfaces again

themselves as Post-Modernist have never read

several hundred years later. Consider Aristotelian

Plato on these matters. If they did it’d give them

ethics – virtue ethics – when for a long time

something to think about.

the ethical scene in European Philosophy was done by majority Deontological from Kant, or

Is this something Plato references to Sophistry or similar to

Utilitarianism with Mill and Bentham. Virtue


ethics was nowhere and we’ve seen a resurgence as people start to think about Aristotle again and see

Yes, a number of the people he was attacking were

new ways of articulating his work.

Sophists. The word Sophists is a vague term, so


I think most of the people he was attacking, like

Okay, so you expect interesting and possibly

Gorgias and Protagoras, could be labelled Sophists

profound ideas to come back even when they fall

in some sense. What he really detested about

out of fashion. But when they come back it’s a good

Sophists was that they were hired guns, they really

idea if the people who are sort of running with

were not interested in truth. They would solicit

these ideas know the past so that they don’t just do

their services to whoever would pay them money

things that have been simply refuted in the past, or

make sure they are not reinventing the wheel. So

the questions and evidence, and then make up your

when the idea comes back it’s a good idea to know

mind about what you think is the answer based on

how this has been discussed before just so you

the evidence as it seems to you.

learn from these prior discussions. I take philosophy to be a truth seeking exercise If we wanted to know about Utilitarianism, why should we

in the way that science is because it shares many

read, say, Mill instead of someone more recent, like Peter

different features with science. But I don’t take art


to be a truth seeking enterprise, which is not to say you cannot use art to express certain views.

Well the simple answer is there’s lots of Mill you

Also it’s not to say that you cannot learn things

don’t find in Singer. Singer has obviously learnt

from reading great works of literature but someone

Mill well and is able to address a number of issues

who writes a great work of art, a great work of

brought against people like Mill, so in that sense

literature or an opera for example, I don’t think is

he’s able to develop Utilitarian thought. But you

trying to answer important questions in a way that

know like most great philosophers there’s a lot

philosophy does. The aim of art is to produce a

that can be learnt from reading Mill and I think

great work of art, it’s not to find what’s true about

for example you find a lot of political philosophy

God or how to live et cetera.

in Mill that’s not so present in Singer who’s not so concerned in political issues and it appears Mill

Do you think then, it’s a characteristic of good philosophy if

spends a lot more time thinking about political

it is timeless as a resource for future applications, study, or

issues than Peter does. And I think that’s one of the

works of philosophy?

valuable things that you can learn from Mill. I think the best philosophy is timeless in that sense. Earlier you likened art history and art appreciation to

I think the problems with dealing with and the

philosophy; how does philosophy and its engagement with

possible ideas for solving problems will always be

its history differ from art appreciation given that in the

deep in a certain sense, deep in a sense that you

sense that art is building on the movement from before, or

can read them and learn more. That doesn’t mean

sometimes there can be a resurgence from the past, Neo-

that all philosophy is great philosophy; 99.99% of

Gothic architecture for example.

all the stuff that’s published in philosophy journals now will not be read in five years’ time let alone

Well this is true. Fashions of art come and go in

500 years’ time and so is different than great

a certain sense, when they reappear they always


reappear in a morphed form and that’s true of philosophy as well. The answer to your question

If we are still consulting past philosophers, and we gain a

is: I take philosophy to be a truth seeking exercise.

lot from them as resources, and we still have much the same

There are important philosophical questions such

problems, what constitutes progress in philosophy?

as the ones you mentioned before, and what we’re trying to do is figure out good answer to them.

There are a number of possible ways of addressing

Now we’re never going to find definitive answers

that question. One is we learn new questions

to them. That doesn’t mean you cannot consider

because often philosophical questions are provided 177

by the realms of other areas, like in science,

by the development of the scientific method and

like art, or like psychology. If progress occurred

you can say similar things for economics and

by simply learning new questions it would be

their schools. I think once people understand that

rather a thin sense of progress. I think in a much

there’s a methodology appropriate for a particular

more important sense progress occurs because

area that it breaks away.

our understanding gets deeper. We think about questions people have thought about for two

So in some sense philosophy is dwindling but in

thousand years but we understand these questions

another sense what philosophy gives away with

better now, we understand the possible solutions

one hand it takes back with the other. Because as

that have been given. We understand better the

I said, as these areas develop they all throw up

ramifications, the strengths and weaknesses. This

questions that are philosophical questions. So take

is partially because we’ve had longer to think

a very obvious example: when science developed

about them, partially because light has been shed

in the nineteenth century it first started dealing

on these questions by other areas like science

very seriously with unobserved entities like light

but I would not put too fine a point on it. I think

and sub-atomic particles. How is one meant to

we understand Plato better than Plato did, not

understand this? It’s not a really scientific question,

because we are smarter but because we’ve had a lot

because the answer of which doesn’t really affect

of time and resources that Plato didn’t have.

your scientific practice. Are these theoretical

So there are areas that were once philosophy and

concepts which talk about unobservable things,

are now psychology or physics for example. And if

things like atoms, are they real in the same way

we look back at philosophy’s history, what does this

that tables and chairs are, or are they more fictional

mean for the future of philosophy? Does this mean

devices which allow us to calculate and make

it will it become smaller as a school or perhaps

predictions? So that’s a philosophical question

more specific? And in relation, when is something

that has been hammered around by philosophy

distinct as philosophy and when does it jump over

in the twentieth century and is just an example of

to another discipline, say science?

many. There are advances in thinking about new problems in various fields that find their way back


Factually if you look through the history of

into philosophy. Philosophy is not simply dwindling;

philosophy nearly all of the enquiries we think of

it’s been enriched by the stock of new problems

as science or social science were part of philosophy

over time. That leaves the obvious question; is it the

at some time and they had gradually broken

case that every question that has originally been

away from philosophy. Physics, psychology, and

raised by philosophy will eventually morph into a

economics – when did they break away? The

different area? That’s a very hard question. I guess

answer is contentious but often they break away

my own view that it is very, very doubtful. You

when a distinctive methodology is appropriate

could imagine certain questions in the philosophy

for the particular question. So there isn’t in any

of mind leaving philosophy like the nature of mind

sense a specific philosophical methodology;

leaving philosophy and going towards cognitive

philosophers, they think, they argue, but you

science, that might well happen. I would be very

wouldn’t really call that a specific methodology.

surprised if ethics or metaphysics ever went in the

But the rise of modern science is brought about

same direction.

progress in philosophy is marked by a broadening and So an example of these philosophically inexhaustible

deepening of ideas, perhaps you could give an example of a

questions could be: what is a good life or how should I live?

recent idea that has been broadened and deepened over your philosophical career, or one that you’ve been part of?

Exactly, it’s hard to see how that could ever become the target of a special science, which is

Alright, so over the last forty years, I’m going

not to say that things need special sciences to be

to give you two examples. One concerns the

relevant to this, of course they’re relevant, but I

Philosophy of Mind, the PoM deals with questions

doubt there will ever be a science of the good life.

like how do you understand what mental states are and how they work and so on. And fifty years

You raised something before regarding the emerging problems

ago the sort of dominant view would have been

that come up; do you think that philosophers themselves

Behaviourism and then mind-brain identity

are better placed to deal with these incoming advances of

became very popular so, not just mental states –

the next few decades? Can we consult Hegel on his opinion

brain states. Now those views are problematic and

on the possibility of an artificial intelligence singularity,

so there are new accounts of the nature of mental

or perhaps even Aristotle when evaluating Australia’s

states. A very popular one is functionalism, so

immigration policy? Is that how this works with using

mental states are something to do with functional

philosophy’s history as a resource?

states of, and probably in its most popular form, bio-organisms. That’s given us a whole new

Yes, you can certainly consult parts of philosophers

perspective on these things and you know to

for the ideas they’ve had which are relevant to

what extent that view is right? We’re still arguing

contemporary issues. I’m not sure if you’d get

about it. That’s a very significant change in the

much out of Hegel on the topic of the singularity

landscape. Interestingly enough, a lot of impetus

but I mean take some other issues, there are lots

for development came from computer science

of things, one of them is just that we now have

because it’s no coincidence that around the 50s

the ability to use medical technology to do the

and 60s theoretical computer science was really

things that we had no way of knowing to do in

hitting its strides and a lot of people thought, ‘Hey,

the past. And generally speaking technology is

you know, maybe we can understand people and

big and can be used for the good of the people,

their mental states in the same way we understand

but also these things are very expensive and you

computational states’. Computational states are

can’t fund everything, so there’s a question of

sort of functional states of the computer. That’s

how do you distribute resources? In a regime of

an interesting example in the development of the

scarcity, relative scarcity, that’s a hard problem,

Philosophy of Mind inspired by developments in

and certainly you will find answers to that question

another area. So that’s one example.

in past philosophers like Mill, like Aristotle. They may never have been in this type of situation

Another example is developments in gender studies

before as it is new but it gives one resources for

and Feminism. So its not as if feminist thought

addressing this kind of issue.

started in the 1960s, far from it, there have been good feminist thinkers for many hundreds of

Returning to a point you made earlier, you mentioned that

years but because of social conditions feminism 179

has become much more of a pressing issue in the

the other way. Economic power usually goes

second half of the twentieth century. The social

hand in hand with the cultural power. So now the

conditions were, in the first and second world wars,

West is having to learn to deal with Asian ideas

men went off to war and women had to work in

whether it wants to or not, I think that’s part of

the factories, so we saw a slow change in social

the story. Historical situations are always complex,

ethos and that forced a number of questions in

and I’m not saying that’s the only thing, I mean

gender studies that forced them to be addressed in

another thing - the Chinese invasion of Tibet and

a way that hadn’t before. The 60s, 70s, 80s, and

the Tibetian diaspora, the fact that American

90s saw the development of all kinds of feminist

GI’s went to Japan and bought back ideas - so

views - Marxist feminists, liberal feminists, radical

it’s complex as I said. But I think the economic

feminists - these issues of a gender approach just

thing is an important part of it, I don’t want to be

were not on the agenda before the 1960s. I think

misunderstood about this. I don’t think Western

that was a really interesting development in the

philosophers engage with these ideas just because

history of philosophy.

of economic reasons. I think that these are some of the factors that bring them to Westerners’ attention

In reference to your paper regarding how philosophy will

and when they see them they can recognise that

look in the twenty-first century, you wrote at length on

hey these are interesting ideas, they’re just as

Eastern philosophy. In terms of development in the history

interesting as Plato or Kant. Lets be thinking

of philosophy, what effects do you think have opened up

about them. The question was especially what has

our perceptions or changed our attitudes towards Eastern

happened to change the situation.

philosophers, or what conditions? So have we increased our philosophical resource? Well the situation is still changing, the foothold of Asian thought in Western philosophy, foothold

I think so, yeah, a lot of the West does not

more like a toehold at the moment, well it wasn’t

understand this yet, but the age when they said

there forty years ago. Why has this happened?

‘this is not philosophy’ is gone I think. I rarely hear

Again I think there are partly social-economic

that said anymore, but I hear people say well you

causes at the root of it. Throughout the nineteenth

know it’s not core philosophy, core philosophy is

century and early twentieth century the dominant

Western philosophy; philosophy of mind, meta-

economies of the world were Europe and America,

ethics, etc. If you want to study this thing it’s

and of course there was enormous European and

kind of fringe stuff like aesthetics or feminism, so

American imperialism of the East. The people in

that’s not an uncommon attitude. It has the kind

the East had to learn how to deal with Western

of fringe dwelling existence as it were, I think

thought, that has significantly had an impact

you can maintain this attitude only if you haven’t

on the East like India, take China for God’s

thought seriously about this stuff.

sake – Marx! Okay, but because the dominant


powers were in the West, there wasn’t a great

So in terms of getting more exposed to Eastern Philosophy

flow-back. Now that’s changing and the Asian

and if you were already attuned or familiar with Western

economies are becoming the dominant power.

philosophy is there anything you can use from your Western

Economic power and ideas are starting to flow

studies that can help you engage or interpret Eastern


that Western Philosophy has a lot to learn from Eastern Philosophy. And also Eastern Philosophy

Oh absolutely, wisdom is the monopoly of no

has a lot to learn from Western, so I mean it’s a

one and I have worked quite long in Buddhist

many-way process.

philosophy and I use the tools of Western philosophy all the time to help me understand

With the resource of Philosophy and its history available

what is going on in Buddhist philosophy. I mean

is there any particular starting point or direction you

just as we can understand Plato now better than

recommend for those who are interested in philosophy?

Plato did himself, we can understand Nagarguna now better than Nagarguna did himself because

This is a hard question. I don’t think philosophy

we understand a lot that wasn’t understood two

is a subject where you can start at a beginning, as

thousand years ago. Whenever you get bright

it were, and then progress through in any sensible

people thinking about issues there are important

sense. Philosophy becomes more like a multitude of

things to be learnt from their thought even if some

threads which kind of interweave in various places.

of them turn out to be dead ends. If it’s a dead

I don’t know if any thread is privileged so I think if

end then you’ve learnt something too. So I think

one is learning philosophy it’s a good idea to start

that an understanding of the history of one of

with those philosophical questions or issues that

these philosophies, Western or Eastern, or perhaps

engage you and follow those threads. Eventually

another tradition, can help to understand all of the

you will find these threads engaging with the other

other traditions better. You can think of it as a bit

threads. So if you’re learning philosophy, where

like a dialogue.

should you start? Start with what interests you.

How does your own thinking improve? Well I think for most of us, your thinking starts to improve with dialogue with other people. You can sit in an armchair and think that’s fine but when will your own ideas be challenged? When will you make your own intellectual progress? It’s often in discussion where people are saying, ‘Hey, no, you’re wrong’ and in some sense the history of philosophy is one big dialogue which improves because of this dialogue. And Western Philosophy up ’til now has been kind of European dialogue and now we’re finding that there are important dialogical partners in other parts of the world and this is going to enrich the dialogue big time. Okay so is it a dialogue that goes between East to West, or West to East, or is it back and forth the whole time? It’s back and forth the whole time. I certainly think 181

Caro Carmichael

Sophie Matherson

Arts 2

She Who Hesitates Martha Swift Arts 1

I had nestled each elbow into the gap beneath the headrests. My head was thrust forward and my back spanned the space between. The leather clung hotly to my bare skin. Charlotte’s smooth face and even teeth shone on my right. On the left, across the cup holders cluttered with soda cups and paper boxes, Hunter’s hands slipped evenly over the wheel, but his eyes darted between our conversation and the road. He laughed with us, occasionally injecting himself into our babble, and the car slashed beneath us just a little too quickly. “You’re driving like an old lady.” Charlotte shot playful derision and it slipped easily along the dashboard, filling Hunter till he tore his hands free, letting the car dribble all over the road. We swung left, dipping into the oncoming cars. Charlotte shrieked and I cackled. The roll of the car bore us to torpor. Smears of salty grease painted all our lips, the sparkle of warm soda floated along my tongue, and I breathed in the car and the air from the windows and the form of the others lounging before me. I soaked in the unconscious tremor of Hunter’s sleeve against my fingers and, beneath my ribs, my flesh felt a thrill. It ran into my spine and along the roots of my hair until the back of my mind began to melt. The afternoon licked at the leather and its breath scorched the metal around us. Hunter stretched, expanding. “I’m thirsty.” He glanced quickly at me. “Is there any more water back there?” I flipped around, tearing my arms free like Band-Aids. On the far seat was a bottle of Poland Spring, still with little globes of condensation running into the grooves in the plastic. I lunged at it, already knowing his indebted thanks. “Here,” but the offer fell short. The straw in his lips, Hunter sucked little bubbles from the empty soda she offered him. Just icy debris now, it gargled; Charlotte giggled. I felt the roll of my eyeballs as they flicked in my skull. They landed, but the two carried on. Her other arm darted out quickly, an arrow, and brushed its nails through the short hair at the back of his neck. Biting the straw in his teeth, he smiled lopsidedly, and then a car honked and the road divided and our attention was back on the concrete. I saw Charlotte’s eyes on me in the mirror. On the floor of my stomach, I felt something twist. Charlotte fell silent. We all stared ahead. I looked at the dashboard. “Its late. I should get home.” I was trying to retreat or run for cover. Hunter flicked the indicator in reply and rolled down streets with stretched shadows until he hovered in front of my house. I slid across the backseat and dropped gracelessly onto the pavement. Out of habit, I poked my head through the passenger window, but Charlotte was there and she had nothing to say. “Thanks for dropping me back.” I said, suddenly formal. “Maybe I’ll see you guys tomorrow,” and I was disappointed to lie because I had always wanted to see them every day. They drove off together and I couldn’t remember if I despised them both or was sorry I’d been in the way. 187

* * * Remembering myself is not at all like watching far away characters. It makes me queasy. I was so eager, so

fanciful. I was convinced I was the heroine, though at the same time someone would arrive and save me, ‘understand’ me. If Charlotte’s head was full of colours, mine was full of fairies.

It might be the heat. I’ve the vaguest sensation of a blush creeping down from my eyebrows. I just know I’ll be

a delicate shade of pink when I finally arrive to look at their cover sketches. I can tell them it’s the cold I’ve had; I’m still a little stuffy. Of course, they’ll assume its nerves; ‘A first adult novel is always stressful’, so they keep telling me. * * * I did see them the next day. The grass pressed on my fingers and made patterns in my arms. I had wandered outside to lie by the bank, staring at the blue space between the clouds. I spotted them walking together; Charlotte pointed me out. It wasn’t obvious, just a little tilt of her head or a roll of her shoulders, and she had prepared herself to meet me. Hunter pretended not to adjust. The prick from the grass was suddenly in my eyes. I clenched my jaw as if that could stop the sting. Their approach lasted eons, like it does to greet someone you have already seen on the other side of the road; too far to shout and too close to ignore. I lay on my elbows as they strode up from the river, trying to spot some guise of guilt in their obliging smiles. “Hiya Alice! What’re you doing?” Hunter flung himself down beside me. His arm was warm where it ran near mine He had borrowed his brother’s eau de cologne. My nose wrinkled; my mouth tugged itself sideways. I was trying to be aloof; to transcend their treachery and let them know it. “You smell like Colt.” “Yes! I thought so!” She was suspended above us. The sun snatched a few errant hairs and shot them through with gold and orange, like a braided halo. “You girls are weird.” He crossed his arms like he could be indignant. “Why do you even know what my brother smells like?” Ah the rivalry; we had an easy weakness to exploit. I shrugged, feigning nonchalance. “Girls notice these things.” It felt rash, a little bit dangerous. I had this new theory that I should be more reckless: the other side of unobtrusive Alice. Charlotte did not dwell on our frivolities. “We’re going into the high street to get some lunch.” “If you want to come.” The belated invitation came from Hunter. I ploughed on. “Where were you thinking?” “Dunno. Village Café or something.” Her voice shrugged. “Yeah, alright. I’ll go get some money.” I ran across the lawn and up our stone steps, swept my wallet from the counter and reemerged. While I was inside, Charlotte had tucked herself into my spot beside Hunter. Once again, they stopped their conversation as I walked the length of the garden. I waited in the strung seconds as they dragged themselves upright. 188

Then they were walking and I was behind, tacked on to the side of their pair. Occasionally, I agreed or put in my ‘I remember that!’, but I began to hear snatches of new stories. Each account became like driving nails into my ribcage. Still, I clung to their stride and listened for my chance to break in and spend my own memories. * * * They call it perseverance like it’s a virtue that should be fostered. I’ve also heard it referred to as desperation. Whatever the term, the attachment felt only like dragging myself behind an unobtainable blaze. Only with hindsight have I decided on ‘infatuation’. Brief and bright, it should have faded. I should only have felt the slightest tremor when Hunter appeared. I’m meant to be mature; I buy my own clothes, and pay for my own electricity. Why did I feel a tremor, slight or otherwise? * * * A short blonde ponytail wound through the crisscrossed chairs and introduced us to our table. I bent myself onto the bench, hesitating in the center, wondering if I should shuffle further along. Then Hunter and Charlotte made for the chairs. I flipped the menu between my fingernails like a lopsided fan. Charlotte would ask for a smoked salmon bagel; light cream cheese, extra capers, pumpernickel. It would arrive, slightly toasted, sliced in two, and she would take a tiny bite, trying to stop the bursting pools around the corners of her mouth. Then I would think, as always, ‘I’ll have to get that next time.’ But, of course I said that last time too. I ordered a crepe. The waitress’ pen rose up and down, making scribbles of our requests. Three of us now looked at Hunter. “Chocolate chip pancakes please.” He forced his muscles not to smile, all forty-three required. I felt my own face straining to hide my teeth and feign solemnity. She believed him. “Would you like that with syrup or ice cream?” Her voice bobbed like her hair; one vivacious being. “Oh, I think ice cream please.” His mouth cracked. At the command of a wink, mine followed. We erupted again when Hunter’s lunch alighted. What fun it was to break the little rules; it tasted like anarchy. The absence of our parents left us little gaping freedoms. Charlotte however did not agree. “It’s really not that funny,” she pouted. “Its just food.” Without an audience, she would have stamped her foot. While we played like children, she was a petulant sibling. Behave yourselves her scowl told us, be a little more mature; look who might be watching. “Alright, mother,” but my conspirator was gone. The slope of his arms and the temperature of his voice read like an apology. “It’s not that bad, Lot.” I could tell he didn’t mean it. The surrender was confusing. She took his hand and the whorls on her fingertips traced a sketch upon his palm. Her face checked his to reassure the message; our immaturity had successfully been banished. 189

I pushed my food around because I knew that any way I tried to eat it, I wouldn’t be doing it right. I didn’t have the same mastery of movement as Charlotte. I was aware of the clumsiness of the table and the heaviness of my limbs and the angles of their joints and the sheer effort of plate to fork to mouth. * * * I am inclined to think she drew a heart. The shape, however, matters little. It was the burn of her flesh that reined him in. If I laughed at little things, I was only proving myself too juvenile for them. I glance at Hunter, at myself in the mirror. Did I look young then? Do I look young now? He is exactly the composed professional that his father envisaged. One irritated twitch from Charlotte and our camaraderie evaporated. All those times she had stood apart from the two of us. We’d teased her from the pool, ‘Stop sunbaking,’ we’d cried, ‘just jump in already’, and then the splashing when Colt picked her up and tossed her in. We’d sat on the branches above, daring her to climb as high as us. All the time enduring her complaints and ridicule because it was she who was refusing to join in. Suddenly she was pulling the strings. I remember the reserve that pervaded the rest of that lunch, and me with my tail between my legs. I knew the scathing roll Charlotte’s eyes could deliver from observation, but I had slipped and was still falling and was afraid of it. This building stretches up and up, so many floors of such little people and all of them thinking and thinking of things they have known. * * * There’s a particular type of laughter reserved for dinner parties and polite company. It mixes well with the toast of thin glasses and the sharp clinks of silverware and rises when there needs to be merriment. That dinner party laughter became inescapable. The Fourth was looming. Bunting emerged from the recesses of the club. The staff cordoned off an area at the back of the golf course and marked crosses where the fireworks would be stabbed into the earth. Spacious plastic chairs arrived in trucks, and the woman at the kiosk was practicing the anthem. The buffet was an annual, rather mandatory event. Charlotte and Hunter and I usually hung around long enough for the lobsters and clam chowder to be revealed and then skulked onto the golf course to tuck ourselves behind a dune and watch the fireworks, our parents left to chat and our siblings to cluster around the cake. Colt came too, if his friends had wriggled out of the Willowbend obligation. We hung in an in-between, exaggerated by our absence. This year, I wasn’t sure. Hunter’s father was working on a deal with someone from another bank; the families were both enjoying the display from the van Burens’ yacht in another compulsory event. Charlotte, I thought, would want to hold a glass and float between the groups and talk about the state 190

of the world, and have the adults bask in the glow of her prospects. On the second, I called her for some confirmation. I was stricken with the desperation of the excluded. “Hey Lot.” “Alice, hi. What’s up?” “Not much.” I laughed to make it sound a little less morose. “I was just wondering if you were going to Willowbend for the Fourth?” She paused. Several seconds dropped. “I’m not sure, Alice. Isn’t it a little boring? I sort of want to just stay home and chill.” “I guess, but we can always leave early and find somewhere else to watch the fireworks?” Isn’t that what we always did? I tried to remember if she had been so bored last year. “But we never really do anything, do we? We just have to get all fancy to go and sit with our parents for six hours.” She knew very well that without Hunter I wouldn’t bother going if she didn’t. Without the other two, I suspected the night would be dull after all. “Alright then.” I tried to find a compromise. “Do you want to come over here instead?” “No.” She backpedaled. “I really want to just have the house to myself.” I nodded; she probably just heard a bit of static. “Sorry; you should go if you want to, though.” I had the distinct sensation of being wiped off. “Okay.” I said, with absolutely no intention. “I’ll see you later then.” I waited for her to plan for later, but she copied my farewell, and then hung up. It was very sudden, in that way that phone calls never are. * * * The line of fences and scrawny flora rushed passed outside the windows, occasionally punctuated by rough wooden stalls, dripping with colours and sometimes topped with short scalloped roofs. Propped against these were chalk painted boards: blueberries, strawberries, silver beets, cherries. All for a bargain price, in consideration of the date. Some were tired, the produce either bought or wilted in the heat, but most shone in shades of red and orange, licked with polish by the sun. I’d joined Mom in her produce escapade; with the enforced socialisation in the evening, I’d moped about my house all morning. She aimed for Hollis Farm. They were a nursery as well, and owned an ice cream store in town. Mrs. Hollis must have been about seventy; she knitted, even under their stall at the end of the driveway. I spotted Mr. Hollis wading through a bed of pansies with miniature shears in his grasp. He looked like a lost cat. I slid down and slammed the door behind me. “Alice, you’re looking so tall now,” said Mr. Hollis. I was fairly sure that I’d stopped growing, but that didn’t stop him imagining height. “You must be getting near the end of school.” “Yeah,” I said, scratching my arm. I could smell questions about the future. “I’m a Senior this year.” Mom put her hand on my shoulder. “Alice is my easy one. The twins are always putting each other 191

up to mischief.” Mr. Hollis chuckled. “Our Chloe was as naughty as they come. We gave her some shifts in the store, on the Fourth when no one would do it, and days like that. Naomi and Grayson are more than welcome behind the counter; there’s plenty of shifts to go round.” Mom’s hand stayed on my shoulder. “I’m afraid they’d tear the place down.” “I’ll do it.” I said. “I mean, can I?” “On the Fourth? Are you sure?” Mrs. Hollis smiled like she knew exactly what teenagers got up to. “Sure. I didn’t have anything planned.” After all, Charlotte wasn’t available. I was insuring myself for the inevitable; ‘What did you do?’ Mom turned from the Hollies. “What about Willowbend, Alice? I thought the whole family was going. What’s Charlotte going to do all night?” “Charlotte’s not feeling great.” I explained. I thought I was being mature, but I think Mom figured it out. “I thought I’d skip this year.” She passed me a box brimming with fresh vegetables. I would have been perfectly content to stand with the dust pooling about my feet talking with the Hollises until the mosquitoes woke and began to nibble our ankles. * * * Flow into the ice cream parlor stopped at precisely nine twenty. The fireworks started at nine thirty. Then there was a stretch of dead time. Mrs. Hollis was in the back, sorting out charts of flavours or toppings or potted plants for display. I settled on a stool beneath a poster proclaiming five-dollar banana splits; an image of chocolate sauce oozed into my peripheral vision. The street outside was deserted too, and between bouts of reading every available advertisement, I chastised myself for not remembering to grab any of the five books I was reading, just in case. Then, a pair began to amble along the other side of road, holding hands. I watched them from my perch behind the counter. White light from the ceiling smarted against each pastel surface. I saw them slip softly along the pavement. The freezer hummed in an irregular heartbeat. The couple continued. I knew that I would be rendered in acute detail, if they were to glance this way, for they were standing in the darkness looking in. Under the single streetlight, I caught long blonde hair and one arm, strengthened by lacrosse, wrapped about its shoulders. I had the strongest urge to sprout chameleon skin and mirror the scoops and cream on the wall behind my head. * * * I thought her words were marvelous; she had wanted the house to herself to stay home and chill. She had it, I’m sure. She was chilling. She certainly was not sitting through courses of mussels and 192

lobster at Willowbend. Then again, neither was Hunter, nor was he on his yacht entertaining bankers. No one had bothered to slip me that notice. In spite of my invitations, I had been driven to observing; their fault. I thought that over and over, written in full sentences; their fault, their fault, their fault. I was transfixed though, like a horror film, or a liver dissection. * * * Already branded as a witness, I could not escape without alighting, attracting attention. There was no choice but furtive desperate hoping. Though I wondered, if they saw me, what excuses they might give or condolences theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d offer, like a relative had died. But we were all still living and it seemed inexplicable. Their progress now, along the street, had brought them level with the crossing. Charlotte stepped onto the asphalt and Hunter distracted by the distance, watched for cars that did not drive. They were all parked up at Willowbend or lined along the bay laden with picnics and plastic cups of wine. We were the only ones in town, apart from Mrs. Hollis, still innocent, pottering in the back room. I could hear their voices, distorted through the glass, chatting, laughing, spreading notes into the air. Now murmuring, they slowed and entered the puddle where our clean white light spilled onto the pavement. It lit their faces and shed shadows, stretched behind them, as a painting done in shades of silver. I floated, removed from the scene; they were almost strangers. Then the steady slide of their feet across the stones stopped completely. Something was said, eliciting a laugh, ending in a pause strung between their faces. I gathered all the air into my lungs and clung to it. I saw Hunter curve towards her.


Prepared not Predetermined A Farewell Speech Jane Freemantle

Acknowledgement of Country I bid you farewell with a heavy heart. And yet it is a heart heavy with the most wonderful memories, a heart full of gratitude to this College and its people for allowing me the privilege of being a part of this vibrant and unique community, for the gift of the many enduring friendships, and of the trust that has been given to me through shared experiences. In my wildest dreams, I never would have thought that such a life changing experience would come my way. Some twelve years ago, I seized an opportunity that was offered to me. I took a chance and my life changed forever. In contemplating my last words and the message that I want to leave you with, I thought back to the many conversations that I have had with my son and daughter and their friends during their undergraduate years. So in the next few minutes I would like to talk about chance, choice and leadership. One of the enduring themes within our conversations was their feeling that they really had no say in their future at all, that ‘it would all just happen,’ their future was in the hands of fate, of so many external influences. They expressed a feeling of impotence in the enormity of addressing the existing complex social, environmental, justice and moral challenges that existed in their world. I expressed then, as I do now, that our lives are not preordered or preordained. I believe life is about choices: the choices we make and choices that the others around us make. Each influences the other; we do not live in a vacuum, but rather a co-dependent world. Our choices influence and are influenced by those around us and our lives can be influenced by those far removed from us. But for the most part we have the chance to be in control of our destiny. Once you embark on a particular life course, you can constantly pause, reassess and redefine your goals and aspirations. In making choices we need to be receptive to possibilities and opportunities, to openings and options, to take calculated risks, or as I would prefer to call it, make informed choices. Interestingly, all these nouns that I have mentioned in the previous sentence: possibility, opportunity, option and risk, are synonymous with chance and opportunity. In 1854, the chemist Louis Pasteur said, “Did you ever observe to whom accidents happen?” It is because “in the fields of observation, fortune favours the prepared mind.” By this he meant that sudden flashes of insight don’t just happen – they are products of preparation. This quote has always inspired me. Pasteur’s contributions to science, technology and medicine are astounding. Of course, he is most famous for demonstrating that the fermentation process is caused by growth of microorganisms that resulted in the process to pasteurise wine and milk, the discovery of the of rabies vaccination and for persuading the medical community to accept that germs existed. Many other examples exist where people have taken chances, created opportunity and taken risks: William Perkin, a science student, discovered ‘mauveine’ by chance, the first aniline dye. It revolutionised dye making, led to the discovery of a number of significant scientific advances in diagnostic medicine, the establishment of the nylon industry and the development of perfumes, photography and the modern day plastics industry, including explosives. Consider aviators like Amelia Earhart, mountaineers like Annie Smith Peck, or Artic explorers like Irina

and Valentine Kuznetsova. The annals of science would be far poorer without the work of women such as primatologists Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, ethno-botanist Nicole Maxwell and ichthyologist, Eugenie Clark. Mary Adams invented windscreen wipers. Barbara Askins serendipitously discovered radioactive materials that enhanced negatives and ultimately improved the clarity of x-rays. John Snow, the father of descriptive epidemiology, saved many lives in 19th century England by disproving the ‘Miasma theory’ as the cause of the Cholera epidemic, simply by removing the handle from the village pump. The Jesuit Missionaries brought cinchona bark to Europe from South America and as a result quinine was isolated in 1920 by Woodward and Doering. All excellent examples of the nature of discovery, the synergy between chance and discovery and the opportunities that exist if your mind is prepared and ready for challenges that evolve through chance. You are in a place where you are nurtured and have access to the finest minds and committed mentoring. You are surrounded by excellence in academic acumen. You are indeed fortunate, indeed privileged to be in a position where you are able to make choices and take chances. But with every privilege comes a responsibility. I believe that you have a responsibility to make the most of the opportunities that you have and will continue to be given. You have the opportunities to be leaders in your field. Leadership is nothing to do with seniority or hierarchy within society. It is not about exerting power. There are many types of leaders and I challenge you to be the leader who dares to challenge the inequalities and inequities that currently exist. A leader who has the courage to challenge the status quo and to stand up for what is right and just. A leader, ‘who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.’ This type of leadership can be very lonely, not always glamorous and definitely not easy. But good works and just works can become contagious and change can happen, slowly but surely. As Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Ponder this: A young boy was wandering along the beach that was littered with dead and dying starfish that had been caught on the shore by the receding tide. He came upon a man who was placing the starfish gently back into the water, one by one. The young boy asked the old man what he was doing. “Trying to save the dying starfish,” he replied. “But that is hopeless,” said the young boy. “How can you possibly hope to save these hundreds of starfish lying on the waters edge? It’s a hopeless task.” With that the old man passed him one of the marooned starfish, which the boy placed gently in the water almost by a reflex action. “I may not be able to save all the starfish,” the old man said, “but with your help and the help of others who may come along and see the plight of these creatures and who start to help, we will be able to make a difference.” This is the kind of leadership you should aspire to. You are on the threshold of the next chapter in your life course. Like that young boy, maybe our greatest fear in accepting challenges is the fear of failure. We all know what we believe we can do. But what we don’t know and won’t know until we take the risk of challenging ourselves, is what we are actually capable of. You are not going to be 100% successful, but at least you are giving it a go, taking some chances and thinking outside the conventional parameters of life and challenging the status quo. The

road that you start out on will have many twists and turns, unexpected opportunities and endless potential for growth and fulfilment. So I say to you all, take some chances, seize these incredible opportunities, dare yourselves to explore newer and less comfortable experiences. Be the leader of a ‘just’ new world, so that you never look back and say ‘I wish I had....’. In the words of TS Elliot: Footfalls echo in the memory, Down the passage we did not take, Towards the door we never opened into the rose garden. So go down that passage, open that door, explore the rose garden and, until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Ormond Papers///Blurred Lines/// Vol.XXXI 2014

Blurred Lines Ormond Papers 2014/// XXXI

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