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F O U N D


C O N T E N T S M A G A Z I N E CONCEPT JANIS LEJINS, BEATRICE SMITH, SOPHIE YATES AND RHEA NAIR LAYOUT - ELENA TJANDRA AND JANIS LEJINS EDITING - BEATRICE SMITH, TARA SHENOY, SOPHIE YATES AND ELENA TJANDRA MICK’S TAPE - POLLY MITTON AND MICHAEL CARTON

E D I T O R I A L

B O A R D

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF FERGUS HUNTER DEPUTY EDITOR-IN-CHIEF - ARETI METUAMATE MANAGING EDITOR - TARA SHENOY DIGITAL EDITOR - ROSS CALDWELL PRINT EDITOR SAMANTHA BRADLEY PRINT EDITOR - ELENA TJANDRA PRINT EDITOR - LILLIAN WARD RADIO - POLLY MITTON

Printed by Elect Printing.

contact@woroni.com.au Woroni is published on the traditional lands of the Ngunnawal People. We pay respect to their elders past and present for which sovereignty was never ceded.

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F O U N D ‘Dancing’ - Reg Naulty Water colour paintings - Sandra Velarde ‘March for, March Against’ - Siobhan Neyland ‘untitled’ - Sian Watson ‘Festival Feeling’ - Elena Tjandra ‘Paris’ - Sarah Maree Brown ‘How to Build a Woman’ - Tara Shenoy ‘stairwell’ and ‘passage’ - Madeline Ward ‘Garden’ and ‘Hiding’ - Liv Helmore photography - Carston K. Vos ‘Why do we hate them’? - Samantha Bradley photography - Samantha Bradley ‘portMANteau’ - Liam D. Moran ‘Adam and Steve’ - J.Quinlin


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D A N C I N G . Their faces were different, not their on- the- bus faces, or at- work faces, but unveiled, happy faces. What miracles it worked, correlating limbs to tunes, especially with girls, complete, deep smiles. Why it is, is beyond knowledge, one of those glad associations of nature, like water droplets and rainbows, and moving too, like the wind through poplars, Not that you were supposed to start thinking, you were supposed to get up and dance, and add your face, the faces in the dance : happiness caught in a crowd.

R EG

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NAULT Y


S A N D R A

V E R L A R D E

all aspects possible. Even when I had a headache after long hours of work in front of my computer, I forced myself to come to the class. The 3 hours painting passed so quickly and were so enjoyable that by the end of it I felt good, that I have accomplished something and my headache was gone. Most of students in my watercolour class were retirees and we didn’t talk to each other, we just painted together, quietly... what a bliss. I found myself back again and now I am abo

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M A R C H

F O R

TSNIAGA HCRAM F I N D I NG OUR WAY T O T RU TH .

S I OBHAN Many people w ere clapping us as we walked forward into the grey morning, the great dome of the Shrine looming ahead of us, the Tent Embassy and Parliament Hill at our backs. The people clapping weren’t doing so in a lazy, habitual way but were looking meaningfully into our eyes and clapping in encouragement, solidarity and agreement, in a way that said ‘good on you’. I found myself thinking: ‘maybe we are all on the same page and the police started forming a line, I heard a man yell ‘March for all the warmth drain out of my body. We lined up metres from the stony

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BACK

N EY L A N D faces of authority and the divide was brought into sharp relief, and as content as I was with my choice of side, I wished the divide wasn’t there at all. Those who had travelled far as well as local Canberra activists including many from the Aboriginal Tent Em bassy and I nter national Pea ce Activist Network, gathered at the corner of Anzac Parade and Constitution Avenue to bring up the rear of the Anzac march on a cool Canberra morning, Friday after Gallipoli, the dominant form of Australian nationalism is one that emphasises the importance of the

sacrifices of Gallipoli in founding the Australian nation, while excluding and denying the histories of those whose ancestors were killed in the nation’s ver y founding. the Frontier Wars’ march was held on Anzac Day and those in this group included themselves in the procession, arguing not only that the Aboriginal people who fought in World War I deser ved a special recognition from their descendents, but also that in the absence of a national day for commemorating the Frontier Wars, these wars should be remembered as part of the Anzac day ceremony. That year and all the years since this group has been excluded from proceedings and traditional owners have been told they cannot proceed forward on their own land. This most recent march was no exception. There is no national day for commemorating the Frontier Wars because there is no national acknowledgement that Australia was founded in violence. The myth of peaceful settlement is hegemonic and unquestioned in the mainstream media, political discourse and education systems. My primar y school lessons of Australian histor y included learning about Matthew Flinders, Burke and Wills, and Captain Cook, heroic explorers and brave conquerors of the wild lands of Australia, and

part of my schooling also included compulsor y trips to see the Dawn Ser vice. I mean no disrespect to veterans or their relatives, nor do I deny the importance of remembering the huge toll of war if it means discouraging rash commitment to future wars. But I say ‘Lest We Forget’ for this reason only, I don’t say lest we forget the sacrifices made by our countr ymen so we could enjoy the freedom we have today. I don’t completely follow this line of reasoning, based on what we know now about the failure and pointlessness of Gallipoli, or even Australia’s involvement in the War generally. The War Memorial website tells us that Anzac Day is ‘probably Australia’s most important national day’ and that the actions of the Anzac fighters ‘left us all a powerful legacy … the Anzac legend became an important part of the identity [of Australia].’ If this battle somehow ‘shaped our nation’ it is primarily because politicians such as John Howard and Tony Abbott have gone to great lengths to pump the narrative full of meaning and pull out themes of mateship and heroism in order to instil a blind national pride in our histor y. I am yet to hear a convincing counter argument to the idea that the relevance of Anzac to our ‘national stor y’ is built up for political purposes, and in the process other less glorious and proud moments of our past are whitewashed for the sake


of an ‘optimistic’ view. I wish to disentangle the political motivations behind Anzac from the respectful remembrance of sacrifice, but if in the process I offend, I am sorr y. The mainstream account of Australia’s histor y is exclusionar y: it loses itself in myths and legends of glor y and heroism, and in the process Austral ians lose their grip on reality and lose touch with those from whom the land was stolen. We need to navigate our way back to the truth, to an honest account of how Australia was colonised. Christopher Pyne, in echoes of John Howard’s passion for this issue, argues that Australians should be taught a histor y that they can be proud of, but I say we should be taught the truth. The whole truth, or at least as many sides to the stor y as possible. I know that histor y is by nature contested, however, and without wanting to enter into the debate of the Histor y Wars, I will say that there is a clear political motivation for national leaders to deny the violence of the s ettlement of modern day Australia. But it is hard to ignore or dismiss an Aboriginal man who is marching up and down a line of expressionless police officers yelling ‘blood was shed in the defence of this land’. As long as we are denied the whole truth, we will be a nation divided between those who are sold the stor y of peaceful settlement and national pri de, and those who hear and tend to believe a ver y

different version of events as told by Indigenous Australians. So we marched up Anzac Parade and after the last marching band was let inside the ceremonial area, the police formed a formidable line in front of our group of fifty or so. Our group was led by two Aboriginal men, holding a sign that spoke of genocide committed by European settlers, and we stood just behind, holding the Aboriginal flag. With our faces less than two metres from the sunglassed ones of the Federal police, we stood for a tense thirty minutes as Elders called for justice moved, the power of the state never waivered. As some people clapped in encouragement, some peo ple heckled, and some just took pho tos, one could feel viscerally the division that was forced upon us. The police, only doing their job, were put in a position where they had to control the movement of Aboriginal peo ple on their own land, and deny a peaceful movement of people the right to be included in a respectful commemoration of past tragedies. You are officers of the law who fight for justice; you can see that this is unjust.

but important part of Australia’s histor y. Marching against an Australia that selects histories which include only a narrow conception of Australian identity and alienates all those that cannot relate to or are invisible in t his stor y. And we were marching for an Australia based on an alternative national narrative – that also includes a recognition and commemoration of this dispossession and tragedy in order to eliminate this division that stops us maturing as a nation. This would most importantly teach us not to repeat mistakes of the past of the oppressi on and exclusion of Indigenous Australians from our society and national community – Lest We Forget.

Were we marching for or against Australia? Both. We were marching against the Australia that wanted to forget and deny the injustices and dispossession that make up a dark

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S I A N WA T S O N

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F E S T I VA L F E E L I N G E L E N A Crisp grass crunches under smelly feet Wet walls, water dripping down tent – inside and out A tingle in your nose as the wind bites down your cheeks and chin We keep the bare bits covered. With Fibres – alpaca Beanies from Alice Spring Ponchos keeping everything in Coloured headscarves, wooden bangles, Celtic charms, and boots – the stomping kind Festival fashions are un-fettered personas of ordinary folk. Ties do not choke, shirts have no buttons, zips or clips We are festival folk.

T J A N D R A

Strings are tuning A trumpet sounds

A swig of hot mulled wine between beats Warm orange juice pouring down throats When we jam at camp.

And a piano accordion yawns and stretches, exhaling, a crass melody. There is a troupe of Morris Dancers headed your way. Home.

There is talk of poetry, crafts and other arts Stories are traded on stage, in tents, in stalls, on the street ‘Gypsy’ and ‘circus’ are common words. As are ‘bad slam’, Nothing is alternative in folk vernacular.

Everybody knows the lyrics to ‘All Along the Watchtower’.

And again there is talk From the jazz-death-core-reggae-with-a hint of bluegrass that made us dance like crazy The smell of damp grass in the Majestic and the not-sopleasant after-dance smell and The last space left for you on the shuttle bus because folkies are friendly folk. Until Monday.

Smoke rises above billowing sheets and bunting into kebabs and kofta balls. Your eyes string for a moment, a warm welcome. A path is uncovered in Autumn leaves with children busking

Clicks, chit-chats, skips and taps We communicate by impulse. We jam, jam and jam at the Sessions Bar with folk from stage and tent together

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I brought one pair of earings to Paris And without my Australian aural loops, I heard the burst of Spring In shady parks and tinkling cafĂŠs. I heard music call me over canals And church quartets And joined my voice to the choir As the bells sung out over the streets. Paris is a city to wear out your shoes With cobbled corners leading to Subterranean art caves And staircases stacked with books, With mazes of stairs and galleries And bars and creperies I sat on my sunglasses in a Paris cafĂŠ How the morning streets shimmer in the crisp sun And the Seine refracts the light Glimmering with the promise of each day, How the sun starts to hide in the evening To salute the coming of night. I lost or broke half the things I brought with me to Paris But now I carry the scent of the city instead.

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P A R I S S A R A H M A R E E B R O W N


H O W

T O

B U I L D

A

W O M A N

T A R A The artist is painting a self-portrait. Cathartic, he calls it. Submerged to fingertips with colours, running Or, he supposes, to draw a line through the sunbaked sand. He slashes a thick purple line and softens the edg es, scythe-like cur ves. The line progresses. It is pedantic, like the chronology of time, like the trembling hand that touched the peach cheek of the stillborn, the filthy hand againstThe contours of his face, dark against the pale forefront, skim the right-hand edge of the canvas. She always took up too much space, with eulogies for red light hookers and sweatshop brand names like Nike. No sanctimonious preaching could ever be formed by his thin lips. He sketches them in

laughs. The archetype of the sensitive new age man: a walking cliché. He calls her a carnivore. A hint of razor sharp teeth splits soft upper lip. He yearns for some thing juicy to sink his teeth into, the pink of her cheeks, like two red apples or strawberries, bright from scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing. After all the vulnerability stapled to the wall, he

darkens the bridge of his nose. The impasse is too difficult to cross. Bullet-ridden and br uised, too battle-wear y to raise a white flag. Instead, she smiles at him from the tip of his stubborn brow. Pain stifles speech, pain choked the word and it would have only taken a word,

S H E N O Y

vertigo. They subdue him, swallowing his identity, along with grotesque flaws like sores, building him up into something more than human. The monster that is the dark unrestrained manifestation of the Revolution, leaving bite marks across her neck, thighs and belly.

Stay. shape. Goa’s sunsets, she liked them best. She caresses the heavy-handed tones and tints. He finds her dominating. She used to be the interplay of dark and light on the horizon, but he failed to mention his contingencies and evacuation plans. His monosyllabic speech is insufficient. The simplicity of his heart is pedestrian. He thickens the outline of his lips, fiddles with the circumference of his nostrils. He sneered at the way her nostrils flared when angr y. He thought his mouth ran away with her, her soft lisp, a foreign echo of snake charmers and street-side sadhus, in his too-big ears. He composes them in quick strokes, callously, impatiently. They want more. Greens and tangerines, indigoes and vermilions. Colours brand themselves upon the back of his eyelids, splashed in ever y crevasse, remnants of them and dizzying heights, so vivid they gave him

He is right.

She does have a tendency to wrap herself in yellow, in marigolds and sunshine while she conjures blizzards and maelstroms from simple oscillations. It is subterfuge, the ease of conversation, familiar expressions. He fills in some light. He doesn’t belong to her quicksand whirlwinds anymore. With the last flourish, he knows he is done. He lets go of his self and pushes back, pushes away, steps back to sur vey. Gasps. Rubs his tired eyes, but the image stays the same. There she is, looking back at him.

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M A D E L I N E WA R D

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The staircase image is a screen print and the doorway image is an ink line drawing that I coloured digitally. The idea is that these are found spaces, small and quiet moments of

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L I V

H E L M O R E I

-

G A R D E N

When you found me talking to myself at the bottom of your garden, I had nev er thought it would be you. You first unclosed my wrappings, wrung all the water out, then asked if I would come. I reme mber thinking, oh, if I could dissolve into you, because that would be so much easier than explaining to you all the ways I had tried to cover myself. At the top of the path, you lifted me into your house through the window, then made certain I understood: all those leaves could never hide me, al l those leaves had nev er meant anything to you.

I I

-

H I D I N G

Tell me where I might find you – tell me, are you hiding somewhere close amidst the white-noise? Have you already told me your secret, such that it only remains for me to lift up some sheet or uncover some box, and there you will be, your hand ready to shake my own, your eyes sparkling, for I will have found you at last, I will have finally understood what you shared with me so long ago.

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C A R ST E N

K.

VO S

I went down to the National Museum for some nighttime architectural photography with a mate in the semester break and lost a lens in the grass, two minutes later I found it but someone else had found it earlier.

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the Assad regime… is our government distorting the

W H Y D O W E H AT E T H E M ? T H E AU S T R A L I A N “ O T H E R I N G ” O F ASYLUM SEEKERS.

SA M Australian. adjective. ignorant, xenophobic.

BRAD L EY Brash,

Another episode of Q&A, and another well-meaning Australian denizen asks yet another question to whatever Coalition Minister is lucky enough to be on the panel, about offshore processing and Australian immigration policy… Each week, I silently commend these politicians for not rolling their eyes and being blunt. to

further

persecute

vulnerable

Guys, the majority of you voted us

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into government on this platform. Stop whinging.

They’re not bars, they’re fences and walls. Yes, it’s still horrible. You also still voted for us….

Because you’re dumb shits and think better in three word slogans? What’s my point here? We’re asking the wrong questions. It’s monotonous, cringeworthy, frustrating, and completely futile. We’re asking the wrong questions and we need to stop. Pointing out to a conser vative politician that Australian immigration platforms are morally decrepit won’t suddenly change the direction of Australian politics forever. These platforms weren’t cultivated in a vacuum: the y were and are formulated by intelligent people with sophisticated think tanks behind them. Our leaders are effectively giving the majority of Australian people what decades of research shows that the majority of Australian people want. In sum, what should we be asking? Well… Why do we hate them?

We’re not. That’s why we excised our migration zone and process people on Goddamn Manus Island. Duh… Plus, even if we are, good luck taking us to court over it, champ. I hea r they’re having lots of luck with

Why do we hate them?

that, within this setting, we are. Irrefutably. We can be conflated together because the rhetoric put forth by our democratically elected leaders is, within the narrative of our political system, the rhetoric of us all. That is, whilst many Australians personally conceive of the Australian political approach to refugees and the forcibly displaced as a massive insult to our common humanity, we, Australians collectively, are complicit in this approach because we voted for our leaders. constructed other, the asylum seeker. The asylum seeker could be from any corner of the world, and fleeing any manner of evil. The asylum seeker could be an orphaned child, or a pregnant woman, an exhausted freedom fighter, or a scared labourer. The complexities of the situation of the asylum seeker are irrelevant within the Australian discourse. The children, the crippled, the bereaved, the gentle people searching for a better life and a future, they are all an offence to our sovereignty, our homogeneity, our security, and, our sense of self. Why do we hate them?

a reference to the Australian people

The answer to this question lies in part that, as a community of exiles, Australians struggle to conceive of ourselves as Australian, without the

a monolithic bloc I would contend

a group of people we unanimously


conceive of as substantively different to ourselves. Furthermore, that our through delineation, has somehow become asylum seekers. The renowned German philosopher, Hegel, introduced the idea of the consciousness; and the concept has since been further built upon by the likes of Michel Foucault, and Edward Said. These scholars generally deduced that the delineation of the one conceives of their own identity more by what they perceive that they aren’t, than by what they actually are. Significantly, the only Australians who did not come here by plane or boat

Ok, bear with me here… • A state is a political, geopolitical, and economic entity: a state has both legal personality and political force. • A nation, on the other hand, is a group of people united in their commonality: be the commonality religious, ethnic, linguistic or idealistic. Contrar y to popular belief, nationhood is not symptomatic of statehood, though there are many successful examples of the construction of state. However, cultivating nationalism in a multinational state is also a notoriously difficult and frau ght process. Indeed the last centur y has seen several civil wars with tensions between concurrent

great-grandparents and so forth did Ind igenous Australians. This means that Australia, the state, plays house to more cultures and groups than one can count on their fingers and toes. A multicultural state is automatically a multinational state, and, any first year Political Science student can tell you that multinational states are, in theor y and in practise, insecure. This is because nationhood

cau se; for example, in Rwanda and Leb anon. Importantly, as a multinational state, where can a uniquely Australian nationality be found? The ANZAC narrative has been perpetuated over the last centur y as the stor y of the emergence of the Australian as a unique character. According to t he Gallipoli rationale Australians are an egalitarian, friendly, and quirky bunch: always up for both an adventure and a cheeky bevvy, and always ready to crack a good joke.

However, one flaw in this narrative place to Australia today. What was once a collective of ostracised Brits and Irishmen is now a multicultural, multiethnic, multi-linguistic chunk of land.

avenue for self-definition subjective delineation.

through

hate them. Why there is so much

think about anyway. Simply, what is easier than defining what we are not. And, significantly, ver y few Australians will find grains of commonality with the citizens of the global south aboard leaky boats bound for our shores. Thus, the asylum seeker becomes a victim of Australian insecurity in its national subs tance. The asylum avenue through which average Australian citizens may rationalise their own nationality, because they can suddenly put a certain index finger on exactly what they are not. More than that, within this rhetoric, the asylum seeker becomes a distinct threat to the so vereign borders of Australia, the nation. Not a physical, real threat, as these people are bearing claims to the refugee criteria not arms: they become a social threat. If we were to welcome asylum seekers onto our shores with swift, sympathetic onshore processing, and community, rather than offshore and prison-esque detention, then Australian people at large would

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SA M B R A D L EY 18


SA M B R A D L EY 19


PortMANteau LIAM

D.

MORAN

Remember when we were just tweens

Expand your degree in SEMESTER 2 with an

INTERDISCIPLINARY ELECTIVE or use these electives towards a minor in

ANU LEADERSHIP & RESEARCH

acting like a pair of kidults,

CREATING KNOWLEDGE

two boys, much more than frenemies.

VCUG2001

Life was so fantabulous.

A Vice-Chancellor's course for talented, inquiring early-year students across ANU interested in the nature of academic inquiry and its relationship to creating knowledge.

It would always make me chortle

You'll have the opportunity to explore other ways of knowing through peer learning and outstanding speakers from across campus and beyond.

when I’d joke that you wore jeggings. That you looked so bodacious. You couldn’t help but smile, so ginormous. Or when we’d meet for brunch and eat cheese crossandwiches Just sit with each other and chillax. A simple form for fratire. But since we’ve cut all incinuendos,

MOBILISING RESEARCH VCUG3002 & VCPG6002 A Vice-Chancellor's course to challenge and support students in exploring the organisation of research for the good of society. The course will examine the linked themes of ‘integration’ and ‘implementation’ of research to address problems and issues in societal contexts. This is a capstone course supporting students to demonstrate the best academic work of which they are capable.

Register your interest for Semester 1, 2015

I think it’s fair to guesstimate that last night’s little sexcapade made it much more than a simple bromance.

APPLY NOW FOR SEMESTER 2, 2014

vc-courses.anu.edu.au

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A DA M A N D S T E V E : A CHILDREN’S BOOK

J . QU I N L A N Adam awoke to the pitter-patter of a rainy day Donning his boots, raincoat and a blue notebook, he was ready to search every cranny and nook. But, as he ran through the city, he felt a gut-wrench, his heart, out of its cage, had begun a slow stretch. He felt wrong, poor Adam, utterly discombobulated, his intestines, stomach and jugular freely copulated. The inner wirings were twisted and out of control Under the Brooklyn Bridge he found Father dear, who coughed on cocaine and shed a lone tear.

inside Adam as he ran and ran and ran around the world covered in saffron, ginger and various spices. All the right curves, it was slender and smooth, it beckoned sweetly, but Adam was not in the mood. He dismantled his skeleton for the city of love

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22 , 25.


22 , 25.


LOST


C O N T E N T S M A G A Z I N E C O N C EP T JAN IS LEJIN S, B E ATR IC E S MITH , SO PH IE YATES AN D R H EA N AIR LAYO U T - ELEN A TJAN D RA AN D JAN IS LEJIN S E D ITIN G - B EATRIC E SMITH , TARA S H EN O Y, S O PH IE YATES AN D E LEN A TJAN D R A MIC K’S TAP E - PO LLY MITTO N AN D MIC H AEL C AR TO N

E D I T O R I A L

B O A R D

ED ITO R- IN- CHIEF FERGUS H U NTER D EPU TY EDITO R- IN-CHIEF - ARETI METU AMATE MANAGING EDITO R - TARA SHENOY D IG ITAL EDITO R - ROSS CALDWELL PRINT EDITO R SAMANTHA BRADLEY PRINT EDITO R - ELENA TJANDRA PRINT EDITO R - LILLIAN WARD RADIO - PO LLY MITTON

Printed by Elect Printing.

L O S T ‘Worst Budget Ever’ - Mark Fabian illustration - Alycia Moffat ‘A belle-lettristic essay based on one of Kafka’s Aphorisms, from which probably not enough has been removed’ - Hugo Branley ‘Out Beyond This’ - Tara Shenoy ‘The Last Days of Johnny Doe’ - Seth Robinson ‘compasses and things’ - anon. photography - Samantha Bradley ‘In the Service of Dead Ideals’ - T. ‘Winter’ - Tara Shenoy ‘phallis’ Sophie Bishop ‘In the Dark’ - Rachel Kirk ‘Once Upon a Time’ - Liv Helmore Janis Lejins.

contact@woroni.com.au Woroni is published on the traditional lands of the Ngunnawal People. We pay respect to their elders past and present for which sovereignty was never ceded.

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WO R S T B U D G E T E V E R L I B E R A L S F I N D P OW E R , L O S E PLOT

MAR K The government’s most recent budget should anger not only those on left who value our welfare state and the Australian way of life, but also anyone who subscribes to the liberal values of Mill, Russell, Popper and Locke, economists, and Christian Democrats to boot.

FA B I A N Ross Garnaut has noted in his latest book that the decline of China’s demand will cause a fall in the Australian dollar and a decline in our terms of trade. This could be an opportunity to become competitive again in manufacturing. But this will require productive investment and a deep structural adjustment. Connectivity must be improved. Port facilities must be expanded. Our education system

There is merit to the government’s position an intergenerational injustice, where the future must pay for the indulgences of the present. They constrain borrowing for productive investment, and they leave us with few options in time of crisis. But the way the present government has gone about ineffective. There are two factors driving Australia’s long term budget projections—the aging of the Australian population and the rebalancing of China’s economy. Neither of these trends was engineered by the Labor government. and the latest budget does next to nothing to address their negative impacts.

4

of skilled manufacturing workers to high tech sectors. A manufacturing transition fund to assist workers in retraining to meet demand from emerging industries would also be useful, and a sensible policy in the wake of the demise of the car industry. The government has done very little to address these issues. The extension of income contingent loans to TAFE and other an inadequate policy if it exists in isolation from a broader program of industrial reform. The funding allocation to rail infrastructure is almost entirely re-announced existing funding. A new airport for Sydney is long overdue, but hardly a comprehensive economic plan or a help to manufacturing. New funding for roads is miniscule, but perhaps that is for the best given that no

Port facilities must be expanded. Our education system must be reformed to workers to high tech sectors. A manufacturing transition fund to assist workers in retraining to meet demand from emerging industries would also be useful, and a sensible policy in the wake of the demise of the car industry. The government has done very little to address these issues. The extension of income contingent loans to TAFE and other an inadequate policy if it exists in isolation from a broader program of industrial reform. The funding allocation to rail infrastructure is almost entirely re-announced existing funding. A new airport for Sydney is long overdue, but hardly a comprehensive economic plan or a help to manufacturing. New funding for roads is miniscule, but perhaps that is for the best given that no independent costcommission or elsewhere, has suggested that roads are a wise investment. There are a raft of reforms that would ease the burden of the aged on the budget without hurting the disadvantaged—almost none of them have been undertaken. Pension reform is meek. Superannuation rorts have been left alone. Cost blow outs in medical treatment, most of which relate to expensive medical procedures rather than GP visits, have not been addressed, and rorts relating to private home equity remain. Big ticket government expenses have not been abolished. Among other things, negative gearing continues to cost the

annum while distorting the price of housing and driving owner-occupiers out of the market. The mining industry, one of our most sources of equitable revenue are also being neglected. Superannuation remains grossly undertaxed. Reforms to the mining tax regime that could capture more of the gains from this inter-generationally iniquitous industry are being passed over. The government wants to abolish the lucrative Carbon Tax despite the improvements it makes to economic the rate of consumption of carbon. And what do we have instead of these sensible, fair changes? An all-out assault on the poor and vulnerable. Obvious notables for the young that risk landing young people out on the street and driving them to crime. Worse, these changes undercut the fundamental mechanism of welfare state policy: when you are starting out, society helps you; once you’re set and earning a nice wage, you pay high taxes so that others might follow suit. What does the government hope to gain from this heartless change? than the cost a single year’s fuel subsidy. GP co-payments are expected to raise revenues worth of negative gearing. Less than a fraction of the cost of the new medical research fund, which addresses no existing unmet demand for funds. In exchange we see the departure of another of the fundamental pillars of Australia’s welfare system. Let’s talk about foreign affairs for a minute.


Australia’s strategic affairs community is largely in agreement costed for some time and are an important aspect of any denial based defence policy—the only kind of policy feasible for us. But they are also in agreement that Australia’s best defence is the projection of soft power. Cultural policies and the economic and social development of our neighbours does more for curtailing animosity towards our nation than a squadron of jets ever could. No submarine can prevent a terrorist attack. Yet this government has annihilated the aid budget to pay for a program of refugee detention that has wreaked havoc on our international reputation, and is likely to destabilise Papua New Guinea. It has cut funding to the Australia Network, one of our most obvious soft power initiatives. Abbott has talked big of the courage of this government. That’s bullshit. This was a cowardly budget. It places the burden of Australia’s budget correction on the backs of those least able to bare the load without addressing any of the long term structural drivers of our budget problems. This budget shows a complete lack of leadership, competence and compassion. It is thoroughly un-Australian and I sincerely hope it earns this government the boot.

2014

A LYC I A

M O F FAT

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A BELLE-LETTRISTIC ESSAY BASED ON ONE OF KAFKA’S APHORISMS, FROM WHICH PROBABLY NOT ENOUGH HAS BEEN REMOVED HU G O

B R A N L EY

16 - “A cage went in search of a bird.” (“ ) direction, like a criminal. Reading, we feel out of our depth, like local police called to investigate the traces left by a criminal mastermind, whose pride it is to compress a thousand possible motives, means and opportunities into the scantest of traces, so that every detail of the crime them is incredibly moving, but they resemble nothing else I have read. There is little to compare them to. They are dark, and dense, and seemingly pathless; you lose track of them, and of their strange, suggestive meanings, very easily. Oddly, despite all of this, the one question tion, is: how are we to understand them? I am going to offer a suggestion here, in the hope their way a little. The question of understanding the Aphorisms does not spring to mind immediately, but waits rience of reading is unusually free from this sort of demand; a series of bright, clear thoughts

the perfect suspects. So far, so good; you read, and meaning intersects with meaning as each aphorism slides, one by one, before your eyes. It is this progression, however, that you grasp onto when the problem of interpretation presents itself: Is this a story? Does each aphorism inform the next? Do the numbers that alone title each fragment add up, according to some hermetic arithmetic? Or is it a collection of unruly fragments, stitched together only in order to focus attention more directly on the uniqueness of its constitutive parts, each of which stands out starkly in

to impale yourself on. Say you chose to look at each page as though it were the only one, and whose appeal is never the less not in their nature as images, but rather in the way they seem to condense a concept, or a piece of deduction, into a single set of external relationships, woven together into a tight weave whose individual strands strain tautly against each other. Perhaps the best analogy to reading the Aphorisms is that of a detective story; but rather than deducing, from relations between the clues left at the scene of the crime, the whole tale

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reversal of concepts. You might, depending, get some way in before you give up. There exist strands of meaning suspended all the way through the text, continuous dialogue between of a broken mirror. There is, however, no way to run it through into a contiguous series of meditations, as Kafka’s much-maligned literary executor attempted; the thread of meaning will


emerge over the course of three or four comments, and disappear without a trace, maybe for one aphorism, maybe, apparently, for good. The thread of meaning becomes, then, as it is But perhaps this is the only way remaining to us, if we want to tell someone else what this , for example. Even when set in the midst of the other aphorisms, its beautiful reversal of what another writer, perhaps, would th

sudden, shocking in its obliqueness and its brevity. It is not, however, a clear image; Kafka takes a step, and constructs a striking image, and then takes one more step, out beyond this. What would seem to be a miniature description, a literary thumbnail sketch, dissolves on closer inspection, becoming something far too ambiguous to catch the mind’s eye. Strong images, I understand. I could quite easily grasp the appeal of a brief, precise description- even if it were the case that the idea behind selecting that image and no other remained obscure, which consists only in its sensuous, descriptive qualities:

. It is an image, a coherent description of a single tactile experience, without abstractions of any kind, and it can be seen, and felt, startlingly vividly. There are no underlying assumptions nor hint of caveat lurking behind the description; nor is there any hint of an attempt at evaluation, neither valorisation nor denigration. You merely experience th

species of thing. It seems intuitively impossible, therefore, that they could share the same purpose. er quite clear what it would look like, for a cage to go in search of a bird. However, it need not ‘Out Beyond This’ 2014 abstract, and its trenchancy related more to its conceptual perspicacity than to its sharpness as an image. If so, it would be closer in purpose to the archetypal aphorism, as was set down by, say, Kraus, Kafka’s Austro-Hungarian contemporary; or Nietzsche, the Übermensch of philosophical laconicism. Perhaps this sentence does not represent a kind of lyrical image, as

TA R A

SH E NOY 7


mot or epigram, or perhaps a sort of intellectual pun or eccentric philosophical statement, or a piquant observation. A hard, clear jewel of a thought, set in an ornamental poetic mounting.

true, would become in some way metaphorical; hints dropped in order to signal a meaning that lies deeper down, or that hides behind them. Elucidating the meaning would not be so hard, in that case; the more we teased apart the connotations of its constituent elements,

BIRD weight/ lightness enclosure/ openness captivity/ freedom inanimate/ animate etc.

this basis, we could mount a semiotic investigation of each constituent part, tracing associations and relations, on the model of: -

‘Cage’ engages a network of concepts of enclosure, captivity, unfreedom.

CAGE

-

Therefore, the bird/cage opposition maps the following conceptual oppositions:

And the various language-games we can play with the verb ‘to search:’ after having lost something; for a way out, for an answer, for nothing in particular, to search without a clear

just wait. Don’t wait, be still and alone. The whole world will offer itself to you to be nothing fundamental. Admittedly, it is not the best attempt at close reading ever attempted, but this does not matter, because it becomes immediately apparent that no-matter how dation because it is not a metaphor, nor does it gesture toward some other, hidden meaning; rather, meaning suffuses it entirely and radiates in all directions. It is all surface; there are no depths to it. Meaning does not need to be coaxed out of it in other, ‘higher’ registers; it over-

it without effort or direction. And perhaps that is what this small book is: futile with respect to meaning, bearing witness to the creation of what it is to mean. And perhaps this is how we

8

of the kind they attempted to wean you onto in high school or in Intro to Poetry, does not help here. Not because it’s somehow incorrect, or because what’s really needed is Robin Williams to sweep in and sweep out such anal-retentive mumbling with some more romantic or humanistic way of understanding and relating to poetry- or in this case, to a small, costive, half made up sentence. It simply isn’t the kind of thing either method was designed to is unnecessary. It is a thing, in fact, very like the thing which animates the very last aphorism


too often, and too habitually, cages. We would seem too often to take something with us in

sing. To make it a songbird, and to give what was sheerly a bird that meaning or purpose as an essence: to sing. However, the bird twists away again. Because if the purpose and the meaning of this little sentence is to show us how we ourselves ensnare and enclose our own meanings- what it? And what do all of these attempts to explain the Aphorisms leave us with, in the end? Nothing. Except:

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T H E LAS T DAYS OF JO HN N Y D O E SET H Jonathan James Doe and his unfortunate th

an oversight resulting from an absentee father and a teenage mother who had never heard the term before. It was a quirk that went largely unnoticed; when a social worker was sent to investigate what was thought to be a bureaucratic anomaly, little Johnny was found tottering around his Mamma playing with a toy train. At that point it was a little too late. three years and strangely enough, the child seemed to have become quite attached to his name. Attempts were made to include his into the mix. But the boy never really seemed Over the course of his teenage years he weathered the storm. Indeed by the th birthday rolled around, Johnny had fully embraced the moniker, although other two letters, largely to avoid instances of him. The joke had been accidental, as had his birth; a pattern that continued throughout the rest of his life. Johnny stumbled his way through adolescence and school, surviving predominantly on natural ability and luck. Both of which he seemed to have in abun-

10

ROB I N S ON

dance. The fact was; Johnny was as okay with his circumstance as he was his name. He was a talented guy who achieved a lot having cracked a textbook. What came after that, however, was open-ended. Johnny’s young, remarried, college, and for the most part he agreed. Higher education appealed to him. The only problem was that, like most kids in their late teens, Johnny had no idea as to what it was he wanted to do when he grew up. Indeed, for the most part Johnny had never been concerned with the greater questions of life: questions centered on notions of divinity, fate, and his greater place within the grand scheme of things did not occur to him until a chance encounter that took st birthday when, one day, he hopped on his motorcycle and took off. Johnny’s initial intention was to ride until he hit water. To the coast, as if to draw on a natural pre-disposition to seek answers from Mother Ocean. Instead, a series of events involving a nap in the sun and an unlikely meeting with two very pretty, very bubbly girls named Ruby and Mim, led our dearest Johnny to a night-time gathering of like minded souls on the banks of a lake overshadowed by pines.

ering, at the behest of Ruby and Mim, that Johnny met Bart Brooks, a paradox of truly Babylonian proportions. Consider for a moment, that, for all your life you have held on to one belief with a complete and utter dogmatism. It is not an idea routed in religious faith, any notion of principal or superstition, but something much more personal and basic. It is the seemingly concrete assumption that you are an unprecedented original; an amalgamation of physical features and personality Now imagine the seconds following the moment you come face to face with the individual who crushes that perception. Imagine the questions that arise from staring into your own eyes, as an expression of mixed confusion and curiosity, identical to your own, twists the borrowed face of your new acquaintance. This was Johnny’s experience when he met Bart Brooks. It began with shock, before following a logical progression; questions were raised regarding time travel and the possibility of extra-terrestrial involvement, before the swapping of childhood stories, and an eventual dive into questions of a more philosophical nature. It was a discussion without precedent that stretched into the early hours

way to embers and an oil slick sky turned from black to grey. Bart wove a story very different to Johnny’s own. It was the story of a father who stayed. It wasn’t a horror story, but it was far from the fairytale little Johnny had clung to growing up. Meeting Bart meant seeing his der someone had cut on the mirror. Their conversation was interrupted with the return of Ruby and Mim, who spurred the pair into the water of the lake for a pre-dawn swim. Happy for the reprieve, they accepted, dipping into the murky depths of the lake with tired eyes and laughter, splashing happily in the shallows. At some point, someone, it’s hard to say who for the early morning fog surrounds so many of these recollections, suggested a leap of faith, from the rocks above the lake. A blance to some sort of ancient Hebrew ruin bizarre circumstance, all parties agreed, and horizon four silhouettes launched themselves tumbled helter skelter to the water below. Four went down, and three came up. Somewhere, down beneath the water line, a boy, one in a matching set of snow-


It took the better part of a minute after the other three came up, laughing and splashing, for the realisation of their diminished number to strike. Laughs turned beneath the surface, duck diving down in later, three bodies emerged onto the lake’s bank, and concerns shifted. Lazy bodies call for help was met by protests centered upon little bags of powders and pills. It was a water, and those lying in the mud. Somewhere amongst the arguing and blame, the raised voices and pointed of keys from a pair of abandoned jeans and disappeared through the pines, onto a motorcycle that purred to life and carried him away. Perhaps towards the coast. In later days, a body was found. It had washed up on the muddy banks of a lake surrounded by pines. He was taken to the local morgue, and without any means of cold metal slab with a white sheet and a toe tag. For administrative purposes, they called him John Doe.

SA M B R A D L EY

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SA M B R A D L EY

12


C O M PA S S E S A N D T H I N G S A NO N . i threw my moral compass down the stairs where it spun haphazardly and i left it there the glass gleamed as the sun set over it and i watched it spin tick, tick, tick such a trivial thing, hands waving this way and that misalignment i threw it and i felt numb just watching it tick, tick, tick how could i throw you, my moral compass companion for so long? the centerpiece of my soul how could i let you lie there? a boy made me throw you he never asked, but he made me and i did nothing but comply

13


IN T HE SERVICE OF DEA D I DEA LS T.

14


Insofar as the concept of the University is received with an ear to the classical tones that the noun evokes, then today the only pronouncement possible is the recognition that the University exists only as a reproduced echo of a long dead voice that, even when it spoke Honestly, spoke with the native vocal chords of Power. Rarely has the University spoken otherwise. For Truth has become an alien tongue to the University, even though many within it still labour humbly in its name. For even when a servant of the University has composed and performed an Honest song it has always been the oppressive architecturalacoustics of our corporatized media-theatres – the pay-per-view taxation-audience and the imposed patronage of capitalist elites – that has dictated the tone of the performance’s reception. Consequently, even the most virtuoso performances of critical-social and with only short runs of the act being tolerated before being closed with minimal fanfare and as little publicity as possible. Indeed, today, such is the combined force of this privatised media-architecture that even the most thorough compositions of empirical proofs been deafened by both the cacophonous interventions of pre-purchased pundits and the oppressive silence of editorially sanctioned omissions. To the point then: the University as an Ideal is dead. If it has ever existed then it was a small and fragile existence that drew its last breath long ago and lies buried in an unmarked grave. However, if we were to forensically examine the corpse of the University today,

we might have expected that the death was inspection, the prima facie cause of death would appear to be Death by a Thousand Cuts. The question that arises, then, is why no anti-bodies native to the creature that was the University, rushed to its defence? To heal these incremental wounds? Again, the prima facie answer to this question might also be simple, albeit more tentative. In view of the evidence of repeated assaults set beside the incapacity of the organism to defend itself, one can only conclude that some order. How else to explain the apparent lack of defensive wounds? Understandably, our examination would likely conclude a combination of possible causes of death:

apparent psychological inability for self-care and self-preservation. Whatever diagnosis our examination would deliver, the fact remains: today the ideal of the University is recognisable only in the propaganda of the Marketing Departments that profess the merits of believing – despite evidence University’s Ghost. But this would provoke further questions still. For, this being noted, there are yet those of us who remain within the dying ecology of this industrialised, export-orientated carcass; different kind of parasite. One that cannot exist without the putrefying sustenance provided by the corpse; and, one that

the Academic – the ‘us’ that constitutes academia. Where were the academics

Rather than die with the host they have been cast into, they struggle instead to repurpose what is left so that for a time thereafter, they

needed to be defended? Where were the essential survival-behaviours upon which the University, as a social-organism, relied upon

Indeed, praise-be to the maggots and their

harm? And, here, an alternative explanation: perhaps, it was the academics themselves who poisoned the University from within? Did they abandon the mythical but no less ethical promise of their social-position? Was it that they blindly imbibed the Soma of corporate

Thus, today, students and the youth have who went before them, who so greedily suckled at the living breast of the University, who grew fat and strong and who have come in the due course to turn against their social and political progenitor; and who each

Perhaps the University was betrayed from a silent and slow mutiny, where one by one, the academics became bureaucratic privateers and intellectual pirates; expelling the sentimental, executing the resistors and enslaving the meek… But it is not to the faulty-memories of pastrecollections to which this is addressed and neither is this written in the masturbatoryhope of a resurrection; for to resurrect a corpse would only be to create a zombie. Indeed, so old is the carcass of the University that the struggles of student populations today – against the capitalist death cults of neo-Taylorist managerialism and globalised neo-Liberal piracy – resemble the struggling of maggots who seek, for themselves, refuge from the excoriating speeds of a globalising economy which murdered their host long before they were even born. There is no blame upon the maggots; they are strugglers and survivors who refuse to let the leftover nutrients of a dead institution go to waste.

preceded its unseemly death. And, secondly, the students of today have been betrayed by the academics who in abandoning the principles of social justice and solidarity, have become the willing Colonels and Sergeants in the pirate-forces of Australian Capitalism’s assault upon the workers, the poor, the sick, the elderly, the disabled, the young… This, in the least, is understood. But where to now for the frightened captives and indentured conscripts of the University? And what too for those struggling maggots? Who knows what will come forth from these larva, far more potent too? Potent enough perhaps to free the captives and conscripts? Potent enough to create a new ecology, a new organism…?

15


WINTER TARA

S H E NOY

Quietly picking up the hard blocks for inspection, turn to soft and crumble. He lends a sympathetic ear growing weary. The occupation is taxing to a moneylender, selling souls cheap to the hungry. Have the seasons changed so quickly? Summer warmed these bones just yesterday. Coconuts have hard shells because they are empty. Am I?

16


‘ph

SOPHIE

BISHOP

When I was drawing the ‘phallis’ series I was exploring line. I like the idea that in nature, nothing can ever be perfectly straight. It made me think about how even the hardest and straightest surface is actually made up of matter that’s just a bunch of tiny organic parts bouncing off each other. The cell-like appearance of the work came from this notion. I feel like the nature of this work falls into the category of lost and found because it’s

17


IN THE DARK R AC HEL

KI R K

The streets are dark at night. The city always holds more than the blackness of open spaces. It’s worse here, where the tall walls stretch up far over your head, and the little alleys curve around to bite back on to themselves, leading you in constant circles. There’s a mass of shadows down here. The water left after some unseasonal rainstorm. The puddles are rubbish-clogged and tea-dark, and frothing with insect larvae. streets. They had been far from welcoming – nothing is welcoming at this time of night – but I had been able to sense light, and sound, and an active buzz coming from behind the walls of the buildings, the whole thing moving, and charged, and active in a great urban circulatory system. It is different here. The whole place is littered with sickening swathes of refuse. It mounts up into rotting piles against the walls, and stews in puddles. I walk quickly. I am regretting the shoes I put on before coming out. They’re high-heeled. They had seemed a good idea earlier, but with every step now they’re jabbing up so hard it feels as if they’re piercing my feet. It’s cold out here, too, and my jacket is thin. It’s bright white. It’s too bright. I have been walking for what feels like hours. There is nothing here, no noise, no life, no living system, only my shadow, striding ahead of me with giant-steps. ‘Are you alright?’ he says. ‘What are you doing out so late?’ I had thought it was just the dark that made it look that way, but now that he is walking over to me I can see that his hair really is a shiny tar-black. I can feel him looking at me through the dark. His gaze itches. His hair is too black, given the lines that run over his face like papercreases. He looks as old as my father, and my father has been grey for years. ‘Help,’ I say. ‘Please – I’m lost. I need to get to Marlin Street. Please help me.’ He smiles at me. His lips are like guts, stretched and shiny. ‘I can take you there,’ he says to me. ‘I know the way. I know this whole area. You’ll be safe

18

with me.’ He beckons me to follow him. I see that, after all, there is a spray of grey hairs climbing up the back of his head. It is invisible from the front. I press on after him. My heels are slipping all over the slimy pavement. ‘What are you doing out so late?’ he asks me. ‘I was seeing a friend,’ I tell him. There is a puddle ahead of me. The water is fetid and stinking. I move to go around it, but I catch the edge of my shoe on something that tips over and clangs against the concrete, and I nearly fall. The man moves in closer. There is a hand on the back of my arm, suddenly, and I can feel it through my jacket, tight and far too warm. I shrug him off. It all happens quickly. When he moves away again I can still hear the reverberations from the thing I knocked over echoing up and down the street. His beetleblack shoes are striding along next to mine.

We keep walking on in our half-silence. The man is a little ahead of me again. He must know brief glances back towards me to make sure that I am still following. Whenever we pass under streetlights I can see him more clearly. I keep catching glimpses of the grey at the back of his head. He must have dyed it, and dyed it badly – it would be too odd, otherwise, for this one section to stand out so dramatically. It’s very hard to see the back of your own head. I start to wonder why no one has told him about it. Surely, someone must have talked to him for long enough to bring it up. I am still wondering when he stops and grabs me by the arm. I try to pull away. He yanks me back, hard, against the brick wall. My shoes are sliding on the cement. He is gripping me too tightly, and I try to twist out of his grip, but he says ‘Stop. Listen.’ He is looking at me – no, past me – straight over the back of my head, down the alleyway behind us. I see, now, that we are standing in a cupboard-sized niche in the brick wall. There is water seeping out from the brick, like blood from a graze. It sinks straight through my jacket and spreads cold hands over my skin. He says, ‘Do you hear that?’ I listen. There is a heavy thudding sound coming from behind us. It is like the noise from before, but this is loud, and irregular. Someone is stumbling up the street. I had been hearing footsteps, of course, and it surprises me that I hadn’t realised this earlier. He’s strongly built, but little more than a boy, really. He looks as if he might be a little older than me. He is reelingly the street with long, leaning, near-toppling steps. I wait until he has passed. I say, ‘Thank you.’


‘You’re welcome,’ the man says to me. I am very close to him. His hand is still on my arm. In unpleasantly with the street’s rotting perfume. We move on a little more slowly after that. It is too slowly, for me; I am on edge now, more aware of the cold and my stilted steps. It seems to me that the rhythmic sound from before has returned. It is ringing out around us. It is possible, I suppose, that it is only the steady echo of our own footsteps. We seem far too loud, in this cave-still darkness. The man says, ‘Do you hear something?’ ‘I don’t hear anything,’ I reply. To stop him from pausing to listen more closely, I say ‘Where are we now?’ ‘Not too far,’ he tells me. The streets look the same. There are dark, shifting shadows fanning out from the streetlights. The noise behind us comes louder now. It is like a steady drip of water. I say, ‘Thank you for showing me the way.’ ‘Don’t worry about it.’ He isn’t looking at me when he says it. ‘I’ve got a daughter – I think she’d be about your age. I wouldn’t want her out on the streets alone.’ I don’t say anything. The noise is getting louder. It is not loud, but it is perceptible, and repetitive, and it seems to be pounding against my skull. The man continues. ‘I’m divorced, actually. I haven’t seen her in years. I barely know what she looks like now. The picture in my The noise has an up-and-down rhythm, like a drumbeat, a clattering like the turning of a broken bike chain. It is coming from my right. This is not the drunk man. This does not sound like his meaningless stumbling steps. ‘Come on,’ I say to the man, ‘I think I know the way now, I know this place. Come this way,’ and I urge him up the alleyway to my right, and the noise is coming from all around us, getting

leather wallet and hands it to me. It has been etched with an absurdly feminine design. I open it. There is a wad of colour inside – not much, but enough to have made this worth it. A faded picture stares out at me. She is younger than me, younger even than I would photograph, rubbed bare by hard leather. There is a curl of hair straggling down over her face. It is lighter than the man’s dyed hair. I pull the money out. Aside from the picture, there is nothing else in the wallet. No cards. Nothing useful. I drop it. It lands in a puddle. There ‘Here’s your share,’ I say to Chris, handing a little under half of the money down. ‘Anything decent?’ ‘Nothing,’ he says, and stands. In my high heels I am inches taller than he is. It’s a good I nod down at him. He and I both know that there is no point in wasting the darkness. before. When I eventually run into him he is bracing himself against a lamppost. This close, I can smell the alcohol. It’s an unpleasantly clinical odour. It reminds me of hospitals, and clean than I had thought he was. He might be younger than I am. ‘Please help me,’ I say. If I listen closely, I can hear the slight skittering sound of Chris’s footsteps as he moves himself into position up an adjacent alleyway. The boy looks me up and down. He smiles. ‘Please help me,’ I say again. ‘I’m lost.’

The man notices a second after I do. He starts suddenly with surprise, twitching like someone When he hits the ground, I hear it echo.

‘Walked quickly, didn’t he?’ he says. ‘I was having trouble keeping up.’ ‘I know,’ I tell him. ‘I could hear you most of the way, Chris. You’ve got to be quieter. This one might’ve gotten suspicious if we’d left it any longer.’ ‘Was he any trouble?’ Chris asks me. I shrug. ‘Not much. Nothing I couldn’t have handled.’

19


I I I

-

‘ O N C E

L I V

U P O N

A

T I M E ’

H E L M O R E

I am a woman without a dowry... It would seem to the world an empty equation – I offered you nothing. But you shouted into the lanes, and down each alley: let all thought, for then you would not owe me anything but yourself, your mouth, your eyes. When you offered me so much laughter, how could I look away? Once upon a time, I was a woman without a dowry... In these hours before midnight, I laugh with both my eyes at a world that never believed I would marry.

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Woroni: Creative Edition, 2014  

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