The abuse of human rights on Manus island by the Australian government is the logical outcome of more than a decade of the strategic dehumanisation of people seeking refuge in Australia that has been achieved by appealing to the colonial-hangover xenophobia that permeates our culture. At this point, the extreme disregard for these people has... Continue Reading →

Fear of a Quantified Planet

Researchers are more likely to receive funding, and to be perceived as authoritative if they have quantitative statistical data to associate with their work. This impulse to quantify limits and excludes the possibilities of creative and critical thought, and undermines its value by reducing complex dynamics and relations to numerical representation. The reduction of human experience to discrete data gives the appearance that that data is useful. It undermines and obscures experience that cannot be algorithmically predicted and exploited for commercial value.

What’s wrong with Radical?

Radical feminism is not, by definition, transphobic. The radicalisation of feminist thought does not require the exclusion or oppression of trans women. It does not require the reduction of anyone or their experiences to their genitals. Instead, radical feminism is any genre of feminism that interrogates the social system through which we are all oppressed. Its opposite is liberal feminism, which seeks to address inequity within existing systems of governance, society and commerce. Traditionally, radical feminism is defined in opposition to liberal feminism. Liberal feminism is any brand of feminist initiative that seeks to address inequity within existing social, legal and political systems.

For the love of the VNS Matrix

The VNS Matrix collective are/were/are a group of four artists from Adelaide who invented cyberfeminism. More or less.* I love them. For two reasons. Firstly hometown pride, and secondly, the vast improbability that something as globally influential and necessary would ever issue from Adelaide. Adelaide though.† On the VNS Matrix website, they describe the appearance... Continue Reading →

Viz.

Lately, I've been listening to the Le Tigre song "Viz" an awful lot. One of the many side effects of insisting on a national survey to respond to the proposition of marriage equality is the increased focus on queer people in the community, which results in coding queer visibility as "other" or "different" and most... Continue Reading →

From the Fragmented Archive- A Review of ‘The Great Refusal: Protesting 1948-1984’ (London, January 2014)

I have several digital storage locations filled with fragmented, unfinished and unpublished writing. Most of it should most definitely stay buried in the layered chaos of those drives, but there are few bits and pieces that may as well appear here.
The following is a review I wrote in January 2014, directly after seeing the exhibition, which apparently I was extremely unimpressed with. This seems to have been largely because it refused to engage with the intersectional dynamics of power between and within identity politics during the formation of protest movements, and the normative strata that the project reinforced. In the current Australian political climate, these reflections seem somewhat more relevant than they otherwise might.

You know what’s harder than making a lesbian film as a gay man? Making a lesbian film as a lesbian.

As the interviewer points out these films about lesbians are being made by men, and this phenomenon should be given more than just a shrug from someone as politically engaged as LaBruce. So when he says “in the 80s when I made my punk fanzine it was me and a couple of other women who started that movement. One of our platforms was really to encourage solidarity between radical lesbians and gay men” my first question is where are those women now? What are their names? What have their successes been relative to opportunity? So sure, it’s hard to make a lesbian film when you’re a (white) gay man, particularly when queer film festivals police the murky boundaries of identity with a rigid view to personal authenticity. But when asked, it's important to acknowledge that to make a lesbian film (or any film) as a lesbian is even less likely, which is something that should be articulated and addressed.

The Consequence of No

Once homophobia (or any kind of hatred) is given oxygen, it spreads. The legitimacy that a 'no' vote lends to the people who spread this hatred has the potential to provoke and support all manner of homophobia and violence. This provides a platform not simply to deny one right, but as a starting point from which to erode the rights that have already been fought for, and won. Contrary to appearances, history is not a straight line (ha ha) and the maintenance of rights requires vigilance and energy as well.

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