May, 2018

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Mark Basil Butler – A Life in Books. Book 8: My Family and Other Animus, by James Jeffrey

, May 03, 2018

For James Jeffrey, it is not about the politics, but the people, which is probably why he has managed to survive for so long in the toxic political environment at the Oz, stuffed as it is with Liberal Party operatives and conservative thinkers (forgive the oxymoron). He is genuinely (not, unlike many News Corpse writers, unintentionally) funny. Deeply funny. The kind of funny that leaves you in tears, but not always tears of laughter.
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Uluru’s Field of Lights: Underwhelming and reminiscent of aisle 12 at Bunnings

, May 02, 2018

The field spreads out before us as a jacket of a tradie after a Saturday night at Monsoons nightclub in Darwin. We feel a level of regret akin to those Sunday mornings at having parted with 35 precious dollars to observe a wide scale recreation of the lightbulb section of Aisle 12 Bunnings.
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Queensland Police State, by Earthworks Poster Collective, 1978

, Dec 27, 2017

Further to the previous post by John Birmingham published at his Alien Side Boob website, this just popped into my inbox from Chips Mackinolty. It is a poster—among many—that he knocked up while at the Earthworks Poster Collective in Sydney around this time. Chips also sent through the following short note … see, even New South […]
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Streetscapes, Alice Springs, December 2017

, Dec 27, 2017

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I took a stroll around Alice Springs the other day … well, really I took a drive, it was 40C or so outside of the air-conditioned Troopie … here are some things I saw.
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Graverobbers for God – AIATSIS, the Vatican and anthropologists on the Tiwi islands

, Dec 20, 2017

Now after the Catholic church has spent over a century stripping us of everything they could get their thieving hands on including our culture and our children, they have managed to find themselves another role to play. To add insult to injury they now present themselves to the world as the preservers and keepers of Tiwi culture.
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Ben the Dingo’s excellent Christmas Holiday adventures

, Dec 18, 2017

Ben the Dingo has a combination of freedom, security, love and wildness that suits him perfectly. He is an entity to himself and well loved in the community and beyond. He has been given a chance in life and has thrived.
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Judy Bamberger: Refugees Welcome Here

, Dec 06, 2017

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This is a guest post by Sean Davey, a freelance photographer, curator and gallery director based in Canberra, Australia. For the last week and a half, Judy Bamberger has been staging a one-woman protest at the front of Parliament House in Canberra, sitting under a makeshift awning in the constant rain. Judy is protesting the treatment […]
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Fag-ends of capitalism – the empty shops of Geelong CBD

, Nov 12, 2017

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I spent a few days in Geelong (yes, I have a good reason) earlier this week. Inspired by the photos of Koulla Roussos of empty shops and premises in Darwin, I thought I’d document a few of the fag ends of capitalism scattered around the Geelong CBD. Your comments are welcome …

Punks, junkies, bikies and an iconic poster – From Uluru to Wollongong and back

, Nov 01, 2017

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Wollongong, and in no small way the junkies, punks, bikies—and barmaids—of that town, had made an unsung contribution to the success of the Uluru handback. They had proved to one Anangu man that Australians of good will can be found in the most unexpected places.
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LOVE – new portraits by Therese Ritchie

, Sep 24, 2017

Portraits by Therese Ritchie, Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, Vimy Lane, Parap 28th September through 7 October 2017. Presented by the Darwin Pride Festival.
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Love – portraits by Therese Ritchie. A Darwin Pride Festival 2017 presentation.

, Sep 24, 2017

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How the portraits came about is simple, but its alchemy is difficult to explain. Overall it involves listening to each subject as they talk about aspects of their sexuality. Usually by the end of the conversation, we will have collated a list of relevant words and phrases. It is not a chronological list but definitely an elegant description of a life. There is always one word or phrase that resonates very deeply with the subject and that is what they take to the next level through merging the words with the physical form—in this case their bodies.
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In defence of the Ludmilla, Kulaluk, Nightcliff foreshore: saving Darwin’s secret gardens

, Sep 20, 2017

"If the take the mangroves, we Saltwater People will have nothing left of our traditional way of life which has been handed down to us by our old people," Joy White, Public Officer, Bagot community, Darwin.
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Beating the Dreaded Lurgi – one bowl of Sopa de Ajo at a time.

, Sep 14, 2017

Sopa de Ajo - a soup that can "cure any form of the Dreaded Lurgi (cough, cold or ‘flu), probably cancer and definitely climate change."
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Saving Darwin – from itself

, Sep 05, 2017

Darwin's suburbs are wild, wonderful spaces that people retreat to with great delight. Look at what the suburbs do well. How do you translate these ideas into an urban setting without resorting to 'tropical character' architectural cliches?
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Stevie Ray Vaughan, “Texas Flood”

, Aug 29, 2017

Well there's floodin' down in Texas All of the telephone lines are down Well there's floodin' down in Texas All of the telephone lines are down And I've been tryin' to call my baby Lord and I can't get a single sound "Texas Flood", from the Stevie Ray Vaughan album of the same name.
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I am, you are, we are Australian?

, Aug 27, 2017

Nyinawanga needed a passport. And for this Australian born artist, that was a problem. We got the passport photos done, and filled out and witnessed all the forms, but there being no records of birth was the killer. The guy at Immigration was pretty firm about it. “What about mission records?” he asked. There was no mission, the reply. “What about the stud book?” He isn’t in there, the response, along with “Just look at the photo, he’s obviously Australian!”
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Yes, I can cook! Koulla Roussos on unrequited sex, art, food, jail and a pair of steel-capped boots

, Aug 14, 2017

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He winked and said, "no more chances". I slipped back into my steel cap boots, and marched confidently with a swagger towards the interview room. So yeah, I can fucking cook.
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Buzzfeed, the Garma Festival and the noble savage

, Aug 09, 2017

For mine it is but a few short steps from the Buzzfeed treatment of this year's Garma Festival to a neo-romantic and naive view of contemporary Aboriginal society as "noble savages". But Buzzfeed can easily do better than 16 Photos, as we can see in this piece by Simon Crera, 16 Powerful Photos Of The Oldest Living Culture On Earth, which looked at the 2014 Garma Festival.
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Linda Joy, Stone Country. Paul Johnstone Gallery, Darwin. Review by Koulla Roussos

, Aug 08, 2017

Landscape is perhaps the most value laden of genres within which to peel back the layers of influence in post-contact Australian history. Landscape in Australian art history and in particular “pastoraphilia” as the leitmotif of Australian nationhood and identity, mitigated the harsh historical realities and made palpable the strange and un-picturesque landscape for European eyes. Landscape is infused with the legacy of (and in this part of the world the ongoing) dispossession of land and wholesale destruction of people and culture.
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Open Cut – people of the south-western Gulf of Carpentaria speak out in words and pictures

, Aug 06, 2017

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After 150 years of white development it’s time for environmental justice in the southwest Gulf, for fair treatment and meaningful involvement of Aboriginal people with respect to development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies in their ancestral lands. The goal must be a fair distribution of the environmental benefits and costs.