Comparative Monument (Ma’man Allah)—Tom Nicholson I’ve been reading Comparative Monument (Ma’man Allah), a book written by the Melbourne-based artist Tom Nicholson. Via spare prose, research and archival photographs, it details a journey the author took to Jerusalem in 2012. But this trip was not a holiday. Nicholson traced and researched the Ma’man Allah cemetery, an important and sacred site in both ancient and recent history. One notable feature of the graveyard that catches Nicholson’s eye is the flora: 69 Eucalyptus Camaldulensi, or River Red Gums. It’s hard to imagine any Australian travelling there and not being taken aback by so […]
It is 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, what Germans call the Mauerfall. Thirty years since Günter Schabowski flubbed his lines in the press conference, the world rubbed its eyes, and suddenly the people of both Germanys were dancing on the streets as the Iron Curtain’s most brutal manifestation fell to pieces—was smashed to pieces, rather, by ordinary people and heroes, in front of border guards who refused commands to stop them. Those scenes of joy—families and friends reunited, the freedom to travel restored—were beamed around the globe, one of the happiest moments […]
There’s a common misconception non-Indigenous Australians entertain regarding the closure of the Uluru summit climb: that somehow their opinion on the question matters. There are several arguments for stopping the climbing of Uluru. First there is the spiritual. According to the Anangu people there is a songline that is crossed and violated by the climb. We don’t need to understand these reasons, but we do need to respect them. Second, there is safety. People die climbing and there appears to be no way to prevent those deaths while keeping the climb open. Whenever someone dies climbing the rock the traditional […]
I woke up in late January, reached for my phone and opened Instagram. I saw Gemma Chan in a pale pink, one-shouldered dress. The caption read: Last looks… My heart sank. The dress signalled the end of awards season, but in other ways, it was only the beginning. * It all started with the Golden Globes and that dress: petrol blue, shorts, pockets, train, halter-bow neck, plunging back, pockets. Gemma wears matching heels, red lipstick and diamond earrings. Her hair is swept into a low bun. I spend weeks reading interviews, red carpet recaps and exclusive behind-the-scenes. Gemma’s […]
Google has this handy and terrifying feature called Timeline, which shows you everywhere you’ve ever been, how many times you’ve been there, and how long you’ve been there each time. It collects data from your phone, constantly if you have an Android, and if you have an iPhone, it logs your location every time you open the Google Maps app. Nothing disappears: your every movement is a collection of data points, fed into algorithms that use this information to do everything from alert you to traffic jams in your area to notify you when you’re running low on nappies for your […]
There is shock and horror in the Californian almond region tonight.
Initial reports suggest ten dead and at least a dozen more injured.
Click here to access a Spotify playlist of Sevdah music compiled by the author What I remember most is how yellow his skin was. He looked bilious to me, sickly. The wrinkles on his forehead were sharper because of the yellowish hue, and the way he sat in his wheelchair, hiding his amputated leg with a jacket, he seemed like he needed to get back to bed, not go on a holiday to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Like a typical wog family, we were all at the airport. My parents, my uncles and aunts, my cousins and their children—there were […]
In the crumbling church there’s a bone of a saint the Romans boiled in olive oil. A coat hanger is a deformed cross that has outlived the golden vestments of the priests. In her office on the hill the virgin’s ears intact in fake fur. She’ll stare forever at the very same stars that wheel above the world of the true night. A forgotten swamp’s refilled to the level of the recalled banks and the swifts return each dusk to the paper map spread out candlelit, and illumined as their valley. Adam Aitken’s memoir One Hundred […]