Just before restrictions came into effect in late June, I converted my dining room into a new art studio, pushing the table into one corner and setting up my writing space in the other. ‘We’ll just eat at the coffee table from now on,’ I announced to my husband and the kids, as I placed art supplies, stationery and pot plants on the dining table. I was anticipating a new phase of creativity. My first book The Mother Wound was about to be published and I had promised myself that I would spend the second half of the year developing […]
In the beginning, the reporters crept tentatively onto social media, like gazelles at a waterhole, gazing round nervously before lowering their heads. Slowly at first, they drank from the vast pool, always watchful for the predators lurking in the shadows. They tentatively shared links to their work and asked shyly for leads and story ideas. They were content with that. The loud aggressive displays of attention were for others: for the lions of industry, the policy shapers and the politicians; the kinds of people they would observe and report on. Fast forward a decade or so, and the gazelles seem […]
The home of the Collins St Peregrine Falcon, the fastest creature on the planet, attracts dedicated attention each spring as Melburnians follow its 24/7 live webcam. In response to strong demand for architectural analysis, Meanjin asked critic Esther Anatolitis to explore its unique form at the apex of Australia’s art and design capital. To complement her relentlessly murderous lifestyle, the Collins St Peregrine Falcon prefers a Modernist apartment of functional materials, muted colours and magnificent proportions. Spartan in both style and substance, the open plan follows a program-led typology, accommodating the Falcon’s limited routine of standing majestically, casting her […]
Roz the Wild Robot and Hiccup Haddock the Dragon Trainer flashed up in my Facebook memories this morning. Hiccup was in a triumphant fighting pose, a brilliant jet of cellophane fire in one hand. Roz stood with a slightly awkward angle in his silver-sprayed robot body and silver head. They were standing at our front door, just about to head off to school. Book Week 2019. I instructed Roz’s classmates to assist him in the parade around the soccer pitch. He lacked peripheral vision and his metallic newspaper stocking-filled arms dangled by his side. With his real arms tucked neatly […]
The grief with which Afghan Australians are watching their homeland on the brink of a humanitarian crisis and the Taliban taking over is compounded by the knowledge that the Australian government continues to deny Afghan Australians justice by, first, holding to account the Australian Special Forces Soldiers who committed heinous acts of violence and, second, by refusing to issue immediate evacuation orders for those Afghans who served as interpreters and employees assisting Australia during their deployment. On Monday 19 April, 2021 Defence Minister Peter Dutton announced that he would overturn General Angus Campbell’s decision to strip meritorious unit citations from […]
Dear Marise … The extraordinary response of your government to the humanitarian catastrophe now unfolding is shameful and unforgivable.
When my daughter came home from childcare the other day, she responded to my outstretched arms in the same way she did to seeing her own shit in the bath the night before: with a piercing scream, and the desperate clutching of mummy. This was my fault. There was a heavy thump on the porch that morning, a sound to which I’ve become acutely sensitive. In lockdown, I’m a starved and sorry animal, desperate for the slight endorphin jabs of the ‘Buy’ button and the corresponding sound of the postie. I jogged to the door and found a large box […]
Autumn is ending. I feel the seasons change each year. I watch for the signs of winter, wait for it; the gentler touch of grey daylight, the taste of frost in the morning. I feel the seasons change around me, I feel the cold come, and imagine myself becoming whole. I caught the last flight out of Melbourne before the city’s fourth lockdown fell and watched this last autumn end while quarantining from my home in Adelaide. The Delta variant of COVID-19 seems to escalate quickly but the signs of the virus can take weeks to show, even though it […]
My eyes are painfully sore from lying in bed till 3am while holding a phone above my face and tapping it with my finger—I mean, scrolling. Oh yes, the phone was displaying environmentally unfriendly content best described as a spectacular ‘cancel campaign’ that exploded across Twitter and Instagram (never mind that I had work the next day). The drama was not even unfolding live; most of the Tweets happened ‘5hrs ago,’ but I needed updates on this cyber inquisition. If I had woken up to the news that Mark Zuckerberg made it to space, I would have felt incredibly proud, […]
We’re locked down, little by little losing touch with familiar, comforting elements of the greater world. Social distancing is one thing, but we can still join, shoulder to shoulder, in the life of the mind. Here at Meanjin we’d like to make a small contribution, dipping into our 80-year archive to offer a daily piece of reading … some words to fill the growing quiet moments of our days. It’s an odd reflection, but when Meanjin as established, back in December 1940, the intention of its founding editor Clem Christesen was to offer a literary buffer to hard times. Back […]
Was the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia drunk on the floor of Parliament the other day? Hansard doesn’t capture the smirk on the his face as he swayed at the dispatch box, nor the crimson stylings of his skin tone. But the official transcript of what he said––the final paragraph of it, before the leader of the Opposition rose on a point of order––makes it hard to imagine that something wasn’t wrong: Mr JOYCE : I like going to the movies. I always remember Howard Hughes, The Aviator, but the Labor Party have got ‘Albo the advocator’—the great advocator, the ideas man, […]
At the sour point of the 2019 federal election, I was shitfaced in the Fremantle tennis club men’s room, slurring my way through a drunken rendition of The Red Flag. As I sang, I thought: bastards … useless ratf*ck bastards … couldn’t raffle a chook in a bloody pub. Just useless.