Essays

 

Defying racism with love and care

Defying racism with love and care

Thomas Mayo
Uluṟu stands still at the heart of the nation, an omnipresent red rock surrounded by an ocean of ochre. Immovable. The dark emu emerges each night, a silhouette among the stars. Unreachable. As sure as the sun will shine on ...
Yulendj Boonwurrung

Yulendj Boonwurrung

N'Arwee't Professor Carolyn Briggs
The history of the first people of Melbourne—the Yaluk-ut Weelam clan of the Boonwurrung The area we today call Melbourne was part of the estate of the Yaluk-ut Weelam clan. The Yaluk-ut Weelam were a clan of the Boonwurrung—one of ...
The thylacine icon

The thylacine icon

Kate Kruimink
The thylacine is an easy symbol of Tasmania’s exceptional wildness and beauty. You also receive the benefit of nostalgia from its image because it’s dead. You see it in shop windows felted, painted, sculpted and printed. It is available in ...
Lowering the cost of courage

Lowering the cost of courage

Kieran Pender
At a recent event in Melbourne to launch the Human Rights Law Centre’s Whistleblower Project, a new legal service for those who speak up about wrongdoing, an interesting divergence of views emerged. It revealed much about the troubled state of ...
The giving and taking away of voice: what art can do/                what it can’t

The giving and taking away of voice: what art can do/ what it can’t

Heather Taylor Johnson
The body is a recurring theme of experimental metaphor. Look at Picasso’s Nude in a rocking chair: a woman’s breasts, neck and head are balls, shaft and tip of penis, her belly a sharp-toothed monster. Hannah Wilke’s S.O.S. Starification Object ...
John Kinsella

John Kinsella

Meanjin
MEANJIN Hello, John, and thanks so much for taking part in this interview. As a long-time contributor to Meanjin across many forms—from poetry to essays and fiction—it’s wonderful to be able to delve into your work more deeply. I’d like ...
911 Lonely: Call Me Call Me Call Me

911 Lonely: Call Me Call Me Call Me

Declan Fry
Home / is where I want to be —Talking Heads, ‘This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)’ Home, home / I want to be —Lionel Fogarty, ‘Unforgotten’, Kargun Writing about Paul B Preciado in General Intellects (2017), McKenzie Wark once ...
On criticism

On criticism

Jane Howard
‘The great weakness of criticism in Australia is that it is not in itself a profession. Journalism is a profession. But to be a critic is to write a column in one’s spare time.’ That was theatre critic Katharine Brisbane ...
Australia in three books: I, memoir

Australia in three books: I, memoir

Amy Gray
I have a story. It will tell you something about me. You may already know me from That Thing or That Event, which I’m now using as a return to writing. That thing about me? It’s sad. I will ...
2023 Carumba Institute Meanjin Oration by Noel Pearson: Change the country for the good

2023 Carumba Institute Meanjin Oration by Noel Pearson: Change the country for the good

Noel Pearson
This referendum, if affirmed, will complete the Commonwealth of Australia through constitutional recognition of its Indigenous peoples. The words enshrine the presence of peoples whose ancestors made this continent their home for more than 60,000 years. In recognition of Aboriginal ...
State of the Nation?

State of the Nation?

Gary Foley
This apparent inability of most Australians to come to terms with their own history persists to this very day. As a university teacher and professor of history, I have for the past twenty years encountered and taught thousands of Australian students, ...
From the Archives: Interview with Kath Walker

From the Archives: Interview with Kath Walker

Oodgeroo Noonuccal
In considering the Meanjin Paper for this edition, we have dived deep into the archives of Meanjin, seeking to honour the voices of those that have come before. Through our reading of the archives, we understand that many of the ...
Along the road, sadlands

Along the road, sadlands

Tristen Harwood
We are always on Country, no matter if it is called city or desert, school or bush, road, rock, mountain, beach—even in the prison it is all Indigenous land. This is the settlers’ unpayable debt. I run down by the ...
Patterns, Power and Place—On Whose Terms?

Patterns, Power and Place—On Whose Terms?

Gregory Phillips
Current debates about an advisory voice, treaty and truth are emblematic of subtle yet familiar underlying sociopolitical patterns in Australia. These deeply flawed, repetitive patterns dictate whether Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples are included or not in the Australian ...
Culture and the case for dogs

Culture and the case for dogs

Paola Balla
I love dogs. I love dogs so deeply and unconditionally that I remember with acute clarity every dog I have ever had: their little quirks, stories about them, and the trauma and heartbreak of saying goodbye to each. The importance of ...