Citizens, Arise!

The first and last defence of democracy is in the street where we live.

On Walking Now

For Descartes thinking was all; to be human was to be a ‘thinking thing’ (res cogitans). Pierre Gassendi, writing in the 1640s, attempted to counter the exclusion of the body in his reply to Descartes’ Meditations. Gassendi’s proposition was stark: ambulo ergo sum (‘I walk therefore I am’).

Re-Worlding—with a Pluriversal New Deal

The Eurocentric fantasy of mastering nature has always been a problematic ontology.

Arena Online in 2020

In such a politically loaded time, it is plain that there is a need for serious, radical and critical analysis, and for this to work with practical actions and experiments in new social forms. It is equally plain that the carcass of mainstream media and corporate universities are unwilling and unable to fulfill their democratic function.

Again and Again: Settler-colonial extractivism and the Juukan Gorge inquiry’s interim report

…it seems the First Nations of Australia will be left with another empty promise that governments and mining companies, together so invested in their ongoing dispossession, will act in good faith to ‘protect’ them and their heritage. Surely nobody can reasonably believe this by now.

The Most Lethal Virus is Not COVID. It is War.

Covid has provided cover for this pandemic of propaganda. In July, Morrison took his cue from Trump and announced that Australia, which has no enemies, would spend $270 billion on provoking one, including missiles that could reach China.

The China Divide: Industry, technology and military relations are all tied up in strategies now unfolding

The United States is determined to stop China narrowing the gap in technological prowess. The new ‘digital iron curtain’ dividing the world into US and Chinese technological zones runs through Australia…

Old Greece, New Europe, Tomorrow’s Greece

If Greece is a portal to the soul of Europe, then the entire continent is ageing, insecure and anxious. If Greece continues to be locked into Old World tropes, then the new will continue to terrify it… It will be a challenge for Greek and European youth to reinvent its raison d’être, or else the Far Right will enhance its credentials.

Housing for Thriving in a Post-COVID World

Australia’s housing system is dominated by an owning–renting tenure duopoly, but there are many other ways to configure housing access…

Arena no. 4 is available now!

In our end-of-year issue, writers consider a world after COVID-19. Dare we look to a world remade—a world beyond a ‘new normal’? De-commodified housing models and grassroots ideas for communities and local councils are grounds for hope. Australia’s relationship with China, and the injustices wrought at Juukan Gorge, call for caution. A Pluriversal New Deal […]

From the Archive

Flash forward a few months into the very near future and imagine a moment when Trump, having to face up to an election, thinks it might just be better not to have one.

From the Archive

‘Fire’ may be an appropriate way to think and talk about the climate-change emergency, not just because we are literally dealing with a burning world but also because it does not bring with it the concerns associated with ‘rule by emergency’.

Dream Pastoral Inversions: Re-approaching pastoral fraughtness through questions of Australian rurality

In Australia, rural causation of climate damage, land toxicity, extinction through clearing (flora and fauna) and mass fire events that extinguish ancient forests are counteracted or even entirely denied because of the ‘necessity’ of food production and even a colonial-generational relationship to landholdings.

Antennas Aflame: Cybernetics, Conspiracies and 5G

Much of mainstream liberal commentary on the 5G conspiracy consists of snide dismissals that blame credulous individuals for inaccurate beliefs. Yet, given how widespread the 5G conspiracies have become, it is not enough to dismiss them...

Gratitude in the Time of a Pandemic: Melburnian and Indigenous Solidarity during Coronavirus

We communicated quickly and openly, we locked down ahead of everyone else, we ensured that holistic well-being was the centre of our responses and we treated ourselves with a dignity that we are not subject to in other areas of our Indigenous lives.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a place that exists: bitter peace in the Caucasus Mountains

…there was a non-violent solution to this—not clear or simple or easy, but possible. Instead, a calculated decision was made to use catastrophic violence—the lives and homes of tens of thousands be damned. The result, now clear, will be one unjust state of peace built upon the ruins of another.

Juukan Gorge Destruction: Extractivism and the Australian Settler-colonial Imagination

...the settler-colonial logic of elimination—of displacement for the purpose of replacement—has come to align in ever more destructive ways with the economic logic of neoliberal capitalism…

Justice Beyond Recognition: What Djab Wurrung Trees Tell Us

Systematic overwriting of one form of injustice with another reiterates the claim that settler law is not on the side of the First Nations. The innate unfairness in the system begets greater injustice by weighing economic interests against Indigenous rights that are incommensurable.