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.

Why the Shock?: Australian Atrocities in Afghanistan

When brutal events take place, they are disbelieved; if they are acknowledged they are justified and rationalised as aberrations. Scapegoats are found, retribution targeted for reasons of moral expiation.

­­Viral Economics: Lessons from the Second Wave

It is worth pausing to ask: what do these weak points in pandemic control—hotel security, meatpacking, and aged care—have in common? The answer is obvious: underpaid, under-trained, undervalued and under-protected workers, all belonging to privatised, casualised industries where workers with few rights and fewer benefits are forced to choose between following the rules to a tee or putting tea on the table.

Reimagining Regional Relationships

A post-COVID, post-neoliberal ordering of these relationships needs a new shared imagination Melbourne’s second lockdown and the enforced separation of the city’s residents from those of regional Victoria and the rest of the world has proven a sobering time in which to reflect upon a complex relationship. Across Melbourne, lockdown has delivered a collective jolt to the senses, a striking realisation of how deeply integral mobility is, in its myriad forms, to our taken-for-granted sense…

A Frozen Conflict Melts: Nagorno-Karabakh and War in the South Caucasus

Empires can prove rather loose in dividing up territory. The Soviet Union, in leaving Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan in 1923, was setting the scene for future violent squabbles, not least because the initial decision in 1921 had favoured Armenia. The former autonomous oblast comprises the north-eastern flank of the Karabakh Range of the Lesser Caucasus, extending […]

Fracking on Trial in the Northern Territory

As carbon dioxide in our atmosphere pushes 410 parts per million, fuelling a dangerous climate emergency, the world simply cannot afford to let the Northern Territory become the fossil-fuel industry’s next fracking frontier.

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’.

Dust in the Wind: The Transformation of University Culture

As universities competed to attract student dollars, advertising, once unheard of, consumed progressively larger proportions of stressed budgets. It also adopted the play of illusion and conditioned reflex practised by its forerunners in more commercial quarters, trafficking in fatuous slogans like ‘Dream Large’, ‘I Believe’, and ‘Worldly’ (huh?).

Editorial, Arena no. 4: Post-Trump Fantasies

While an America oriented to international climate agreements will make an important contribution, ‘Me? A socialist?’ Biden is not very likely to understand or seek to basically reform the hyper-destructive forces of contemporary capitalism.

Kettling for COVID: Police and protest in Melbourne

…police forces everywhere have been militarising their equipment, procedures and general outlook. They have been taking on the strategies of special operations forces, influenced by discourses of terrorism, learning new and terrifying tactics…

Non-consensual reality: Conspiracy thinking, delusions and disputed truth

Feeding into this inchoate state of transgression is a cross-current of vectors: our knowledge of impending climate catastrophe, the disavowed madness of the economic system, the danger and transformative power of COVID-19, galloping I-centredness, social fragmentations, and more. This welter of concerns raises the deepest anxiety.

For Djab Wurrung trees and country

In nearly all cases where states require associations of traditional connection to be publicly performed in order to be recognised, the persons called upon and authorised to perform them have had their associations fractured by colonial dispossession.

The divided citizen: Robo-debt was just the beginning

What does a citizen look like in the eyes of the state when she is constructed from multiple databases and how does she respond to the resultant kaleidoscopic rendition of her?
The Alan Roberts Prize