Archive: Arena Online

New Statism: The Banalisation of Violence and the Construction of Fear

Since present-day states are similar to colonial states that practised coercion, the experiences of anti-colonial struggle might be used to inspire struggle against today’s emerging state form.


It’s not the ‘unclaimed’ who line the graves of the world’s potter’s fields: known or unknown, named or unnamed, you can be sure there is one thing they share in common—they’re paupers, all.

A Virus Is Colonising Our Public Life

Viruses, bacteria and colonialism are related; the connection linking colonialism and pathogens is metaphorical as well as literal. We can make sense of one by referring to the others.

Postcard from Maningrida: COVID Comment from the Forgotten Corners of Remote Australia

In the forgotten corners of remote Australia, Indigenous communities have experienced the pandemic very differently.


It is odd that digital images born from a distant satellite should move me so deeply, while this—the sheer loveliness of ordinary faces—leaves me feeling nothing much at all.

A Tale of Two Outbreaks

Siblings Leanne and Pailey Wang reflect on the coronavirus outbreak as witnessed from different sides of the globe.

Judging Cardinal Pell: For Victims of Historical Sexual Abuse the Justice System Needs Further Reform

Contrary to some mainstream-media reports, the High Court did not completely exonerate Pell; rather, it judged that the evidence against him did not reach the standard required to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

Participative Platforms and Alternative Tech Regimes

After COVID, it is possible that participatory democracy will become more mediatised, and public and cooperative initiatives will rise as alternatives to recover technological infrastructure as a public good.

Coronavirus and the Rightful Place of Science

COVID-19 may herald a welcome reversal of the ‘post-truth’ turn, and an acceptance that facts matter and expertise counts; there are, however, many reasons not to embrace such reassertions of expert authority uncritically.

‘We’ve Been Sick for a While…’: English Language Education Industry’s Problems Run Deeper than COVID-19

Many have made the case that the COVID-19 pandemic poses an existential threat to English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) and therefore to these jobs, students and institutions. Although this is nominally true, the crisis has revealed the unsustainable and unethical business practices on which ELICOS colleges have always depended.

COVID-19-inspired Western Altruism Ignores the World’s Unpeople

There is a forgetfulness present in the current crisis as we focus on the terrible tragedies unfolding in Western countries, especially the United States. These places are not the usual sites of such carnage—not on this epic scale.

‘Self-isolation’: Beyond the Urban Bubble

While the coronavirus reinforces a fear of the urban it also reminds us of the urban-centric mindset that has consistently privileged urban life over lives elsewhere.