Arena Online

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.

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.

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.

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?).

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?