Arena Online

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.

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.

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?).