Arena Online

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?

Stay in your lane: the oxymoron of ‘authentic fiction’ (Part II)

In all of this worry about authenticity, authority and authorial/appropriated identities, there is one identity that regularly gets forgotten: that of the reader

Weaponising Human Rights: Can the Magnitsky Act deny due process?

The Australian parliament seems about to approve a ‘human rights’ law that would establish the ability to exert arbitrary state power over individuals in other countries who have been accused of human rights violations.

The Little Girl who stood up for Peace

Decades after its original run, Mafalda, the adored comic strip created by the late Argentinian cartoonist Quino, remains timely and potent.

‘The Aboriginal Gulag’: The Northern Territory’s Criminal Legal System

It is no longer an overworked, under-resourced and at times chaotic legal system. It is now not fit for purpose and has become a depraved jailing machine consuming Aboriginal men, women and children at an ever-increasing rate.

Stay in your Lane: the oxymoron of ‘authentic fiction’ (Part I)

Are these judges…genuinely concerned about cultural appropriation? Or are they actually concerned about the accusations of cultural appropriation that are likely to result (via social media) if they award and publish a story that turns out to be written by someone who doesn’t identify clearly and directly with their subject matter?

Plagued by Chaos: An Inside View on the Anti-lockdown Protests

As lockdown restrictions slowly ease, a peruse of the encrypted networks used by anti-lockdown protesters reveals the extent to which confused allegiances and conspiracy theories have plagued the movement.