Archive: Arena Quarterly #3

War Without, Rot Within: The Collapse of Australian Party Politics

The central political fact of our time…is the total de-representation of whole sectors of the population from the polity, or from any notion of a social whole, on a staggering and unprecedented scale.

Fuelling ‘The China Threat’

The new moral panic about ‘the China threat’, and the comparative indifference in Australia about significantly more intrusive forms of foreign interference by the United States and the United Kingdom, for example, is orientalist and often racist: China is not a member of the Western club, so it is suspect.

Editorial, Arena no. 3: Defence After the Rise of China

Rather than addressing the realities of our place in the region, the Morrison government’s emerging defence strategy is an attempt to hold the old assumptions in place. It is utopian conservatism at its worst.

Après moi, le déluge: Artists after Art

The ‘artist’ is no longer simply an individual maker, an avant-garde visionary, a person exploring the specifics and limits of a medium, or indeed any of the other familiar figures of aesthetic modernity. Instead, the ‘artist’ is marked out by their success at doing exactly what late capitalism demands; that is, everything, and in a flagrantly vacuous way.

There’s No Time Left Not To Do Everything

…continuing a supplicant politics, where we beg or demand of governments that they act, is both destined to fail and underplaying our hand.

Stop Press: Farewell to Arena Printing

Title: Stop Press Standfirst: Farewell to Arena Printing Authors: Guy Rundle, Melinda Hinkson, Simon Cooper Bios: Guy Rundle, Melinda Hinkson and Simon Cooper are Arena Publications Editors. In the early 1990s Melinda and Guy ran presses for Arena Printing. GRAB: Everyone who spent any substantial time on the letterpress machines—elegant Italian behemoths purchased when the industry as a whole began switching over to offset printing—had a moment when they felt like giving it all up.…

Against Resilience

In our topsy-turvy world...the ‘abnormal’ has become ‘normal’, to be resilient is now to be relatively comfortable with unsustainable degrees of madness and change.

‘Not the Hilton’: ‘Vernacular violence’ in COVID-19 quarantine and detention hotels

The responses of returned travellers to their time in quarantine have rendered visible what has, for most of the Australian community, remained out of sight for many decades. …the experience of what being detained feels and looks like has been brought to light by media and social-media stories.

Whatever It Takes: The politics of Indigenous vulnerability and extracted futures in northern Australia

Blink and you’ll miss the Northern Territory on national COVID-19 graphs. Almost 34,000 tests have been conducted here since March. All 34 positively diagnosed people, mostly returned travellers, have recovered. No community transmission, no deaths.