2014 Editors’ Picks – Summer Reading Pack

By Right Now

As 2014 comes to a close, our editors look back at the year that was.

This is our last article for the year, but we’ve collected enough reading here to get you through the holiday season!

So, what were the best of 2014 according to our editors?


Arts Editor Kevin Bathman – Racism and How to Lose Friends by Si Qi Wen

“I like this article by Si Qi Wen, as it resonated with where I am at currently. It’s been something I have been struggling with – accepting very different views even if it means going against my own values. Having had those hard conversations with my own friends, I have also lost a few friends just by the virture of telling them my views on racism in Australia.”

Editor Nicola Caon – I’m Not a Feminist, But… by Michelle Smith

“I like it because it Michelle sets out the current debate around the term ‘feminist’ in a strong yet balanced tone, and addresses common misconceptions and attitudes towards the term. I think this is an important article in a year that has seen ‘feminism’ come into the spotlight on a number of occasions, sometimes bearing the brunt of abuse and misuse.”

 Editor Alexandra O’Brien – The Revolving Door of Juvenile Justice by Helen Cooper

“There are lots of misconceptions out there about juveniles and crime and I think this article could open a few minds and engender an appreciation that this is a complex problem and harsh punishment is not the simple answer.”

Best poem – My Mother’s Nightdress by Jessica Yu

Jorge Gonzalez flickr

Jorge Gonzalez flickr

Editor Hector Sharp – Silencing Soft Targets – An Interview With Vicki Wilkinson

“I got great pleasure from seeing this interview published. The article is insightful and emotional but most importantly it gives a marginalised group of society a voice, which is what this magazine is all about for me. Why we do what we do.”

Reviews editor Sam Ryan – Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl

“Mohammad Tabbaa’s pieces on the four episodes of Once Upon a Time In Punchbowl were more than just reviews, expanded on the issues through his own experiences with the compelling passion that has made him one of Right Now’s most popular regular contributors. Whether you saw the series or not, his four response pieces, read in isolation or as a their own series, are well worth reading.”

Best art piece – Interview with Afghan-Australian artist Mehdi Jaghuri

(3 Brothers Dead - Mehdi Jaghuri 2014)

(3 Brothers Dead – Mehdi Jaghuri 2014)

Editor Rose Hunter – Back to School by Alice Pung

 “I like this article because it really highlights the role of the human right to education in providing hope and inspiration to people of all backgrounds regardless of what they aspire to.”

Reviews editor Sonia Nair – No Singular Revelation by Maxine Beneba Clarke

“I resonated with this article greatly, as Maxine goes to the heart of the institutional and casual racism that pervades throughout much of Australia today. Maxine’s experiences go to show that there are multiple transgressions that affect people of colour on a daily basis that serve to reinforce privilege and highlight the entrenched attitudes that are not likely to go away anytime soon. Maxine’s article is an oft painful, highly important read on the complex race relations currently playing out in Australia.”

Editor Reiko Okazaki – After Democracy: Victoria’s New Anti-protest Laws by James Muldoon

“This article explored how the new laws expanding police discretion and removing the exemption of political communication in this area are not only strategic offensives against unions and demonstrators but also have broader potential effects such as the social exclusion of disadvantaged individuals and restrictions on the use of public spaces. I liked the mention of how we could combat this silencing of dissent, through the state elections and mass mobilization, once we recognise that these changes are not about justice or upholding the law – but instead power and control.”

Editor-in-chief Roselina Press – The Freedom Interviews: Lydia Cacho

 “Mexican journalist Lydia Cacho is a force to be reckoned with. She has travelled to many dark corners of the globe, typically putting her own life at risk, in order to uncover injustices that much of the world turns a blind eye to. It was a true pleasure to do an interview with her when she was in Australia for the Melbourne Writers Festival.”


Review – Renewal: Five Paths to a Fairer Australia

By Georgia Cerni

Sophie Cousins’ book Renewal: Five Paths to a Fairer Australia is, in many respects, a proposal. For Cousins, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided Australians with an opportunity to reconsider the ways our society currently functions. Cousins aptly makes her case – while in some ways the pandemic reinforced burgeoning inequalities, it also presented us the chance to apply collectivist values to solve systemic problems.