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.
The book A Secret Australia Revealed by the Wikileaks Exposés, edited by Felicity Ruby and Peter Cronau, was released at the time where Julian Assange, creator of Wikileaks, was awaiting his extradition trial to the United States for the publication of classified and sensitive information relating to the War on Terror.
A reverent silence overtakes us the moment we enter artist Khadim Ali’s world. Like Dorothy entering a technicolour Oz, we gape at a fire-engine red tapestry that hangs from the ceiling. It commands our full attention, being spotlighted in an otherwise dark room.
A generation of Australians have now grown up during the war on terror, the effect this has had on Australian society is pervasive, and nowhere more so than in our schools, as Randa Abdel-Fattah writes in her book Coming of Age in the War on Terror.
Blackness has long been absent from Australian public galleries. And if present, it is often portrayed as the voiceless and nameless muse or servant to the whiteness of the protagonist. Importantly the National Gallery of Victoria’s Triennial shows signs of change.
To read In the Eye of the Storm: Volunteers and Australia’s Response to the HIV/AIDS Crisis during another global health crisis is a strange experience. One is made aware of the disparities in the Australian government’s response to the two events.
After witnessing the carnage caused by the Trump administration, the 701-page first instalment of A Promised Land, Obama’s presidential memoirs, seems like a gift from what was, in retrospect, a golden age; an age in which the President took advice and made a serious effort to communicate complex ideas.
Hysteria is self-described as “A memoir of illness, strength and women’s stories throughout history.” In this book, Bryant tells her own journey of diagnoses, what she learns about them, and historical case studies with an equivalent diagnosis.