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Meanjin has published leading writers, including Patrick White and Peter Carey. Charles Stanford

The Meanjin funding cuts: a graceless coup?

The literary magazine Meanjin was founded to ensure the nation did not 'drop its mental life' during World War Two. Given the decision to starve it of funding, will future Miles Franklin winners be generated by blogs?
Andrew Bovell’s adaptation of Kate Grenville’s The Secret River is a key example of post-Apology theatre. AAP Image/Heidrun Löhr

Beyond Sorry: colonial oppression on Australian stages

It's been seven years since Kevin Rudd delivered his apology to Indigenous Australians. On Australia's stages dramatists continue to explore the ramifications of that apology and colonial history.
Graeme Macfarlane (Goro) and Hiromi Omura (Cio-Cio-San) in Opera Australia’s Madama Butterfly (2015). Jeff Busby

Is it time for Madama Butterfly to flutter by?

Opera Australia has once again posted a major operating loss and is weathering criticism for its very safe repertoire. Both these points merit consideration in the federal government's National Opera Review.
We know whether a play such as Andrew Bovell’s Secret River works onstage – but can we explain its effect? AAP Image/Heidrun Löhr

Need a stage coach? Why some plays work, and others don’t

Anyone who has seen a play can tell you whether it "works" or not – but very few people can tell you exactly why. We all need a better grasp of this. Why? So that playwriting can better represent contemporary Australia.
Nick Cave, 1973, gelatin silver photograph by Ashley Mackevicius. Gift of the artist 2006, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

Celebrating Melbourne bohemians at the State Library of Victoria

Goths, punks and hipsters roam the streets, wilfully asserting their counter-cultures. But in an age of cultural appropriation, is this resistance just another way of fitting in? In 2015 can anyone truly…
How’s your year been? Thanks for sharing it with us. AAP/MONA, Exxopolis by Architects of Air

2014, the year that was: Arts + Culture

Hey luvvies! We’ve made it! 2014 is in the bank – and here’s what we did, what you read, how we all came through it. Think of the following as a music festival: loads of highlights, one after the other…
Creating a unique Australian culture has been an enduring challenge. AAP/'Bungaree, The Showman' by Mervyn Bishop

A hybrid Australia, where identity has a multi-layered crunch

Australia today is very different to the place I grew up in: our culture has changed and is changing, but public discussion is still framed by old tropes. We need a new shorthand to capture the reality…
You don’t have to look too far to find homophobia, hostility and discrimination against LGBTI people. Network Ten/ AAP

Ian Thorpe came out, but not in Australia – a wise decision

Few who watched Ian Thorpe’s “coming out” interview with British interviewer Michael Parkinson on Sunday night could haved failed to be moved by his story. The anxiety and turmoil he felt in telling the…
It’s a risky undertaking – but we need new works of Australian theatre, such as The Secret River, here shown onstage at the Sydney Theatre Company in 2013. AAP Image/Heidrun Löhr

It’s time to adapt: we need a fully functioning national drama

Last year in Australian theatre a rare event took place: a sector-wide debate about the role of classic adaptations in the national repertoire. But the discussion had darker resonances and was clearly…
Sometimes satire loses the capacity to do its job. Paul Garrett

Knights, dames – be honest, Australia, you love it

Say what you like about knights and dames – they know how to cause a stir. This week we witnessed one of those moments when satire loses the capacity to do its job. On Tuesday Prime Minister Tony Abbott…
Holdens – such as this FJ model – defined a national culture of mobility and masculinity in 20th century Australia. Wikimedia Commons

An end to Australia’s auto dream: why we loved Holden

Yesterday we learned that our collective support for Holden is coming to an end. The demise of “Australia’s Own” has been on the cards for years. After all, this country is one of the most expensive places…
Gotye, with New Zealand singer-songwriter Kimbra, suggests our culture is alive and well. Paul Buck/EPA

Australians ‘getting’ culture – continued

Recently on The Conversation, [Julian Meyrick asked](http://theconversation.com/does-australia-get-culture-18327](http://theconversation.com/does-australia-get-culture-18327) why Australians didn’t get…

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