Donald Horne saw Australia as a country that had got lucky, but was squandering its luck. Shutterstock.com

Public debate

Donald Horne’s ‘lucky country’ and the decline of the public intellectual

Donald Horne saw Australia as a lucky country that was squandering its luck. His bold ideas captured the nation's imagination. But being a public intellectual is no longer easy. Who will come up with the next grand ideas?
Detail from Percy Leason, Thomas Foster, 1934, oil on canvas, 76.0 x 60.8 cm, State Library Victoria, Melbourne. Gift of Mrs Isabelle Leason, 1969 (H32094) © Max Leason

Friday essay

Friday essay: painting ‘The Last Victorian Aborigines’

Anthropologist Percy Leason thought he was painting the extinction of Victoria's Indigenous people in the 1930s. He was wrong, but his portraits, part of a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, are surprisingly sympathetic.
Fashion by Indonesian designer Dian Palangi. Beawiharta Beawiharta/Reuters

Social media

Hijabers of Instagram: the Muslim women challenging stereotypes

It is easy for non-Muslims to forget that there are places where Muslim women lead lives full of frivolity and fun. But on social media Indonesian hijabers are challenging the stereotypes.
Detail of Jim Dine, The mighty robe I, 1985. Colour lithograph with relief printing from polymer plates, 61.3 x 50.7 cm (image and plate), 89.2 x 63.4 cm (sheet) National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Gift of the artist, 2016, 2016.806, © Jim Din

Pop art

Here’s looking at: Jim Dine’s The mighty robe

Jim Dine and other pop artists like Andy Warhol took everyday things and transformed them into magical objects. In his prints a robe could become a self-portrait, a president, or a hero.
Rosie Tasman Napurrurla, Warlpiri 2002, Ngurlu Jukurrpa (‘Grass Seed; Bush Grain Dreaming’), line etching on Hahnemuhle paper. Warnayaka Art Centre, Lajamanu, and Aboriginal Art Prints Network, Sydney

NAIDOC

Jukurrpa-kurlu Yapa-kurlangu-kurlu

The theme of this year's NAIDOC week is "Our Languages Matter". Aboriginal languages under threat across Australia. Read a Warlpiri introduction to Dreamtime and The Dreaming.
Sandra Bullock in Gravity (2013) portrayed a female protagonist well, but the industry has a long way to go. Warner Bros.

Representation

How to reduce sexism in screenplays

Only 10% of films have a gender-balanced cast, and getting more women on screens starts with the screenwriters. The solution can be as simple as giving minor characters female names.
The mechanical shark used in the 1975 film Jaws. Tom Simpson/ flickr

Screen

The great movie scenes: Steven Spielberg’s Jaws

The 1975 film Jaws launched the career of a young Steven Spielberg. In this scene, the town's police chief Martin Brody witnesses the shark's brutal attack for the first time - taking the viewer along for the ride.
St Vincent performing with Dave Grohl (at rear) after Nirvana was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York in 2014. Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Rock n roll

Redefining the rock god – the new breed of electric guitar heroes

The airwaves were once dominated by rock gods delivering blistering guitar solos. Times have changed but a new crop of electric guitarists are strumming their way to glory.
Starting from … Now! tells the story of four women in Sydney. It’s one of many successful web series transforming the TV landscape. Starting from ... Now!

Screen

How web series are shaking up Australia’s screen industry

From a supernatural lesbian drama to lipsynching female comedians to a popular You Tube science show, Australian web series are thriving.
Some musicians believe certain instruments, such as the trumpet, are more ‘masculine’. Alenavlad/shutrerstock

Jazz

Why is there so little space for women in jazz music?

Women are disturbingly under-represented in Australian jazz, with relatively few female composers and instrumentalists. What's holding them back? And what can be done about it?
Gold Rush garbage. S.Hayes. Artefact is part of Heritage Victoria's collection.

Throwaway culture

Gold Rush Victoria was as wasteful as we are today

What we buy has defined who we are since the Gold Rush. In the 1850s and 1860s, people communicated their social status by buying stuff - dinner sets, junk jewellery - and throwing their old things away.

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  3. From Elizabeth I to high fashion, the tales behind Game of Thrones’ costumes
  4. Hijabers of Instagram: the Muslim women challenging stereotypes
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