Articles on Australian culture

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The Pool: Architecture, Culture and Identity, exhibition by Aileen Sage Architects (Isabelle Tolandand Amelia Holliday) with Michelle Tabet, commissioned for the Australian Pavilion by the Australian Institute of Architects for the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2016. Brett Boardman

From segregation to celebration: the public pool in Australian culture

Swimming pools are much more than holes in the ground - they are often beautifully designed, as a new exhibition at the NGV shows. They also document Australia's history of racism and sexism, and gradual relaxation of social mores.
Waleed Aly’s 2016 Gold Logie win tells us that the audience has been more appreciative of Australian television’s diversity than the industry. Joe Castro/AAP

Why we should care more about the Logies

The Logies are fantastically daggy, but they let us compare audience and industry definitions of achievement. Looking back, it's clear the public celebrates new, diverse and varied television.
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…

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