Articles on Friday essay

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Whitlanders in the 1940s. Established in 1941 near the base of Victoria’s Mount Buffalo, this Catholic community celebrated the ‘dignity of manual labour’ and was led by a charismatic athlete and former judge’s associate, Ray Triado. Joe Pisani

Friday essay: the Australians who pioneered self-sufficiency, generations before Nimbin

Long before 70s hippies and hipster artisans, Australians were seeking solace by going back to the land. They ranged from anarchists to suffragists to Catholic agrarians.
Arthur Loureiro, Study for ‘The spirit of the new Moon’ 1888, oil on canvas. Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane Purchased 1995. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant with the assistance of Philip Bacon through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation. Celebrating the Queensland Art Gallery's Photograph: QAGOMA

Friday essay: romancing the moon – space dreaming after Apollo

50 years after Apollo 11, a new exhibition considers artistic responses to our celestial neighbour. As we retreat from human space exploration, our relationship to the moon has become virtual.
Michelle Guthrie in 2018: the former ABC managing director made greater staff diversity a top priority. But her final Equity and Diversity annual report failed to meet several long-held targets. Joel Carrett/AAP

Friday essay: diversity in the media is vital - but Australia has a long way to go

As we face a growing tide of unregulated hate speech, the media is crucial in normalising diversity. Yet progress here has been slow. Even the ABC has failed to meet some of its own targets for hiring a diversity of employees.
China’s five-storey Tianjin Binhai Library occupies an area of 33,700 square metres with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves which can contain up to 1.2 million books. Roman Pilipey

Friday essay: the library – humanist ideal, social glue and now, tourism hotspot

In our world of pervasive consumerism, libraries continue to be founded on humanism. Their core purpose as accessible places is vital – yet they are also now popular tourist destinations.
In Avengers: Endgame, Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye) experiences insurmountable loss. Perhaps his grief represents our fear of making sacrifices to save the planet. Marvel Studios/IMDB

Friday essay: is this the Endgame - and did we win or did we lose?

Although not pitched as one, Avengers: Endgame is an environmental movie. But in reality, we need to face our fears and find solutions, rather than perpetuating the fantasy of regressing into the past.
Senators during the Senate Select Intelligence Committee’s hearing on the social media influence in the 2016 U.S. elections in Washington November 2017. The graphic shows conflict at a rally that was created and promoted by fake Facebook accounts run by Russian trolls. Shawn Thew/EPA

Friday essay: networked hatred - new technology and the rise of the right

In the face of digital disruption that threatens the very fabric of democratic culture we must refashion Enlightenment oppositions for new times.
Muslim clerics and members of the Pakistani Christian minority light candles to commemorate the victims of this week’s bomb blasts in Sri Lanka. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks. Rahat Dar/AAP

Friday essay: how Western attitudes towards Islam have changed

For centuries, Westerners viewed Islam as an inherently violent religion. But the struggle today, for all religions, including Christianity, is between liberals and conservatives, fundamentalists and moderates, reason and revelation.
This large ‘Do Not Forget Australia’ sign in a yard at the Victoria school in Villers-Bretonneux, is the heir of smaller signs once placed in classrooms by Australian authorities. Author provided

Friday essay: do ‘the French’ care about Anzac?

Since the end of the first world war, the Australian media has often reported that ‘the French’ care about, remember and even venerate the Anzacs. But is this true? And which French people?
An Aboriginal flag planted on the riverbed in front of the last stagnant pools of water that are now the Darling River at Wilcannia. John Janson-Moore

Friday essay: death on the Darling, colonialism’s final encounter with the Barkandji

For the Barkandji people, the crisis on the Barwon-Darling represents the biggest threat to their continued survival on country since the sheep invaded.

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