Articles on National identity

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Peter Coleman-Wright and Merlyn Quaife during a dress rehearsal of Bliss in 2010: it is one of few important local operas over the past three decades to have been staged a second time. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Friday essay: where is the Great Australian Opera?

Australian operas have been written about many pressing topics - from the Stolen Generations to the Lindy Chamberlain case - but few have been staged a second time. What is going wrong?
A woman wipes a tear as Toronto’s Greektown neighbourhood community gathers for a candlelit vigil to honour the victims of a deadly shooting in Toronto on July 22 that killed an 18-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Toronto shooting: The psychology of loss, fear and identity

After acts of violence, we want to make sense of what is right and wrong and where we stand in the world. But we must ensure our belief systems are periodically and systematically checked.
Is there really a strong division between folks like Brexit leader Farage and global citizens Bill Gates and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau? REUTERS/Peter Nicholls, Geoff Robins

Rise in globalism doesn’t mean the end for nationalists

Data show that many people who consider themselves ‘global citizens’ also harbor strong national sentiments. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.
Nicole Kidman has been nominated for an Oscar in the category of best supporting actress. Lion/IMDb

Australian cinema for Australia Day

Australian cinema has offered striking, intelligent and forceful evaluations of our national identity. Rather than play an outdated gambling game this Australia Day, why not watch the best of Aussie film?
Paul Keating put the idea of a new flag, shorn of any traces of the Union Jack, on the political agenda. AAP/David Moir

Cabinet papers 1992-93: Australia moves to make Her Majesty obsolete

By the end of 1992, Paul Keating had done more than anyone to place on the political agenda issues of national identity that had been either dead or dormant for years.
Bush balladeers celebrate the district, its identities and their adventures. Oceana/Flickr

Australian bush ballads keep galloping on

When Brian the farmer finished his poem the crowd went wild. Small wonder he earned the People’s Choice Award on the night. We were at a so-called poetry “slam” at a country hall in a place so tiny it…
A real national conversation about democratic values will be inclusive and challenging – not fear-mongering. Is Azfar Ahmad/Flickr

How do we teach what it means to be Australian?

Events in the Middle East that have both shocked and horrified us seem to have opened the doors to anyone who wants to criticise Islam, raise concerns about multiculturalism and romanticise an age when…
Negotiating our position in the world has been a constant facet of Australian art. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Yes, Capon, Australian artists have always thought about place

Edmund Capon, the former director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) last week commented that Australian artists remain unknown overseas because their work is “too strongly defined by place…

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