Articles on Friday essay

Displaying 1 - 20 of 93 articles

A sculpture of William Ricketts looms over those of Arrernte and Pitjantjatjara men at the sanctuary in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges. Chris Haych/flickr

Friday essay: William Ricketts Sanctuary is a racist anachronism but can it foster empathy?

A mossy sanctuary in Victoria's Dandenong Ranges houses 92 sculptures, mostly of Arrernte and Pitjantjatjara men, women and children. They are steeped in primitivism, yet the park is a popular tourist attraction.
Australian pulp fiction: these works can be read as a symptom, laying bare the unspoken fears, desires, dreams and nightmares of the time. Author provided

Friday essay: the complex, contradictory pleasures of pulp fiction

Mid-20th century pulp fiction was trashy, tasteless, exploitative and lurid. There’s a lot there to love. You might read pulp as a cultural Freudian slip, loony bulletins from the collective Id.
The battle for the Franklin River runs far deeper than simply providing the backdrop for a political tug-of-war. PETER DOMBROVSKIS/ LIZ DOMBROVSKIS/AAP

Essays On Air: how archaeology helped save the Franklin River

Essays on Air: how archaeology helped save the Franklin River. The Conversation23.2 MB (download)
The battle to save the Franklin River - an exhilarating story of politics, cultural heritage and passionate environmentalism - captivated the nation in 1983.
Four of the six shortlisted books for the 2018 Stella Prize were from smaller presses, as was the winner, Alexis Wright’s Tracker. Stella Prize

Friday essay: the remarkable, prize-winning rise of our small publishers

As major publishers chase bestselling books, small ones are leading the way in publishing Australian literary fiction. And of late, they have been sweeping our major literary awards.
Ben Quilty, Life vest, Lesbos. 2016, oil on polyester, 60 x 50cm. Australian War Memorial

Essays On Air: can art really make a difference?

Essays on Air: can art really make a difference? The Conversation26.8 MB (download)
Art has always depicted the crimes of our times throughout centuries of wars and humanitarian crises. Can we really expect it to truly make a difference in the real world?
The Loch Ness Monster and other folk tales might not be pure fiction, but actually based on memories of events our ancestors once observed. Shutterstock

Essays On Air: Monsters in my closet – how a geographer began mining myths

Essays On Air: Monsters in my closet - how a geographer began mining myths.
So you think the Loch Ness Monster never existed? Think again. Traditional myths from our ancestors might actually reveal important clues about the geological history of the world.
Still from Human Flow, directed by Ai Weiwei. IMDB/Amazon Studios

Friday essay: can art really make a difference?

Artists have long tackled global issues, from war to human rights. While Picasso's celebrated Guernica may not have stopped the Spanish Civil War (or any war), art still holds value, as witness and as truth teller.
Detail from Emily Kam Kngwarray, Anmatyerr people. Yam awely 1995 synthetic polymer paint on canvas 150 x 491 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Gift of the Delmore Collection, Donald and Janet Holt 1995 © Emily Kam Kngwarray.

Friday essay: in defence of beauty in art

Today, beauty counts for little in the judgement of works of art. But our felt experience of beauty connects us with an object's maker, revealing a pure moment of humanity.
Why did this woman, so devoted to her political cause and to her vision of a united France, chose to be burnt at the stake at the age of 19 instead of acquiescing to her judges’ directives? shutterstock.com

Essays On Air: Joan of Arc, our one true superhero

Essays On Air: Joan of Arc, our one true superhero. The Conversation22.1 MB (download)
Joan of Arc has been depicted as a national heroine, nationalist symbol, a rebellious heretic and a goodly saint. Forget Wonder Woman and Batman – Jeanne d’Arc may be our one and only true superhero.
A fragment of a wall painting showing two lovers in bed from the House of L Caecilius Jucundus in Pompeii, now at Naples National Archaeological Museum. Wikimedia Commons

Friday essay: the erotic art of Ancient Greece and Rome

From phallus-shaped wind chimes to explicit erotica on lamps and cups, sex is everywhere in ancient Greek and Roman art. But our interpretations of these images say much about our own culture.
Marchers at the 1978 Mardi Gras parade. Sally Colechin/The Pride History Group

Essays On Air: On the Sydney Mardi Gras march of 1978

On the Sydney Mardi Gras march of 1978. The Conversation, CC BY31.7 MB (download)
On a cold Saturday night in Sydney on June 24, 1978, a number of gay men, lesbians and transgender people marched into the pages of Australian social history. I was one of them.
An echidna in the Western Granites at Jam Tree Gully. John Kinsella

Friday essay: species sightings

On his bush block in the WA wheatbelt, poet John Kinsella attempts habitat restoration and reflects on the responsibilities of the writer as a witness to species loss.
In July 2017, new research was published that pushed the opening chapters of Australian history back to 65,000 years ago. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation

Essays On Air: When did Australia’s human history begin?

When did Australia’s human history begin? The Conversation, CC BY16.6 MB (download)
Today's episode of Essays On Air, the audio version of our Friday essay series, seeks to move beyond the view of ancient Australia as a timeless and traditional foundation story.
Fairy tales are extremely moral in their demarcation between good and evil, right and wrong. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation NY-BD-CC

Essays On Air: Why grown-ups still need fairy tales

Why grown-ups still need fairy tales. The Conversation, CC BY22.8 MB (download)
We consciously and unconsciously tell fairy tales today, despite advances in logic and science. It’s as if there is something ingrained in us that compels us to see the world through this lens.

Top contributors

More