Articles on Friday essay

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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?
These images of Cherine Fahd’s grandfather’s funeral were tucked away in a brown paper envelope for decades. As a society, we too often keep grief hidden from view.

Friday essay: images of mourning and the power of acknowledging grief

Rarely seen in the family album are photographs of funerals, burials and the suffering of those who are left to mourn.
Charlie Pickering may be a witty and intelligent young man, but he’s too reassuring a presence compared to surveyors of the edge of chaos. ABC

Friday essay: why is Australian satire so rarely risky?

Today's screen satire frequently preaches to the converted. Fortunately, there are some notable exceptions that can skewer even the most progressive of viewers.
Nora Heysen, Self-portrait 1934 oil on canvas 43.1 x 36.3 cm. National Portrait Gallery, Canberra Purchased 1999 © Lou Klepac

Friday essay: Nora Heysen, more than her father’s daughter

Nora Heysen was the first woman to be awarded the Archibald Prize, but for most of her life she was defined not by her art, but by her relationship to her famous father, the artist Hans Heysen.
Nurse Ratched in the 1975 film One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Netflix is now producing a TV series built around this character, to star Sarah Paulson. Fantasy Films

Friday essay: saints or monsters, pop culture’s limited view of nurses

To the public, nursing is much like teaching work – known to be valuable, but not worthy of much critical attention. Accordingly, nursing is rarely represented in any depth in popular culture.
Lower Snug looking across North West Bay to Mt Wellington, Tasmania. Cassandra Pybus

Friday essay: lost and found in the Tasmanian bush

Alone and adrift in Melbourne, Cassandra Pybus returned on a whim to her childhood home of Tasmania. There, she rediscovered nature's power, encountering the island's difficult history as well as her own.
A scene from the 1961 film West Side Story. The casting of an Australian performer as Maria in a local production of the musical was recently criticised for ‘white washing’ a story about a Puerto Rican immigrant. The Mirisch Corporation,Seven Arts Productions

Friday essay: identity politics and the case for shared values

Our identity unquestionably shapes (and can limit) how we interact with the world. But it should not become the only foundation upon which we build our understanding of it.
Children at Norseman Mission. The author’s mum, Violet Newman is in the middle row on the far left. Image from the collection of Elsie Lambadgee (dec.)

Friday essay: back to Moore River and finding family

Aileen Marwung Walsh's grandparents were sent to the Moore River Native Settlement, of Rabbit Proof Fence infamy, half a century ago. In 2018, 100 years after the settlement's founding, she returned.
Donald and Melania Trump in Paris last week. According to the Washington Post, the president has made 6,420 false or misleading comments in 649 days. Ian Langsdon/EPA

Friday essay: turning up the level of civilisation

US president Donald Trump's industrial scale deception has dangerous implications everywhere. What then, can we do to foster a more civilised society?

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