political action

Precarious Art Workers Unite

Aned, indeed, all of those art workers living with a few other kinds of precarity (hmmm, early career academic, casual tutor, casual administrator, freelance facilitator) …

Let’s GO.  And get real about how this freelancing ain’t so free, how

“Contemporary art, she argues, is ‘squarely placed in the neoliberal thick of things’”


Go Anna Rose

Anna Rose photo from AYCCI went and listened to Anna Rose speak today.  She is a young climate activist who co-founded and chairs the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC).  She was also featured in the documentary/reality show that was produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation titled I Can Change Your Mind About Climate.  She and former Finance Minister Nick Minchin, on opposite sides of the ‘climate debate’, took each other to their pick of sources for their side of the argument, to see if they could convince each other of their perspective.

What an inspiring young woman (the AYCC actually strikingly shows considerable young female leadership).  I also find her to be a lovely, committed, a great listener and speaker, a clear presenter and obviously (together with others in the AYCC) as pretty damn good at organising a political movement and campaigns.  THIS is where hope lies.  And pragmatism, as Anna said today, “I have to have hope, people won’t join a movement without hope”.  Pragmatic hope, strategic optimism.

The tutorials that I taught today were coincidentally on coverage of global crises such as climate change in the media.  We discussed the idea of ‘false balance’, where the journalistic norm of balance actually means that those who support a minority view from a scientific perspective are given a disproportionate amount of airtime.

The premise of I Can Change Your Mind About Climate has been criticised as itself providing a false balance, which I think stands.  However, this is where the AYCC wants to step in and educate people about the science, and how to talk to others about the science.  Anna’s talk today is a part of a three-month tour to promote her book and present on this topic.  The book is called Madlands and is about her experience of doing the documentary.  You can get it from the AYCC site.

In a broader sense this connects with thoughts and feelings about hope, depression, choices, and work.  Those thoughts are a little more embryonic.  And maybe there is no one right approach, maybe humans just do get hopeful, depressed, overwhelmed, alarmed at different moments, particularly in response to global crises.  In the meantime, it’s about making chocies and doing work, and being occasionally peppered with a little hope.

Casual by Name

A call for re-defining the plight of ‘casual academics’ or ‘non-tenure track’ workers.  So, so, so many similarities with the situation in Australia.  Man.  Sometimes I do think creating our own learning methods away from this corporatised circus is the way to go.  Re-definition may be part of the path of action.  It’s funny that ‘solidarity’ can date or else pigeonhole an otherwise clear piece of writing.  I’m all about solidarity; it has been kind of killed as a word.  Maybe I will just live it and not worry about the term.  Anyway, for those of you wondering what is going on at Unis or thinking about an academic career, read it.

New Stop CSG Illawarra Site and Apex’s Response to Forum Questions

Stop CSG Illawarra has a new site with lots of information included.

There is a response from Apex Energy to questions put to it at a Public Forum.

I am disappointed to see a certain nasty, sarcastic tone taken when answering the questions.  I have come across this recently in other fora of contention.  I find it to be a real shame.  Particularly when I witness those who are concerned taking time and effort to forumate their questions respectfully.  

It takes strength to not engage with nastiness.  Here’s to all of those protesting and encountering nasty sarcasm.  Let’s stay tethered to respect.