Marriage Equality Rally

I marched at the Marriage Equality rally in Sydney on 10 November, among with 30,000 people! It was the biggest LGBTQIA protest in Australian history and also the biggest rally ever in Sydney. Over three quarters of Australians participated in the voluntary postal vote on marriage rights. The Opposition and most other major parties opposed the postural vote as it is very expensive ($121 million) and unnecessary (the vote should have been held in Parliament, where it likely would’ve passed by majority conscience vote).

To paraphrase Senator Penny Wong: we didn’t want to be here, but now we are here, let’s get this done! Continue reading Marriage Equality Rally

Strathfield Spring Festival

Today is the Strathfield Spring Festival! There are free shuttle buses to Strathfield Park. What a great day! Dancing from around the world. Lots of enticing food. Martial arts. Random little kids of colour coming up to me and staring or just smiling (always happens with little Brown and Black kiddies. I think it’s my bright lipstick. Also clearly the word is out in the babies of colour community that I’m a great auntie.

Continue reading Strathfield Spring Festival

Chocolate, Cherry, Equality

Visual sociology for August 2017 has us sneaking into a conference (kind of), keepingour eyes on multiple protests, attending the Cherry Blossom and Chocolate festivals, and getting ready to do our bit for marriage equality!

I was lucky enough to momentarily crash a conference to meet a colleague, at the amazing International Convention Centre. It is humongous! Several conferences happening at once, including one with giant Lego! 2 August

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Representating Colonisation at the Rocks Discovery Museum

This is the Rocks Discovery Museum. It’s interesting historically as the artefacts tell the story of Sydney prior to European invasion. But it’s more fascinating sociologically – in how this history is represented. The first room you see (“Warrane. Pre-1788”) uses words like “arrival” and “first contact” to describe the relationship between colonialists and traditional custodians of Sydney, the Gadigal people. The second room (“Colony. 1788-1830”) uses words like “settlement” and “colony” prominently… but not *colonialism.* The word “invasion” only appears on a side panel – this display is excellent, reflecting on British treatment of Aboriginal people as a “catastrophe.”

Young Archie 2017

For the past three years, I’ve written about the gender and race dynamics of the chosen portraits, painted by children up to the age of 18 for the The Young Archibald Prize (the “Young Archie”). Most of the subjects are women, especially mothers. Few artists and subjects are people of colour. This year, while mothers, grandmothers and sisters feature, described for their caring qualities, I was delighted to see a handful of works by and about Asian Australians. Remarkably, two of these paintings, one by a nine year old and another by a 16 year old, explicitly depicted themes of death in terms of acceptance and wonder. Truly wonderful.

Homelessness Protest

In the iconic Martin Place in central Sydney, people who are homeless are camped out in protest over the lack of housing for the city’s underprivileged groups. The not-for-profit initiative also provided food, clothes, books and other support to protesters. In a press release on their Facebook account, #247StreetKitchenSafeSpace, emphasised that services need to better cater to the material reality of Sydney’s homeless as well as providing appropriately priced and positioned housing options, rather than prioritising rich developers.

As long as poverty and inequality persist in our world…

Interview: Crimes on Facebook

I was interviewed by TRT World on the crimes being broadcast on Facebook. I discussed the sociology of public violence over time and why technology companies need to be more proactive in revising their algorithms and reporting practices. The local studio was in Rozelle, just outside the city of Sydney. Here you see the green screen and the room where I was filmed. Continue reading Interview: Crimes on Facebook