Collette Dinnigan, “Unlaced” 

Collette Dinnigan “Unlaced” exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum. The South-African Australian designer found early success with her commitment to French lace. This exhibition shows some of her most famous designs throughout her career and here you see works for clients such as Dita Von Teese, Nicole Kidman, and Helena Christensen.

Continue reading Collette Dinnigan, “Unlaced” 

Invasion Day Protest 2017

No pride in genocide! I am in Sydney, land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, who have looked after these lands for over 75,000 years. I pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging.

The 26 January is a painful day for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is a date commemorating the day British ships (”the First Fleet”) arrived on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands. It is a day that marks the decimation of First Australians; the dispossession of their land; the removal of children to be raised in Missions and in White foster homes with no ties or knowledge of their culture (“the Stolen Generation”); amongst many other human rights crimes. This history impacts Indigenous life chances in the present-day.

On the 26th, I joined 10,000 people in Sydney who marched in solidarity with Indigenous Australians to tell the Australian Government to change the date of Australia Day so that First Australians aren’t being excluded through a national holiday making genocide. Another 50,000 people marched in Melbourne, and tens of thousands more did the same in cities and town around Australia.

Below, you can read my tweets of the protest as it unfolded.

Intergenerational crowd protesting for Indigenous rights on 26 January 2017. Continue reading Invasion Day Protest 2017

Million Dollar Mermaid

Million Dollar Mermaid: Annette Kellerman is a current exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum. Kellerman was an Anglo Australian woman who broke many records and was a superstar in her day. Born into a highly educated and musical family in Sydney, she was diagnosed with rickets as a girl. She took up swimming to strengthen her legs and showed such prowess that male athletes encouraged her to take up high diving in the early 1900s, which high class Anglo Australian women did not do at the time. Still a teenager and having swam across the mighty Yarra River in Melbourne, she went to London in 1905 and competed in men’s marathon swims in the Thames, Seine and Danube rivers. Continue reading Million Dollar Mermaid

Tall Man

“tall man” by Vernon Ah Kee (2010) a video installation depicting the Palm Island protests in 2004, following the autopsy results of Mulrunji Doomadgee (aka Cameron Dooadgee), confirming his death at the hands of police.

The title of this work refers to the role of Councillor Lex Wotton who acted like the tall man in Aboriginal stories; the boogey man or spirit “who elicits the truth from wrong doers.” The film depicts protests against police brutality and a call for the end to deaths in custody which almost uniquely affects Indigenous Australians. “We are oppressed people,” explains a woman after this footage.

Taronga Zoo

A visual sociology of Taronga Zoo as a happy holidays, from me to you!

The most magical non-magical animal is not the horse at all. It is the mighty zebra. From all the zed animals in this world, happy holidays!

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See Me Now

Lightening skin products are set to become a $10 Billion industry by 2015. A new documentary, See Me Now, tackles the subject of race and beauty within the fashion industry. Made by fashion film-maker Glen Mackay, it includes Black women from four continents.

Fiji-Australian model, Indigenous-Australian television host Leila Gurruwiwi is featured in the documentary. She works for Australia’s Indigenous broadcast network, NITV, on the Marngrook Footy Show, In the interview below, she tells SBS News:

“For me it was very sad to hear some of the stories of some of the girls that have had really bad experiences especially when it comes to their skin and being uncomfortable in their own skin. Coming from a Yolngu background a strong Yolngu woman from Northeast Arnhem Land it’s something that we’ve always been very proud of.”

Read more on SBS News.

Life with Frida

I went to the recent Frida Khalo and Diego Rivera exhibition in Sydney, Australia which chronicled not only their art and relationship but also their sociology! Both artists were Marxists. Here they are photographed in New York City at the New Workers School in 1933. Continue reading Life with Frida

Thinking Critically About History

Leah Shopkow and colleagues have carried out research on the challenges of teaching students to think critically about history. The researchers use sociology to introduce students to a critical reading of history, and they also use sociology to navigate the issues that arise in the classroom.

In general, they find that students react with emotion when faced with a critical reading history. Some students who belong to a majority group feel angry that their ancestors are being “attacked.” Some of them disengage from the material, feeling that the actions of the past don’t relate to them in the present. (Thereby refusing how majority groups continue to benefit from historical relations.) These students will also get defensive, thinking that the class is “biased.”

Continue reading Thinking Critically About History