My title here conflates two things, whereas my thoughts are about these as quite distinct — coming out of attending a well funded and institutionally supported conference (following on from a more grass roots one without any funding or institutional support beyond the participants themselves). I am reflecting on two different people speaking early on. One being an organiser of the event, another a keynote speaker. The former felt a need to talk about themselves, how many of these conferences they have attended, how they had been involved, what they had done in being so involved, what they had …

I recently went to/participated in two (activist/academic and academic) conferences, and had some interesting conversations early on at the first of these reflecting on the state of activism around the animal question. There was a pre-conference public lecture/pre-book launch for the former which had a recurring theme that a focus on the ‘production’ of animals as commodities was far more important-interesting than on consumption practices. This theme came up in a conversation I had the today (during the first day of the activist/academic conference), with someone I respect who does quite a bi…

I recently watched the ABC (Australia) produced two-part TV series The Secret River, based on Kate Genville’s 2005 ‘historical novel about an early 19th-century Englishman transported to Australia for theft. The story explores what may have happened when Europeans colonised land already inhabited by Aboriginal people’ [Wikipedia]. However I wanted the outcome to be different — be it white guilt, romanticising less atrocious and brutal settler-colonial attitudes (even just hoping form a different portrayal, however inaccurate) — what it portrays is pretty accurate. In short, aside form the ove…

I attended a local, annual gig which raises funds for suicide prevention recently. I had not been to the show for a few years due to living elsewhere, being too ‘busy’, and my time being taken up with other projects. Where I live has a long history of progressive politics rooted in a worker struggles, a longstanding immigrant community and campaigns for justice. The music scene here reflects, embraces, and in many has ways provided leadership for decades. This was again clear in the festival, the bands, the discussions and the audience. Woman continue to play a key role in organising and runni…