Since the 1990s Australian law has recognised sexual persecution as grounds for refugee asylum. Still, applicants are forced to go through a protracted process of proving their “gayness.” This excellent video features University of Sydney researcher and activist Senthorun Raj telling the story of Ravi, a Bangladeshi asylum seeker, who was forced not just to establish his sexuality, but to defend his commitment to his queerness. Ravi’s problem was that he was not “visibly” gay in the way the law expected. Yet refuge law on persecution is not simply about looks or physical persecution. Raj writes:

LGBTIQ persecution does not always involve physical violence. Persecution can manifest in persisting psychological abuse, coerced concealment, the inability to subsist, or systemic discrimination that is legitimated/ tolerated by the state. 

In the video, Ravi notes that while his first sexual encounter with a man was consensual it was not pleasurable. This is part of sexuality: we can be attracted to people and not necessarily always enjoy sex equally with everyone. Ravi had also had sex with a woman in the past. This undermined his case as a gay man in the eyes of the Refugee Tribunal. They did not believe that Ravi had “made up his mind” about being gay because of this prior experience.

As Raj points out, sexuality is fluid. Some people can be gay and yet still have had sexual experiences with the opposite gender, or they can gay and not have slept with many people, and you can be gay and not necessarily have enjoyed all your sexual encounters. This works the same for heterosexual people, and yet this somehow doesn’t invalidate their heterosexuality.

This is such an important video to explore the sociology of refugee law and the intersections between migration and queer theory. The story is illustrated wonderfully by Australian artist on Tumblr, Sam Wallman (penerasespaper).

antipodeans:


This is Kelly the defiant. I put Kelly on top of the horse in a particularly orderly manner. I wanted an air of perfect authority. It looks simple but I wanted the maximum feeling of space, so the cloud appears through the aperture in the mask.
- Sidney Nolan.

Thought I would kick this blog off with a quintessential Australian artwork by one of Australia’s most famous and important artists depicting an Australian icon. Ned Kelly, the notorious bushranger (horse riding bandit), needs no introduction to Australians, but for uninitiated international audiences: Kelly represents the unyielding anti-authoritarian spirit beloved by Australian national mythology.
Sidney Nolan has said that his three inspirations for the Kelly series are the words of Kelly, the influence of Rousseau and sunlight. Nolan’s focus on sunlight best exemplifies the significance of the Ned Kelly series beyond its primary historical subject. Nolan is as much concerned with rendering the unique Australian landscape as he is capturing the irreverent outlaw. Nolan says the Kelly saga was ‘a story arising out of the bush and ending in the bush’:

I find the desire to paint the landscape involves a wish to hear more of the stories that take place in the landscape … which persist in the memory, to find expression in such household sayings as “game as Ned Kelly”.

Source: National Gallery of Australia. Post by ZeeZee.
High-res

antipodeans:

This is Kelly the defiant. I put Kelly on top of the horse in a particularly orderly manner. I wanted an air of perfect authority. It looks simple but I wanted the maximum feeling of space, so the cloud appears through the aperture in the mask.

- Sidney Nolan.

Thought I would kick this blog off with a quintessential Australian artwork by one of Australia’s most famous and important artists depicting an Australian icon. Ned Kelly, the notorious bushranger (horse riding bandit), needs no introduction to Australians, but for uninitiated international audiences: Kelly represents the unyielding anti-authoritarian spirit beloved by Australian national mythology.


Sidney Nolan has said that his three inspirations for the Kelly series are the words of Kelly, the influence of Rousseau and sunlight. Nolan’s focus on sunlight best exemplifies the significance of the Ned Kelly series beyond its primary historical subject. Nolan is as much concerned with rendering the unique Australian landscape as he is capturing the irreverent outlaw. Nolan says the Kelly saga was ‘a story arising out of the bush and ending in the bush’:

I find the desire to paint the landscape involves a wish to hear more of the stories that take place in the landscape … which persist in the memory, to find expression in such household sayings as “game as Ned Kelly”.

Source: National Gallery of Australia. Post by ZeeZee.

antipodeans:

Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack. Desolation: Internment Camp, Orange, N.S.W. 1941.
Print, relief. Woodcut, printed in black ink. Printed image 21.8 h x 13.4 w cm, sheet 25.0 h x 20.0 w cm.
Hirschfeld-Mack (1893–1965) was born in Frankfurt, Germany. Biographer Tim Roberts writes that Hirschfeld-Mack studied art, most notably Bauhaus, with a keen interest on experimenting with colour and light. He was multi talented. He built a machine to play moving projections; he was a musician; and he also performed on stage. Hirschfeld-Mack was forced to immigrate to Britain in 1936 when the Nazi Army rose to power. This was due to the fact that he was partly Jewish, and in spite of the fact that he was a decorated lieutenant who served in the German Army in WWI. Hirschfeld-Mack was deported to Australia in 1940 for being an ‘enemy alien’. He was moved around three detention centres for two years (Hay and Orange in New South Wales and Tatura in Victoria). Throughout this time, he continued to paint with whatever meagre materials he could muster. He also taught his fellow detainees about art.
Desolation, Hirschfeld-Mack’s piece above, makes a devastating comment about his experiences resulting from WWII.
Roberts chronicles that Hirschfeld-Mack was released from detention in 1942 due to the sponsorship of Sir James Darling, headmaster of Geelong Church of England Grammar School. Hirschfeld-Mack became the school’s art teacher, putting on elaborate exhibitions of his students’ work and he continued to paint, write, create and exhibit his own work. His sponsor and patron, Darling, said of Hirschfeld-Mack: “He was an almost perfect man… a beautiful character and an original teacher”. One of his pupils said Hirschfeld-Mack was a

serene, quiet man—so fair that he glowed with the pale radiance of saints in stained-glass windows.

Image source: National Gallery of Australia. Post by ZeeZee.

antipodeans:

Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack. Desolation: Internment Camp, Orange, N.S.W. 1941.

Print, relief. Woodcut, printed in black ink. Printed image 21.8 h x 13.4 w cm, sheet 25.0 h x 20.0 w cm.

Hirschfeld-Mack (1893–1965) was born in Frankfurt, Germany. Biographer Tim Roberts writes that Hirschfeld-Mack studied art, most notably Bauhaus, with a keen interest on experimenting with colour and light. He was multi talented. He built a machine to play moving projections; he was a musician; and he also performed on stage. Hirschfeld-Mack was forced to immigrate to Britain in 1936 when the Nazi Army rose to power. This was due to the fact that he was partly Jewish, and in spite of the fact that he was a decorated lieutenant who served in the German Army in WWI.
Hirschfeld-Mack was deported to Australia in 1940 for being an ‘enemy alien’. He was moved around three detention centres for two years (Hay and Orange in New South Wales and Tatura in Victoria). Throughout this time, he continued to paint with whatever meagre materials he could muster. He also taught his fellow detainees about art.

Desolation, Hirschfeld-Mack’s piece above, makes a devastating comment about his experiences resulting from WWII.

Roberts chronicles that Hirschfeld-Mack was released from detention in 1942 due to the sponsorship of Sir James Darling, headmaster of Geelong Church of England Grammar School. Hirschfeld-Mack became the school’s art teacher, putting on elaborate exhibitions of his students’ work and he continued to paint, write, create and exhibit his own work. His sponsor and patron, Darling, said of Hirschfeld-Mack: “He was an almost perfect man… a beautiful character and an original teacher”. One of his pupils said Hirschfeld-Mack was a

serene, quiet man—so fair that he glowed with the pale radiance of saints in stained-glass windows.

Image source: National Gallery of Australia. Post by ZeeZee.

The Lady from the Sea, 2012.
Photographed at the World Theatre Festival. Brisbane Powerhouse, 24 February, 2012.
The Lady from the Sea is a production borne from a collaboration between Topology (a contemporary musical group from Brisbane) and the Abhinaya Theatre Research Centre of Thiruvananthapuram (India).

It is based on a play by Ibsen, in which an unhappily married woman, inwardly obsessed with thoughts of the ocean, is confronted by a long-lost lover who tells her she must choose: to sail away with him or never see him again.Ibsen’s play explores themes such as individual happiness and social convention, but the story also carries more ancient echoes.

Source: The Australian. High-res

The Lady from the Sea, 2012.

Photographed at the World Theatre Festival. Brisbane Powerhouse, 24 February, 2012.

The Lady from the Sea is a production borne from a collaboration between Topology (a contemporary musical group from Brisbane) and the Abhinaya Theatre Research Centre of Thiruvananthapuram (India).

It is based on a play by Ibsen, in which an unhappily married woman, inwardly obsessed with thoughts of the ocean, is confronted by a long-lost lover who tells her she must choose: to sail away with him or never see him again.

Ibsen’s play explores themes such as individual happiness and social convention, but the story also carries more ancient echoes.

Source: The Australian.