It's Not a Race
We've mentioned this before, but Australians do not find it easy to talk about race (case in point: a recent, crushingly awkward Sydney Writers Festival conversation between Books & Arts presenter Michael Cathcart and author Paul Beatty). On the one hand, we imagine ourselves to be a chilled-out melting-pot, a place where even the most white-bread Aussie loves a hot bowl of pho and thinks Cathy Freeman is a legend. On the other hand: our media, our politics and our cultural institutions are blindingly whitewashed, the violence of our colonial past is elided, and the voices of Indigenous people are sidelined or erased. But this new podcast from the ABC tackles questions of race in Australia with refreshing and urgent directness (ironically, it's hosted by a Canadian, Beverley Wang). Two episodes into this series, we have covered the phenomenon of people actually, for some reason, doing blackface in the 21st century, and learned about a problematic Australian film, the first to star Indigenous actors in leading roles. In sum: thoughtfully constructed and very important stuff. Get on it.
Gateway episode: Hey hey it's time to talk about blackface! (30 May 2017)