Books, reading & writing
Working with Words: Rick Morton
Rick Morton is the Melbourne-based social affairs writer at the Australian. We caught up with Rick to chat about Kurt Vonnegut, The Little Prince and hard-headedness versus hard-heartedness.
Working with Sound: Richard Fidler
Richard Fidler is the presenter of ABC Radio National’s Conversations with Richard Fidler. In 2016, he co-created Saga Land – a four-part series on the sagas of Iceland – with Kári Gíslason. We talked to him about ancient Viking sagas, the linear nature of radio narration and how making audio features can be like recording…
3 I Have Got Some People Waiting For Me
Aziz’s life has been a story of chance – and choice. As Michael pieces together Aziz’s journey from Sudan to Manus, he realises Aziz has been searching for a safe place for about eight years. So what gives him the ability, and the energy, to speak out? How has Aziz fought for so long, and what makes him want to be ‘the messenger’?
‘I’m pretending like I’m really happy, and laugh, and you know, smiling on the phones and doing stuff like that – so they feel like, “Oh, my son is really living in a good environment”. So they think like that, but the opposite is the truth.’Aziz
Aziz tells Michael, ‘I have got some people ...waiting for me. They love me, they want me to be with them.’ Haltingly, and sometimes with great difficulty, Aziz starts to share stories about his home, the family that he longs to see, and why he fled.
Looking to find out more, Michael speaks to Sudan expert Anne Bartlett about the current situation there. As Aziz shares snapshots from his past, Anne talks Michael through the conflict in Sudan, which, despite leaving the headlines long ago, continues to unfold.
Michael worries that he’s adding to Aziz’s trauma by digging up painful memories – ever aware of how hard it is to have these kinds of conversations in short, overlapping messages, without the benefit of reading someone’s signals face to face.
Meanwhile, Aziz weighs up how much to tell his family about Manus, and explains to Michael why he’s sometimes tortured by regret.
Warning: This episode of The Messenger includes graphic content and mentions self-harm. If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact one of Australia’s national 24/7 crisis services such as Lifeline on 13 11 14 or at lifeline.org.au, or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.Transcript
Download a PDF transcript of this episode here.In this episode Abdul Aziz Muhamat Michael Green Associate Professor Anne Bartlett, University of New South Wales, President of the Sudan Studies Association
Our theme music was composed by Raya Slavin. Music…
Working with Words: Anne Gracie
At the turn of the century, Anne Gracie set out to knock out a couple of romances while she forged a proper literary career. Instead, she fell in love with the genre. She's since written 20 books of historical romance fiction and her novels have been translated into 18 languages…
2 I Need to Format My Memory
As the world reacts to the Trump administration’s new US border policies, Aziz’s situation is as uncertain as ever, with no end in sight. Life on Manus grinds on.
‘When we see someone who is just hurting himself or he is trying to commit suicide, sometimes you just drag yourself away because of not getting the pictures in your head.’Aziz
In this episode, Aziz and Michael start to get to know each other – and Aziz begins to paint a picture for Michael of daily life in the detention centre.
Where is it, and why is it there? What are the conditions really like, and what’s it like to live there with more than 800 other men and no prospect of release?
Back in Melbourne, Michael meets Aziz’s friend John Zammit, a former Manus Island psychologist who shares his experiences of the detention centre, and his recollections of Aziz.
With help from John, and from Aziz’s many messages, Michael pieces together a sense of Aziz’s daily routine, just as order in the camp gets turned upside down …
Warning: This episode of The Messenger mentions suicide and self-harm. If you or someone you know needs help, you can contact one of Australia’s national 24/7 crisis services such as Lifeline on 13 11 14 or at lifeline.org.au, or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.Transcript
Download a PDF transcript of this episode here.Further reading 'What Trump's Executive Order on Immigration Does – and Doesn't Do' by Krishnadev Calamur, Atlantic, accessed 30 January 2017 ‘US could resettle zero refugees from Manus and Nauru and still 'honour' deal’ by Helen Davidson and Ben Doherty, Guardian, accessed 31 January 2017 In this episode Abdul Aziz Muhamat Michael Green John Zammit, former Manus Island psychologist
Our theme music was composed by Raya Slavin. Music used in this episode includes: ’02-07-02’, ‘03-19-02’, ‘03-03-02’ and ‘03-23-02’ by Taylor Deupree and Kenneth Kirschner, ‘Nord’ by Radian, ‘Organ in the Attic Sings the Blues’ by Deadbeat, ‘Iberia Eteria’ by Biosphere, ‘Forskjellige Gode Ting’ and ‘Alt Maste Bli Anorlunda’ by Kim Hiorthøy, ‘Mario Bava Sleeps In a…
Are you a word-loving parent … but your kids are yet to encounter Shakespeare? Let us facilitate an introduction.
The Tempest, rich with themes of illusion, romance and magic, is a great place to start. It’s a story of power, conspiracy, revenge and sacrifice. It’s also a tale of trust and responsibility; of forgiveness and love; of human spirit…
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Pitching to Editors Gonzo-style
Maverick author Hunter S Thompson’s letter to apply for a job at the Vancouver Sun has been republished recently in the Ottawa Citizen shedding some light on the author’s approach to getting a job.
First up he starts by complimenting the paper saying he “got a hell of a kick” out of reports he’d heard about the paper. Then he goes onto give a…
Tolstoy’s Recipe for Happiness
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, has posted a blog of interest to fans of the great Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy. Anyone even slightly familiar with Tolstoy’s work would know that happiness is a subject that interested him greatly. His ideas earned him cultish devotion in Russia during his lifetime, even though he struggled to live according to his principles in his…
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