Hush. It's a moody, evocative word. It's a word we hear more often in verse than in regular speech. Poets are crazy about it. John Keats practically bit off his own index finger, hissing Hush, hush! tread softly! hush, hush, my dear! and Hush, hush! soft tiptoe! hush, hush, my dear!, all within one poem.
'Hush' was the name of an Australian Seventies glam-rock band. It's the name of a fruity eau de toilette. And it's the name of the first edition of the Wheeler Centre's relaunched Notes.
From now on, you’ll find shorter updates from the Wheeler Centre, our resident organisations and more in our News section. Notes will continue to bring you longer and fuller stories, delivered in themed editions every month or two.
With ‘Hush’, we're bringing you writing on stifled sound, shushed shouts and stealth work. Stuart Kells considers noise and silence in the history of public libraries, Zoe Norton Lodge swallows her screams and Santilla Chingaipe reflects on a deferred national discussion. And in the first of a new series of anonymous interviews, a private investigator reflects on a career of sneaky secret surveillance.
From our archives, we have words and podcasts on privacy, censorship and speech.
Want to share your own thoughts? Too bad – hush up. Just kidding. We'd love to hear from you.
'Closed libraries create their own kind of silence. After all, libraries are where we go to hear the voices of the dead, or just the distant.'
Bibliophile Stuart Kells reflects on sounds and silence through the history of libraries.
I Screamed a Scream
'I have a very strong compulsion to deal with this the only way I know how. Screaming. Because I’m a screamer. My mama is a screamer; her mama is a screamer. It’s how we get it done.'
Zoe Norton Lodge, a lifelong screamer, experiments with dignified silence.
Deny, Deny, Deny
'Up until that point, I thought I could outrun racism – if I was an excellent student, if I was articulate, if I read more, if I wore my hair straight … '
Why do we keep dismissing and diverting conversations about race? Santilla Chingaipe reflects on prejudice, progress and…
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