The Wheeler Centre
Black Lives Matter: In Conversation
In February 2012, an unarmed African-American high-school student, Trayvon Martin, was shot dead in Sanford, Florida. His death was a flashpoint in American race relations, sparking protests across the United States and the beginning of a totally new kind of civil-rights movement: #blacklivesmatter.
Left to right: Jack Latimore, Patrisse Cullors and Rodney Diverlus — Photo: Jon Tjhia
The movement – founded by Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza – fights for justice and dignity for black people. Diffuse, inclusive and multifaceted, #blacklivesmatter has built momentum online and, crucially, on the ground. Its activists have enjoyed wins in court rooms, in the media, on the streets and in Barack Obama’s White House. The message has resonated across the globe, with large turnouts for rallies not just across the US but also in Brazil, Australia, South Africa and other countries.
In Australia to collect the Sydney Peace Prize, two of Black Lives Matter’s founders and leaders – Cullors, and Toronto BLM Chapter co-founder Rodney Diverlus – talk with Jack Latimore about the achievements and broader goals of #blacklivesmatter … and how we can translate the lessons of the movement to face and fight entrenched inequality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia (with whom they've spent significant amounts of time ahead of this conversation).
Among other topics, they discuss the importance of sustained activism, inclusive and nuanced ideas of 'blackness', and an empowering movement unconstrained by national borders or charismatic leadership.
(Note: This podcast episode contains a discussion of online abuse, which includes strong language.)Alicia Garza on Black Lives Matter Watch
Due to illness, Alicia Garza was unable to join us for this event. In lieu of her appearance, she recorded a short video message covering some of her thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement, and explaining why looking after one's health is important to organisers.
Photo: Jon Tjhia
Kevin Rudd and Kerry O'Brien
Kevin Rudd’s time as Prime Minister was short, tumultuous and, at times, momentous. Rising to power in 2007 on a wave of popular optimism, Rudd defeated a formidable opponent in John Howard and ushered in an era of Labor rule and extensive reform.
Perhaps the most globally ambitious of recent Australian Prime Ministers, Rudd's legacy is linked most strongly with…
If Walls Could Talk: Remembering Pentridge
From 1851 until its closure in 1997, Pentridge Prison in Coburg was the scene of many humiliations and acts of brutality – as well as unlikely alliances, and stories of hope, survival and friendship. The prison was home to thousands of people over several generations, from notorious criminals to ordinary men and women. The last man executed in Australia, Ronald…
On Your Marx
‘Marxism exists in 19th-century thought like a fish in water: that is, it is unable to breathe anywhere else.’ Variations on this claim, made in 1966 by Michel Foucault, had decades of oxygen in the West.
But today, the work of Karl Marx is again breathing life into a range of Western movements. Within Black Lives Matter, Jeremy Corbyn’s UK…
The Fifth Estate
Hindu Nationalism in India
Sally Warhaft, Shashi Tharoor and Meena Kandasamy — Photo: Sophie Quick
In 2014, Narendra Modi swept into power as Prime Minister of India; he did so on a pro-business, pro-development platform and on a wave of Hindu nationalism.
It was a spectacular victory and, if the decisive recent state election results for his party in Uttar Pradesh are any indication, he remains a popular figure with many Indians – around 80% of whom are Hindus – several years into his leadership.
But India is a country with significant populations of religious minorities. Among other religious groups, especially Muslims, and among some concerned Hindu Indians too, there is deep concern about the rising tide of Hindu nationalism in the population. Of particular concern are Modi’s alignment with the extremist nationalist groups, his history of turning a blind-eye to acts of right-wing violence and vigilantism and the growing culture of media censorship.
Join authors Shashi Tharoor and Meena Kandasamy as they talk politics and religion in the world’s largest democracy, with host Sally Warhaft.
Presented in partnership with Melbourne Writers Festival.
Photo: Sophie Quick
The Fifth Estate
Alfred Deakin and the Art of Minority Government
Alfred Deakin, Australia’s second Prime Minister, spent 32 years in politics. Renowned for his oratorical ability, superb negotiation skills and workable minority governments, he served as Prime Minister for three separate terms in the turbulent first decade of the new Commonwealth.
As questions of dual citizenship threaten the Commonwealth Government’s majority today, Sally Warhaft speaks to Judith Brett about Deakin’s legacy and the link between the early days of federated Australia and the contemporary situation.
What does it take to govern successfully without a majority? And, if minority governments are the norm in many advanced democracies, why does the prospect loom as a bogeyman in Australian public conversation?
Sally Warhaft and Judith Brett
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