Law, ethics & philosophy
The Wheeler Centre
Question Time: Fast Fashion
The panel: Madeleine Morris, Clare Press, Clara Vuletich, Rebecca Hard and Jessica Perrin
Over the past 20 years, retail giants like Zara, H&M and Topshop, have become incredibly adept at ripping off the latest catwalk looks and offering them to the mass market at affordable prices.
But we’re starting to see a backlash. Many consumers are wising up to some of the unscrupulous labour practices of fast fashion outlets and to the massive amounts of waste this consumption model generates. In Australia, Topshop has gone into voluntary administration. Is fast fashion going out of fashion?
In this Question Time discussion, our panel field questions on the issue from all angles. Does the fast fashion business model preclude ethical or sustainable practices? How might a backlash affect retail workers here in Australia as well as textile workers in developing countries? What are the alternatives to fast fashion – and who can afford them?
9 Freedom Is Not Free
Abdul Aziz Muhamat and Michael Green on Manus Island — (Photo: Behrouz Boochani)
'Freedom is not free. You have to pay for it. And we pay; now we are paying for our freedoms.'Abdul Aziz Muhamat
Just before Christmas of 2016, Aziz is transferred to Port Moresby for knee surgery. With better phone reception, Michael and Aziz share a long phone call in which they reflect on the year that’s ending, the holiday season and the months since they met face to face on Manus Island.
The change in Aziz’s circumstances is only temporary, but it’s still a change – and the call feels like a rare break in the clouds. But just two days later – on Christmas Day – Michael hears news that Aziz’s friend and fellow Sudanese detainee, Faysal Ishak Ahmed, has died.
A transcript of this episode is coming soon.
Abdul Aziz Muhamat
Our theme music was composed by Raya Slavin. Music used in this episode includes ‘Passage’ by Oren Ambarchi, ‘We Let the “S” Hang in the Air’ by Brokeback, ‘Pulcinella’ by Kazumasa Hashimoto, ‘How Now (1968) for Piano’ by Philip Glass, ‘Meditation’ by Lori Scacco, ‘Waltz for Aidan’ by Mogwai, ‘Mandarinerna’ by Kim Hiorthøy, ‘Future Light’ by Nick Huggins, ‘Non Song’ by To Rococo Rot, ‘Momento’ by Murcof, ‘Initial Gesture Protraction’ by Tortoise, ‘Trace’ by Rhythm&Sound, ‘Under the Roof’ by Colleen and ‘I Found the End’ by Broadcast.
The Messenger is a co-production of Behind the Wire and the Wheeler Centre. It’s produced by Michael Green, André Dao, Hannah Reich and Bec Fary, with Jon Tjhia and Sophie Black at the Wheeler Centre.
Narration by Michael Green. With reporting by Abdul Aziz Muhamat. Additional fact checking by the Guardian's Ben Doherty; transcription by Claire McGregor, Carolyn Turner, Eugenia Zoubtchenko and many more. This episode was edited and mixed by Bec Fary and Jon Tjhia.
Dana Affleck, Angelica Neville and Sienna Merope. Also to Behind the Wire’s many participants and volunteers. Behind the Wire is supported by the Bertha Foundation.
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
The Fifth Estate
In recent times, it seems the Australian Constitution has been in the headlines more often than not. Accordingly, the High Court has been in the spotlight, too.
What are our expectations of the judiciary with regard to keeping the other branches of government in check? How well do citizens, and legislators, understand the constitution and the High Court’s role in…
Questions for the Nation: Darwin
What are the most important questions facing Australians – today and in the future?
The Wheeler Centre has been roaming Australia, collecting the nation’s most urgent questions and thrashing them out with some of the sharpest thinkers we know. We’ve been doing it in panel discussions at Brisbane Writers Festival, Perth’s Disrupted Festival of Ideas, Darwin Festival and National Young…
The Festival of Questions
Philosophical Fight Club
Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Our diverse line-up of intellectual heavyweights will go to the mat and wrestle with some of the biggest, ugliest and toughest philosophical dilemmas facing Australians today.
Host Geoffrey Robertson will thoroughly grill our panellists, delving into questions of cultural memory, citizenship, populism and more. Join us for a session of scrutiny, speculation, supposition and squabbling as we…
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Journalism, Ethics & the Bottom Line
Any hope senior New Limited executives might have harboured that fallout from the phone hacking scandal might be quarantined in the UK seems to be fading. The Nation, an openly progressive weekly, has republished a 2008 report in which a former executive of Fox News, which is openly conservative, alleged that the network engaged in phone hacking.
This comes after the FBI last week…
Reviewing the Afghanistan Debate
Natalie Sambhi, co-editor of the blog Security Scholar, attended last week’s Intelligence Squared debate on the merits of Australian involvement in Afghanistan. She’s reviewed the event on Security Scholar blog. This is an excerpt.
On a chilly Thursday night, we descended upon Melbourne Town Hall to listen to our friend and colleague, Raoul Heinrichs, partake in the Wheeler Centre debate on Afghanistan. We came…
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