February 2020

Arts & Letters

The king in exile: Gordon Koang

By Anwen Crawford
The music of the South Sudanese star and former refugee offers solace and a plea for unity

Anwen Crawford

Anwen Crawford is The Monthly’s music critic.

Photograph by Michael Rees-Lightfoot

Cover image of The Monthly, February 2020

February 2020

From the front page

Freedom press

A Greens bill could spark a useful debate

Image of Fire Fight Australia

The fraught politics of Fire Fight Australia

The imperatives of commercial media mean that the bushfire crisis is unlikely to be a tipping point for denialism

Image from ‘Requiem’

Celebrating beauty’s passing: ‘Requiem’

Italian director Romeo Castellucci on his radical reimagining of Mozart’s classic

Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Written on the skin

Trading the joys of a childhood spent in the sun for an adulthood under scrutiny on a skin clinic table


In This Issue

Image of Scott Morrison

Leaders and dung beetles

On John Cain, Scott Morrison and our curious inability to elect good people

Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Warringah warrior

Independent MP Zali Steggall hopes her private member’s bill will take the partisanship out of climate-change policy

Image of L’Arlésienne [detail], by Pablo Picasso

‘Matisse & Picasso’: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Hanging works by the two masters together highlights their artistic rivalry and mutual influence

Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Silver linings

Having survived Afghanistan as a counterintelligence officer, a traumatised vet and his family lost their farm in the Adelaide Hills bushfires


More in Arts & Letters

Untitled (Pollo Frito), 1982, by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Stopped in the street: ‘Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines’

Early death meant the work of these renowned artists never fully emerged from ’80s New York subcultures

Image [detail] of Agency, by William Gibson

Days of future passed: William Gibson’s ‘Agency’

The cyberpunk pioneer’s latest novel continues his examination of the present from the perspective of a post-apocalyptic future

Image from True History of the Kelly Gang

Kills, frills and Kelly aches: Justin Kurzel’s ‘True History of the Kelly Gang’

The Australian director brings a welcome sense of style to the unusually malleable story

Image of Cardi B

Bodak moment: Pop’s decade of superstars

Cardi B delivered the song of the decade as a new league of superstars overcame the significance of bands


More in Music

Photo of Liam Gallagher

Don’t look back in anger: Liam and Noel Gallagher

As interest in Oasis resurges, talking to the combative brothers recalls their glory years as ‘dirty chancers, stealing riffs instead of Ford Fiestas’

Image of Cardi B

Bodak moment: Pop’s decade of superstars

Cardi B delivered the song of the decade as a new league of superstars overcame the significance of bands

Image of Archie Roach

A way home: Archie Roach

The writer of ‘Took the Children Away’ delivers a memoir of his Stolen Generations childhood and an album of formative songs

Detail of Yanni Florence photograph

Losing yourself

How can we be transformed by music if online platforms mean we will always remain ourselves?


Read on

Image of Fire Fight Australia

The fraught politics of Fire Fight Australia

The imperatives of commercial media mean that the bushfire crisis is unlikely to be a tipping point for denialism

Image from ‘Requiem’

Celebrating beauty’s passing: ‘Requiem’

Italian director Romeo Castellucci on his radical reimagining of Mozart’s classic

Image of Prime Minister Scott Morrison

A gap too far

Despite fine words in response to the latest Closing the Gap report, the PM insists that politicians know best when it comes to the question of recognition

Image from ‘Extinction Studies’

Wildlife’s whispered traces: ‘Extinction Studies’

Lucienne Rickard’s durational art performance at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery reckons with extinct species


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