December 2019 – January 2020

Essays

Society

Stasiland now

Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the author of ‘Stasiland’ reveals the ongoing power of the former East German regime, not just in politics and business but also in shaping perceptions of victimhood in unified Germany

Australian Defence Force

Peace with dishonour

On the West’s Trump-led exit from the wreckage of the Middle East

Australian history

Australia 2.0

The America’s Cup winged keel and the transformation of a nation

Indigenous Australia

Remember her name

Systemic racism, unconscious bias, and the death in custody of Tanya Day

The Nation Reviewed

Immigration

The middle of nowhere

Australia’s political leaders have lost their bearings in a changed world

Law and order

Cap in hand

An unprecedented twist in the Walkley Award–winning story of the David Eastman murder case

Big man energy

At the Menergy retreat, men tackle anger, address emotional resilience and dance like wild women

Art

Water water

GOMA’s ‘Water’ exhibition brings an Icelandic stream indoors in Brisbane

Science and technology

Ready to rumble

Crowds cheer on the destructive prowess of Pot Head and Wanda at the Robowars National Championship

Vox

The Vox Owl

Diaries (2018–19)

Collected thoughts on writers seeking permission to write, Eurydice Dixon, the Nobel for Murnane and dealing with errant chooks

Arts & Letters

Music

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’

Books

Damascene subversion: Christos Tsiolkas’s ‘Damascus’

The literary storyteller’s latest novel wrestles with the mythology of Christianity’s founder, Paul the Apostle

Books

Agents of chaos: Peter Pomerantsev’s ‘This Is Not Propaganda’

The Russian expat journalist wonders if democracy can survive the internet, as social media is used to promote feelings over facts

Music

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

Noted

Art

‘Japan supernatural’

The Art Gallery of NSW’s examination of Japan’s centuries-long artistic traditions depicting the spirit world and the macabre

Books

‘The Topeka School’ by Ben Lerner

The American author’s latest novel canvasses the seething hate speech of the burgeoning alt-right and white-boy rap battles in the Midwest

In Light of Recent Events

Cartoon

Dot-to-dot puzzle of the challenge beyond our Pentecostal PM’s thoughts and prayers