December 2020 – January 2021

Essays

Society

In times like these, what would Oodgeroo do?

On the influence of Aboriginal poet, activist and educator Oodgeroo Noonuccal

COVID-19

Inner space

Taking to London’s streets in lockdown, with thoughts of Orwell and Henry Miller, plagues, eels, decorative cakes and what might be done in the belly of a whale

Economics

Which jobs and what growth?

We need to talk about the economy

Science and technology

Pale blue dot

The myth of the ‘overview effect’, and how it serves space industry entrepreneurs

Music

The glass curtain

Classical music’s problem with women

Art

Streeton’s shriek

Alarming revelations about the great Australian painter

The Nation Reviewed

Art

And now for something completely indifferent

The Morrison government is yet to fully realise that sidelining the arts hurts the economy

Federal politics

Picking losers

There are good reasons why Australians won’t pick fruit

Indigenous Australia

Murrandoo’s Burketown

How Murrandoo Yanner’s fight for native title in the Gulf of Carpentaria transformed his Gangalidda home town

Dance

Intimacy on set

Productions now hire advisers to help performers navigate intimate and violent scenes

VOX

Hanging on the telephone

What happens when kids encounter a landline

Newfound poems

Previously unpublished work from the giant of Australian poetry

Arts & Letters

Art

Blue is the colour

The idiosyncratic work of Yolngu artist Dhambit Mununggurr

Books

Dividing the Tasman: ‘Empire and the Making of Native Title’

Historian Bain Attwood examines the different approaches to sovereignty in the New Zealand and Australian settlements

Books

Shirley Hazzard’s wider world

The celebrated Australian author’s ‘Collected Stories’ sets private desperation in the cosmopolitan Europe she revered

Film

Citizen plain: ‘Mank’

David Fincher’s biopic of Orson Welles’s collaborating writer favours technique over heart

Music

Ready steady gone

The passing of its figureheads underscores pop music’s waning influence on personal identity

Noted

Books

‘Jack’ by Marilynne Robinson

History and suffering matter in the latest instalment of the American author’s Gilead novels

Film

‘The Dry’ directed by Robert Connolly

Eric Bana stars as a troubled investigator dragged back to his home town in a sombre Australian thriller

In Light of Recent Events

Cartoon

Shamelessly derivative summer puzzle!