February 2021

Essays

Politics

The scandals he walks past

In Morrison’s government, a lack of accountability has become systemic

Politics

The emperor’s new robe

When four-time mayor Paul Pisasale was jailed for fraud and corruption, ‘Mr Ipswich’ left behind a fractured city ruled for the benefit of developers and mates

COVID-19

Nightclubs, pandemics and our real selves

For some in the disabled community, it wasn’t long after COVID hit that the all-in-this-together sentiment started falling apart

The Nation Reviewed

Federal politics

Australia’s haunted house

The Brereton Report has wounded Scott Morrison’s efforts to make the Australian War Memorial the nation’s ‘most sacred place’

Environment

A reef history of time

The effort to restore Australia’s once-vast oyster ecosystems

Science and technology

Brain waves

Brain–computer interfaces promise communication capabilities for those paralysed by neurological dysfunction

Vox

The Vox Owl

Sikh and ye shall find

The psychedelic origins of a popular yoga blessing

Arts & Letters

Art

The paintbrush is a weapon: Vincent Namatjira

The Archibald Prize winner’s politics are less straightforward than the art world might like to think

Television

Eye to eye in the wild: ‘Australia Remastered’

The continent’s natural wonders – some now gone forever – are celebrated in a series that uncovers footage from the ABC’s disbanded Natural History Unit

Film

Once upon a time in the north: ‘High Ground’

Stephen Maxwell Johnson’s foray into Australia’s violent colonial history is a visually spectacular, if overfamiliar, revisionist Western

Music

Stopped back in time: Kylie Minogue’s ‘Disco’

The showbiz trouper delivers another album of spare, efficient pleasure

Noted

Books

‘Fragile Monsters’ by Catherine Menon

Memories of the Malayan Emergency resurface when a mathematician returns to her home country, in the British author’s debut novel

Art

‘TIWI’ at the National Gallery of Victoria

A must-see exhibition of Tiwi art from Bathurst and Melville islands, in which historical and contemporary media and imagery fuse

In Light of Recent Events

Cartoon

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