‘I can condemn him all I like … Xi Jinping isn’t sitting around wondering what a queer performance poet in Footscray thinks of his policies.’
I was on ABC today commenting on Chinese Australians being called to condemn the CCP. I talked about conditional citizenship as a form of racial profiling. Read the story by Bang Xiao and Stephen Dziedzic here.
For Overland, I wrote about how I’m over being the only one in the room, or trying to change things from the inside – and how our media regulations are broken when it’s easier to publish something racist than to call it racist.
‘Sinophobia never went away in Australia. Colonisation never ended. Racists might sometimes shift their focus but it’s the same lens. Maybe now it’s our turn in the crosshairs again. But we’re in all the water, treading furiously while trying to turn off the tap, here, there, and everywhere.’
In April, Emma Thomson from Correspondences asked me to be part of a project reflecting on escalating racism against Asian Australians and the themes of Lisel Mueller’s poem, ‘Immortality’. I said yes and I wrote these reflections in May and June. Now they feel like time capsules as every month of this year introduces another world entirely. You can read or listen to my pieces at the link above or visit the viewing room for the whole project here, which includes work by Kuang Zai, Selina Lo, Eileen Chong, and Ouyang Yu.
Finally it’s launch day!
Underfoot presents four virtual audio tours through Footscray’s past. Liz and I bring an intimate lens to local history as we wander the streets and the archives looking for people like us: queers, migrants, radicals and artists. There are some big conversations about capitalism, nationalism and settler nativism, as well as some finely aged gossip.
Each track comes with a map, transcript, photos and notes so you can either explore these places in real life (observing social distancing!) or just enjoy the stories while staying home. You can even dive into some historical research yourself if you’re so inclined.
Here it is: Underfoot.