In the Netflix / social media era, is it really necessary to read fiction books?

When I can settle down into a book, I feel like someone who has been running frantically for days and is finally home. Reading is one of the most fulfilling things I do, and it is easy – no transport or planning necessary. Yet after a long, exhausting day of work, I often find that... Continue Reading →

Art that confronts imperialism

"There aren't poor and rich countries, there are countries that have been enriched thanks to the impoverishment of other countries," wrote Rafael del Castillo. But there is a shyness, today (along with a lot of denial) to talk about imperialism. Much of the mainstream media would prefer to see any wars, violence, poverty, and human... Continue Reading →

The destructive myth of the objective journalist

The existence of objective or neutral journalists is a myth, and those who claim to revere such journalism are only attempting to justify an absence of context and depth in coverage and are elevating pro-status-quo journalism. Male sports journalists tend to know the sport they cover well and feel passionate about it, but when it... Continue Reading →

Writing for liberation exercise: go further than you can go

Have you ever noticed that when you write that first get-it-off-your-chest draft of a poem or story, it's often the last bit that has the gems in it? When we first start writing, we're often not sure where we want to take something, or what it is exactly that we're trying to say, but the... Continue Reading →

Against the odds: Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq

Being an artist, writer, musician, teacher, journalist, or other professions involves a lifetime of learning and a never-ending-journey. Perhaps no one understands this better than Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq, who graduated from the College of Fine Arts in Khartoum in 1963 and was a founding member of the Khartoum School, a modern art movement established in... Continue Reading →

Writing for liberation exercise: The shapes of things

"The shape of power ... is a tree. Root to tip, central trunk branch and re-branching ... the shape of power is the outline of a living thing straining outward, sending its fine tendrils a little further and a little further," wrote Naomi Alderman in The Power. Have a think about Alderman's description of what... Continue Reading →

A poem for when we watch injustice like a captive audience

We Lived Happily during the War And when they bombed other people’s houses, we protested but not enough, we opposed them but not enough. I was in my bed, around my bed America was falling: invisible house by invisible house by invisible house— I took a chair outside and watched the sun. In the sixth... Continue Reading →

How to rid your search results of unreliable and low-grade content + list of sites to block

Sometimes you have to click through to the forth of fifth page of Google results to get past the content-farmed sites and unhelpful Quora pages, and it's starting to get really annoying. What's particularly concerning is that the average web user won't go past the first five search results – meaning that corporate sponsored content... Continue Reading →

Writing to sell or please others limits creativity

How many mind-blowing, thought-provoking and beautiful books or films can you think of that were created while trying to please others? Doesn't the most impactful, memorable writing boldly challenge the status quo, play with aesthetics, and startle us instead? Here are some reasons why writers should steer clear of pleasing others: 1) When a writer... Continue Reading →

Australian Aboriginal art resists and resists

Art is never just art in this ripped up mess of a world. Today's Aboriginal art is often an expression of cultural sovereignty and survival, in a country which oppresses Aboriginal people, but uses Aboriginal heritage and art as a commodity - as a highly profitable souvenir.  This post aims to celebrate various Aboriginal artists... Continue Reading →

Writing for liberation course – intermediate to advanced

While there are a lot of free or affordable courses online for writing (and perhaps also in person in your local area), these tend to focus on the basics. The art of writing takes a whole life time to master. It's an ongoing process of experimentation, discovery, and fine-tuning. One way to help your growth... Continue Reading →

The Vivid Dangers of Our Indifference to a Hellish World

Obligatory apathy: We live in a society that despises any sign of caring about just how bad things are for most people. The planet is corroding and smoldering, and time and resources are going into nuclear weapons and sending humanity into its own carefully prepared hell. The unequal global economy is efficiently stimulating the starvation... Continue Reading →

3 brutal poems for women: Rare age, fairy tales, and a monster protest

The following three poems are hard and liberating. Read them out loud and with one fist clenched. Laura Passin is a writer and scholar specialising in contemporary US poetry and gender studies. I am not old - by Samantha Reynolds I am not old, she said I am rare I am the standing ovation at... Continue Reading →

Writing for liberation exercise: Make it ugly

Clotty seas, fungal walls, insipid kindness, reckless jokes, a grotty smile - it can be fun to play with contrasts, the unexpected, and in this case - make nice things ugly. It's easy to find all the right adjectives and stack them up in front of the horrid stuff of life. And it's easy to... Continue Reading →

PSA to men: Stop insisting

He asked me if I wanted to go out and get wine and look at the stars. I said, politely and honestly, no thanks – I was tired and it was really cold out. He came back with, “How about wine somewhere closer?” so I had to find a way to say no, again, politely.... Continue Reading →

Iran in photos: These are the people the US won’t let in

In the giant main square of Isfahan, two women eating saffron ice-cream came up to myself and a friend and asked us where we're from. We replied, and with huge smiles they said "Welcome to Iran!" then walked off. Over the next week this sort of thing happened frequently, and sometimes extended into questions about... Continue Reading →

Revolutionary gems on mothering, survival, rebellion, and war

I read Mai’a Williams' book like some one starved for word gems and insights. I want to cover this book for this blog because no one talks about mothers like they are the key protagonists in this world. They (and women and people of colour and people in poor countries and..) are portrayed as being... Continue Reading →

Why non-plated food epitomises everything that is wrong with the world.

Non-plated food is lacking in imagination and a symptom of societal stupidity. In rich countries and the wealthier areas of poor countries it has become trendy for restaurants to serve food on cutting boards and slates, as well as “deconstructed” meals in cups, juice in watering cans, sausages in skulls and hanging from branches (seriously),... Continue Reading →

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