Event: Identity—Yours, Mine, Ours at Immigration Museum.

 

It’s not often an exhibition is created based on racism in Australia.

Either we ignore it, or we sport t-shirts and bumper stickers saying “Fuck off, we’re full”.

Well, a groundbreaking new exhibition at the Immigration Museum on Flinders Street has changed that, entitled Identity: Yours, Mine, Ours, part of general admission ($10 for adults, free for concession and children).

The first part of the exhibition deals with preconceived notions about people based on what they look like, what they wear, which cultural groups they (seemingly belong to), amongst other factors. While the exhibition has been designed with the utmost involvement with those who are featured in it (Kat Clarke, the Indigenous, hoodie-wearing teen poet and songwriter, for example), it’s the second half that really piqued my interest.

It begins with a simulated tram ride in which a white businessman hops on and expresses disdain and what can only be described as covert racism to an African man speaking in his native dialect on the phone.

There are then depictions of the abovementioned “Fuck off, we’re full” t-shirts, which leads into a timeline of racism and discrimination in Australia and around the world. There’s a lot of reading in this section, so my advice is to allow at least an hour and a half for the exhibition, and don’t take a heavy bag!

Towards the end there are displays of discriminatory and downright racist toys and food, such as golliwogs and Creole cream biscuits. Even Gwen Stefani’s range of L.A.M.B. perfumes are called into question! There are also videos of Pauline Hanson’s 1996 maiden speech and Kevin Rudd saying “sorry” to the Stolen Generations in February 2008.

A lot of complementary content can be found on the Identity website and blog.

I’m not sure how long it’s on for, but if you’ve got a spare $10 and a couple of hours, a visit is well worth it for the novel experience of an exhibition based on racism in Australia. In this day and age, it’s sad it is so novel…

Elsewhere: [Immigration Museum] Identity: Yours, Mine, Ours.

[Immigration Museum] Identity Blog.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

 

Megan Fox’s body politics:

“… You have a picture of said body—made even thinner through creative posing—that’s used to sell underwear. In other words, she is paid to be thin. Period. All the talk about her abs and her weight-training regimen don’t have anything to do with the reality: Her body is her business. Literally. It’s her business, not ours, whether she’s healthy—that’s between Ms. Fox and her doctor. And it’s her business—an integral part of her financial strategy—to be thin.”

This is a superb, graphic and thought-provoking piece of writing on waxing, vaginoplasty and the ubiquity of female lady-parts. Semi-NSFW, but I recommend reading it at any cost:

“… while we can look over with horror at a tribe of women who claim that if their five-year-old happened to bleed excessively after having her clitoris cut off, that she must have been a witch, here in our own backyard, we give it some fancy name like vaginoplasty and somehow it’s less archaic? Goodness, we’re so civilized.”

Bern Morley on song lyrics and what we let our children listen to. Good stuff.

The double standards of cheating. FYI, I don’t agree with them.

Sachar Mathias divulges her favourite black dolls. Does this make-shift Michael Jackson Ken count? It is circa late ’90s/early ’00s—his face mask, baby-dangling period—so maybe not…

Anti-Semitism in the fashion house of Christian Dior goes further back than just John Galliano’s comments.

James Franco was a jerk to Kristina Wong. I think he’s a jerk in general.

CNN recently published an article asking if “whites are racially oppressed?” That’s like saying there needs to be an international men’s day if there’s a women’s one. Seriously, someone tried to argue that to me last week!

Charlie Sheen and “The Disposable Woman”.

Thanks for the shoutout, Beauty Redefined.

Celebrities behaving badly: who’s responsible?:

“But is it the responsibility of the media to be the moral gatekeepers of what we should and shouldn’t know about? Is it their responsibility to diagnose supposed ‘mental illness’ and on that basis, stop reporting on certain stories?

“… If drug addled celebrities on the front pages didn’t sell, they wouldn’t be there. So is the problem us? Just who is egging on who[m] here?”

Alissa Warren is a bit unsure if Waity Kaity is the royal for her.

Rick Morton on Pauline Hanson’s political return.

Images via Jezebel, Carlen Altman.