Archive for January, 2014

Film review: 12 Years a Slave

Film: 12 Years a Slave
Director: Steve McQueen
Subject: Slavery
Why: Education

“I will survive! I will not fall into despair. I will keep myself hardy until freedom is opportune!”

The film getting a lot of Oscar nods at the moment (2014) is 12 Years a Slave. But it’s also one of the few previews I’ve been to that hasn’t been packed, and I go to a lot (shout out to Steve M. for all the tickets over the years).

But with a line like that in it why wouldn’t you want to see it? It’s inspiring, it’s uplifting, it’s got an incredible cast and beautiful Negro spirituals. So what is keeping people away? Well it’s also violent, harrowing and appalling and takes you right into the mire of human depravity with lynchings, rapes and floggings … You want to look away and crawl under the seat but you also have this unnerving feeling that you need to see this film and it could be the most important thing you see this year.

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In pictures: Celebrating Australia Day

When I was young I always regretted that I wasn’t born a day earlier, on Australia Day. When I was a teenager and learned the history of white settlement and what that had meant, and still means, to Aboriginal people, my regrets disappeared. Today I can appreciate Australia Day for what it means in the sense of acknowledging the freedom we have to celebrate a modern, democratic state free of war and fear while still remembering the past and seeking to make the future one of inclusion, acceptance and opportunity for everyone on these shores.

With that in mind, here are some images of what it means to be an Australian on January 26. Happy Australia Day to everyone!

Feel free to add your own “Australia Day means … ” comment below.


Australia Day means… taking the time to learn from our elders.

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Reflections three years after the great flood of 2011

Once upon a time Brisbane residents would invoke ’74 as a year to be remembered – hallowed in time as a dark period in the city’s history of natural disasters. For those of us hit by floodwaters in 2011, that is now the year we refer to. To remember 2011 is to recall the heat, the rain, the mud, the smell, the endless work, the exhaustion … but also to remember how the state stood proud, shoulder to shoulder as friends and strangers helped their mates and neighbours.

At the annual dinner with our neighbours that has become a tradition every January in the week the floodwaters inundated us, we asked each other, “What were you doing on this day three years ago? Do you remember the smell of the mud? Do you remember how much work that was? Remember when you said …” And on and on it went.

There’s a bond forged with people that went through the flood with us and with those that helped that will never be undone. We went through hell and mud and came back – we’re still here.

In memory of the lives that were lost in January 2011 and the devastation that swept through Queensland and New South Wales, and concerns for those currently affected by bushfires, drought and other events around the country, here are some photos of the spirit of that time so when we remember the horror of what unfolded, we also remember how the community rallied. Thank you Brisbane.


The house in Auchenflower near the peak of the floods.

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2014 program with Cameras for Asia

Some of the donated camera equipment being sorted for the Feb-March trip.

Some of the donated camera equipment being sorted for the Feb-March trip.

It’s been an exciting few months for Cameras for Asia preparing the program for 2014. Here’s an update on what this is likely to include:

* February: Myanmar workshops and an exhibition hosted by a new community space called Myanmar Deitta
* March: Nepal workshops with CWC (a children’s centre in Godwari) and MDF (muscular dystrophy foundation)
* September/October: Hyderabad video workshops at a HIV centre, several workshops in schools in north India
* October/November: Philippines or Indonesia workshops Read more

5 images to start the year with Visited Planet

Happy new year from Visited Planet!

Wishing all readers, photographers, travelers and dreamers a fantastic start to 2014 with these five images of people from different parts of the world to inspire, encourage, challenge and make you smile too.

Koala and surfer, Noosa National Park, Noosa, Queensland, Australia

A koala and surfer have a chance meeting in Noosa National Park, Queensland, Australia

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Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter - Martin Luther King Jr.