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The Madness of Crowds: Douglas Murray analyses the culture wars we are living through June 28, 2020

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THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER A Times and Sunday Times Book of the Year ‘Douglas Murray fights the good fight for freedom of speech … A truthful look at today’s most divisive issues’ – Jordan B. Peterson ‘[Murray's] latest book is beyond brilliant and should be read, must be read, by everyone’ – Richard Dawkins ‘How can you not know about The Madness of Crowds? It’s actually the book I’ve just finished. You can’t just not read these books, not know about them.’ – Tom Stoppard In his devastating new book The Madness of Crowds, Douglas Murray examines the twenty-first century’s most divisive issues: sexuality, gender, technology and race. He reveals the astonishing new culture wars playing out in our workplaces, universities, schools and homes in the names of social justice, identity politics and ‘intersectionality’. We are living through a postmodern era in which the grand narratives of religion and political ideology have collapsed. In their place have emerged a crusading desire to right perceived wrongs and a weaponization of identity, both accelerated by the new forms of social and news media. Narrow sets of interests now dominate the agenda as society becomes more and more tribal – and, as Murray shows, the casualties are mounting. Readers of all political persuasions cannot afford to ignore Murray’s masterfully argued and fiercely provocative book, in which he seeks to inject some sense into the discussion around this generation’s most complicated issues. He ends with an impassioned call for free speech, shared common values and sanity in an age of mass hysteria.

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NO WORDS NECESSARY PERTH 2020 PHOTOS BOHDAN WARCHOMIJ METAPHOR IMAGES June 14, 2020

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Juukan Rock Shelters not the only sacrifice: Dr Kathryn Przywolnik June 9, 2020

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In one blast, 46,000 years of the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people’s cultural legacy was lost last month.

The news that the Juukan rock shelters were destroyed by Rio Tinto brought the plight of Aboriginal people wanting to see their important sites preserved for future generations to the mainstream.

Robert Eggington Dumbartung Corp Photo Bohdan Warchomij

It also brought protesters to the Perth Office of Rio Tinto to protest the wilful destruction of the Juukan Rock Shelters.

Hundreds of protesters rallied outside Rio Tinto’s Perth headquarters on Tuesday afternoon calling for the immediate resignation of chief executive Chris Salisbury, and state and federal Aboriginal affairs ministers Ben Wyatt and Ken Wyatt.

Robert Eggington is the Director of the Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation and addressed the crowd and took a letter of demand in to Rio Chief Executive Chris Salisbury.

But this was not an isolated incident. This is happening right across the north-west, with other ancient and significant sites destroyed in recent years and more hanging in the balance as we speak.

The Pilbara is one of the most minerally prospective regions of Australia and most Aboriginal groups in it feel the pressure and loss from the mining industry. It is a battle of attrition across the Pilbara. Sites are being lost at a rapid rate.

Aboriginal groups are all saying the same thing – we speak, and no one listens.

These include the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people, those mourning the losses at Juukan Gorge.

To their east are the Eastern Guruma people. Rio began mining their country in the 1960s, well before any societal or legal compulsion to talk to Aboriginal people existed. Fortescue Metals Group commenced its mining operations in 2010. There are currently seven major iron ore mines operating within their boundaries.

Remote as it is, Eastern Guruma country is now a major mining hub and thoroughfare bisected by heavy gauge railway lines, containing massive areas that are heavily industrialised and entire mountains that have been mined away to nothing.

The Yindjibarndi, their neighbours to the north, were also recently in the news due to the long-running, high profile and ugly court action brought against them by Fortescue Metals Group, which recently made it all the way to High Court. The action is a legacy of unresolved differences over mining and loss of country.

After years of dispute, FMG has its mines and the Yindjibarndi community is left fractured.

Aboriginal heritage in Western Australia is something of a polluter pays system, where mining companies will fund heritage work to identify, record and sometimes excavate Aboriginal sites.

The premise is that the results of the heritage work will be used to inform mine planning. Important sites can be avoided and mining can proceed secure in the knowledge that the right balance of cultural and economic interests has been achieved.

Situations like the destruction of Juukan Gorge, in this system, should not happen. In practice, this system sees mining companies undertaking investigations to understand the importance of sites in exchange for the ability to then destroy them through mining.

Mining companies effectively buy the sites, and the right to make decisions on the cultural future of the site and the people who value them most.

In only the last 10 years, there have been 36 sites excavated in Eastern Guruma country, all resourced by mining companies, and all of the archaeological research was undertaken ahead of plans to expand mines.

From the excavations Eastern Guruma people have recovered pieces of information, and treasured cultural objects and artefacts, that have helped paint the picture of their ancestors’ lives spanning thousands of years.

 Today, 25 of those rock shelters are gone. The remaining 11 sites, all in and around active Rio Tinto and FMG mining operations, have a stay of execution for the short term, but neither Rio or FMG will commit to preserving the sites, even those dating to older than 40,000 years, for the long term.

At some point in the future, the minister of the day will be asked to provide permission to destroy them.

It was nearly three years ago that the current Minster for Aboriginal Affairs, Ben Wyatt, granted permission to FMG to destroy several rock shelters at Spear Hill in Eastern Guruma country without knowing the results of the excavations that were being undertaken.

Now a rock shelter that is at least 23,000 years old sits underneath a haul road and within metres of a railway.

Eastern Guruma traditional owners can no longer access the site.

 Mr Wyatt consistently points to the outdated and no longer fit-for-purpose Act as the weak link in the chain of events that led to the destruction of the Juukan Gorge rock shelters. Mr Wyatt was not the minister at the time the Juukan Gorge Section 18 consent was granted, but nevertheless could have, if he was so inclined and informed, stepped in now to preserve the site.
He will also soon be asked to make a decision on FMG’s proposed expansion of its Queens mine over more than 70 heritage sites, one of which dates back 60,000 years.

Mr Wyatt assures the public that his new heritage laws, currently being drafted, will be better. And they may well be – the details remain to be seen. But to Aboriginal people all over the State it is what he chooses to do with the time and powers he has now that matters most.

Activist Herbert Bropho at the protest

Dr Kathryn Przywolnik is an archaeologist who for 15 years worked in Aboriginal heritage administration in the public sector, in both New South Wales and Western Australia, and is a former Registrar of Aboriginal Sites and Chief Heritage Officer in Western Australia.

She is now heritage manager at Wintawari Guruma Aboriginal Corporation, working with Eastern Guruma elders and traditional owners to record, research, protect and care for their cultural heritage sites.
Story reproduced in WA TODAY. Commentary Dr Kathryn Przywolnik.

Good News for Australian Journalism: AAP is back! June 7, 2020

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AAP’s board confirmed on Friday that a deal is in its last stages of negotiation with a consortium of investors and philanthropists led by former Foxtel CEO Peter Tonagh.

The sale relates to the newswire of AAP which reports on general news, courts, politics, finance and sport, as well as images and video. The other parts of AAP such as Medianet, Mediaverse and AAP Directories will be held by current shareholders and will operate as usual. The FactCheck service will also continue.

AAP DALAI LAMA PERTH PHOTO BOHDAN WARCHOMIJ/METAPHOR IMAGES

AAP – which is currently owned by Australian Community Media, Nine, News Corp Australia and The West Australian – was set to close on June 26 as it struggled to survive in a changing marketplace.

Its closure would have meant losing up to 500 jobs and an end to an 85-year long history of covering major news stories.

“I am pleased that, after months of discussions with various parties, it appears we have been able to secure a new home for AAP’s legacy of trusted news,” AAP CEO Bruce Davidson said in a statement.

In a statement, Tonagh highlighted the consortium’s commitment to independent journalism.

“We live in a time where trusted, unbiased news is more important than ever. AAP has always delivered on that and we are committed to seeing that continue into the future,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with the AAP team to continue its great work and to find new commercial opportunities to ensure its long-term survival.”

With the consortium on board, the new AAP will take on 85-90 employees, with up to 75 of them in editorial roles as well as management, IT and support staff. A number of jobs are expected to be lost, as the newly focused project will not employ the same number of journalists, photographers and producers.

Editor in Chief Tony Gillies considered this news a win for public interest journalism.

“In the 95 days since the original March 3 closure announcement our journalists, photographers and editors have endured the anxiety of an uncertain future and the difficulties of the Covid-19 lockdown,” he said in a statement. “And yet, they have been professional without exception, working as hard as ever.

“Their poise and resilience has been inspiring. The consortium is taking on Australia’s best.”

REPORT FROM BUSINESS INSIDER

PLATON: June 3, 2020

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Born in London in 1968, Platon was raised in the Greek Isles until his family returned to England in the 1970′s. He attended St. Martin’s School of Art and after receiving his BA with honors in Graphic Design, went on to receive an MA in Photography and Fine Art at the Royal College of Art. After working for British Vogue for several years, he was invited to NY to work for the late John Kennedy Jr. and his political magazine, ‘George’. After shooting portraits for a range of international publications including Rolling Stone, the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ and the Sunday Times Magazine, Platon developed a special relationship with Time magazine, producing over 20 covers.

In 2007 Platon photographed Russian Premier Vladimir Putin for Time Magazine’s Person Of The Year Cover. This image was awarded 1st prize at the World Press Photo Contest. In 2008 he signed a multi-year contract with the New Yorker. As the staff photographer, he has produced a series of large-scale photo essays, two of which won ASME Awards in 2009 and 2010. Platon’s New Yorker portfolios have focused on many themes including President Obama’s Inauguration, the U.S Military, portraits of world leaders and the Civil Rights Movement.

The following year, Platon teamed up with the Human Rights Watch to help them celebrate those who fight for equality and justice in countries suppressed by political forces. These projects have highlighted human rights defenders from Burma as well as the leaders of the Egyptian revolution. Following his coverage of Burma, Platon photographed Aung San Suu Kyi for the cover of Time – days after her release from house arrest.

In 2011, Platon was honored with a prestigious Peabody Award for a collaboration on the topic of Russia’s Civil Society with The New Yorker Magazine and Human Rights Watch. Platon’s first monograph ‘Platon’s Republic’, was published in 2004 by Phaidon Press. To coincide with its publication, the work was exhibited internationally, in London at the ex-Saatchi Gallery as well as the Milk Gallery in New York. His second book, ‘Power’ – a collection of portraits of over 100 world leaders – was published in 2011 by Chronicle and following its success was selected by Apple to be released as an app. The book includes portraits of Barack Obama, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Dmitry Medvedev, Benjamin Netanyahu, Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Abbas, Tony Blair, Robert Mugabe, Silvio Berlusconi, and Muammar Qaddafi.

In recent years, public speaking has progressively played a major role in Platon’s career as communicator and storyteller. He has been invited to be a keynote speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Yale, the London School of Economics, the National Portrait Gallery in London and the International Center of Photography in NY. He has also appeared on a range of television media including Charlie Rose (PBS), Morning Joe (MSNBC), Fareed Zakaria’s GPS (CNN) and the BBC World News.

Between 2011-2013, Platon’s work has been exhibited in galleries both domestically and abroad. He has exhibited in New York at the Matthew Marks Gallery and the Howard Greenberg Gallery, as well as internationally at the Colette Gallery in Paris, France. The New York Historical Society also exhibited a solo show of Platon’s Civil Rights photographs, which remain as part of the museum’s permanent collection. Other permanent collections holding Platon’s photography include The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa, Florida and The Westlicht Museum for Photography in Vienna, Austria. Platon’s advertising credits include the United Nations Foundation, Credit Suisse Bank, Exxon Mobil, Diesel, the Wall Street Journal, Motorola, Nike, Converse, Verizon, Vittel, Levi’s, IBM, Rolex, Ray-Ban, Tanqueray, Kenneth Cole, Issey Miyake, Moschino, Timex and Bertelsmann among others. Platon lives in New York with his wife, daughter and son.

In the middle of April, Netflix quietly uploaded the Platon episode of its excellent 2017 docuseries “Abstract: The Art of Design” to YouTube, where you can watch it for free, even if you don’t have a subscription. It’s not an exaggeration to call this a must-watch.

If you’re not familiar with the series, and you’re a Netflix subscriber, we highly recommend you check it out. Every aspect of design—from illustration, to typography, to photography—is covered in individual 45-minute long episodes that feature a creator who is at the top of their game.

The following link leads us through an amazing life journey with  Antoniou PLATON

https://petapixel.com/2020/06/02/netflixs-excellent-platon-documentary-is-now-available-for-free-on-youtube/

West Australians released to travel the State, barring the Kimberley. June 3, 2020

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Returning from Wedge Island on a brief holiday  I was stunned by the traffic heading back to Perth. The citizens were out in force enjoying a new found freedom.

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From Thursday night, 11.59pm, travel was possible throughout the state with the exception of the Kimberley and bio-security zones in the east Pilbara and part of the Goldfields where travel exemptions will still apply until June 5.

“As of this Friday people in Perth will be able to travel around the southern parts of the state, which is virtually the entire state with the exception of the Kimberley,” Premier Mr McGowan said on Monday.

While Broome remains out of bounds, the Premier said he expected it to become available to travellers by June 5, with restrictions expected to remain for the 274 remote Indigenous communities across the Kimberley, east Pilbara and Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku, in consultation with the communities and the Commonwealth.

Wedge Island: On the Edge of the Turquoise Coast Photos Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images June 3, 2020

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Arriving on Wedge Island immediately gifts one a release from the stress of city life, and a feeling of being close to simplicity and nature. The beauty of the aquamarine waters and a sense of freedom immediately overwhelm one on arrival.

Wedge Island inundated by settlers on West Australia Day Weekend Photo Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images

Trapped on the edge of the beach as a storm rolled in from the Indian Ocean while photographing a shack under attack by the storm I was drenched by a hailstorm and pounding rain.

A shack in danger of slipping into the ocean Photo Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images

A storm pounds the shacks at Wedge Island Photo Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images

Wedge Island is a settlement located north of Lancelin and south of Cervantes on the Western Australian coast. It is approximately 140 km north-west of Perth.

The name mainly refers to the mainland settlement but also refers to a 400-metre (1,300 ft) long wedge shaped island located just south of “the point”. The settlement of Grey is about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north-west. Both are within the Shire of Dandaragan.

The island occupies an area 4.03 hectares (9.96 acres) and is situated 200 metres (656 ft) from the mainland. The island has a maximum elevation of 21 m (69 ft).

It lies within the Turquoise Coast islands nature reserve group, a chain of 40 islands spread over a distance of 150 kilometres (93 mi) from north to south.

Wedge Island was named after government surveyor Charles Wedge, in 1875 by Staff-Commander William Edwin Archdeacon R.N., who was in charge of the Admiralty survey of the coast of Western Australia.

A settler on Wedge Island Photo Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images

The settlement is now home to approximately 350 beach shacks on unvested land that are used by crayfishermen and holiday-goers. A new sealed road, Indian Ocean Drive was opened in September 2010 which provides 2WD access to Wedge. There are claims that this has changed the local environment. The road, intended to promote tourism is well known for a number of serious vehicle crashes since it opened.

Wedge can also be accessed in a 4WD vehicle, via the beach if the tide is out.

The nursing post of Anne McGuiness

It is also a place of danger to the uninitiated and inexperienced. The thudding of the RAC Rescue Helicopter low over the settlement immediately unsettled people with a sense of trepidation on Saturday night. Normally the chopper lands near the resident nurses post but because the accident happened in the dunes it continued North of the township and landed on the beach to collect a young man thrown from a vehicle who sustained spinal injuries.

The RAC Rescue Helicopter transfers a patient to Royal Perth Hospital Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images

Photo Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images

 

Extreme Weather in Perth Photos Bohdan Warchomij Metaphor Images May 24, 2020

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Tom Walker, who has surfed the WA coast and international waves his entire 22 years of life, said that while there will be places to get waves as the storm brews, even the most experienced surfers may want to reconsider heading out in coming days.

Web Photo Bohdan Warchomij

From Sunday, the Bureau of Meteorology predicts the highest waves will be up to seven metres high along the Gascoyne to Geraldton coast before the South West gets hit with waves up to 10 metres by Monday morning.

Tom, whose father taught him to surf before he could even walk, on Sunday said the conditions were good in Margaret River where he lives and there’d be some “fun waves” to catch but conditions were going to dangerously change.

“Right now the swells picking up throughout the day … there’s going to be fun waves around where I live but it’s going to get way gnarlier as the day goes on,” he said.

“There will be places to get waves but for the most part this whole coastline is going to get hammered and no one should be out. When it does hit eight metres, that’s nuts, it’s very dangerous.”

Web Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Tom said with the “hectic” gusty winds, people should not be fishing off rocks either because they could get swept out to sea and there was a much higher probability of flash rips.

The former Perth local also warned people that places like Cottesloe would even be “really dangerous” over the coming days.

Creative advertising as Perth opens the first Cafe and restaurant doors Photos Bohdan Warchomij METAPHOR IMAGES May 18, 2020

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Perth has opened its first doors but with tight controls on cafes and restaurants.

Owners are obliged to register the names and phone numbers of clients who dine in to exercise control over community spread of covid-19.

Just travelling through Mt Lawley showed cafe and restauranteurs’ creativity and cleverness in promoting their venues.

Banksy’ gift to Southampton General Hospital May 11, 2020

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Banksy has donated a painting to England’s Southampton General Hospital in an effort to raise the spirits of medical professionals working on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The painting, an uncharacteristic medium for the elusive street artist, shows a young boy playing with a superhero doll dressed as a nurse, complete with a mask and apron bearing the Red Cross symbol, and a cape fluttering behind her. Next to the child, a wastebasket holds castoffs, including Spider–Man and Batman figurines—outdated versions of superheroes in our new pandemic-stricken world.

The artist left a note with the special delivery, titled game changer, that read: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if its only black and white.”

The hospital, which is the largest in the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust system, hosts coronavirus researchers, including those who are starting vaccine trials.

Speaking to the BBC, which first reported the news, hospital trust CEO Paula Head said: “It will be really valued by everyone in the hospital, as people get a moment in their busy lives to pause, reflect and appreciate this piece of art. It will no doubt also be a massive boost to morale for everyone who works and is cared for at our hospital.”

The work will remain on view in a foyer near the emergency department until this fall, at which point it will go up for auction to raise money for the National Health Service. And judging by recent history, it could be quite profitable. In late March, Sotheby’s held an online auction of Banksy’s works that netted $1.4 million, showing that buyers were undeterred by the economic downturn.

This isn’t the first time the anonymous artist has made work commenting on our isolated new realities. In April he showed off his new work-from-home life with a mural painted in his bathroom.