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Epic Victory in Curtin May 28, 2022

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Independent Kate Chaney has won the  blue-ribbon seat of Curtin, in Perth’s wealthy western suburbs, from one-term Liberal MP Celia Hammond.

On Saturday speaking to her supporters she refused to claim victory  before her supporters and expectant media as the vote turned to postal vote counting to clinch an amazing campaign.

On Thursday the vote was confirmed and independent Kate Chaney began the first four years of the job ahead of her.

Ms Hammond had held the seat on a safe margin of 13.9 per cent but could not hold back a massive swing towards Ms Chaney,

who campaigned on the issues of climate change, integrity in politics and inclusive communities.

Ms Chaney promised to hold the Albanese government to account on these issues.

On Thursday Ms Chaney claimed victory, saying she was very proud to stand as the first female West Australian independent elected to the House of Representatives.

Ms Chaney’s grandfather and uncle were both federal Liberal ministers, but she had become frustrated with the country’s leaders on both sides of politics.

Kate Chaney and husband Bill Keane at campaign headquarters Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Her uncle Fred Chaney was there to congratulate his niece on her epic victory.

Uncle Fred Chaney at Kate Chaney’s campaign headquarters Photo Bohdan Warchomij

She acknowledged the contribution  to a huge crowd of enthusiastic supporters.

“A huge thanks to not only my team but my family as well, for all the support they have given me over this incredible four-month experience.”

It is the beginning of a very new four year experience  for Ms Kate Chaney.

She was generous in her response to her Liberal opponent when she thanked Celia Hammond for her contribution the last four years.

“I think it is community reclaiming politics.”

Ms Chaney  paid tribute to Ms Hammond for representing Curtin during the difficult pandemic period.

Ukrainian fighter Dmytro Kozatsky’s photographs from the epicentre of the Ukrainian conflict: the heroism of the defence of Azovstal in Mariupol. May 25, 2022

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Photojournalism requires being on the spot to record history and none have been closer than Dmytro Kozatsky to an epicentre of the Ukrainian conflict like the heroism of the defence of Azovstal in Mariupol.

Photographer and Azov Regiment fighter Dmytro Kozatsky has taken to Twitter to share photos of the devastation inside the Azovstal steel works just days before surrendering to Russian forces in the battle of Mariupol.

After Ukrainian forces spent nearly three months of attempting to defend the metal works, Kozatsky posted to Twitter that he is now a prisoner of war.

Prior to his capture, Kozatsky, keen to share his story with the world – uploaded the following images to a publicly accessible Google drive for media and the public to view.

The photographs show injured soldiers inside the now destroyed walls of the metal works.

The photos were posted to Twitter on May 20, 2022 – shortly before soldiers inside the steel plant were ordered to cease battle and surrender.

Kozatsky’s Twitter post accompanying the images translated to: “Well that’s all. Thank you from the shelters of Azovstal – the place of my death and my life.”

https://www.news.com.au/…/9aa225a4004bdb0be540a03e6ca74379

Dirty politics, desperate politicians: Australia’s day of reckoning May 21, 2022

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The polls are looming for the two major parties in similar fashion to the election that Scott Morrison last won.An election eve by Newspoll and Roy Morgan both  have the ALP 53 leading the Coalition 47. The Prime Minister  has urged voters to consider nothing but the economy as the polls open today. He warns people not to write him off and states that a Labour victory or a hung Parliament will damage Australia.

Morrison met with Tony Galati, Perth’s Spud Shed king, yesterday, and Galati gave the Prime Minister a solid endorsement as a “pretty good guy” and a “true Australian.

The teal independents will have  a say and the theft and damage of Celia Hammond’s election posters in the seat that she and Kate Chaney are contesting indicates how seriously the game is shaping.

 

Ukrainian Victory on world’s stage: Eurovision May 16, 2022

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Last night, President Zelensky vowed to hold Eurovision in Mariupol next year after an outpouring of support from the European public propelled Ukraine to victory.

The war-torn nation ended on 631 points while the UK finished second with 466 points. Spain finished third with 459 with Sweden fourth on 438.

Volodymyr Zelensky was quick to hail the victory – and even vowed to hold next year’s competition in Mariupol, despite the city being besieged by Russian forces.

He said: ‘Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe. Next year Ukraine will host Eurovision.

‘For the third time in its history and, I believe, not the last. We will do our best to one day host the participants and guests of Eurovision in Ukrainian Mariupol. Free, peaceful, rebuilt.

‘I thank the Kalush Orchestra for this victory and everyone who gave us your votes. I am sure that the sound of victory in the battle with the enemy is not far off. Glory to Ukraine.’

The Eurovision results are a defiant message to Vladimir Putin as Ukraine’s success was followed by a stunning second place for the UK.

Britain, a staunch ally of Zelensky’s Ukraine during the Russian invasion, almost pulled off a shock win after leading for most of the night, before being pipped at the end.

In contrast, Germany and France, whose leaders have come under criticism for not being tough enough on Russia’s aggression, were the two last placed nations in this year’s contest.

Speaking about the band’s win this evening via a press conference livestream, frontman Psiuk said: ‘We’d like to thank everyone for voting for Ukraine – this victory means a lot to us. This win will lift spirits and lead to more wins across all fronts.’

Psiuk also said the band will celebrate their Eurovision win ‘after the war’, adding: ‘People are getting killed in the war or they fight in the war or lose their jobs in Ukraine, it is not really the best backdrop for celebrations.’

He added: ‘Our culture is under attack. We wanted to present our music to the world last night. I wrote the Eurovision song for my mum way before the war – but afterwards, it started taking a different meaning for different people. It became a tribute to Ukraine as the motherland.

‘I’m going back home as I run a volunteering organisation that helps refugees with food, accommodation, and medication. I will keep doing that. We will host Eurovision in a newly rebuilt and happy Ukraine.’

The Agony in Ukraine: Photos Bohdan Warchomij May 15, 2022

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Western Australia’s Ukrainian community has been dealing with refugees from their homeland since the Russian invasion on 24th February 2022. There are well over 100 families from Ukraine settling in Perth as their homeland burns under Russian bombardment.

Julia Edwards, born in St Petersburg to a Ukrainian mother and Russian father, has called Perth home since 1988 and is in contact with her homeland and relatives  and hearing their stories and tribulations in a country that is a war zone defended by the supply of weapons from the West.

Julia Edwards

She is involved in doing what she can to help and is a partner with the Square Shopping Centre in Mirrabooka for the event ‘We Welcome Ukraine,’  held yesterday in partnership with with the Ukrainian Association of WA and the Red Cross.

Julia, named Miss West Coast in 2019 was ecstatic  at the “amazing turnout”. Many people, touched by the plight of Ukrainians turned up for the event, The Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyl

 

Myroshnychenko flew in from Canberra with his daughter Yaroslava. The Polish Community was there to feed the participants with pierogi.

The highlight for me was Elise Chong’s Orchestra to make a difference:

“The Square Mirrabooka (shopping centre) has approached me to form an orchestra to play the Ukraine National Anthem and Prayer for Ukraine for this fantastic event they are hosting to welcome newly-settled Ukrainian refugee families in Perth. The Ukrainian ambassador for Australia is flying over for this event.”  Elise Chong Conductor

Russian Ambassador to Poland ‘bloodied’ by demonstrators as he attempts to lay a ‘victory’ wreathe in Warsaw May 11, 2022

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Russia’s ambassador to Poland was surrounded by a large crowd who threw fake blood at him while chanting “fascists” and “murderers” on Monday.

Sergey Andreev was in Warsaw to pay respects to the Soviet soldiers who died during World War 2. His arrival coincided with the national holiday known as Victory Day, where Russians still celebrate defeating Nazi Germany to this day.

Hundreds of protesters, furious at Russia’s barbaric treatment of Ukraine, stood in Andreev’s way of the memorial and snatched away the wreath of flowers he wanted to place at the cemetery, where more than 20,000 Red Army soldiers are buried.

 

The activists trampled on the flowers, before dousing him in red paint from behind and beside him – some of his entourage were hit by the red liquid too.

Some activists carried Ukrainian flags as they surrounded the ambassador, while others donned white sheets also smeared with red liquid. The demonstration clearly meant to symbolise the thousands who have died since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

The Polish government has subsequently been criticised for not providing more security for the ambassador amid fears that the Kremlin might eject the Polish ambassador from Russia in return, while others saw Andreev’s appearance in Warsaw as a provocation.

Demonstrations in Warsaw have been building since the war broke out – on Sunday evening, activists parked outside the city’s Russian Embassy with a tank carried by a tractor.

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova hit out against the attack in  the standard Muscovite manner, declaring: “Admirers of the neo-Nazis have once again shown their face.” In effect they treated the Ambassador with intelligent contempt.

 

Ukraine war reminds us of war photography’s relevance? The Washington Post May 5, 2022

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Even the most horrifying war photographs may leave you with the odd sense of being an unwanted tourist. It is a dreadful tourism, at a terrible cost, but almost as soon as the eye notices the carnage and destruction, it starts registering small and perhaps irrelevant details. The dirt is a darker red, the trees a deeper shade of green, the architecture and dress are different, as are the street signs, the pavement and the cars.

It feels grotesque to look at suffering and suddenly find yourself noticing the same things that strike you when get off a plane after a long flight to another hemisphere. But that’s how photographs work, and it may be one of these small details that conveys what the French critic Roland Barthes called “the punctum,” the photograph’s “sting, speck, cut, little hole” that gives the image emotional power. The truth we must wrestle with is the pile of bodies in black bags, so why does the mind travel to the odd black draping of the coffin lid, and the curiously short handle of the shovel in the background?

The punctum of the photographs coming out of Ukraine is different from that carried by photographs of recent wars and disasters in Syria, Haiti and Myanmar. At least, it functions differently for audiences in Western and developed countries, where Ukraine feels closer and more familiar. This fact must be acknowledged simultaneously with the role that race and cultural difference play in how photographs are read and circulated. In the West, ugly but resilient ideas about civilization, exoticism and the primitive are used to keep the suffering of Brown or Black people at a safe, emotional distance, often by minimizing or dismissing their full humanity.

But the fact that Ukraine feels more culturally familiar to many people watching these events closely has had a profound effect not just on the kinds of images that are circulating, but also on how they circulate. And it has changed the terms of some of the essential debates about war photography, including the dignity and privacy of victims, as well as the status of traumatic images within an image-saturated media world.

A CBS reporter stumbled with the power of cultural proximity early in the war. “This isn’t a place, with all due respect, you know, like Iraq or Afghanistan that has seen conflict raging for decades,” said correspondent Charlie D’Agata. “You know, this is a relatively civilized, relatively European … city.”

He apologized, as he should have, because Ukraine is not more civilized than any other country, and the destruction of European cities is not more terrible than the destruction of cities in Afghanistan or Iraq. But because Ukraine is European, people in Europe and culturally adjacent to Europe process these images differently, with fewer detours into those tourist details. Images may circulate and accumulate meaning more quickly in the Western media world, because their content requires less basic interpretation or captioning. The punctum of these images is not difference, but sameness, and that seems to bring the horror of war more efficiently to the foreground.

One striking photograph to come out of Bucha, where hundreds of civilians were allegedly massacred by Russians, shows a narrow table crowded with dozens of cellphones, plugged into a maze of power strips. Cellphones are not unique to Europe or any other continent. But this image centers ideas of dependence, connection and the fragility of infrastructure that will be particularly disconcerting for people who take infrastructure for granted and who have had little occasion to contemplate the fragility of their bonds to far-flung relatives and friends.

War reconfigures public space, no matter where it happens. An April 6 image made in Lviv is, in some ways, a more powerful introduction to war and public space than many of the more horrifying images of bombed-out buildings from cities farther east in Ukraine. It shows a child dragging a scooter past a street-level window that has been stuffed with sandbags, a defense against bomb blasts. The ordinary child’s toy makes the extraordinary sandbags all the more jarring. It defamiliarizes an urban space that many residents of similar cities might never give a second thought.

War photography, as practiced by reputable news agencies and outlets, is one of the most hyper-self-conscious subcultures in journalism. Read through the interviews collected in the 2019 “Conversations on Conflict Photography,” edited by Lauren Walsh, and you hear smart, sensitive photographers and editors agonize over how much to show, how to maintain the dignity and agency of victims, and how to break through the complacency of audiences far from the scene of war.

The cultural closeness of Ukraine to many of the journalists documenting the war seems to have pushed some of these concerns to the background. The images seen in many outlets, especially newspapers, still follow most of the rules of discretion and synecdoche that have become commonplace in war photography: Faces are often obscured or hidden, a hand or foot substitutes for the whole of the body. There are hundreds or thousands of more gruesome images from Ukraine sitting on computers and circulating on social media, but few images encountered in mainstream media are as graphic as what emerged from the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.

At the same time, the sense that it is inherently exploitative to photograph the victims of war — an argument of grave importance when there is a wide economic disparity or cultural gulf between the photographers and the people being photographed — doesn’t seem in play in Ukraine. In Bucha and other devastated towns, the witnessing function of war photography is less encumbered by concerns about privacy, agency and dignity. Photographers, audiences and those whose images are being made seem to be in accord: The world needs to see this.

Throughout Walsh’s book on conflict photography, practitioners grapple with an anxiety that has haunted the discipline for decades. Do these images have impact? Can they break through the noise of distraction and our resistance to acknowledge pain? Answers are offered, including variations on the legendary photographer Robert Capa’s dictum: “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.” Good images always have power, they argue. Others grapple with the recurring sense that we are simply desensitized.

More substantial is an argument borrowed from critic Susan Sontag, that we hold ugly images at bay because they make us feel impotent, or helpless.

Capa’s idea of closeness was literal: The photographer must get as close to the violence as possible to make images that have power. In Ukraine, it is the cultural and metaphorical closeness to Western audiences that gives many of these images unexpected force within the Western news ecosystem. They are breaking through, which is forcing audiences to grapple more urgently with Sontag’s idea about impotence. Given that Russian President Vladimir Putin has nuclear weapons and has suggested that he might use them, people horrified by this war face perhaps the most profound crisis of impotence in the history of war photography.

The West is guilty of terrible complacency and indifference to the suffering caused by wars outside the ambit of what we call the developed world, wars too often instigated, prosecuted or provisioned by the United States and its allies. But few people are blessed with a universal conscience, and most of us must labor to expand the power of empathy in radiating circles, from family to community to country to planet.

There are at least two lessons to be learned from the photographs coming from Ukraine. One is about our failure to include the seemingly distant “other” in our sporadic and inconsistent outrage about war and barbarity. The other is that war photography still plays a vital role in expanding the conscience, and that this war, which feels close to home for many, may renew the power of photography to enlarge our sense of that home.

Russian Peace in Ukraine April 28, 2022

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Anzac Day Bassendean RSL and a Ukrainian contribution: Photos Bohdan Warchomij April 26, 2022

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The courage of the Anzacs was heralded by a tribute from the Bassendean RSL, the Returned Servicemen’s League, in a suburb perched on edge of the Swan River. A sizeable number of people turned  up for the tribute, including Ukrainians who live in the area.

Australians celebrate, and will continue to celebrate, Anzac Day, a day chosen as the first and perhaps the most spectacular of the great exploits of our soldiers in the war – a simple little story of the scaling of those cliffs, and one which our children must be taught to love with the combined love of a whole nation, and to remember as an example of the high sense of duty held by their fathers.

In a Europe that has been decimated by Putin’s immoral and genocidal war against the Ukrainian nation and its inspirational President Volodymyr Zelensky we can understand the importance of fighting for democracy and for nationhood as the ordinary people  of Ukraine have. The heroic exploits of the Anzacs can be compared to the heroism of the Ukrainian nation. Resisting the cruelty of Putin and his barbaric invaders is an important principal behind courage. The Anzacs earned their reputation just as the Ukrainians are earning theirs. Both armies are reflecting their courage to the  world we live in. The local Ukrainians through two children Will and Evie and their Youth Organisation contributed a wreathe and placed it on the significant memorial in the centre of the town. Several of them carrying their national flag received pointed applause from people attending the ceremony.

Anzac Day Perth 2022 Photos Bohdan Warchomij April 25, 2022

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Why is Anzac Day remembered with respect and affection by the nation?

It is primarily because our military has contributed to upholding democracy and principles since we were forged as a nation.

We have defended democracy against false ideologies  and rushed as peacemakers to conflict zones internationally.

And this precise direction has created a nation that cares for humanity and  the values that have given us our identity

and our respect from the world we live in.

What has caused this growth of our national pride and position? Why is it that, we, in common with other sister dominions, have been accorded a voice in the directing of the policies of the whole world ?

Without the slightest hesitation, we say it is because of the proud and honorable way in which our soldiers left their homes to go across the world and fight the common foe; to their unexampled exploits, both on the cliffs of Gallipoli and in the trenches of Flanders; to the gallant sisters, who were close behind, healing the wounds of the fallen; and to the fine spirit of independence, originality and resource shown by so many of our men, some of whom, like the late Sir Ross Smith, have continued, after the armistice, to make the name of Australia famous.

In all their deeds of gallantry and daring, some have fallen by the way, some sacrifice of precious life has been paid, and it were unworthy of a young nation to claim credit for the deeds of its heroes without honoring those who paid the great price.

It is to commemorate all this that we celebrate, and will continue to celebrate, Anzac Day, a day chosen as the first and perhaps the most spectacular of the great exploits of our soldiers in the war – a simple little story of the scaling of those cliffs, and one which our children must be taught to love with the combined love of a whole nation, and to remember as an example of the high sense of duty held by their fathers.

In a Europe that has been decimated by Putin’s immoral and genocidal war against the Ukrainian nation and its inspirational President Volodymyr Zelensky we can understand the importance of fighting for democracy and for nationhood as the ordinary people  of Ukraine have. The heroic exploits of the Anzacs can be compared to the heroism of the Ukrainian nation. Resisting the cruelty of Putin and his barbaric invaders is an important principal behind courage. The Anzacs earned their reputation just as the Ukrainians are earning theirs. Both armies are reflecting their courage to the  world we live in.