Decentring white privilege: Decolonising and diversifying the airwaves – a listening guide

Below is a brief listening guide to a selection of community radio programs (with links) which prioritise sovereign and self-determined voices[1].

The listening guide accompanies a panel that brings together community broadcasting practitioners and researchers, both academic and community-based, to engage in candid and critical discussions on decolonisation and decentring whiteness in community media. By reflecting on the work that is being done and looking towards the work that still needs to take place, this panel represents the beginning of an ongoing, proactive conversation between practitioners and researchers towards decolonising the community broadcasting sector.  This session is part of the CBAA Conference research stream, which occurs every two years.  29 October 2020 @11am AEST. Register here.

Panellists: Nicola JosephPriya KunjanCatherine Liddle and Areej Nur.

Thank you to the panellists and to Maddy Macfarlane and Bridget Backhouse for contributing their suggestions to this list.

Accent of Women (3CR)

On air: Saturday 1:00pm to 1:30pm; stream/listen back via website; podcast; distributed via CRN.

About: A program by and about women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds with a commitment to progressive politics. 

Anything Goes (Radio Skid Row)

The Black Block (3CR)

On air: Monday 11:00am to 1:00pm; stream/listen back via website

About: An interactive Indigenous current affairs program spotlighting everyday local Indigenous voices and connections made through social media. Hosted by Viv Malo. 

Backchat (FBi)

On air: Saturday 9.30am to 10am; stream/listen back via website; podcast

About: Your alternative to talkback. Interviews, discussion, feature stories and news; informed and approachable politics and current affairs. Hosted by Shami Sivasubramanian and Chantelle Al-Khouri.

Blackchat (Koori Radio)

On air: Monday to Friday 9am to 12 pm; distributed nationally via NIRS; tune in via IndigiTube

Flagship program presenting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander news and views, hosed by Lola Forester.  Blackchat informs its national audience on a range of current issues and celebrates the excellence of First Nations people across Australia.         

Beyond the Bars (3CR)

About: annual radio series held each year during NAIDOC week, dedicated to giving voice to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women in the Victorian prison system.

Breakfast Show (Ngaarda Media)

On air: Monday to Friday 8am to 9am; stream via website; tune in via IndigiTube

About: News and current affairs show hosted by Tangiora Hinaki, bringing new local stories from the Pilbara and Kimberley.

Come Together – Songs of Change with Ajak Kwai (PBS)

On air: Mondays 1-3pm, stream via website or tune in to PBS 106.7FM

About: Humans do amazing things and music is one of the greatest things we create.

Come together, means the power of many hands and many thoughts. Come Together will bring you the unknown world of music and your favourite tunes; the songs that changed the world, and the tracks that changed our lives, both old and new.

Diaspora Blues  (3CR)

On air: Monday 2:30pm to 3:00pm; stream/listen back via website

About: Diaspora Blues provides a platform for people interested in ideas about home, community, and belonging. Hosted by Bigoa and Baasto and produced by Ayan Shirwa.

Dial Afrika (EastSide Radio)

On air: weekdays 9:00am; stream via website

About: Hosted by PJ (Patrick Johnathan) who co-found the radio program African Connection on Radio Skid Row in the 1980s.  Dial Afrika shares the music PJ loves and has collected with the wider community.

Doin’ Time (3CR)

On air: Monday 4:00pm to 5:00pm; stream/listen back via website

About: An open forum, presenting information and discussion around issues faced by prisoners in the criminal justice system and migration detention centres. Hosted by Marisa and Peter.

Fire First (3CR)

On air: Wednesday 11:00am to 12:00pm; stream/listen back via website

About: A historically informed, critical analysis of Aboriginal affairs and the ongoing political movement for land rights, treaty, sovereignty and the cessation of genocide. Hosted by Robbie Thorpe.

Flight 106.7 to Africa (PBS)

On air: Sunday 3:00pm to 5:00pm

About:  A musical journey into the world of traditional and contemporary African music. Hosted by Stani Goma.

Highly Melanated (TripleR)

On air: Mondays 10pm – Midnight; stream/listen back via website.

About: Celebrating the creative genius of melanin-soaked people – locally, nationally and worldwide.

Presented by Eva Lubulwa.

Indigi-Brizz (4ZZZ)

On air: Sunday 1pm to 3pm; stream/listen back via website.

About: Interviews and yarns, deadly discussions, community announcements and alternative news, what’s on, what’s wombah, as well as music from Indigenous artists.

Let’s Talk (98.9fm)

On Air: Monday to Thursday 9am to 10am; stream/listen back via website; distributed via NIRS; podcast

News and current affairs that focuses on all relevant First Nations issues from a First Nations standpoint. Hosted by Boe Spearim and Karina Hogan.

MegaHerzzz (4ZZZ)

On air: Sunday 12pm to 1pm; stream/listen back via website      

About: an intersectional feminist program and give voice to various marginalised communities featuring news, opinions, and interviews, as well as music.           

The Mission (TripleR)

On air: Tuesdays 7pm – 8pm; stream/listen back via website

About: Exploring the issues that impact the lives of Aboriginal people and those at the wrong end of social justice in this country. Presented by Daniel James.

Palestine Remembered (3CR)

On air: 3CR, Saturday 9:30am to 10:00am; stream/listen back via website

About: News and views regarding the Palestinian situation. Bringing listeners the untold side of the Palestinian/ Israeli conflict. Hosted by Yousef Alreemawi, Nasser Mashni & Robert Martin.

Queering the Air (3CR)

On air: Sunday 3:00pm to 4:00pm; stream/listen back via website

Queer current affairs with an anti-racist, feminist, and anti-capitalist bent. We have a particular interest in the intersection of queerness with other experiences of marginalisation.       

Race Matters (FBi)

On air: Saturday 5pm to 6pm; stream/listen back via website; podcast

About: Conversations between people of colour about the ways we understand and value our racial and cultural identities; race, culture, arts and current affairs. Hosted by Sara Khan and Darren Lesaguis.

The Rap (TripleR)

On air: Wednesday 9am – 12pm; stream/listen back via website; podcast

About: The Rap weaves conversations about culture, politics, literature, art and music into a weekly mix.

Presented by Areej Nur.

Refugees on Air (SYN)

On air: Listen back via website

About: Fortnightly podcast giving refugees from all around Australia a voice to share their stories. Hosted by Syrian twins Sarah and Maya Ghassali. 1 season, 12 episodes.

Salaam Radio Show (3CR)

On air: 3CR Sunday 4:00pm to 5:00pm; stream/listen back via website

About: Salaam aims to introduce you to the surge of new, modern and reinterpreted sounds of Arabic music ranging from trap, rap, RnB, pop and electronic music. Hosted by Marroushti.

Sierra Leone Radio (Radio Skid Row)

On air: Saturdays; stream via website

About: The latest news from Sierra Leone, along with interviews and music. The program is a meeting place for people who have arrived in Sydney and need to connect with their brothers and sisters.

Still Here (TripleR)

On air: Sunday 1pm – 2pm; stream/listen back via website

About: Indigenous peoples have been subject to a torrent of attempted eradication in extensive ways over the course of history since colonisation on this land. Presented by Neil Morris and Paul Gorrie.

Strong Voices (CAAMA Radio)

On air: Weekdays at 11am; stream via website; tune in via Indigitube

About: Flagship magazine program with up to date Aboriginal current affairs daily. Produced by Paul Wiles and hosted by Damien Williams, Lorena Walker, Paul Wiles, and Philippe Perez.

Survival Guide (Radio Skid Row)

Podcast via SoundCloud

About: A podcast series which centres Indigenous voices amongst multicultural Waterloo residents to critique colonisation and gentrification showing there is a Blak History to your flat white. 2 series. Hosted by Lorna Munro and Joel Sherwood Spring.

Thursday Breakfast (3CR)

On air: Thursday 7:00am to 8:30am; stream/listen back via website

Current affairs, media analysis, alternative media. Hosted by Carly Baque, Max Castle, Scheherazade Bloul, Cait Kelly, Priya Kunjan and Rosie Isaac.

Tuesday Breakfast (3CR)

On air:  Tuesday 7:00am to 8:30am; stream/listen back via website

Current affairs, media analysis, alternative media. Hosted by Lauren Bull, Zoya Gill, Madison Griffith and Genevieve Siggins.

Wild Black Women (98.9fm)

Previous episodes are available via podcast

About: Dr Chelsea Bond and Angelina Hurley discuss all the things that made them wild this week.

Women on the Line (3CR)

On air: Monday 8:30am to 9:00am; stream/listen back via website; distributed nationally on the CRN; podcast

About: National feminist current affairs program with a gender analysis of contemporary issues, as well as in-depth analysis by a range of women and gender diverse people around Australia and internationally.  Hosted by Amy McMurtrie, Anya Saravanan, Ayan Shirwa, Emma Hart, and Iris Lee.

Women of Colour in Solidarity and Struggle (Radio Skid Row)

Coming soon: keep an ear out for a new podcast series which will explore the feminist strategies of women of colour – how they fight against gender injustice inside families and communities, while also fighting racism and poverty from the wider world.  Produced by Rose Nakad.

Beyond community radio:

Namila Benson on The Art Show (ABC Radio) and Behind the Biennale (podcast). Namila is a Tolai Gunantuna (PNG) woman DJ, and past long term 3RRR announcer. Namila is a highly skilled interviewer and focuses on black representation, decentring whiteness and decolonising perspectives and public spaces. At 3RRR Namila fought for changes we see there today, as well as supporting many of the broadcasters currently doing the decolonising and diversifying work listed above.

Hey Aunty (podcast)

About: Hey Aunty! gives voice to black women, fems and non-binary siblings in Australia. Connecting Sisters across cultures and generations and showing that there’re millions of ways to be magical.

[1] Program descriptions adapted from radio station program guides where available.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CFP: ‘Community and Activist Media: Resistance and Resurgence’ – JOACM Theme Issue

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Launching Media Futures podcast

The Media Futures Hub at UNSW is pleased to announce the launch of the Media Futures podcasts. The podcast begins with two mini-series, on the Politics of Listening and on Data Futures.

Listen, subscribe and share via Apple Podcasts here and follow the Media Futures Hub on twitter @MediaFuturesHub. Look out for upcoming podcasts including a mini-series on Drone Cultures.

Media Futures The Podcast

Politics of Listening mini series

The Politics of Listening is a series of four podcasts from the Media Futures Hub inspired by the recent ‘turn to listening’ in media studies, cultural studies and political theory. The series was recorded at The Politics of Listening 2018 conference at the University of New South Wales. This interdisciplinary conference brought together scholars, artist-researchers and cultural practitioners from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, South Africa and beyond whose work engages with listening in various ways: as a political practice; as a critical frame; as an alternative politics; as a contribution to justice and/or as an ethics of relation. It was the first international academic conference on critical studies of listening. This podcasts mini-series is produced by Dr Poppy de Souza and A/Prof Tanja Dreher

Ep1: Megan Davis (UNSW) on the Uluru Statement, First Nations Voice and the Right to be Heard

Ep2: Lorena Allam (The Guardian) and Summer May Finlay (Croakey) on First Nations media and the politics of listening

Ep3: Leah Bassel (Roehampton) on Listening as Solidarity

Ep4: Justine Lloyd (Macquarie), Cate Thill (Notre Dame) and Tanja Dreher (UNSW) on Listening Interventions

Data Futures mini-series

Data Futures is a series of four podcasts from Media Futures about the future of data. The series was recorded at the Data Futures Symposium at the University of New South Wales, hosted by the Media Futures Hub at the School of the Arts and Media and our friends at the Socio-Tech Futures Lab at the University of Sydney. Produced at UNSW by Kara Jensen-Mackinnon Michael Richardson, Tanja Dreher and Edgar Gómez Cruz

Ep1: Mark Andrejevic (Monash) on Automated Media

Ep2: Data Infrastructures with Holly Kruse, Jonathon Hutchinson (USyd) Tom Sear (UNSW), Michael Richardson (UNSW), Simon Taylor (UNSW) and Venessa Paech

Ep3: Data Experiences with Professor Paul Dourish (UCI), Edgar Gómez Cruz (UNSW), Olga Boichak (USyd), Heather Horst (WSU) and Jolynna Sinanan

Ep4: Data Justice with Justine Humphry (USyd), Jathan Sadowski (Monash), Danielle Hynes (UNSW), Tanja Dreher (UNSW), Elaine Jing Zhao (UNSW), Heather Ford (UTS), Jonathan Hutchison (USyd) and closing remarks by Mark Andrejevic (Monash).

About the Media Futures Hub

The UNSW Media Futures Hub works at the intersection of media and cultural studies to shape the theories, methods and practices needed for more just media futures. Our research offers frameworks, vocabularies and strategies for making sense of futures inseparable from transformations in media and mediation. We also offer tools, practices and approaches for individuals and communities to shape the future of media. Across our transdisciplinary work, we share a commitment to decolonizing practices and diverse perspectives. Building more just futures calls for interventionist, innovative and fearless thought.

Follow the Media Futures Hub at @MediaFuturesHub

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Decolonising stories of displacement and belonging

A seminar with Natalie Nesvaderani (Cornell) and Dr Sukhmani Khorana (WSU)

Thursday 19 March

1 – 3pm

Room 310, Morven Brown

Presented by the SAM Media Futures Hub and the School of Social Sciences

Discussant: Dr Caroline Wake

Presentation details:

Decolonizing Stories of Displacement: Interrogating the Category of “The Refugee” 

The category of “the refugee” is fraught. Evocative of rock-bottom destitution, “the refugee” is marked as someone who is deserving of recognition and state protection. The category is critical to localized and globalized forms of human rights advocacy. At the same time, it obscures histories of peoples’ relationships to land and their movements across regional terrains long before the development of nation-state borders. The goal of this workshop is to generate a discussion among participants about the category of “the refugee” in their specific field sites and research settings through a decolonial lens. How do you deploy the category in your work, what are its limitations, and what forms of political imagination become possible by contesting it?

Natalie Nesvaderani is a PhD Candidate of Visual Anthropology at Cornell University. She is currently a Newcombe Doctoral Fellow for her research on the ethical dimensions of humanitarianism and advocacy work with Afghan refugee youth in Iran. Through community-based collaborations with Iranian NGOs, cultural centers, and displaced youth, her work disrupts mainstream narratives about migration. She organizes with Ethnocine, an ethnographic filmmaking collective committed to pushing the boundaries of documentary film through intersectional feminist and decolonial practice. She is a co-producer for the podcast and pop-up event series, Bad Feminists Making Films, spotlighting intimate discussions with feminist filmmakers. Before starting her PhD, she was awarded a Fulbright to work as a legal advisor to unaccompanied refugee children in Cairo, Egypt

Natalie is the recipient of a UNSW International Doctoral Practicum Fund scholarship.

Co-creating belonging through safe spaces in migrant community projects: A decolonial approach?

This paper reflects on belonging as a ‘feeling of our times’, albeit a political one that attempts to move past a superficial libertarian focus on harmony. Instead, through the case study of a recent migrant community project with a creative outcome based in South West Sydney, I examine what belonging looks and feels like when the focus is on co-creating cultural safety through approaches that favour reciprocity and creativity. This lens on belonging also reverses the discursive construction of new migrants as those requiring integration initiatives to fit in, or of certain others in need of de-radicalisation. Instead, it asks – what will make them feel safe enough to invest in local and national communities?

Therefore, this paper spotlights the following aspects of ‘belonging’: a) it is more effective than ‘identity’ as a point of solidarity in the 21st century; b) it needs to be seen as a ‘reciprocal affect’ and not just as an individual feeling to make solidarity possible; c) its manifestation in the local and/or the creative is a way to ground and enable reciprocal affect, re-conceptualise and co-create belonging that is more culturally mobile while being safe. These conclusions are illustrated through the feedback obtained from the participants of the project, as well as from audience members present at the screen and industry mentors who facilitated the technical workshops. As such, the paper re-conceptualises belonging from the ground up, and considers whether this is a decolonial approach.

Sukhmani Khorana is a Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow at the Young and Resilient Research Centre at Western Sydney University. Previously, she was a Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at University of Wollongong. Sukhmani has published extensively on diasporic cultures, multi-platform refugee narratives, and the politics of empathy. She holds a current ARC Linkage grant (with the Museum of Victoria and The Australian Centre for the Moving Image) examining the role of television in the experience of migration to Australia. She is the author of The Tastes and Politics of Inter-Cultural Food in Australia (RLI).

Discussant: Caroline Wake is Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance in the School of the Arts and Media. In broad terms, she researches the relationship between politics and performance and within that she has several interests. Firstly, in theatre and migration, including the participation, representation and self-determination of refugees and asylum seekers in contemporary performance and visual art. Secondly, documentary theatres including autobiography and performed oral history. Thirdly, in the cultural afterlives of performance, including reviews, photographic and filmic documentation, archives, and representations of performance in other media. This work has been published in her edited book, Visions and Revisions: Performance, Memory, Trauma (2013, with Bryoni Trezise) as well as in journals such as Theatre Research International, Text & Performance Quarterly, New Theatre Quarterly, Modern Drama, International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, and History & Memory.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Listening Post – First Nations Media

A list of selected First Nations media outlets and programs, with an emphasis on news, current affairs and expert commentary, prepared for the Illawarra Greens. Further suggestions are very welcome and can be added online: please email suggestions to t[dot]dreher[at]unsw[dot]edu[dot]au

ABC Radio – Speaking Out

Politics, arts and culture from a range of Indigenous perspectives. Presented by Larissa Behrendt.

Speaking Out broadcasts on Radio National on Fridays at 8pm (repeated Tuesdays 2am) and on ABC Local Radio on Sundays at 9pm.

IndigenousX: follow @IndigenousX on Twitter and view online content at

Our vision is to create a media landscape where Indigenous people can share their knowledge, opinions and experiences with a wide audience across the world.

The rotating @IndigenousX twitter account was launched on the 15th of March 2012. Since then it has risen to more than 43,000 followers, and over 300 Indigenous hosts on the account have shared thousands of stories, facts, reports, pictures, and laughs with an ever increasing audience. We pride ourselves on an ethic of respect for Indigenous knowledge, successfully providing an autonomous media service.

We’ve had actors, activists, authors, academics, politicians, teachers, doctors, uni students, and countless others around the country who have given their time to share their stories, experiences and perspectives.

IndigenousX  actively challenges stereotypes of the Indigenous community. Utilising the opportunities of the emerging digital ecosystem, our hosts become publishers, distributors and creators of news and information.

Koori Radio

Koori Radio is Sydney’s only First Nations radio station broadcasting 24/7 from Australia’s Black Capital of Redfern.

Blackchat: Weekdays 9 – 12, presented by Lola Forrester

Koori Radio presents three hours of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander news and views from the studios of 93.7FM 2LND in Redfern, Sydney, on the home of the Gadigal people. Deserving its reputation as the station’s flagship program, Blackchat informs its national audience on a range of current issues and celebrates the excellence of First Nations people across Australia.

Lorena Allam at The Guardian Australia:

Lorena Allam is descended from the Gamilaraay and Yawalaraay nations of north west NSW and is the Guardian’s Indigenous affairs editor.

NITV: National Indigenous Television

NITV The Point: Wednesdays 8.30pm. The latest news and features from NITV’s agenda-setting program.

NITV News:

12 deadly Indigenous Australian social media users to follow by Professor Bronwyn Carlson:

Wild Black Women:

Fire First – 3CR

Wednesday 11:00am to 12:00pm and online. A historically informed, critical analysis of Aboriginal affairs and the ongoing political movement for land rights, treaty, sovereignty and the cessation of genocide. Presented by Robbie Thorpe

National Indigenous Radio Service – News in Review:

ABC Radio – Awaye!

AWAYE! brings you diverse and vibrant Aboriginal arts and culture from across Australia and the best from Indigenous radio broadcasters around the world.

Saturday 6pm Repeated: Tuesday 12pm, Thursday 1am Presented by Daniel Browning

ABC Indigenous:

The Indigenous Media Map:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Listening at the Intersections

The Listening at the Intersections workshop was held at the University of Roehampton, London in June 2019.

Click here to download the program booklet: PROGRAM Listening at the Intersections 26 June 2019

The Discussion Starter essay by Divya Ghelani is available here:

The Discussion Starter paper prepared by Susan Bickford is available here: Background – Listening at the Intersections

Below is a list of readings and resources suggested by participants in the Listening at the Intersections workshop


Act Esol. Language, Resistance, Theatre, Serpentine Galleries, 2019 Free download:

Ahmed, Sara Feminist Killjoy blog eg.;

Ahmed, Sara Strange Encounters: embodied others in post-coloniality

Ahmed, Sara ‘Feminist Killjoys’ in The Promise of Happiness

Ahsan, Hamja, Shy Radicals: The Anti-Systemic Politics of the Introvert Militant (London: Book Works, 2017)

Arday, J. and Mirza, H. (Eds.). 2018. Dismantling Race in Higher Education. Racism, Whiteness and Decolonising the Academy. London: Palgrave

Bassel, L. 2017. The Politics of Listening. Possibilities and Challenges for Democratic Life. London: Palgrave.

Bassel, L. and A. Emejulu. 2017. Minority Women and Austerity. Survival and Resistance in France and Britain. Bristol: Policy Press.

Bassel, L. 2012. Refugee Women: Beyond Gender versus Culture. London: Routledge.

Bickford, S. 1996. The Dissonance of Democracy. Listening, Conflict and Citizenship. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Bhambra, G., Gebrial, D., Nişancıoğlu, K. 2018. Decolonising the University. London: Pluto Press.

Bhopal, K. 2018. White Privilege: the myth of a post-racial society. Bristol: Policy Press.

de Souza, P. (2018). ‘What Does (In)justice Sound Like? On listening, acoustic violence and the booing of Adam Goodes’, Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 32(4). (special issue: Shifting the Terms of Debate). doi: 10.1080/10304312.2018.1488524.

Dreher, T. 2009a. ‘Listening across difference: Media and multiculturalism beyond the politics of voice’, Continuum-Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, vol. 23, pp. 445 – 458.

Dreher, T. 2009b. ‘Eavesdropping with permission: the politics of listening for safer speaking spaces’, Borderlands e-Journal : New Spaces in the Humanities, vol. 8, pp. 1 – 21. Open access at

Dreher, Tanja 2019 ‘Listening After Christchurch’ available at

Dreher, T and A. Mondal (eds.) (2018) 2018, Ethical Responsiveness and the Politics of Difference, Palgrave Macmillan, New York

Farinati, Lucia and Claudia Firth, The Force of Listening, Errant Bodies Press, 2017 Free download:

Garman, Anthea ‘Citizens and Journalists: The possibilities of co-creating the democracy we want’ available at:

Garman, Anthea ‘When an editor listens to a city’ available at:

Ghelani, Divya (2018) Grenfell Tower: ‘there are only the deliberately silent, or the preferably unheard’ available online at:

Ghelani, Divya ‘Necessary Stutterings’, Unbound, available at:

Ghelani, Divya ‘Roots’ The Mechanics Institute Review available at:

Ghelani, Divya ‘India: Firefly’ Litro #156 available at

Joseph-Salisbury, R., Johnson, A. & Kamunge, E. (eds.). 2018. The Fire Now: anti-racist scholarship in times of explicit racial violence. London: Zed Books.

Kanngieser A and Beuret N 2017 Refusing the world: Silence, commoning, and the Anthropocene. South Atlantic Quarterly (Special Issue Autonomism and the Anthropocene) 116(2): 363-380.

Kanngieser A 2012 A sonic geography of the voice: Towards an affective politics. Progress in Human Geography 36(3): 336-353.

Motsemme, Nthabiseng, ‘The Mute Always Speak: On Women’s Silences at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’, Current Sociology, 52.5 (2004), 909–32

Piepzna-Samarasinha, Leah Lakshmi (2018) Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice Arsenal Pulp Press

Precarious Workers Brigade, Training for Exploitation? Politicising Employability and Reclaiming Education, Journal of Aesthetics & Protest Press, 2017 Free download:

Quashie, Kevin, The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2012)

Rhodes Must Fall Movement, Oxford. 2018. Rhodes Must Fall. The Struggle to Decolonise the Racist Heart of Empire. London: Zed Books. Edited by Roseanne Chantiluke, Brian Kwoba and Athinagamso Nkopo

Robinson, Dylan, Hungry Listening (forthcoming 2020)

Royster, Jacqueline Jones, ‘When the First Voice You Hear Is Not Your Own’, College Composition and Communication, 47.1 (1996), 29–40

Schäfer, Martin Jörg, Vassilis S. Tsianos, and geheimagentur, eds., The Art of Being Many: Towards a New Theory and Practice of Gathering (Bielefeld: transcript, 2016)

Simpson, Leanne Betasamosake, As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017)

Sotelo Castro, Luis C. 2019 ‘Facilitating voicing and listening in the context of post-conflict performances of memory. The Colombian scenario.’ In: De Nardi, S., Orange, H., et al. Routledge Handbook of Memoryscapes. Routledge: London.

Sotelo Castro, Luis C. 2019. ‘La Acción Escénica para un contexto transicional: casos colombianos.’ Cornago, Oscar y Rodriguez, Zara. (Ed.) Tiempos de habitar. Practicas Escenicas y Esfera Publica. Cuenca (España): Genueve Ediciones

Spivak, G. 1988. ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’. In Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, edited by C. Nelson and L. Grossberg, 271–313. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Stauffer, J (2018) Ethical Loneliness: The Injustice of Not Being Heard Columbia University Press

Stoever, J. 2016. The Sonic Colour Line: Race and the Cultural Politics of Listening. New York: New York University Press


Accent of Women:

Hey Aunty:

Imagine Otherwise:

Intersectionality Matters – with Kimberle Crenshaw:

Nine great podcasts hosted by Indigenous women:

Sense of Place:

The Henceforward:

Towards a careful listening: Sound, gender, feminism, activism in Sound, by Kanngieser:

Wild Black Women:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Listening after Christchurch

Following the massacre at the Al Noor Mosque in Otautahi Christchurch on March 15, social media and political commentary have featured debates on the politics of speaking and listening, and calls to listen in specific ways. Here I share my attempts to think through the politics of listening after Christchurch. This is a rough first draft, and any feedback, suggestions or critiques are very welcome.

I write from a position of privilege as a white middle class woman and academic. From that position, what I write is addressed primarily to others who are similarly situated in proximity to whiteness and discursive privilege. I also write from Australia, home of the ‘home-grown terrorist’ who murdered 50 people in Christchurch, aiming to listen out for analysis of white supremacy as it is briefly and partially made visible in Australian media and politics.

This initial gathering of thoughts after Christchurch is also a reflection after many years of thinking about the politics of listening and speaking, and attempting to work with listening interventions. Key ideas were outlined in an article on ‘Eavesdropping with permission: the politics of listening for safer speaking spaces’, reflecting on my role in a 2008 project that centred Indigenous and Muslim women’s voices on the gendered politics of protection: That project resulted in a theme issue of borderlands open access ejournal, ‘Acting Sovereign’: Through that project I had the enormous privilege of working with Goldie Osuri and Elaine Laforteza, and I learned so very much by working with Nicole Watson, Sue Stanton, Shakira Hussein, and Alia Imtoual.

Below I have included links to many resources for listening after Christchurch. This is an incomplete list. Far more comprehensive collections of vital resources have been curated at:

Christchurch Mosque Attacks: A Public Syllabus A public syllabus to help challenge Islamophobia, racism and white supremacy in Aotearoa New Zealand and beyond. This syllabus is curated by students in ANTH 406 and ANTH 312 at Victoria University of Wellington, with input from lecturers and students from across the School of Social and Cultural Studies.

Australian Muslim Voices on Islamophobia, Race and the ‘War on Terror’ Compiled by Randa Abdel-Fattah. This bibliography collates a sample of op-eds, commentary, radio and TV interviews, podcasts and spoken word performances created and authored by Australian Muslims on the subject of Islamophobia, race and ‘the War on Terror’ from the early 2000s to now. Includes a section on Christchurch

Listening to oppressed peopleMeme shared on social media

1: Listen to the stories of victims and survivors

Listening after Christchurch begins with the vital importance of listening to the stories of victims and survivors. The white supremacist terrorist attack on Muslims at prayer in Christchurch has generated an outpouring of commentary and responses and discussion. In the midst of crucial debates and against the tendency for the stories, names and experiences of victims to be quickly sidelined, it is vital to center, value, and listen to the actual stories of the victims and survivors.

For example:

Dilshad Ali Say Their Names – Remembering the Victims of the New Zealand Masajid Attacks

Mariam Khan Jacinda Ardern’s grief should not eclipse that of Muslims

Christchurch Mosque Shootings: The faces of the victims

Khaled A Beydoun Humanise the victims, not the white supremacist who killed them

The New Zealand Shooting Victims Spanned Generations and Nationalities

Christchurch terror attacks family say community needs to root out racism and hate

2: Listen out for and center Muslim voices

The Christchurch terror attack targeted Muslims at worship, and yet Muslim voices have been and too often are silenced or marginalised in media and public debate. In response it is vital to privilege, prioritise and amplify Muslim voices – listening out and centring a diverse range of voices.

For instance, a compilation curated by The Spinoff in Aotearoa / New Zealand:

Hear their words – Muslim voices on the Christchurch attacks

Australian Muslim voices on Christchurch and much more curated by Randa Abdel-Fatah:

Listening out can prioritise Muslim voices across a wide range of genres and frames – for instance ‘You See Monsters’ – an Artsville documentary that explores the work of a new generation of Australian Muslim artists who are asserting their own agency and fighting anti-Islamic bigotry with satire, imagination and irreverence

Listening out should also privilege Muslim women’s voices, such as the panel discussion on The Drum, ABC TV Monday March 18 featuring Sara Saleh, Lydia Shelly, Hanan Dover, Randa Abdel-Fattah and Diana Sayed ‘In a special episode of The Drum a panel of all Muslim women discuss the social, cultural and political influences leading up to the Christchurch terror attack’

Listening for Muslim voices after Christchurch must be attentive to critiques of ‘community leaders’ or ‘celebrity’ voices and the over-reliance on a very narrow range of Muslim voices in mainstream media and politics. For instance:

Statement From The Australian Muslim Community: Christchurch and Islamophobia A press release and public statement that was all but ignored by mainstream media. ‘While our political leaders have expressed sympathy over the deaths of our brothers and sisters, there has been little responsibility taken for their own role in creating a political climate that has demonised the Muslim community for decades.’

Sumaiya Muyeen and Houda Ali Response to The Drum’s all Muslim women panel ‘Lauded by the panellists themselves and their supporters within the community as a moment of ‘history-making’ – for it was the first time The Drum or any mainstream Australian media had hosted an all Muslim women’s panel – we have to ask for whom history has been made here when the construction of the panel was knowingly (irrespective of intention) at the expense of black and brown Muslim women, which is to say their exclusion, which is to say the absorption and co-optation of their embodied experiences?’

Vanessa Taylor The Problem with Muslim celebrity culture

Privileging and prioritising Muslim voices therefore requires ongoing attention to analysis and critiques of the politics of representation – the politics of speaking and listening – within which Muslim voices operate and are framed.

3: Listen to Indigenous voices

In Aotearoa/New Zealand, Maori have been at the forefront of responding in solidarity in the wake of the Otautahi Christchurch massacre. Watching from Australia, we might have noticed displays of First Nations leadership and solidarity, and also the way in which Te Reo Maori, First Nations protocols and Maori voices have been centered at a wide range of those public events and memorials.

Listening to First Nations voices, it is easy to hear Maori leaders calling on New Zealand to reject the notion that ‘this is not us’ in the wake of the Christchurch Mosque attacks, and instead to challenge that easy and comforting rhetoric, making sure that we really confront racism. We can also hear Maori voices arguing that this is a very important opportunity to employ, value and use, Maori protocols and strategies for grieving.

For instance:

Māori leaders are calling on New Zealanders to reject the notion that ‘this is not us’ in the wake of the Christchurch mosque attacks

Carmen Parahi: Christchurch mosque attacks a chance to unite and stamp out racism, says Māori leader “Academic Leonie Pihama says everyone is mourning for the Muslim community and all those impacted by the shootings. “We will tangi. We will karakia. We will karanga. We will haka. We will waiata,” she says.”

Christchurch mosque shootings: Tame Iti says ‘everyone needs to work on their attitude

The priority of listening to First Nations voices extends across settler colonial contexts, including Australia. This is a call to listen to those who experience and understand colonisation and racism, centring Indigenous voices.

For instance:

Pat Dodson says murderous prejudice links massacres of indigenous people to Christchurch attacks

Luke Pearson in @IndigenousX on The white genocide theory and Australian politics

Claire G Coleman They want me dead whether I fight them or not


4: Listen to those most impacted

Centering First Nations voices and Muslim voices after Otautahi Christchurch is a way to listen to those who are most impacted, and thereby to those who experience and understand racism and colonisation. The activist-in-residence programme at the Centre for Culture-centred Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE) at Massey University in Aoetearoa / New Zealand aims to ‘challenge racism by those who experience it’:

Listening to those who experience and understand racism and colonisation in everyday life, we will hear that the Islamic Women’s Council in Aotearoa / New Zealand repeatedly lobbied to stem discrimination and were ignored:

Anjum Rahman Islamic Women’s Council repeatedly lobbied to stem discrimination

Anjum Rahman We warned you, we begged, we pleaded and now we demand accountability

Susan Devoy – former race relations commissioner The warning signs for yesterday’s atrocity were everywhere, if only we’d looked – or listened to New Zealand’s Muslim community

In order to understand racism, in every day experiences and also in deep structures, it is vital to listen to those who are most impacted. For those who experience racism in media and public debate, in policies and in everyday interactions, the terrorist attack on Muslim worshippers in Otautahi Christchurch came as little surprise:

Brannavan Gnanalingam For those who think it’s come out of nowhere, though, the warning signs have been here for a long time

In Australia also, Muslim communities have long warned of the increasing threat of white supremacist violence:

Randa Abdel-Fattah You were so busy telling us to keep quiet and conform, you overlooked the most deadly threat of them all

5: Listen for intersections

Listening for intersections is to listen out for perspectives that bring together the analysis of race, gender, coloniality and more. It also means listening for intersectional solidarities.

Listening for intersections will privilege sources that effectively bring together viewpoints from those most impacted and with intersectional expertise. For instance, the following article brings together Muslim voices on the Christchurch attacks and Maori lessons in grieving to foreground the necessity of recognising colonial violence:

Marianne Elliott with contributions from Brannavan Gnanalingam, Laura O’Connell-Rapira, Lamia Imam, and Jess Berentson-Shaw After Christchurch: a tale of two New Zealands

‘So, if we turn so readily to traditional Māori values and practises to guide us in how to deal with grief and loss and prioritise collective care in our response to Christchurch mosque attack, asks O’Connell-Rapira, why haven’t we listened to Māori when they have repeatedly told us about the need to address our country’s racism? Countless commentators of colour including Muslims, Māori and migrants have been calling for New Zealanders to make the connection between this act of white supremacist terror and colonization.’

In Sydney, Australia a panel discussion brought together anti-racism expertise including First Nations, people of colour, Muslim and black voices to share knowledge on dismantling white supremacy, the limits of liberal multiculturalism, the complexities of speaking and much more:

Can the subaltern speak? Navigating anti-racism, academia and advocacy as a person of colour today Panel discussion featuring: Amy Thunig, Dr Paula Abood, Dr Waqas Tufail, Atem Atem, Dr Randa Abdel-Fattah, moderated by Dr Alana Lentin – Audio file available at:

Listening for intersections can also involve listening out for intersections of race, white supremacy, gender and sexuality:

Cindy El Sayed Queer Muslims, Islamophobia and mental health in the wake of Christchurch

Sara Meger The Gender and War Project: A gender Analysis of the Christchurch Terrorist Attack

Listening for intersections must centre intersectional solidarities – listening out for public conversations and solidarities that are not centred on whiteness. Where conversations between people of colour are public and ‘eavesdropping with permission’ is indeed permitted, non-white solidarities and intersectional analyses can be heard. For instance:

Jonathan Freedland and Mehdi Hasan Muslims and Jews face a common threat from white supremacists. We must fight it together. ‘From Christchurch to Pittsburgh, the two communities are under attack. It is time to stand united’

Carmen Parahi If you’re serious about opposing racism, I have a challenge for you. Stand with Māori against the racism they’ve endured in New Zealand for centuries

‘Bad Feminist’ author Roxane Gay sits down with The Point’s Rachael Hocking on National Indigenous Television (NITV) to discuss race relations in Australia, intersectional feminism and why movies like Black Panther matter:

Carmen Parahi Māori Muslims face tough scrutiny from security, public and Māori

6: Listen for history and for structures

Listening for intersections soon foregrounds the importance of listening for history and for structures, listening for context. All too often, when white supremacist violence is acknowledged in mainstream media or public conversations, it is quickly normalised and minimised. White supremacist violence is individualised, and public conversation moves on. The most common frame positions racist violence such as the Otautahi Christchurch massacre as an abhorrent, regrettable event, but not one that speaks to or arises from the true nature of who we are and what our society is (‘this is not us’). Listening after Christchurch requires listening out beyond this conventional framing of individual pathology, listening instead for analysis of social context and explanation, listening for the history of colonial violence and the context of white supremacy.

Listening for history and structure means hearing that white supremacy is fundamental rather than aberrant or individual. This means listening out to understand white supremacy as foundational and enduring, structured in to colonial projects and manifest in the everyday. For instance:

Moana Jackson The connection between white supremacy and colonisation

Lana Tatour and Na’ama Carlin on Christchurch, white supremacy and the politics of empire

Ghassan Hage White entitlement is part of the very structure of Australian society

Scott Hamilton The land of the long white stain

Paul Spoonley: Christchurch mosque shootings must end New Zealand’s innocence about right-wing terrorism. ‘Extremist politics, including the extreme nationalist and white supremacist politics that appear to be at the core of this attack on Muslims, have been part of our community for a long time.’

Safdar Ahmed Islamophobia: Night of the Muslim Zombie – ‘The zombie has played a pivotal role in the Western imagination of Islam and Muslim culture since the so-called ‘war against terrorism’ inaugurated by the American administration under George W Bush in 2001’

Another important aspect of listening for context is to listen out for those who track white supremacist and far right organising. For instance:

Paul Spoonley The far right is right here

Stuff Editorial The new racists wear suits not swastikas

Art Jipson and Paul J Becker White nationalism, born in the USA, is now a global terror threat The recent massacre of 50 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand is the latest confirmation that white supremacy is a danger to democratic societies across the globe.

New York Times interactive Attacks by White Extremists Are Growing. So Are Their Connections

Jason Wilson has reported on white supremacist and far right organising for The Guardian for some years now:

Andy Fleming slackbastard:

The Southern Poverty Law Centre

The Conversation, ‘White supremacy’

ABC Radio Background Briefing ‘Haircuts and hate: The rise of Australia’s alt-right’

Listening for history and structure after Christchurch also requires paying attention to contemporary frames of organising and analysis including ‘white genocide’ and ‘eco-fascism’, both terms used by the Christchurch terrorist:

Kaz Ross (2018) How believers in white genocide are spreading their hate-filled message in Australia

Dirk Moses ”White Genocide” and the Ethics of Public Analysis

Sarah Manavis Eco-fascism: The ideology marrying environmentalism and white supremacy thriving online:The online movement has roots in neo-Nazism – and a violent edge worth taking seriously’

Listening for structure also involves listening for the continuing manifestations of white supremacy and Islamophobia even as we are said to be in mourning and self-reflection after the Christchurch massacre:

Proposed Muslim prayer on Anzac Day sparks violent threats

Muslim prayer at Anzac Day service upsets RSA veterans

Open letter claims white supremacy and climate of fear at University of Auckland

7: Listen for implication and complicity

Listening for implication and complicity entails listening beyond comforting narratives that ‘this is not us’, to instead listen out for implication in and benefits from white supremacy. Beyond feeling good or atonement:

Shakira Hussein Petals of Atonement ‘… the thorns among the roses are the claims to innocence, the assertions that ‘this does not represent us’ as though that is enough to exempt any of us from responsibility in a society founded on genocide and supersaturated with racial violence, past and present. Do not presume to hand us a rose and walk away with your conscience cleansed.’

Listening after Christchurch means hearing critiques of white supremacy rather than platforming white supremacy. This requires a critical distance from false victimhood, the celebration of white saviours and the desire for reassurance. Listen for the critique of white supremacy rather than platforming white supremacy:

Faisal Al-Asaad Post-Massacre Reality: Why we Shouldn’t Move on ‘No wonder so few of us find comfort in existing avenues for political action: technocratic crisis management and protest-centered anti-racism have little to offer on these fronts. Police safety briefings provide great photo ops for our self-ordained leaders and saviours, and little else, while queen street rallies reinforce the impression that the enemy is a swastika-clad fringe on the West Coast. ‘Rooting out racism’ sounds like a lovely Sunday morning activity, but the fact is that our problem isn’t the weed, it’s in the soil.’

Toby Morris This isn’t us ‘This isn’t New Zealand we said. This isn’t us. But this didn’t come out of nowhere. Overt acts of horror are built on top of a lifetime of smaller everyday assumptions, structures and systems that reinforce an undercurrent of white superiority’

Azeezah Kanji & David Palumbo-Liun Settler Colonialism Lurked Beneath the Christchurch Massacre

Aaron Freedman Opinion: False Victimhood Is Driving Young White Men To Murder

Listening for complicity also requires hearing critiques of the centring of whiteness via the ‘white saviour’ frame, prevalent in the celebration of figures such as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Aoetearoa / New Zealand or ‘egg boy’ in Australia:

Mariam Khan Jacinda Ardern’s grief should not eclipse that of Muslims – ‘The New Zealand prime minister’s response to the Christchurch killings is to be admired, but the focus must be on the Muslim communities affected’

Hinemoa Elder: ‘Muslim leadership must be front-and-centre in addressing their own experiences, including of anti-Islamic racism, in Aotearoa, New Zealand. And well-meaning Pākehā, you will have to get out of the way of that healing. You will have to finally learn how to share power.’

8: Refuse / mute

In order to listen for structure and history, to centre First Nations, Muslim and POC voices and to listen for intersections, it is necessary to refuse or mute dominant narratives and voices. This involves listening for critiques of mainstream media and politics, and listening under and beyond high profile ‘debates’ and commentators.

To listen for implication and complicity as discussed in the previous section, it is vital to refuse comforting framings of white innocence or goodness. This means resisting the desire for reassurance and instead hearing the consequences of refusals to listen and to act.

Tamana Daqiq After Christchurch – The price we pay for your freedom to hate: ‘Is it any wonder that this kind of unspeakable violence is visited on members of our community …. When Muslims are invariably treated like issues to be debated, or problems to be solved, rather than neighbours to be known, or citizens to be heard?’

If we accept the findings of research that points to a correlation between the incitement of hatred towards Muslims and the occurrence of actual violence, and still do nothing, what else are we to conclude than that we as a society deem the lives of the vulnerable to be of less value than the freedom of the powerful to give voice to their hatred and contempt? Are we really comfortable with that as the content of one of our most prized civil liberties?

Daqiq’s argument that unspeakable violence is possible when Muslims are invariably treated as issues to be debated signals the importance of refusing simplistic public ‘debates’ and listening our for critiques of media and public discussion. This can include refusing false equivalences and false balance in public debate, and muting the weaponised ‘free speech debates’. Listening after Christchurch must take on board the many critiques of all white media panels and high profile white commentary, and the analyses of media double standards, hypocrisy and reluctance to name white terrorism. For instance:

Mahdi Hasan Don’t Just Condemn the New Zealand Attacks — Politicians and Pundits Must Stop Their Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

Aaron Smale Media, Maori and me: A journalist reflects on a career in which the media has felt like a hostile environment for Māori and other minorities

Kate Hannah Don’t be fooled, far right groups have not been silenced ‘They have not been silenced. They are not the victims. They do not represent a legitimate political position. We must interrogate their claims and listen to the voices they try to speak over, or we are complicit.’

Jim Waterson Media are reluctant to label far-right attackers as terrorists, study says ‘Global research finds violent Islamists are three times more likely to be called terrorists’

Susie Latham The Deafening Silence Around Amanda Vanstone’s Anti-Islam Rhetoric

Michael Edison Hayden Twitter temporarily suspended my account this week after I posted a tweet that opposed far-right extremism

Gary Younge White supremacy feeds on mainstream encouragement. That has to stop

Listening under and beyond dominant narratives and discourses further requires listening beyond the focus on gun control and regulating social media as responses to the Otautahi Christchurch massacre. When the issue is framed as being about gun control, or social media, or ‘all New Zealanders’, the persistent and enduring nature of white supremacy and Islamophobia can quickly be lost. For instance, on the limitations of focusing on social media:

Rashna Farrukh The Rot Starts At The Top: The Problem With De-Platforming The Far-Right

The Saturday Paper Editorial: Turning a blind eye ‘This is Australia’s policy response to the inhuman act that was Christchurch. Not to address the violence – nor the bigotry, racism and hatred held beneath it – only to ensure that it cannot be seen’

Martin McKenzie-Murray Controlling social media ‘One thing Australia’s new law is not is a reckoning with a culture far more tolerant of extreme speech. … Elements can be found in the statements of white supremacist Blair Cottrell, a man once praised by the shooter, and who was last year invited onto Sky News – not as a white supremacist but as a peer and commentator’

9: Listen for cues and for action beyond listening

A crucial aim of listening after Christchurch is to listen for cues, or listen for action beyond listening. This means listening for calls to action, listening for less direct prompts, listening for invitations and for demands, and all the while listening out for critique and for when we’re not wanted. In the spirit of ‘eavesdropping with permission’, we might listen for cues rather than direct address, so that we listen without a requirement of being the center or the addressee. This might involve lurking, but always with permission, always listening out for indicators as to when you’re not or when you’re no longer welcome. This might involve becoming comfortable with being de-centered or uncomfortable.

If we listen for cues we will quickly hear the prompt that white people should speak less and amplify more when it comes to understanding and developing responses after Otautahi Christchurch. Pantograph Punch has developed an excellent resource for precisely this task:

Amplifying Muslim Voices – A reading list ‘Following the terrorist attack on the Muslim community in Ōtautahi, we’ve compiled an incomplete reading list of voices to listen to, from Muslim perspectives surround the attacks, how to combat white defensiveness and how to talk about tragedies to our children. … As well as amplifying the voices that need to be amplified at this time, it’s also an appropriate moment to turn inward and really confront the ways in which we as a nation state founded on settler colonialism have helped violence like this this thrive.’

In Australia, starting points for amplifying might include:

Australian Muslim Voices on Islamophobia, Race and the ‘War on Terror’ Compiled by Randa Abdel-Fattah. This bibliography collates a sample of op-eds, commentary, radio and TV interviews, podcasts and spoken word performances created and authored by Australian Muslims on the subject of Islamophobia, race and ‘the War on Terror’ from the early 2000s to now. Includes a section on Christchurch

IndigenousX online and on twitter:

In addition to amplifying, those who listening for cures and calls to action will hear a range of voices on organising, ally work and more:

Hala Nasr Christchurch terror attacks: Solidarity is about changing attitudes, behaviours ‘Solidarity is not a one-off exercise of attending a vigil or placing flowers at the masjid’s steps (thank you, though). It is about understanding histories of oppression, recognising and dismantling defensiveness, accepting teachable moments despite the discomfort, being open to correction and changing your own attitudes and behaviours. It also means stepping up and, as Jacinda Ardern urged, challenging the everyday casual racism of people around you and not leaving this work to Māori and non-white migrant communities. It won’t be easy. It will take guts and practice.’

Faisal Al Asad Today we mourn tomorrow we organise

Sara Mansour After the Christchurch massacre, how do we deal with the trauma and outrage?

Sana Qadar and Kellie Scott After Christchurch: How to be a good ally to the marginalised

Laura O’Connell Rapira What you can do to help our Muslim whānau – A list of practical suggestions

Giovanni Tiso How to talk to your politicians and your media about the terrorist attacks in Christchurch

This is our New Zealand: Report Islamophobia. Created by a group on New Zealand Muslim women in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack on the Muslim community, this website is a place to share and record abuse against the Muslim community.

Lana Hart It’s time we got practical, not rhetorical, about racism petition Hate speech should not be profitable ‘We call on advertisers, business, government, communities and organisations to divest from media outlets that broadcast hate speech and racism, including anti-Muslim and anti-immigration material.’

Amidst the cues and prompts and calls for action, it is vital also to listen out for accountability, and for where our attempts at solidarity and good intentions might be critiqued. It is necessary to refuse the desire for gratitude, or acceptance, or acknowledgement in order to listen out, instead, for the likelihood of complicity and the possibility of criticism. For instance, critiques of the strategy of wearing headscarves ‘in solidarity’:

Anon Headscarves movement means well but it is ‘cheap tokenism’

Mehrbano Malik My issue with Kiwis being encouraged to wear headscarves in solidarity

10: Keep listening

My final point on listening after Christchurch is not an end point, but rather a prompt to continuation. After Otautahi Christchurch it is vital to keep listening and to stick with the discomfort that might accompany sustained listening in a context of accountability. Listening for cues and calls to action is crucial to ensuring that listening does not become an end point but rather a necessary process for a wider transformative politics. Listening must be a guide and a spur and a sustainer of action. Listening can allow care and reflection to inform the action. Listening is also vital to amplifying, rather than centring one’s own voice. Listening to understand the context and what’s at stake, in order to better understand where to listen out and which voices to privilege.

The importance of listening and sticking with discomfort was highlighted after some attendees left early from an event at The Domain in Auckland on 23 March.

‘Speeches calling out racism, colonialism and white supremacy at an Auckland vigil for victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks had some attendees leaving early, saying it was “too soon” for such discussions. But organisers and speakers have defended what some called a “political” tone of the Jummah Remembrance vigil held at Auckland Domain on Friday, saying they were “hard truths” Aotearoa needed to address.’

Organisers and speakers stressed the importance of listening despite discomfort, ‘centring the voices of people who have been most affected by white supremacist terrorism’.

The challenge then is to refuse white defensiveness or fragility and instead to dwell with discomfort.

Alison Whittaker interview The response I want most is discomfort  ‘Shaking white people out of their complacency creates “fertile ground” for Aboriginal voices and their needs to be heard and understood … “don’t ask for the work, do the work” …Her writing pricks the prideful balloon of white self-congratulation on “reconciliation” and requires that allies do not ask for simple solutions, or claim credit for effortless posturing’

Catharine Delahunty In praise of white man’s guilt ‘Duncan Garner has described the Canterbury Crusaders’ name change as ‘white man’s guilt’, but Catherine Delahunty argues that guilt and discomfort are a necessary part of moving forward as a more inclusive society’

Max Harris: Racism and White Defensiveness in Aotearoa: A Pākehā Perspective “I see at least four types of white defensiveness.”

Sticking with discomfort and moving beyond the desire for gratitude, listening as continuation therefore requires continual listening out for accountability:

Lizzie O’Shea ‘What might true accountability look like? How can we work towards it in a context in which we wish to elevate the voices of those on the receiving end of hateful speech and violence, while also showing meaningful solidarity and acting upon it with a sense of responsibility?’

Listening after Christchurch thus requires sticking with the problem, and listening hard for ubiquitous white supremacy and complicity, with ears firmly tuned for cues and calls to action as well as critique.

listening discomfort.jpg







Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Data Justice workshop 12 April at UNSW

A community engagement workshop on the theme of Data Justice which brought together community advocates and researchers from a range of organisations and disciplines to start a dialogue on the social justice implications of datafication. Representatives of Islamophobia Watch Australia, the National Justice Project / Copwatch, SACOSS and Uniting Communities contributed to panel discussions on Data, anti-racism and overpolicing; and on Human services, data and social justice. The workshop was timed to coincide with the visit to UNSW of Lina Dencik, Co-Director of the Data Justice Lab at Cardiff University. The workshop built connections across diverse interests and approaches and identified possibilities for further research and collaborations.

Click on the link to view the workshop program booklet Data Justice_UNSW Lina Dencik April 2018


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PhD Scholarship – Data Justice: Technology, policy and community impact

Seeking interested applicants for PhD scholarships at UNSW, Sydney, to research Data Justice – an emerging research agenda on media and social justice in the age of datafication. The research theme highlights community impacts for ‘marginalised’ groups, which could include focus on First Nations, disability, refugees and asylum seekers, racialised communities, welfare recipients, people experiencing homeless and further intersectional approaches.

Please forward to all relevant networks and potentially interested applicants:

UNSW Sydney is offering 4 year PhD scholarship(s) for interested applicants to work on Data Justice: Technology, policy and community impact. We welcome Expressions of Interest (EOI) from qualified applicants with an interest in researching the social justice implications of datafication, with a focus on community impacts.

Expressions of Interest are due before 20 July, 2017 at the following link:

Research theme: Data Justice: Technology, policy and community impact

With growing concerns that data mining, ubiquitous surveillance and automated decision making can unfairly disadvantage already marginalised groups, this research aims to identify policy areas where injustices are caused by data- or algorithm-driven decisions, examine the assumptions underlying these technologies, document the lived experiences of those who are affected, and explore innovative ways to prevent such injustices. Innovative qualitative and digital methods will be used to identify connections across community, policy and technology perspectives on ‘big data’. The project is expected to deepen social engagement with disadvantaged communities, and strengthen global impact in promoting social justice in a datafied world.

Further details on the UNSW Scientia Scholarship scheme are available here:

Prospective applicants should contact Tanja Dreher at and / or Heather Ford at to discuss their application as soon as possible.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First Nations Activism and Media – Roundtable at UNSW 28 August

4S Affiliated Event

Hosted by the School of Arts and Media at the University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Convened by Tanja Dreher


First Nations Activism and Media

International Roundtable

Tuesday 28 August, 2018

6 – 8pm (drinks and nibbles from 5pm)

Robert Webster Building, Room 327, UNSW

NB: The roundtable is preceded by a SAM Seminar ‘Being-entrepreneurial: a desirable narrative’ presented by Dr Collin Chua (3.30 – 5pm). Further details below

This international roundtable brings together scholars and producers of First Nations media to discuss the relationship between media and activism in a range of contexts including Australia, North America and Central America. Speakers will share examples of media production and research focused on First Nations activism on topics including environmental justice, Indigenous sovereignties, community resilience and diverse communications strategies.

Topics for discussion include:

– media and communication practices in the struggle against extractivist projects (mining, hydroelectric plants, wind energy, and the like)

– the role of media in Indigenous environmental justice, including how the media relates to Indigenous efforts to achieve climate and environmental justice, especially how the media portrays the deeper sources of injustice in our societies, such as histories of biased laws and land-use practices that degrade the environment.

– gendered violence and gender politics online, including Indigenous women’s activism online, the politics of identity and the policing of Indigenous women online, toxic masculinity and gender violence, and the silencing of Indigenous women through colonial politics of ‘protection’

Further speakers will be announced shortly

Speaker bios:


Professor Carlson is an Aboriginal woman who was born on and lives on D’harawal Country in NSW Australia. She is a scholar with both a national and international reputation in the field of Indigenous Studies. She has vast teaching and curriculum development experience and has published in scholarly journals, nationally and internationally. Professor Carlson maintains a strong connection between Indigenous Studies pedagogy and research. She is the author of the book, The Politics of Identity: Who Counts as Aboriginal Today? (Aboriginal Studies Press, 2016) and a co-editor of The Politics of Identity: Emerging Indigeneity (University of Technology Sydney E-Press, Sydney, 2013). She is the founding and managing editor of the Journal of Global Indigeneity. Professor Carlson established the Forum for Indigenous Research Excellence (FIRE) which is an international interdisciplinary research network of scholars interested in Indigenous related research. She hosted two recent international symposiums: ‘Cultured Queer/Queering Cultures: Indigenous Perspectives on Queerness’ and ‘Reterritorialising Social Media: Indigenous People Rise Up’.


Lola Forester is a Yuibera (Mackay) / Australian South Sea Islander woman. She is the Producer/Host of Blackchat, the flagship program of Koori Radio. Blackchat informs its national audience on a range of current issues and celebrates the excellence of First Nations people across Australia. Koori Radio presents three hours of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander news and views from the studios of 93.7FM 2LND in Redfern, Sydney, on the home of the Gadigal people. The free Koori Radio app makes means listeners can tune in 24/7 across the globe. Lola is the co-host on the World Music program ‘Roots Music’ on NITV, was the founding chair for the first six years of Show Me The Way, for 6 years was the inaugural Chair of Bangarra Dance Theatre and for 18 years was the Executive Producer / Presenter of the ‘Aboriginal Program’ at SBS Radio. She is one of Australia’s most experienced Aboriginal broadcasters. Lola believes that knowledge is strength and will continue to help in the struggle for Aboriginal self-determination.


Claudia Magallanes-Blanco is Chair of the Masters in Communication and Social Change, Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla, México. Dr Magallanes-Blanco is an academic/activist in the field of indigenous communication, communication for social change and social movements. She is currently a Co-Vice Chair of the Community Communication and Alternative Media Section of the International Association for Mass Communication Research and an active member of the international OURMedia network.


A Gomeroi man from Moree NSW, Danny has been studying and working in film for nearly 15 years, and is currently the Output Producer for NITV’s News and Current Affairs program. He worked with Indigenous youth to write and direct “Songline to Happiness”, receiving Best Short Documentary at the 2012 Imagine NATIVE Film Festival in Toronto, Canada. His production company, Gondwana Productions has produced over 200 hours of content for NITV. Danny has also produced broadcast works for ABC, SBS, BBC 4 and the Foxtel Network and was the NITV Northern Territory Correspondent for 5 years.


Kyle Whyte is the Timnick Chair in the Humanities, Associate Professor of Philosophy, and Associate Professor of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. His research addresses moral and political issues concerning climate policy and Indigenous peoples, the ethics of cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and science organizations, and problems of Indigenous justice in public and academic discussions of food sovereignty, environmental justice, and the anthropocene. He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

RSVP: Please register your attendance by email to

Venue: The Roundtable will be held on the Kensington Campus of UNSW, a short bus ride from Central Station or the Sydney CBD.

Robert Webster Building is located mid-way off the UNSW main walkway.
Map Reference G14. Cinema 327 is located on the third floor.
More information on getting to UNSW.

SAM Seminar 3.30 – 5pm, Tuesday 28 August

‘Being-entrepreneurial: a desirable narrative.’

Be entrepreneurial—this is increasingly an imperative addressed to all of us. To be entrepreneurial is a mindset, an attitude, a way of thinking; it is to inculcate a passionate spirit, which you are to develop within yourself, and then to exhibit. Being entrepreneurial offers a sense of agency, and extends the possibility of wealth-creation in an age of precarity. It is a discourse which rationalizes modern subjects—you, too, can be entrepreneurial, and thus be creative, liberated, and successful. This seminar discusses being-entrepreneurial—as a contemporary subject position within communicative capitalism, operating as a coping mechanism for the fragmentation and disruption of traditional work arrangements and structures.

Collin Chua lectures in media and PR & advertising at the School of the Arts and Media, UNSW Sydney. His current research addresses cultures of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment