Break Down or Out?
Tiffany Tsao • 12 November 2021
What happens when systems purportedly designed to support human flourishing end up suffocating us instead? Is there a way to fix them? Is there a way out? This issue of The Circular pulls together writing that is weary and wary – of an unjust justice system; of commercialism and capitalism disguised as creativity and organic life; of endless emails; of paddling frantically, trying to not drown.
We open with an important piece of journalism from Amy McQuire on the death of Gomeroi man Mark Mason Sr. ten years ago in police custody. After interviewing the victim’s family and reconstructing the events around his murder, McQuire observes: 'a system that tells us there is only one form of "justice"...sees our deaths at the hands of police as "legitimate"'. A protest was held yesterday for Mark Mason Sr. outside NSW Parliament House.
There are two pieces from un Magazine – on the depressing state of urban planning by Timmah Ball and on the draining task of applying for arts funding by Jinghua Qian. We really liked both and couldn’t choose between them.
We can all agree there is too much email (says the e-newsletter cluttering up your inbox). Benjamin Clark writes on the harmfulness of contemporary work-email culture and what some companies are doing to opt out. Thank you to Kill Your Darlings for making the piece open access for the next two weeks!
Eileen Chong’s poetry-infused piece for Writing NSW’s Writing and Resilience series lays bare how tiring, how dangerous, and how miraculous the business of survival, of living, of growing is.
This edition also marks the start of our Writer & Writer series, which compiles interesting conversations between...you guessed it, writers and writers. Kicking off the series is Paul Dalla Rosa chatting with Emma Marie Jones for his Substack newsletter Bad Artist Statements.
Mark your calendars! The new bi-annual literary publication Kalliope X is launching next week on 17 November. Their ethos: 'Challenging the dominant literary imaginary by building a forum to encourage, engage and exchange with writers of different diasporas and communities.’
Our warmest congratulations to Eloise Grills for winning this year’s Melbourne Prize for Literature Writer’s Prize with her essay 'The Fat Bitch in Art’.
You may have noticed that we’ve been featuring work from Substack newsletters. If you have any favourite ones that you think we’d love, do send recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you’re enjoying The Circular and know someone else who might too, forward this issue to them and invite them to subscribe. See you next Friday with our avian edition!