Did a reading at the literaturwerkstatt last night with Antje Strubel. It was an interesting discussion about communism, history and the role it plays in our respective works. I then had drinks with some people from the Australian Embassy, one of whom I’ll be meeting again on Friday to discuss my next Berlin visit in 2010. I have confirmed that I will be returning in the second week of June to do a video installation of ” i could be you” at the skupturen park in the centre of Berlin. I’m at the end of my residency now. Tonight I’m seeing a modern German rendition of Hamlet by the Deutsche Theatre – at least I know how it ends! And will be catching up with Pham Thi Hoai on Saturday the day before I go.
I have an Opinion piece in today’s Age, History forgotten in hysteria over asylum seekers. It starts:
THE RECENT media and political panic resulting from another boatload of asylum seekers coming to Australia demonstrates that both parties have forgotten about the nature of their constituencies.
“Boat people” in the 1970s and 1980s are now the well established Vietnamese-Australian communities. “Boat people” include such high achievers such as Khoa Do and Tan Le, both Young Australians of the Year, and Nam Le, the short-story author.
The Liberals have forgotten the legacy of Malcolm Fraser, who supported the family re-unification plan and cynically have even forgotten the Vietnamese people who vote Liberal because of that legacy. Labor has taken the easy way out and is now even claiming that the 90-day limit for mandatory detention may be exceeded because there are too many asylum seekers on Christmas Island.
Read the rest, and comment below if you like.