Sunday, 21 May 2017

ESCAPE ARTISTS ANTHOLOGY: A Book Adventure in the Making!


ESCAPE ARTISTS ANTHOLOGY: A Book Adventure in the Making!


Escape Artists is a book adventure for escape artists. Roaming the highways and back roads of the e-scapes of social media. We met up with each other and decided to make a book. With our support you can do it! Escape Artists: an anthology of the works of 34 artists and writers that came together through facebook communication. Some well known, others never before in print. Some might have escaped your attention. Others you will likely know.


ESCAPE ARTISTS the 2016 PostMistress Press Anthology
On Fuguescapes imprint, published by PostMistress Press.

 

Friday, 7 April 2017

The Writer's Fugue - on its way to Behrouz Boochani on Manus Island

The Writer's Fugue was published in a new fully updated edition in hardback on March 9, 2017.
It is now for the first time entering worldwide distribution in hardback and will soon be available in libraries and  good bookshops. It includes a long first chapter on exiled writers which expands on and updates my article on exiled writers published originally in a special edition of the peer reviewed A-listed journal Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies (Volume 7, Number 3, September 2010) that was then published in the same collection Cultural Studies of Rights: Critical Articulations, by Routledge, as a hardcover book, then paperback and ebook, edited by John Ngyuet Erni. For my essay I interviewed two exiled writers,  Cheikh Kone, a journalist and writer from the Ivory Coast, and Mohsen Soltany Zand, a writer, poet and musician from Iran, who had been held in Australian immigration detention centres for several years before being granted permanent residency. Cheikh Kone now holds a high post in the public service. Mohsen Soltany Zand has released albums of his poetry and music. In preparing The Writer's Fugue for publication for global distribution, which is based on my PhD (2006) I included this essay as a first chapter and updated it, with new studies, of two writers, and the Sydney Biennale Boycott by international and Australian Biennale artists and art writer in 2014- in protest against the then major sponsorship of the Sydney Biennale, and the chairman of its board profiting from his company, Transfield's lucrative contract to run the 'offshore processing centres' for asylum seekers that had been shown to be in breach of basic human rights standards. 
As part of this updating I have included posts by Behrouz Boochani, exiled writer and journalist who is currently marooned on Manus Island, after waiting for years in the Australian-run Manus Island "processing" centre for asylum seekers. Behrouz has a Masters in Geopolitics from Ilam University and was a founder of the Kurdish language and culture magazine Werya.
Today I posted a copy of The Writer's Fugue to Behrouz on Manus Island.
I posted it from my local post office in Adamstown, and sent it by tracked mail.
I shall be following the flight of this book to Behrouz Boochani on Manus Island, on tracked mail, and reporting on its progress.
Also included in the new long updated first chapter is an brief review and interview with Christopher Barnett, the well-known Australian poet and dramaturge who in the late 1980s disappeared into what is an effective self exile in France, due to the political climate in Australia at the time.
For more details on The Writer's Fugue, and where to get it visit the publisher website, by clicking here:  http://postmistresspress.com. 



Author Ruth Skilbeck with The Writer's Fugue in paperback

The Writer's Fugue sent to Behrouz Boochani exiled writer 

  At the Adamstown Post Office, The Writer's Fugue on its way 


April 7 2017
Text and photographs copyright © Ruth Skilbeck 2017


Sunday, 8 January 2017

Why Australia Must Not Become a Republic Now

By Ruth Skilbeck
 
As it is now Australia should most definitely NOT become a Republic, politics is stacked with closet neo -fascists who have great wealth and power, and they would take over and run OUR country as a totalitarian state- how they run the illegal "refugee processing centres" as concentration camps of indefinite detention- and have attempted to terrorise all who spoke out against them without success- should serve as a grave warning. We need to change the system here first - and flush them all out- become a democracy again before thinking of being a republic, look at the examples in the region.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

'Escape Artists' PostMistress Press Anthology News

Publication of the inaugural PostMistress Press Anthology, Escape Artists, has been delayed and it will be out soon.
We are delighted to welcome to the first issue contributors Behrouz Boochani, exiled writer and journalist, who is reporting from Manus Island.
His latest writings will be in the forthcoming anthology.
We are also very concerned for his continued safety on Manus island, where he has been threatened with arrest for reporting on the attacks on refugees. We call on the Australian Prime Minister and the Papua New Guinea government to ensure his safety, and for him to be allowed to settle in a safe country immediately. Australia can no longer be seen as the bastion of free speech welcoming exiled writers that many thought it was, so it has become less and less attractive as a place to live, not only for refugee writers but for all who value free speech, and appreciate writers. With regret we wave farewell to those who could have brought so much to this culture, and whose presence will likely never now grace our shores. Instead we can read their works and communicate through writing.   

 PostMistress Press.

Behrouz Boochani Endangered Manus Reporter May Be Arrested


Behrouz Boochani Endangered Manus Reporter May Be Arrested
By Ruth Skilbeck

We are very concerned for Behrouz Boochani's safety on Manus Island. Please read this and share this. Behrouz has been reporting on the attacks on asylum seekers on Manus Island (where the controversial Australian-run 'offshore processing centre' for asylum seekers is based) and his own life may now be in danger. He should be removed from there immediately by the Australian government, as he is an endangered writer (please write to the Australian Prime Minister and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, details below).

The latest Facebook news report by Behrouz Boochani, yesterday:

A tweet by Ronny Knight Member of Parliament for Manus Province on the 1st of January 2017 reads ‘."Behrouz Boochani is a liar and has an agenda and should apologise to police. I was the one who called police. Boochani will be arrested for lying and insulting police’" I, Behrouz Boochani, am a Kurdish journalist detained in Australia’s immigration detention prison on Manus Island. Mr Knight’s tweets follow my reporting of a conversation I had with two men who are refugees who I visited in police cells after they had been beaten and arrested. I then reported on Facebook that the two men told me that they had been beaten by immigration officers and police and documented their injuries.
Those people who know me know I have always had respect for the Manusian people and culture. The intention of my reportings are not to do any harm to the Manus reputation but to highlight the damage that Australia is doing to both refugees and PNG.
In some points Ronny Knight’s statements about the harm that Australia’s neo-colonial actions including the detention prison are doing to Manus are correct.

Backgroud

Exiled reporter,  Behrouz Boochani's new works will be published in the PostMistress Press Escape Artists anthology but we are very concerned for his safety on Manus, after he this week reported on the attacks on asylum seekers (published in the Guardian) and the threatening tweet from Ronny Knight Member of Parliament for Manus Province on the 1st of January 2017 saying he will be arrested: On the 1/1/2016 local MP Ronny Knight tweeted a message that reads ‘Behrouz Boochani is a liar and has an agenda and should apologise to police...Boochani will be arrested for lying and insulting police’. PEN is calling on the Australian government and PNG government to ensure Mr Boochani's safety.

Urgent Statement by PEN Melbourne.
3 January 2016.
We are very concerned for the safety of detained Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani, who has been reporting from within Australia’s immigration detention centre on Manus Island for more than three years. Over the past week he has reported on the death of Faysal Ishak Ahmed, an inmate in the detention centre, and more recently on the beating of two refugees by immigration officers and police on Manus Island. On the 1/1/2016 local MP Ronny Knight tweeted a message that reads ‘Behrouz Boochani is a liar and has an agenda and should apologise to police...Boochani will be arrested for lying and insulting police’. We call on the Australian and Papua New Guinean governments to honour their commitment to democracy including the right to free speech and to ensure Mr Boochani’s safety"

Janet Galbraith and Arnold Zable for PEN Melbourne.
Behrouz Boochani Facebook news report:

Manus prison.I just visited the refugees who were beaten by PNG immigration yesterday. They are in police detention now. I could only talk with them behind the wire for a few minutes because the guard did not allow me to see them. The refugees were so scared and distressed and they said the police did not give them any food or medical treatment. Mohammad is in a critical situation and said he is pissing blood and has stomach pains. Some local people gave them food but Mohammad vomited the food and Mehdi has started to hunger strike. He has pain in his hand and thinks his hand is broken. The detention cell is such a dirty place and they sleep on the concrete floor. Their wounds are getting infected.Here is two new photos from them

Write to the Prime Minister of Australia and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection calling for their assistance and assurance in ensuring the safety of Behrouz Boochani.

The Hon Peter Dutton MP
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 6022
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Fax: 02 6273 4144
Email: minister@border.gov.au

The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP
Prime Minister
PO Box 545 Edgecliff, NSW 2027
Fax: 02 9327 2533
Email: https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm
PEN Melbourne

The PEN Melbourne Centre is one of 147 PEN International centres worldwide whose members are united in a common concern for the art of writing and freedom of expression. As an affiliate of PEN International, PEN Melbourne brings writers together from across cultures to share experiences, explore ideas and conduct public conversations about how literature transforms, influences and fosters cross-cultural exchange. PEN Melbourne focuses on women writers, Indigenous Australian writers, writers in prison, and has an interest in the Asia and Pacific region. It campaigns on behalf of persecuted and silenced writers and lets them know they are not alone. PEN Melbourne’s publication The Quarterly provides a forum for members to publish relevant works.

As writers in many countries continue to be silenced the work of PEN is needed more than ever.

If you are a writer, involved in the literary community or share an interest in human rights, you are welcome to join PEN Melbourne as a member.
Support PEN Melbourne
Learn more about our campaigns
PEN International

“People say that (writers) are pretty powerless: we don’t have an army, we don’t have a bureaucracy. But if that were true, then why would writers be arrested?... Because the spoken word is powerful.”

— John Ralston Saul on the work of PEN International

Founded in 1921 to promote literature and freedom of expression, this global community of writers now spans more than 100 countries. PEN International is a non-political organisation which holds Special Consultative Status at the UN and Associate Status at UNESCO. Each PEN centre acts independently but maintains strong links with headquarters in London and with other centres. The organisation works locally, regionally and internationally to understand the needs of writers and to protect them.
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