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Editorial: Week 1, Semester 1

Server crash, sunrise, and the sleeping beast.

Art by Lauren Lancaster.

As we were laying up the first edition of Honi last weekend, our internet server woefully crashed, killing all our InDesign files as well as our hopes of a breezy weekend. Some of us made the responsible choice of going home. The more naive editors — including myself — stayed up all night in the hopes that the server would miraculously connect again. While that miracle never arrived, those waking hours of defeat were incredibly formative. 

At dawn, three of us sat atop the empty Law Building in silence, watching the sun rise up from behind the clouds. As the sunlight caught on the trees, it seemed as though they were embossed onto the landscape, immemorial guardians watching over the sleeping beast of the city. With all my walls down, I was able to fully appreciate for the first time just how beautiful this land, Gadigal land, is.

This edition is my ode to Country and to all those in the fight against colonisation. 

In Vivienne Guo’s feature on page 12, she writes about her trip to the Pilliga Forest, highlighting the stories of those on Gamilaraay land fighting against mining giants. On page 10, I write about Australia’s native foods which have protected life for millennia. On page 16, Tasia Kuznichenko reflects on the untold history of Cooks River, which has long been a place of sustenance and survival for First Nations people.

Decolonisation necessitates the dismantling of all institutionalised hierarchies. On  page 8, Amelia Raines examines the patterns of sexual assault fuelled by the university institution. On page 17, Iggy Boyd interrogates the fascist and white supremacist imagery endemic in Australian metal. On page 5, Alice interviews activists reclaiming Mardi Gras as a street protest. On page 11, Rohan Kalyan critiques the dehumanisation of jobless people in Centrelink training courses.

Of course, this edition contains too many brilliant articles for me to mention. Thank you to all of the writers and artists who have made this edition possible. In particular, Lauren Lancaster’s stunning cover art ties together this edition with its evocative depiction of the poisoning of sacred land and ecosystems by fossil fuel companies.

It’s pretty daunting to be writing the week one Honi editorial of 2021. For something that most readers gloss over, there’s an odd expectation to galvanise or inspire people in these four hundred words. We are expected to be irreverent but tasteful, funny but poignant, a little bit deranged. But I write this editorial with a newfound confidence, and if our first two editions are indicative of what Honi will be like this year, I can’t wait for what’s to come.

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