Posted: 15 Jun 2011
Following my essay in the latest edition of literary journal Overland on cultural boycotts, politics, Palestine and Sri Lanka, the magazine interviewed me on various matters:
Passionate and outspoken about Israel/Palestine, among other things, Antony Loewenstein is a freelance independent journalist based in Sydney. Author of My Israel Question and The Blogging Revolution, he is a denizen of the Twittersphere. Antony speaks regularly at literary festivals around the world and his essay ‘Boycotts and Literary Festivals’ is published in the 203 edition of Overland.
The audiences at my literary festival events, since the beginning, have been largely supportive of my stance – though I don’t just speak about Israel/Palestine, also Wikileaks, freedom of speech, web censorship and disaster capitalism – and curiously the strongest Zionist supporters of Israel rarely raise their voices at literary festivals. Instead, they’ll later go into print arguing that festivals were biased against Israel (as happened recently by the Zionist lobby in Australia, condemning my supposedly extremist views on Israel during the Sydney Writer’s Festival). As I say, victimhood comes so naturally to some Jews.
I often have mixed feelings about attending writers’ festivals. I rarely reject an invitation – and have been lucky to speak at events in Australia, India and Indonesia – but it’s often a cozy club that shuns controversy. I like to provoke, not merely for the sake of it, but I know the middle-class audience will not generally hear such thoughts in events about ‘the art of the novel’ or ‘where is the US in 2011?’ I guess if I wrote about knitting or frogs, it may be harder to stir debates.
As a writer, what inspires you?
Where are you now, with your writing practice?
Posted: 15 Jun 2011
Australian independent journalist Austin Mackell argues on RT that the military government still holds thousands of political prisoners: