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we come to the end of another year

  we come to the end of another year. I wrote a book this year; most of 2022 - and my whole life - was spent on the research, but pen to paper/ laptop to Word doc was done this year. I am now only 1/6 of the way through 2nd edits/3rd draft; publish date pushed back. I’m the brokest I’ve ever been in my adult life. I thought I had a handle on colonialism; its structures, its power dynamics, its many forms. but this war on Gaza was pushed me to learn more, read more, shifted perspectives, and sharpened lenses and outlook. I really want to solidify my articulation of (the shifting concept of) whiteness, and adjacency to whiteness, and those global power structures. I write about home, ask about reparations, but need to question what do these words mean, how do they get utilised, weaponised, co-opted and owned. My obsession with nostalgia and weaving past with a future is present in so much.  #ceasefirenow🇵🇸 I had two holidays this year that had nothing to do with work (although I have n
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The undoing and redoing of me

I am often thinking about the line between public and private, the way it wavers, blurs, disappears. In a world of social media it is a question for everyone, and not just for the stars, royalty, politicians. For me the question broadens into the realm of work. Where do I begin, and where do ‘I’ end. The ‘I’ must interrogate my place within power structures, within cultural narratives, within relatability.  My academic research was about a community I am part of, through my father. It was an ‘objective’ approach to examine storytelling, but because it was not a culture I participated in on a daily basis I was constantly negotiating my position in the work, my lens in the re-telling, my biases, my outside-ness and my inside-ness. The story of me became integral to the condition of the research. And, as my professional career has progressed, my approximation to this culture, one that is less known in the wider world, means I have become a tool to crack into these spheres - I have the con

The Body Eats

When I first saw Pina Bausch’s The Rite of Spring (1975) I remember feeling a deep hunger. My belly rumbled, my torso tightened and the muscles sucked into my belly button as my body concaved in on itself. I could feel my arms wanting to desperately reach out and seek things to fill me up, to bring close to me, to suck up and consume. I wanted to devour the world. I watched it the first year of my Performing Arts undergraduate, where I thought I would major in dance and movement. In the end I didn’t, switching in the final semester to acting, after struggling to feel fully comfortable with my body moving through space for people to watch. I decided I preferred to hide behind words. Dance has always been a space of thirst, for cravings, for desire – a way to seek out and pursue, a way to rampage through ideas. Moving to be sated. Finishing dance exams growing up I would always be hungry, never being able to eat when nervous. Navigating how to feel in leotards, in front of mirrors, o

A restaurant review: of Instagram Stories

With the importance of ‘brand’, of storytelling and the prolific use of social media to attract customers, it seems appropriate to me that restaurants can be judged through the prism of Instagram and the fleeting tool of Stories. It is after all, a curated space for the business to tell their story. This is a piece of writing that was difficult to write because it hit emotional points that are sometimes hard to articulate, so this is a string of thoughts.  Food is the focal point of a restaurant, to be examined and appraised. It is often thought. In communities which have a robust food culture the dissection of dishes is an act of bonding, of creating memory and building connection to space and time and place. “We eat to remember place” anthropologist David Sutton writes, in his work reflecting the Greek island of Kalymnos.  Restaurants have a history and an anchor in the idea of being spaces of restorative-ness, of gathering and of being with people, of nourishment.  In the capitalist

For the love of durian!

My father passed away, from complications due to covid, on 31 October. It was unexpected as we had thought he was getting better. We were lucky to have all been able to make it back for the funeral and also to do his eulogy as a collective. I wanted to post it our writing, and although slightly outside of the remit of this space, this was where I thought it fit best. ANNA SULAN MASING Thank you everyone for being here with us today. It is with great honour that we speak and tell you about our father, and what he meant to us. Dad read vicariously. Everything, from spy novels to historical non-fiction and philosophical texts. He was a strong believer in education, but more to the point he was a believer in learning, of constantly gaining knowledge. This is of course seen in his political life, and in all is work. But for me, it is so clearly demonstrated in the way he encouraged us kids to live our lives, to go out into the world and explore, seek our own paths – and to have adventure

Rice, and everything else

I want to tell a story about journeys. Journeys that are circular, that fold back on themselves. For Gawai this year I had a conversation with my dad about rice, and about celebrations, and on Instagram I told a story from a Gawai. It also made me think about my name – the journey my name has gone on, and how I have moulded myself to others, to audiences I meet on my migration and how I fit into what feels comfortable for others. To be complicated means having to explain myself a lot, which is both ok and annoying. I sit with both those feelings. The story of rice is complicated too, its about farming and eating, it's about gods, it's sacred but also it's everyday.  This piece is a journey too; it is a snap shot of different things that to me, make up a whole. This is my history. My name is Anna Sulan Masing. [I haven't edited my dad's words, because these are from back and forth chats, and I like imperfection that modern technology of rushed emails and