Margot Beavon-Collin, Charlotte Lim and Stedd Lenasars
Week 10, Semester 2, 2020
It has been a mixed bag for the disability collective over the last few weeks. Disabled Honi went on stands a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to everyone who came to either of our launch events. Besides some technical difficulties, they were both fabulous events. The event at Courtyard was a great opportunity to meet up with fellow disabled students we haven’t seen face to face since the beginning of the year.
Despite this welcome reprieve, the grim reality of 2020 has quickly re-emerged. The Disability Royal Commission has continued to reveal horrific abuses of disabled people across the country. The NDIS has revealed its plans for independent assessments for all participants, which, contrary to the popular narrative, threatens to reduce access to the scheme, particularly for those without easily ‘quantifiable’ disabilities.
Of course, fights have emerged on various fronts to fight for our community, some of which members of the Collective have been directly involved in. Though the pandemic has rendered many of our previous tactics and organising practices unworkable, the ever practical and creative disability community continues to make strides. As Melbourne lockdown slowly begins lifting, our existing dialogue with disabled comrades across Victoria has intensified. Exciting victories are forever just around the corner, so long as we have the courage, and collective strength to claim them.
Week 2, Semester 2, 2020
The Disability Collective is busy preparing for our autonomous edition of Honi Soit this semester.
This year, we have decided to theme our issue “SOLIDARITY NOT CHARITY”. Work doesn’t need to be themed (although it is great if it is), and you can interpret the theme as flexibly as you like. We’re looking for feature articles, opinion pieces, short fiction, poetry, art, and anything else that we can put into a copy of the University of Sydney’s weekly student newspaper.
Written submissions should be approximately 500 – 800 words, but shorter pieces are fine and we might have room for a couple of longer pieces (up to 1200 words) as well. Please attach written submissions in .doc, .docx, or .rtf form.
Visual submissions should be 300 dpi in .tif or .png form. Either full colour (RGB) or greyscale is fine. Page size is approx A3 but most visual pieces should be aiming for around A5/A4.
If you’d like to pitch an article, if you’re interested in illustrating specific pieces in the issue, or if you’re interested in helping lay up the issue, please fill out this Google Form: https://forms.gle/Mawi7UY9V4uQqcbr5.
You don’t have to pitch, and it is fine to submit completed submissions, though we do encourage pitching first. Completed submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We accept previously published work, but please specify if this is the case.
Our deadline for pitches is MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST.
Our deadline for submissions is MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28TH.
We recommend pitching and submitting as early as you can. This gives us more time to work with you, and makes it more likely that it will be published. If you’d like your piece to be published anonymously or under a pen name, that’s totally fine, just let us know.
The OBs hope everyone is taking care of themselves and each other. The pandemic isn’t over, and staff and students are struggling right now with classes, mounting work, and overzealous cops running amok on our campus.
Week 11, Semester 1, 2020
Late-stage capitalism has made a habit of ‘saying the quiet part loud’. This has maybe never been more true for the disability community than in our current time. Governments all over the world, desperate for economic activity to begin again, have been loudly and enthusiastically promoting eugenics, imploring the people they represent to ask how much we should really value the lives of the elderly and disabled in the face of a fall in GDP. Nationally, we are not immune from this. The Australian Financial Times in particular has enjoyed publishing article after article quantifying exactly how much a human life is worth, often in monetary terms (the answer is apparently roughly $3 million each, give or take, and depending on productive capacity). As conversations intensify over reopening the economy, it has never been more important to think critically about the ways we have all been forced to internalise narratives labelling disabled people as unproductive leeches, only as worthwhile as their capacities to contribute to economic activity. No matter what any economics journalist will tell you, and no matter what any triage nurse will try to defend, every person, disabled or otherwise, is important and worthwhile. We all miss going to the pub. The people who will die from a second, likely much bigger pandemic wave ravaging this country will be missed far more.
We have begun preparing for this year’s Disabled Honi. Keep an eye on the Disabilities Collective facebook group and page if you want to contribute. DIsabled voices are always invaluable, but have maybe never been more invaluable or important than right now.
Love and solidarity.