The Ethics and Politics of Starvation (2013)

7 March 2013 Performance Space Sydney, Matters of Life and Death.

Read the ‘conversation score’ [PDF]


The Ethics and Politics of Starvation is an after dinner conversation hosted by anti-disciplinary artist Sumugan Sivanesan, exploring the historical relationship between Australia and the tiny Pacific isle of Nauru. Tracing a long line of unbalanced colonial interactions and hastily-struck deals, we will see how the ‘Lucky Country’ has literally ‘eaten Nauru’, and how this cannibalism continues to underscore current political invective.

Sivanesan has invited guests Kiran Grewal, Ian Rintoul and Acharya Ram Sivan to reflect on topics such as hunger strike, philosophies of renunciation, planetary forces and the rights of non-citizens via examples of art, popular culture, politics and history.

Nibbles (of Nauru) will be served.

Kiran Grewal is an academic and a lawyer who has worked both in Sydney and internationally in the areas of immigration, human rights and international criminal law. She is currently the research manager of a three-year human rights project funded by the European Union working with the Nepali and Sri Lankan armed forces and police. Her research interests include international criminal justice, torture, sexual violence and feminist and postcolonial theory.

Ian Rintoul is a long time political and refugee activist. He has been involved in refugee issues since the introduction of mandatory detention in 1992. He was a founding member of the Refugee Action Coalition, and has been a key organiser of World Refugee Day rallies since 2000. Ian is a regular media commentator on refugee issues and maintains contact with asylum seekers in detention on Nauru, Manus Island and in Indonesia.
NB: Mark Goudkemp replaced Ian on the night.

Acharya Ram Sivan (ordained as Sri Rama Ramanuja Achari) was born in South Africa to a Jewish mother and Christian father, and converted to Hinduism at the age of 15. He has undertaken many years of formal study in Yoga-Vedanta philosophy, Logic, Hermeneutics, Sanskrit, and Astrology, and specialised in Vedic and Tantric ritual at highly respected centres of spiritual and Scriptural learning in Rishikesh, Varanasi, Tirupati and Chennai. He works as Clinical Nurse Specialist and is very active in conducting training sessions at various Sydney Hospitals in Hindu attitudes towards death and dying.

Photographs: Tessa Zettel


One response to “The Ethics and Politics of Starvation (2013)

  1. Pingback: Let Live | Lost Limbs·

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