Category Archives: Let’s Talk About Racism

ARC #1: How Racist are we?

A month ago, the four of us met together to discuss a delectable ‘feelpinion’ by Mark Sawyer and responded to “How racist are you?”

On my part, I like to say that in Australia there is a high level of low level of racism, which includes micro-aggressive racism. Not only is the piece written by middle class White Australian who never been exposed to racism, he really believes that the type of overt racism does not exist. His piece is a reflection of a overall attitude of Australia’s perspective of race and racism. Sawyer’s view is sadly lacking of depth and understanding. Even his examples only demonstrate how ignorant he is. In an ironic twist, he talks about micro-aggressive racism but doesn’t realise that he has written about racism.

I walked past it when a man in Spain told me he was ‘‘working like a black’’, when an old girlfriend asked whether I still ‘‘smoke like a Turk’’ and when a fella in country NSW offered me his ultimate accolade: ‘‘Thanks mate, you’re a white man”.

~Mark Sawyer

Each of us have very different backgrounds and experience. But we banded together to discuss and counteract some of negative views found on media.

I wonder if there is a way to help raise racial awareness in Australia and recognise that racism does exist. One step a time, we can only hope

– Summary written by Suzanne Nguyen

Speakers in the video:
Cultural and social commentator. Found of @IndigenousX

Saman Shad, Storyteller and writer for Guardian Australia and SBS.

Gary Paramanathan, organiser and founder of ‘Colour Fest’, a diaspora and migrant film festival.

Artist and online community facilitator, founder of @TheTwoChairs


“Exotic” is Not a Compliment

ImageI cannot begin to tell you the countless times I’ve been told I’m exotic by numerous people, at various occasions: friends at university, festival-goers, conference delegates, teachers at school, retail assistants, doctors and even fellow commuters of public transport systems. Apparently, I’m not beautiful by mainstream beauty standards; I belong to the foreign, exotic variety.

Exotic is not a compliment. It’s an otherising mechanism reserved for the foreign, strange and unfamiliar.

It’s a microaggression.
~Amena Ziard

Continue reading “Exotic” is Not a Compliment

Live Tweets: Hotham Community Forum

Yesterday night,  Azlan Petra (@azlanpetra) sat on @TheTwoChairs and live tweeted at Hotham Community Forum for the proposed repeal to Racial Discrimination Act 1975.

The live tweets showcase the voice of many concerned communities who are affected by the proposed changes. The federal government focuses their sight on the ideals of free speech but are blind to the realities  of the people who experience racism and racial vilification in their lives. Continue reading Live Tweets: Hotham Community Forum

WAYF: I’m Not Your Exotic Zoo

This is a typical conversation when you meet someone new:

White Person A: Where Are You From?
White Person B: I live down the street.

And this is my typical conversation when I meet someone new:

Person A: Where Are You From?
Me: I live down the street.
A: No, where are you really from?
Me: I’m from Melbourne.
A: Nooooo, I mean where are you really from?
Me: Fuck you, I’m not your zoo.

Many have argued that I’m being overly sensitive and that they just want to get to know me.

Fuck you, I’m not your curiosity’s sake.

Continue reading WAYF: I’m Not Your Exotic Zoo

The Two Chairs sits w. Zayaan

Suzanne (founder of TheTwoChairs) sits with Zayaan Jappie (@EvefromWestside) and talks about (lack of) diversity in Australian film industry.

Topic of discussion: It’s Women International day. Lets celebrate by discussing diversity and women in the filming industry 🙂

Join us and find out on Sunday.

Zaayan Jappie studied film at UTS (NSW, Australia) and ITESM (Mexico). Her first film Rima; about a young Muslim who wears the veil and works in the modified car industry in Western Sydney was selected for various local and international film festivals, including the Dubai International Film Festival, Dungog and Arab Film Festival. She also worked in LA assisting Luke Doolan, an oscar nominated director/editor. Eve is my next special project, the script was guided by producer Daniella Ortega. Eve was also a finalist for a Script Pitching Contest for Colourfest Film Festival 2013. Zayaan is currently raising funds to make the film, check it out at:

If you like to tweet us a question, tweet it with a hashtag #t2c
or email us thetwochairs (at) gmail (dot) com

The Two Chairs with Luke Pearson

Suzanne (founder of TheTwoChairs) sits with Luke Pearson (@LukeLPearson) and chat about racism in Australia and ask him the big question:

What does he mean by “White Australian?”
Join us and find out on Sunday. Luke Pearson: Many in the social media and cultural advocacy scene regard Luke Pearson as a leading authority and much-sought speaker on Aboriginal rights and education. He is the creator of @IndigenousX. For over 10 years, he has contributed to the discussions and policies for Indigenous education and excellence. He is also an experience educator, writer, facilitator, mentor, public speaker and advocator.

Sunday 2nd March 2014
Time: 6.00PM (Sydney time)

If you like to tweet us a question, tweet it with a hashtag #t2c
or email us thetwochairs (at) gmail (dot) com