Ayonti Mahreen Huq23 February 2018
She of the dark hair
We’re writing secret notes to each other and sticking them on each other’s binders.
The teacher side-eyes us while commenting on how ‘lesbianism’ is bad.
It is only recently that McAllister returned to perform, for the first time since becoming artistic director, in the Australian Ballet’s production of The Merry Widow in Melbourne. On a stage saturated by diamond-studded dresses and scarlet curtains, McAllister appears as Njegus, the bumbling secretary to the ambassador. Pantomimic and slapstick, the fantasy is in full swing—and McAllister knows how to play the game. The audience drinks deeply from his perfectly timed winks and silly walks, revelling in the comedy.
So, no, I do not have a white name. I wish other non-white people didn’t either. Our names are beautiful. They speak of our roots, cultures, homes we so dearly love. I would rather repeat my name thrice than cut it to make someone else more comfortable.
For more than 40 years, Curry Corner, a tiny store in Melbourne’s CBD that specialises in Indian imports, has been selling spices and lentils. But what catches the eye almost instantly is the large collection of skin-whitening products in the front right corner of the shop. From a skin bleaching cream for “instant golden glow” by Fem to a whitening cream called “Fair & Lovely”, there is a chemical formula available for every part of the body. Yes, even the privates.
Bhenji Ra stands on stage in a bright red bikini, with gold-sequined flames stretching around her hips and across her chest. A pair of red boots lace up to her knees, as she flicks a red fan in front of her face. She has been dancing—dipping and spinning along the runway—but now is still.
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