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Vicious Nostalgia: Te Reo, Climate, Palestine and Social Work

A guest post from Dr David Kenkel

A dictionary definition describes nostalgia as  “A wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to, or of, some past period or irrecoverable condition” (Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, 2024). Nostalgia can be vicious; it is often a great deal more than the wistful yearnings for earlier remembered paradises.

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When the most vulnerable ask, we must act

Kia ora – us again!

You probably don’t remember us, but we’re the trio of social service professionals and animal rights activists trying to open up the conversation within the social service sector about the imminent danger climate change poses to tamariki and whānau: the connection between social work’s code of ethics and animal sentience – and how social work should be paying more attention to this existential threat!

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2024: Leaning into the wind

As a Collective we have developed a practice of reflection on the year past and the challenges ahead. The following are individual messages, yet they coalesce as an affirmation of unity and resolve. Times like these, locally and globally, can induce a logic of despair and defeatism, but such regressive political times can also engender a stubborn, stoic project of informed resistance. Don’t let anyone tell you that a more inclusive and socially just world is impossible. It is better by far, in whatever ways are open to you, to be a small part of making it so.

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Justice for Palestine!

This text is a formative advance version of a special editorial from the following members of the ANZSW Journal Editorial Collective: Neil Ballantyne, Liz Beddoe, Kerri Cleaver, Yvonne Crichton-Hill, Ian Hyslop, Eileen Joy, Emily Keddell, Deb Stanfield, and Shayne Walker. It will be further developed, refined and published in the forthcoming Reproductive Justice issue of the journal. It has been written to express unconditional solidarity with the Palestinian people at this time.

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Time to be Counted

The time for solidarity with the beseiged and brutalised inhabitants of Gaza, the wider Palestinian people and their collective human right for an independent state, is now! It is time for the people of the Western world to summon the political will to demand a free Palestine. Che Guevara is credited with the following appeal for a revolutionary moral consciousness that is both personal and universal: “Above all, always be capable of feeling deeply any injustice committed against anyone, anywhere in the world”. And, the Palestinian tragedy is not just another unfairness in an unfair world: it is perhaps the defining injustice of the post-war world order. It is a wound that has festered since the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948.