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Dinner Party Politics 


LANA, MĀORI, SAMOAN, TONGAN ONE, TONGAN TWO with his wife AUSTRALIAN, TONGAN THREE and TONGAN FOUR sit around a table on the rooftop in central Sydney. It’s 4pm and 28 degrees. TONGAN ONE hands TONGAN FOUR another cider.

AUSTRALIAN starts talking to SAMOAN…


Yea, they’re [Aboriginal peoples] just brought up with such hate.

SAMOAN slightly not interested nods.

They must be talking about the results of colonial oppression, yea I’m into this. 

LANA leans in to start listening.


They’re taught to be that way though, like no ones showing them hate, but they just hate everyone around them.

Oh shit she’s talking about hate as in the Aboriginal people are the ones who hate the world. Does she mean that they’re like oppressing themselves? She must have no clue about what I do. 

LANA calms herself, conscious this is a social situation.

TONGAN ONE gives LANA side eye. LANA sees this.

I know he’s read my writing on Decolonial Curatorial Practice. Is he telling me disengage? 

MĀORI looks away.

She’s my best friend. She knows. Social etiquette is telling me this is the perfect time to go the bathroom but I just can’t leave the table. 

LANA reaches for camembert and starts talking.


Oppressions not really that fun though, I’d say that they have a reason to be angry but that doesn’t mean that they are full of hate, and if they are it’s probably fair.



Yea, but it was ages ago, they should stop holding onto it.

Like I had a friend who like wasn’t abo at all and claimed some 16th and then his education was all free.

Shit, she’s anti-affirmative action too? Imagine if she knew the organisation I work for is a product of affirmative action. I got into university under affirmative action. I love affirmative action. Awkward. She must not have watched that Harvard lecture on iEducation where the white male lecturer told the class that our levels of success are predetermined from birth. But not just race even things like birth order affect that. First borns are likely to be more successful that any other children. I can’t sum that up in this situation though.


You know (insert name here – who had just left) is Aboriginal aye?




Affirmative action is important oi, the least compensation they deserve is free education.


Yea, but they just use it and then all of a sudden turn. You should see my friend’s Facebook posts, like all of a sudden he started saying all this anti-white stuff. Like he was being racist, complaining about white people being racist but then being outright racist himself.

OMG she thinks reverse racism is a real thing. She is too far gone. 


What about Māori back home?

LANA looks at MĀORI. MĀORI looks away from the conversation.

They think she’s lebanese don’t they.


It’s real different, different situation, long way to go, but we treat them like humans.


Yea that’s because here the land was stolen and there they signed it away.

Holy shit – signed it away? What kind of hate she will pass onto her to Tongan/Australian kids.

LANA gets really fired up.

MĀORI starts another conversation with TONGAN ONE on corner of the table.


It’s not that simple.

Communal conversation change.


Lana Lopesi

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