Helen Sullivan

Helen Sullivan's first book will be published in Australia in 2023. Her reporting on Micronesia is supported by the New South Wales Government through Create NSW.

Diary: A City of Islands

Helen Sullivan, 1 December 2022

Theancient city of Nan Madol, which translates as ‘the space between’, was built sometime between 700 and 1200 CE, on a coral reef just off the island of Pohnpei, in the Federated States of Micronesia. It was a city of islands, a miniature Micronesia consisting of 92 man-made bits of land. Micronesia itself is made up of 607 islands, of which the city of Palikir on Pohnpei is...

From The Blog
24 December 2019

Earlier this month, on a Lebanese variety show called Menna W Jerr, a man performed a skit dressed in blackface – he wore a braided, beaded wig – and a domestic worker’s uniform. In the sketch, the overworked domestic worker berates her employer for complaining that he has no money, and constant headaches, but meanwhile ‘has fun with’ his wife every night. The audience laughed, but one of the show’s judges, the Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef, spoke out against the portrayal. There was no need for blackface, he said, and the sketch was especially insensitive considering the system under which most domestic workers in Lebanon are employed. The programme issued an apology on Twitter, saying it meant no harm to domestic workers, whom ‘we consider part of the family.’

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