It is hard to pinpoint what Tim Flannery does. The list of his professions is long: zoologist, environmentalist, documentary filmmaker, author, curator and since the beginning of 2011 Chief Commissioner of Australia’s Climate Commission. We met Flannery in Sydney and talked with him about the amenities of a malaria attack, the difficulties of writing and the human superorganism.
For many people New Zealand is still terra incognita when it comes to food. Hence, the Kiwis dispatched their most famous chef Al Brown, along with his cookbooks “Go Fisch” and Stoked”, to the Frankfurt Book Fair 2012 for a bit of enlightenment. We met the culinary embassador of the guest of honour country in Auckland and went fishing with him.
Players of computer games spend hours dull and passive in front of a screen. A cliché? Yes. And a dated one. Some even leave the boundaries of the gaming world behind and become puppet masters. They pluck their digital heros from the given context and animate whole movies with them. The result is called Machinima. Machine meets cinema.
For the first time Maori-chieftain Paratene sees snow, visits factories and is received by the Queen. But as much as he admires the splendour of 19th-century England, he is appalled by the poverty and the dirt. NZ-author Paula Morris tells the – almost true – story of a group of proud leaders, travelling from the edge of the world to Dickensian London.
Iceland: Literature in Everyday Life
In Iceland books haver their own season: the time before Christmas. The bigger part of books is printed and sold during that period. The majority of small talk then focuses on reading tips. Books are a traditional Christmas gift on the island. But what role does literature play in every day life beyond the book season in Iceland?
Much has happened in Iceland since World War II. From one of Europe’s poorest countries it has evolved into one of Europe’s richest. While one generation worked in fish and rationed food, the next grew up in affluence and worked in banks. So it seems only natural that each generation produced different kind of authors. Three writers, three house calls.
Geocaching is a kind of paper chase 2.0. It’s a gps guided treasure hunt. And treasures – so called caches – are plentiful. Everyone can hide a cache and post the coordinates on of the geocaching-sites online. The Austrian author Ursula Poznanski, a geocacher herself, got the inspiration for her new book from this adventurous outdoor activity.
Nowadays white New Zealanders and Maori live side by side without larger tensions. But there are still social problems: Maori still lead the statistics on crime rate, unemployment and alcohol abuse. Why is that? And what can literature do to help? These are questions Maori authors have been trying to cope with for quite some time already.