When opposition to the death penalty is not opposition to the death penalty

My focus isn't generally on such immediate and potentially controversial matters but recent developments in Britain cause me to consider the issue of capital punishment. I won't address the British problem directly, other than to describe the background. My interest is closer to home in matters that are and were similar. The case of Kotey … Continue reading When opposition to the death penalty is not opposition to the death penalty

Cairo Mon Amour: a review by Russell Darnley

  Stuart Campbell has crafted a richly faceted novel taking full advantage of Cairo as an ancient centre of cultural and linguistic confluence. He weaves a tale of intrigue and duplicity that, through his descriptive brilliance, takes the reader beyond the façade of material culture into the complex histories and geopolitical realities of the region. … Continue reading Cairo Mon Amour: a review by Russell Darnley

#UWRF16 – Paradise Revisited a Panel Discussion

The panel was tasked with considering the proposition that: From busloads of tourists and bustling beaches, to Balinese Hinduism and a global voice, Bali is a place that knows how to adapt. This is a summary of my introductory comments and a little more that there was insufficient time to express. As the only foreigner … Continue reading #UWRF16 – Paradise Revisited a Panel Discussion

Festival of the Hungry Ghost in #Singapore and #Malaysia some background information

This festival is held during the 7th lunar month. This year it begins on 3rd August with commemorative activities running until 31st August. Commemorating the Dead The Hungry Ghost Festival and the Ghost Month (鬼月) has uncertain origins. Similar commemorations are found throughout Asia from India  to Japan. The tradition apparently predates Buddhism and perhaps … Continue reading Festival of the Hungry Ghost in #Singapore and #Malaysia some background information

A sampler of ‘Seen and Unseen: a century of stories from #Asia & the #Pacific’

Here is an overview of my book Seen and Unseen: a century of stories from Asia & the Pacific with a selection of images reflecting aspects of the stories that unfold in its pages. Both paperback and kindle versions of the book are available through Amazon. Further background on my book is also available on it's website.

‘Magic, Polygamy & Triangles’, a story from “Seen & Unseen: a century of stories from Asia & the Pacific”

  This is just an introduction to the 'Magic Polygamy and Triangles". After this brief introduction the story segues into the intrigue of a love triangle and magic. In all this is a tale of duplicity, intrigue, fear and accusations of witchcraft.

The author on “Seen and Unseen: a century of stories from #Asia and the #Pacific”

Common views of Asia and the Pacific, from the outside, often confer undue prominence to such things as typhoons, tsunami, earthquakes, malaria or even magic. While these can be confronting realities in the Asia-Pacific region beyond such differences even more remains unseen and misunderstood. Frequently unacknowledged are the influences Asian and Pacific cultures exert far beyond their borders. … Continue reading The author on “Seen and Unseen: a century of stories from #Asia and the #Pacific”

Walking Into The Past One #Ubud Morning

Avenues of penyor cascading over the streets and lanes of Ubud, a striking reminder that Galungan and Kuningan had passed for yet another Balinese year. Bridges between an unseen world of spirit and a contemporary corporal world penyor symbolise this time when ancestor spirits are believed to visit their worldly families partaking in feasting and festivities. … Continue reading Walking Into The Past One #Ubud Morning

Decadence: Decline of the Western World

This past week I attended the premier of Pria Viswalingam's latest documentary Decadence: Decline of the Western World. I wasn't disappointed. Although I'm broadly familiar with Pria's basic thesis on the decline of the western world and share most of his views, I was still surprised by this extraordinary treatment. Pria explores and lays bare … Continue reading Decadence: Decline of the Western World

#Indonesia: unexpected journeys of an accidental religious peddler

Arriving in Indonesia again wasn't as I'd expected. For starters, my luggage was brimming with religious artifacts of various sorts. More by accident than design,  several circumstances had arisen that might have led a customs officer to assume I wasn't a holiday maker but some sort of religious peddler. An old Indonesian friend, a Roman … Continue reading #Indonesia: unexpected journeys of an accidental religious peddler