Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

Spreading the word across Indonesia

Post the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, that finished last night in wonderful fashion, I’m now here for this tomorrow night:

“Global Voices in Borobudur” will bring ten writers from around the world and five Indonesian writers to the world’s largest Buddhist temple at Borobudur to present their work on October 13, 2009, as an extension of the 2009 Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. The readings and spoken word performances will commence at Manohara at 6:00 p.m., on the Borobudur temple grounds. The presentation will be free of charge and open to the public.

The writers’ performance at Borobudur marks the first time that the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival’s organisers have expanded this international literary festival’s events beyond Bali. Borobudur lies near Yogyakarta in Central Java, the neighboring island west of Bali. The theme of the Festival is Suka Duka: Solidarity and Compassion.

“It is a big leap and really exciting to extend the Ubud Writers Festival from Bali to Borobudur in Java,” said Festival founder Janet DeNeefe. “Buddha’s spirit of compassion and his timeless teachings can help us to navigate the many global problems we face today. It is fitting that the festival, with its theme of ‘Compassion & Solidarity’ culminates at Borobudur.”

Writers presenting their works at Borobudur include the following:

Fatima Bhutto, a journalist and writer, is from Pakistan. Her father was Murtaza Bhutto, who was killed by police in 1996 in Karachi during the premiership of his sister, Benazir Bhutto. Fatima’s third book, a history of the Bhutto family, will be published in the UK by Jonathan Cape in 2010.

Michelle Cahill edited the transnational anthology Poetry Without Borders (Picaro, 2008). Her forthcoming collection Vishvarupa is themed around Hindu deities. Michelle has sojourned in monasteries and ashrams in Thailand, Laos, India, Nepal and Bali, to practice yoga and vipassana meditation.

Tom Cho

Based in Melbourne, Australia, Tom Cho is the author of the fiction collection Look Who’s Morphing, published by Giramondo in April this year.

In addition to writing fiction, Tom works as a freelance writer/editor. He has also worked in programming roles for various arts organisations in Australia, including Footscray Community Arts Centre, Melbourne Fringe and National Young Writers’ Festival.

Andrew McMillan
Andrew’s close contact with the people of East Arnhem Land has resulted in essential reading for those with an interest in Aboriginal history. His award winning book An Intruders Guide to East Arnhem Land tells of a moving and exciting story of warfare, loss, social and cultural struggle, and renewal.

Sophie Hackford is an academic, writer and consultant with a special interest in migration and diaspora. She now works at the innovative James Martin School of the 21st Century at the University of Oxford.

Angelo R. Lacuesta has won the Palanca, Philippine Graphic and NVM Gonzalez Awards for his short fiction. His first book Life Before X and Other Stories won the Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Award and the National Book Award in 2000. His second collection White Elephants: stories won the National Book Award in 2005. He has recently published a third collection Flames and other stories and is at work on his first novel.

Sosiawan Leak was born in Solo in 1967. His published poetry includes Umpatan (1995), Cermin Buram (1996), and Dunia Bogambola (2007). He is also playwright, director and performer. In 2006 and 2008, together with two other poets – Martin Jankowski from Berlin and Dorothea Rosa Helriany from Magelang – he has toured Indonesia giving poetry readings.

Antony Loewenstein’s best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict My Israel Question was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier’s Literary Award. His second book The Blogging Revolution on the Internet in repressive regimes, was released in 2008. He is the co-founder of advocacy group Independent Australian Jewish Voices and contributed to Amnesty International Australia’s 2008 campaign about Chinese Internet repression and the Beijing Olympic Games.

Gunawan Maryanto was born in Jogya in 1976. He is director and writer in Garasi Theater, Jogja. His books include Waktu Batu (a play story written with Andre Nur Latif and Ugoran Prasad, 2004), Bon Suwung (an anthology of short stories, 2005), Galigi (an anthology of short stories, 2007), Perasaan-perasaan yang Menyusun Sendiri Petualangannya (a poetry book, 2008) and Usaha Menjadi Sakti (an anthology of short stories, 2008). He won a “Sih” award in 2007 and a poetry award from Indonesia’s Education and Tourism Ministry in 2007.

Dyah Merta was born in Ponorogo, East Java, in 1978. Her writing has won the Short Story Contest (Jakarta, 2003 and Lampung 2004). She has published two books – Hetaira, an anthology of short stories, in 2005 and Peri Kecil di Sungai Nipah, a novel, in 2007.

Omar Musa was the 2008 Australian Poetry Slam champion, who has swum with piranhas and alligators in Bolivia and taught Aboriginal children in outback Australia. The 25-year-old Malaysian-Australian baritone has backpacked almost every continent and has a treasure-trove of stories to tell. Musa was a winner of the British Council’s Realise Your Dream award in 2007.

Ugoran Prasad was born in Tanjungkarang, Sumatra, in 1978. He is coordinator at Garasi Theater in Jogya and manager of programs for the Indonesian Performing Art Society. In 2008 he was a visiting scholar in the Performance Studies Department, Tisch School of The Arts, New York University.

Triyanto Triwikromo was born in Salatiga, Central Java, 1964. He is editor of Suara Merdeka daily and lecturer of Creative Writing at Universitas Diponegoro Semarang. His anthologies of short stories include Rezim Seks (1987), Ragaula (2002), Sayap Anjing (2003), Anak-anak Mengasah Pisau-Children Sharpening the Knives (bilingual, 2003), Malam Sepasang Lampion (2004) and Ular Di Mangkuk Nabi (2009).

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