Australia politician slammed for Facebook gun photo

A photo of Australian Politician George Christensen carrying a gun posted on Facebook. (Facebook)
Updated 19 February 2018
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Australia politician slammed for Facebook gun photo

SYDNEY: A conservative Australian politician who posted a photo of himself on Facebook holding a gun in a jibe at environmentalists was reported to police and slammed Monday as insensitive after a mass US school shooting.
George Christensen put up the image on Saturday showing him in a shooting stance with the comment “You gotta ask yourself, do you feel lucky, greenie punks?.”
He claimed it was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the “Dirty Harry” film franchise in which a police officer played by Clint Eastwood takes on “people who are conducting illegal activity, such as the greens are.”
The MP has been critical of environmentalists — sometimes backed by the Greens political party — who have tried to blockade mining projects, including chaining themselves to machinery.
The Facebook post was referred to the Australian Federal Police by the Greens, with their Senator Sarah Hanson-Young saying on Twitter she had received an emailed threat from one of Christensen’s supporters.
“Frankly, guns are not a joke and particularly in the wake of the massacre in the US only last week, 17 people shot dead, including children,” Hanson-Young told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the post “very inappropriate.” It was also widely criticized by politicians from other parties.
Christensen, whose National party is the junior partner in the government’s ruling coalition, later deleted it but responded defiantly, saying: “I’m not going to be moralized to by these extreme greens who put the livelihoods, safety and lives of other people at risk.”
He said the post had nothing to do with the American shooting last week where a 19-year-old killed 17 people at his former high school, claiming instead it was a comment on environmentalists’ “illegal activism on mine sites.”
Australia has tough gun laws that include bans on certain weapons, a minimum age, licenses and secure storage, after a mass shooting at the historic Tasmanian colonial convict site of Port Arthur in 1996 where 35 people were killed.
The uproar is the latest headache for the ruling Liberal-National coalition, with Turnbull last week publicly criticizing Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce for his affair with a younger former staffer who is now pregnant with his child.


Malika Favre: Artist who put Saudi women in the driver’s seat 

Updated 24 June 2018
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Malika Favre: Artist who put Saudi women in the driver’s seat 

  • In September 2017, King Salman issued a decree declaring an end to the decades-long ban from June 2018
  • Some three million women in Saudi Arabia could receive licences and actively begin driving by 2020

French artist Malika Favre has created iconic covers for “The New Yorker” magazine, with animations that have gone viral online. So she was the natural choice for Arab News to illustrate our souvenir edition commemorating the day when women are allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia.
As Faisal J. Abbas, editor in chief of Arab News, explained: “Our website and newspaper — which today features a striking cover illustration by artist Malika Favre — will provide comprehensive coverage of both the immediate impact and wide-reaching, long-term social benefits of this move.”
From her base in London, Favre explained why the idea immediately appealed. “For me, it’s exactly the kind of subject that I want to work with and tackle today. I’ve been increasingly involved with women’s issues over the past few years, with The New Yorker as well.
“These stepping stones are extremely important, and they should be celebrated. It’s also something that as a woman I feel very strongly about.”
What made our global creative director, Simon Khalil, think that the in-demand artist would take his assignment on? “As a champion of women for years through her unique creative style, Malika Favre was the obvious choice,” he said. “Her illustration brilliantly captures the significance of this moment on the day Saudi Arabia changed forever.” 
For the illustration, called “Start Your Engines,” Favre began with the idea of “something quite subtle, not aggressive, something celebratory,” coming up with an image of a “beautiful, Arabic woman” that tells a story within a story. 
“So, basically, I had this idea of looking at the car from the point of view of the woman who is driving, and so maybe the first thing you see is a woman with a headscarf and quite a colorful image, but then on the second layer you see what’s happening and you see that she is driving the car,” Favre said. 
The image of her hands on the wheel, and that iconic Gulf vehicle, a white SUV, are reflected in her sunglasses. These are animated online. “I really like the idea of this woman being on the road, because I think symbolically it’s about going forward,” she said. “That is also a positive element, to create a positive image of what this historic moment will change.” 
The topic also resonated with Favre because her mother, while she was born in France, is Algerian. “For her, she always wanted to have the same rights as everyone else. She was a big advocate for that. She raised me in that way as well. So for her it’s also an important cover on a personal level.” 
When asked about her favorite assignments, Favre referenced “Operating Theatre” for The New Yorker’s “Health, Medicine & the Body” issue last year. 
“It was an extremely important project because it went totally viral.” 
In her illustration, female surgeons are arranged in a circle looking down, as if the viewer is on the operating table. In the animation, the image is viewed as if through a blinking eyelid. Women surgeons around the world started re-enacting Favre’s cover, sharing more than 5,000 photos, with the hashtags #NYerORCoverChallenge and #ILookLikeASurgeon. 
“For me, it was a very important moment,” Favre said. “It reached out to an audience that wasn’t design-focused. It was something very profound that spoke to these women, and they took it as a very strong statement of let’s celebrate women surgeons.” 
Does Favre think the women of Saudi Arabia are up for such an assignment? “I think it definitely has the potential to do that as well,” she said. Challenge accepted. 


• Download our free #SaudiWomenCanDrive mobile phone background designed by renowned artist Malika Favre:  https://startyourengines.21wallpaper.design