Michelle Chen


Michelle Chen is editor of CultureStrike Magazine.

The Poetry of Trauma

Days of Tragedy, in Past and Present Tense
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Sometimes it feels like everything is happening at once. So came the events of the last few days, ricocheting with harrowing efficiency into seemingly every corner of the country, reverberating in the echo of shots fired into dead silence, cries of mourning from Baton Rouge to St. Paul to Dallas and again, to New York City. It's suspended in the tense withheld breaths of panic attack, waiting for the next attack to happen.

Childhood in War and Wilderneress

At 80, a Scientist Examines War and the Natural World
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David Suzuki, a noted Canadian scientist and environmental activist, has the privilege of being able to look back and forward on life. He’s lived plenty of it, and at 80, he can look back with a sense wizened humility and continuity that tends to accompany a well-lived life. But over the decades he’s earned the authority to speak out on issues of power and politics with the urgency that tends to accompany the values of a grandparent.

Airplanes and Cages

Going home in a body bag
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Reports have surfaced of torture and abuse of immigrants in federal detention, though perhaps the stories come too late. The migrants have been sent back to their countries of origin already, part of a group of 85 South Asian asylum seekers who were repatriated on a charter flight after they had attempted and failed to secure humanitarian relief. As far as the US government is concerned, they are non-persons, aliens, and so they were "removed", excised from the American body politic. Today many are back in a hostile homeland, fearing political persecution and mob violence.

Refugees Unwelcome in Australia

Reading the Signs of a Humanitarian Crisis
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Australia has a problem with the refugees coming to its shores. These migrants, who have journeyed by boat hoping for safe passage through the guarded coastal border, might be fleeing war or persecution, but some officials worry about letting in the "wrong" kind of people. According to Australian immigration minister Peter Dutton, this island republic -- founded long ago on occupied Aboriginal land as a penal colony to contain criminal exiles of the British empire -- finds these refugees unfit for admission.

Free Movement and the Right to Public Space

Seeking Emancipation for Transgender Immigrants in Detention
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There’s a culture war brewing in some unlikely corners of the country, over where, when and how LGBTQ people have a right to be. The public school bathroom has become the new flashpoint in a pitched battle over trans people’s access to public space, and the recognition of their right to privacy and personal dignity. But what about in more obscure spaces, where the question of “security” takes on a different valence in the shadow of the criminal justice system?

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