Richard Jackson

Long Reads: Girringun, #USAfricaFail, Afghanistan and Fashion

Image: Wiki Commons

Girringun is one of the good stories about indigenous peoples taking control of their destinies, and is one of Rich Jackson’s Long Reads this week.


Girringun: The trailblazing Indigenous corporation caring for 1.2m hectares of north Queensland – Helen Davidson (The Guardian)

A story of an indigenous not-for-profit organisation, Girringun, that represents around 650 traditional owners managing and maintaining a massive area of land and sea. Totalling 1.2 million hectares, Girringun is responsible for caring about the biodiversity within that land. Besides that, Girringun also runs an Arts Centre, a Cultural Museum and community development programs with the aim of keeping traditions alive.


The Pentagon’s humanitarian activities in Africa are a complete failure – Nick Turse (The Nation)

A thorough investigative piece detailing a series of boondoggle operations that the American government funded throughout Africa, all in the hope that these goodwill gestures would help curtail the rise of anti-American sentiment that can lead to terrorism. The only problem with this was that the projects were so ill-thought out and poorly managed that they couldn’t be contained long-term by the local populace or government. For example, in Djibouti, the Americans renovated the Ali Sabieh Community Water Fountains in the hope of combatting water disease – later investigations found them in a state of utter disrepair, with sections of piping having actually been removed, leaving the water exposed to contaminants. Tellingly, the local populace was actually throwing rocks into a well built by the Americans, following local custom/knowledge to raise the water level, but in this case it merely damaged it so badly it stopped working.


The Afghan Girls who live as Boys – Jenny Nordberg (The Atlantic)

In a patriarchal society where religious and societal pressures limit women in the areas of employment, education and personal freedom, some Afghan families are resorting to dressing their daughters as boys. Many families who do this need their “daughters” to be making some money in order to help ease their economic situation. It is actually a fairly common concept in Afghanistan in that it has been given a title, bacha posh, literally translating from Dari as “dressed like a boy.”



One of my favourite Long Read websites is Narratively, which runs a series of themed long reads every week.

So, I am going to drop in my fave read each week from Narratively’s tasty selections…

This week, Narratively is focussed on FASHION (to coincide with NY Fashion Week).


One woman’s impossible mission to save New York’s garment district – Madeleine Cummings

A great tale of  a woman’s (Samantha Cortes) passion to bring back hands-on manufacturing to a city, in New York, that once was a place where things were produced (hence one of its well known areas being called “The Garment District”) and not just one big shopping strip where “things” are bought (like it is today #shoppersparadise).


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One Comment;

  1. Rainer the cabbie said:

    Hey Richard

    Thanks again for your great selection of long reads, the Girrigun story itself was great.
    Keep up the good work, it’s appreciated.

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