• $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • other
  • use Paypal

CALLING ALL COUNTERPUNCHERS! CounterPunch’s website is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. We are supported almost entirely by the subscribers to the print edition of our magazine and by one-out-of-every-1000 readers of the site. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners to the “new” Cuba. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads or click bait. Unlike many other indy media sites, we don’t shake you down for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it. So over the next few weeks we are requesting your financial support. Keep CounterPunch free, fierce and independent by donating today by credit card through our secure online server, via PayPal or by calling 1(800) 840-3683. Note: This annoying box will disappear once we reach our fund drive goal. Thank you for your support!


Self-Portrait, 1994. Bronte Beach.


One day I walked down to Bronte Beach, from my flat in Bondi Junction, in Sydney. Or was it Woollahra? The real estate said it was Bondi Junction. Maybe that helped in renting it. Close to the shops and train station. But the post office kept correcting our mail "Woollahra".

I put in my knapsack a camera my partner had bought at a garage sale, for $4. It was an old German camera. Forget the name.

But I walked down, to the sea, snapping photos of the sea, the rocky edges, blocks of flats with rubbish bins overlooking the sea.

I took photos of cut down trees, which eased the views for residents, towards the sea.

Photos of where manmade sandstone walls met rock walls.

The cut down trees with Waverly Cemetery behind them, by the sea.

Then I got to the beach.

I knew Bronte well, and had swum there countless times.

Like a backyard, when I was a kid.

The little beach huts, divided into four sections. Skidding down the hill on your bum, on flattened out cardboard boxes.

Packed out in summer, BBQs, games on the grass, endless swimming, and possums up in the gully.

Local kids playing the racist joke of "let’s play ‘spot the Aussie’ ", as Lebanese or Greek families in the 70’s and early eighties drove in with their vans and dropped off wonderful eskies and picnic boxes of meats to BBQ and salads. And big watermelons. And stay all day, relaxing in the little huts. The women chopping up salads and the men cooking meat or sitting talking, drinking hot drinks, on their fold up chairs.

Getting an ice cream from the surf club kiosk. Boys jumping off the high rock at the pool. Waiting at the edge of the big pool, overlooking the ocean, for a wave to come, as you hang onto the synthetic twisted rope. Little nippers with their head caps. The train that went round and round all summer on its little track, which got garaged, at night, in the train shed. The driver man’s tan getting deeper and deeper all summer.

When you wait at the bus stop, to go home, there’s a bus shelter near the green grass, on the beach side.

Opposite the now flourishing cafes.

I turned the camera on myself, and snapped 6 self portraits. I still have the whole film of photos, and the negatives. I hadn’t taken an image of myself for ages. It is always interesting to use a camera to photograph yourself. I suppose a bit theatrical. Reflective. Think of Julie Rrap’s work or Cindy Sherman or Tracey Moffat. Also, Jo Spence.

When I look at these photos now, I see one photo, taken in that winter of 1994. At Bronte Beach bus stop. I see the text "sep 11", on the poster behind me. Only one of the photos has that full date. The other photos get the poster, and a bit of the date, but that photo gets the full date.

I’d just come back to Sydney after living in Egypt for a while.

Visiting the beaches, and places I loved. Reconnecting.

Bronte beach and its nearby beaches,

The harbour.

Inner city parks and areas.

It’s strange, the date in that self-portrait.

It must have been a dance or theatre ad, pasted on a Bronte bus shelter. A couple of the 6 photos have details of the performers’ and contributor’s names.

"Music by Sarah de Jong" "Linden Wilkinson" "Jeanette Cronin".

I like the photo on the poster ,

The way it somehow ties in with what later became "sep 11".

A dark ghostly brooding image/

A dancer imaged in half dark

And half light.

A silhouette you could call it.

What the impact of that small phrase "sep 11"

Would have for the western world, and the way it

Dealt out revenge to

Iraq and Afghanistan.

And the way "anti-terror" laws

Will affect our civil liberties.

The Canberra artist, Fatima Killeen, said recently, regarding her exhibition of prints and paintings, that her show is "an attempt to come to terms with how the American-led war succeeded in destroying the very fabric of Arab and Muslim homelands, turning them into zones of crisis".(1)

These paintings exhibited in a city where a talk by a journalist like Robert Fisk is packed out, people sitting side by side on the stairs, in October 2005.

The same city where the Australian government makes decisions about who to go to war with, and when.

The old camera from the garage sale worked. I think its next film didn’t.

At least it worked for one roll.

I wonder what the other roll contained,

That I will never know.

But there is one film I have,

Like a strange premonition,

Of something to happen, seven years later,

Half way across the world.


I decide to try and find out

Where the poster comes from.

Via the internet, I contact the composer Sarah de Jong,

Whose name appears on the poster

In my photo.

Who kindly refers me to the Griffin Theatre Company.

They email me the 1994 program of plays

And there, I find the date,

Within the details for the production of

Daniel Keene’s "All Souls"

Which ran from

11 Aug ­ 11 Sep

as the 1994 details say.

All Souls’ Day-

The Day of the Dead.

Vanessa Jones lives in Australia and can be contacted on post4@bigpond.com.au.


1. Helen Musa, "Capital Life", The Canberra Times, 8/10/05


October 13, 2015
Dave Lindorff
US Dispatched a Murderous AC-130 Airborne Gunship to Attack a Hospital
Steve Martinot
The Politics of Prisons and Prisoners
Heidi Morrison
A Portrait of an Immigrant Named Millie, Drawn From Her Funeral
Andre Vltchek
Horrid Carcass of Indonesia – 50 Years After the Coup
Jeremy Malcolm
All Rights Reserved: Now We Know the Final TTP is Everything We Feared
Omar Kassem
Do You Want to See Turkey Falling Apart as Well?
Paul Craig Roberts
Recognizing Neocon Failure: Has Obama Finally Come to His Senses?
Theodoros Papadopoulos
The EU Has Lost the Plot in Ukraine
Roger Annis
Ukraine Threatened by Government Negligence Over Polio
Matthew Stanton
The Vapid Vote
Mel Gurtov
Manipulating Reality: Facebook is Listening to You
Louisa Willcox
Tracking the Grizzly’s Number One Killer
Binoy Kampmark
Assange and the Village Gossipers
Robert Koehler
Why Bombing a Hospital Is a War Crime
Jon Flanders
Railroad Workers Fight Proposed Job Consolidation
Mark Hand
Passion and Pain: Photographer Trains Human Trafficking Survivors
October 12, 2015
Ralph Nader
Imperial Failure: Lessons From Afghanistan and Iraq
Ishmael Reed
Want a Renewal? Rid Your City of Blacks
Thomas S. Harrington
US Caught Faking It in Syria
Victor Grossman
Scenes From a Wonderful Parade Against the TPP
Luciana Bohne
Where Are You When We Need You, Jean-Paul Sartre?
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
The US Way of War: From Columbus to Kunduz
Paul Craig Roberts
A Decisive Shift in the Balance of Power
Justus Links
Turkey’s Tiananmen in Context
Ray McGovern
Faux Neutrality: How CNN Shapes Political Debate
William Manson
Things R Us: How Venture Capitalists Feed the Fetishism of Technology
Norman Pollack
The “Apologies”: A Note On Usage
Steve Horn
Cops Called on Reporter Who Asked About Climate at Oil & Gas Convention
Javan Briggs
The Browning of California: the Water is Ours!
Dave Randle
The BBC and the Licence Fee
Andrew Stewart
Elvis Has Left the Building: a Reply to Slavoj Žižek
Nicolás Cabrera
Resisting Columbus: the Movement to Change October 12th Holiday is Rooted in History
Weekend Edition
October 9-11, 2015
David Price – Roberto J. González
The Use and Abuse of Culture (and Children): The Human Terrain System’s Rationalization of Pedophilia in Afghanistan
Mike Whitney
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria
Jason Hribal
The Tilikum Effect and the Downfall of SeaWorld
Gary Leupp
The Six Most Disastrous Interventions of the 21st Century
Andrew Levine
In Syria, Obama is Playing a Losing Game
Louis Proyect
The End of Academic Freedom in America: the Case of Steven Salaita
Rob Urie
Democrats, Neoliberalism and the TPP
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
The Bully Recalibrates: U.S. Signals Policy Shift in Syria
Brian Cloughley
Hospital Slaughter and the US/NATO Propaganda Machine
Paul Street
Hope in Abandonment: Cuba, Detroit, and Earth-Scientific Socialism
John Walsh
For Vietnam: Artemisinin From China, Agent Orange From America
Hadi Kobaysi
How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists
John Wight
No Moral High Ground for the West on Syria