Racism: Stories on fear, hate and bigotry
Sweatshop Literacy Movement, $19.95 pb, 185 pp
Sweatshop, based in Western Sydney, is a writing and literacy organisation that mentors emerging writers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Racism, their ninth anthology, brings together all thirty-nine writers involved in their three programs – the Sweatshop Writers Group, Sweatshop Women Collective, and Sweatshop Schools Initiative. The section titled ‘Micro Aggressive Fiction’ houses the school students’ work, and the remainder of the anthology includes poetry, fiction, and essays (it can be difficult to distinguish between fiction and non-fiction; the works are not labelled by genre) by emerging writers, though a short story by award-winning poet Sara M. Saleh also appears. This anthology contributes to the recent crop of anti-racist texts aimed at white audiences. Editors Winnie Dunn, Stephen Pham, and Phoebe Grainer write that Racism is for Australians ‘who require an honest reflection of racism that is present and prevalent’. However, unlike other such texts – generally non-fiction works that directly address the issue at hand – anti-racist fiction can have its limitations, frequently risking didacticism.