No Pride In Genocide: Queers Talk Colonialism, Freeing Palestine and Anti-Semitism (Better Together Conference 2024)

Sunday, 2 June 2024 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

In this over an hour episode of the thought-provoking podcast series "Queering the Air," host Sasja facilitated a pivotal and in-depth conversation with her esteemed guests, Maria and Aisya. Together, they immersed themselves in a profound exploration of the theme "No Pride In Genocide - Queers Talk Colonialism, Freeing Palestine, and Anti-Semitism," as part of their extensive preparation for the highly anticipated Better Together Conference in 2024, slated for June 14th and 15th.

Throughout their discourse, the trio underscored the critical importance of representation and language, illuminating the nuanced ways in which these components shape and inform societal narratives. They carefully examined the damaging effects of performative allyship within the white community, drawing from Sasja's firsthand experiences to underscore the gravity of the issue. Their candid reflections delved deep into the complexities of allyship and the need for genuine solidarity in advancing social justice causes.

Furthermore, the conversation delved into the evolving landscape of activism, particularly focusing on the resolute efforts of university students who have taken to the streets in protest. Their unwavering dedication to advocating for justice and equity was a central theme, with a particular emphasis on their impassioned calls for land restitution in Palestine. The guests highlighted the persistent and unwavering commitment of these student activists, who refuse to relent until their demands are not just heard but acted upon.

In encapsulating the convergence of critical social issues and the urgent calls for justice and accountability, Sasja, Maria, and Aisya brought to light the multifaceted dimensions of contemporary activism and advocacy. As they navigated through complex topics with empathy and insight, their dialogue served as a powerful reminder of the ongoing struggles for equality, representation, and liberation that continue to shape our world today.


Dr Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli AM, Honorary Fellow, School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University, and founding member of the Australian LGBTIQ+ Multicultural Council (AGMC) in 2004, is an academic, author, activist and ally in the intersections of cultural diversity, gender and sexual diversity, relationship and family diversity. Maria is also a founding member of Ascolta Italian Women in 2020, a group of writers, artists and community leaders critiquing, decolonising and celebrating Italian heritage and culture.

Maria won the Victorian Globe Straight Ally Award in 2018, was honoured with a Writers' Fellowship in her name by the WA Centre for Stories in 2021, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2022.

Her current project is "Mobs and Wogs: First Peoples and Southern European migrants in Australia", exploring the contestations and connections between colonialism, racism and multiculturalism. 

Her publications include over 15 books, several having achieved awards. These include Australia’s first AIDS biography, Someone You Know (1991), being developed by Stephen Nicolazzo for theatre; and her autoethnography of 5 generations in her family, Tapestry (1999). Maria was chief editor on the AGMC anthology, Living and Loving in Diversity: an Anthology of Australian Multicultural Queer Adventures (2018) funded by VMC/MASC. It was the first Australian book to have a Welcome to Book written by a Wurundjeri elder to respect.


Aisya Zaharin is a PhD researcher and works across the fields of political science, history and decolonisation to LGBTQI+ & Islam. As a trans-Muslim woman, Aysha refuses to allow her identity to be used as a pretext for the continued carnage in Israel's pathetic pinkwashing propaganda. For her, It's absurd to think that queer and trans liberation should come from a campaign of bombings on defenceless civilians.
She is well aware that the persecution of Palestinians by Israel, an apartheid ethno-religious state, predates October 7th and has continued for almost 75 years.

Having been raised in a colonised nation herself, she saw the British employing the same dehumanising terminology to characterise any opposition group as savages and pengganas (terrorists) to maintain their colonial authority. It takes the same words to defend the invasion and the acts of brutality against the Palestinian people. She wants you to know that not a single gay Palestinian living in Gaza has been freed by Israel's indiscriminate bombing onslaught. LGBTQIA people in Gaza are currently in danger of dying from Israeli bombings, if they haven't already; as a result of collective punishment that violates Article 33 of the Geneva Convention.

Queering The Air 3CR
Sunday 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Critically engaged queer commentary.


Queering the Air collective