Dumbo Feather Issue 60

Dumbo Feather is an iconic Australian magazine. Published quarterly for seven years, and hailed around the world as a design leader, it is a magazine like no other. Our readers are people who want to be told a different story than the one they hear every day. Each quarterly issue features five extended (20 page) profiles of people worth knowing, across enterprise, education, science, sport, politics, fashion and the arts. Whether they’ve touched millions, or just those around them, we take the time to get to know these people, and ask them to tell us their stories.

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3 Edities

in deze editie

2 min

Dear reader, Earlier this year I travelled to Brazil with my partner to explore his homeland and get to know his family. It was my first time meeting his parents, sister and nephew, who all lived together in close confines in a brightly-lit apartment in Rio. Every night, after a day of sightseeing, Greg and I would head to the family apartment for dinner and be received with joyful fanfare. There were long hugs and elated faces, and, despite my Portuguese being as dismal as their English, hours and hours of spirited conversation. I immediately felt at home, like I knew these people intimately and had shared meals with them before. On one particular night, I had this vision of roots extending from the table where we sat, all the way to…

11 min
the surprising alliance of nuns & nones

The week I moved into the convent was the week that the sky turned dark with smoke. California was burning at a record-breaking scale, the city of Paradise decimated with untold numbers of lives lost, and here I was, driving in the direction of the fire all the way from New Mexico, in a car loaded with my belongings and two of my dearest friends. It’s always an odd time to move into a convent as a young Jewish man. Doing so under an apocalyptic sky thick with ash made it especially so. I was here for an unusual experiment in co-living. For six months, along with four other 30-something activists and educators, coming from an array of religious and non-religious backgrounds, I was going to live alongside the Sisters of…

10 min
13 ways of looking at community

1. Whether we know it or not, like it or not, honour it or not, we are embedded in community. Whether we think of ourselves as biological creatures or spiritual beings or both, the truth remains: we were created in and for a complex ecology of relatedness, and without it we wither and die. This simple fact has critical implications: community is not a goal to be achieved but a gift to be received. When we treat community as a product that we must manufacture instead of a gift we have been given, it will elude us eternally. When we try to “make community happen,” driven by desire, design and determination—places within us where the ego often lurks—we can make a good guess at the outcome: we will exhaust ourselves…

1 min
towards the generative possibilities

For 60 issues, Dumbo Feather has sought to tell a story of humanity that is generative, loving and needed. It has been a platform for people’s deepest insights and longings for the world, and highlighted our enormous capacity as a species for empathy and creativity. Underpinning all our work is a conviction that the stories we tell about ourselves will ultimately shape who we are and what we mean to each other. We can subscribe to a narrative of separation, victimhood and fear, or we can subscribe to one that is expansive and recognises our interdependence as a species and our responsibility to the earth. We’ve invited more than 300 people to share their stories with us over the years, and each one of them has shown us something wondrous…

4 min
arne rubinstein

Belonging through rites of passage The biggest learning from my scholarship to Harvard University Business School was that, “In crisis there is opportunity.” Time and again I have seen the truth in this simple, profound statement. As we find ourselves facing a crisis like no other—when the future of the world is under threat from human-made short sightedness, extinction rates are greater than ever, oceans are polluted with plastic, record numbers of teenagers have mental health issues, elders have no clear roles, there is a tsunami of technology, and Artificial Intelligence threatens to make humans totally obsolete—the opportunity must indeed be great. What if the answer to these most modern of problems actually lies in the ancient wisdom of Rites of Passage that have been practiced by Indigenous communities globally for thousands…

4 min
zainab salbi

A bridge that cannot be destroyed There is a lot of talk about the division in our world these days. Finger pointing between political parties and religious groups; accusations running back and forth between people of different immigration histories. Anger seems to be leading and thriving. Adopt it and your voice will be heard in rallies and Twitter followers. Transform it into love, dialogue and bridging, and the traction is far less. I was sharing how lonely this makes me feel to a friend over dinner recently, which seemed to surprise him. “But Zainab, I thought you are a strong believer in liberal values?” “I am,” I said without any hesitation. “But I no longer believe that anger is the most useful force for creating the equality and justice we need in…