THIS CITY SPEAKS TO ME > book project > words by SI > photography by LUKE KELLET

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There exists in Melbourne an elusive community of artists, musicians, poets, flaneurs, fringe-dwellers, and radicals who have created a complex and dynamic social network which revolves around numerous converted-warehouse-come- arts-spaces, live-in-studios and grass-roots arts venues.

This is the rumbling in the underground. This book dares to capture the depth and charge of one of the most thriving creative hubs in the world, and thrusts its underground scene upon a national and global stage.

It reveals unseen aspects of Melbourne, and why it continues to be a haven for Australia’s independent arts and radicalism whose philosophy and lifestyles find expression in the city’s warehouse movements, its festivals, and in the enclaves of the rag-tag theatrical, musical and circus communities.

What has evolved is a significant social and artistic movement; an independent micro-society that organizes itself in accord with anarchistic principles and is without dogma or guiding manifesto. This unofficial community is bound together by the numerous, diverse, and ever changing arts-events which emerge from, and are usually held within, the communities venues. The result is colourful, energetic, vital, expressive, and rich, with events spanning decadent artist banquets, masked-balls, cabaret, theatre, visual art, and performance, which in retrospect, may be considered a signifificant contribution to Melbourne’s historical culture-scape, and could call forth a new generation of un-institutionalised artists capable of revitalizing and re-humanizing Melbourne’s Arts and Culture.



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THE CUMBIA COSMONAUTS hail from a parallel dimension to ours, where Earth is more commonly known as La Terra. This world is similar to our own in many ways, except that the world's leading superpower is the United States of Mexico, a powerful socialist democracy that led the world into the space age back in 1969.

When Moses Estevez, the first man in space travelled on his maiden flight to the moon, this was the mixtape he made to fill the silence... We can only guess what happened as that tiny solar powered shuttle orbited La Terra, but upon returning he famously formed the CUMBIA COSMONAUTS with his fellow space crew, Carlos (Barons of Tang) and Soup (Editor).

Now, thanks to the interdimensional podcasting technology developed by SCATTERMUSIC Cooperatistas we on Planet Earth can hear the tunes that have kept that proud planet dancing into the next revolution.

The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss> Kickstarter project by Dennis McKenna

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        Wow! talk about a strategic project to crowdsource! Dennis McKenna writing the ultimate bio-story of him and Terence's life and psychedelic explorations! All in time for a Sept 2012 release! Dennis has a high margin to raise and needs the support ofthe global entheo community to do it! Please follow the link and support him and the tribe xx


Bear Owsley – A Practical Solution to Prohibition

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Photo: Rak Razam (EGA 2009)

From:     Bear <the-bear@thebear.org>
Date:     21 January 2011 5:45:38 PM AEDT
To:     Rak Razam <shazaman@netspace.net.au>

Utter nonsense!

ALL DRUGS MUST BE LEGALISED (I do NOT mean 'decriminalised) AT ONCE. Leave aside the absolutely ludicrous idea that ANY plant can be made illegal, the drug prohibition has spread the use of all kinds of drugs to nearly everyone on the planet.  In 1937 .03% of the US population used pot, today it is around 80-90%.

And why not? Literally millions deal drugs, the highest paying enterprise on earth, even open to kids.

But most importantly drug prohibition is the SINGLE cause of the present financial meltdown!  What do you think the 'Mafia' do/did with those trillions/year?  Well you can't keep all that in cash, so it had to be used to buy things, BIG things, like multinational corps.  Over 80% of teh ownership of all the biggest corps (banks, loan companies, Transamerica, Halliburton, etc) are owned by a mere handful of (the same) people.  So it is not surprising that they all were acting like street hoods- that is the Mafia way.  Every cent in 'stimulus buys more drugs, and of course drugs cost nearly nothing, they are PLANTS and plant products- the 'price' is a DELIVERY FEE, very like gambling- it drains the life out of teh community and spawns wars and so on.

Any and all commodities that are in trade, MUST be in legal, normal trade.  NO BLACK MARKETS can exist in today's world.

The original and ONLY reason for this prohibition is/was to REPLACE the alcohol prohibition with one which targeted USERS, so the corrupt cops did not have to bust those who were paying them (embarrassing to say the least!).

Those who think that it is acceptable to ENLARGE this stupidity need a good talking to.

I suggest you make a print-out of my essay "Win the War..." (I need to update the title to 'A Practical Solution'- please use this title).

AYA: AWAKENINGS > crowdfunding project

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 To support the AYA: AWAKENINGS project please visit:aya.pozible.com.au

 AYA: AWAKENINGS is an audiovisual journey into the world and visions of ayahuasca shamanism produced by the Undergrowth collective. Adapted from the book AYA: A SHAMANIC ODYSSEY by Rak Razam (Icaro Publishing), this experimental documentary has evolved from a live audiovisual performance created as part of a book tour in California in late 2009 which blended spoken word, atmospheric sound design by Buttons Touching and hypnotic psychedelic visuals mixed with documentary footage and photography by video artist Tim Parish (Verb Studios).  After two popular performances, it was also invited to perform at the Evolutionary Temple at Burning Man Festival 2009 in Nevada. In 2010 an early version of the documentary was performed at the Cairns Winter Solstice festival in Australia.
The final  “video book” ("vook") merges narration gleaned from select chapters of the book with interviews and innovative sound design, taking the audience on a journey into the jungles of Peru, where the practice of traditional shamanism has an unbroken lineage to the present day. The documentary utilizes interviews with practicing curanderos, and incorporates traditional icaros or magic songs, photographs and video recorded in Peru, mixed with traditional patterns to reproduce the visions seen through the ayahuasca trance.

 To support the AYA: AWAKENINGS project please visit:aya.pozible.com.au
The project is aimed at funding six high-definition final short videos, already roughly assembled from the tour, which need final animation, sound and video editing mastering, to complete a 90-120 minute “video book” (vook) / DVD, which will also be available as discreet clips for the iPhone and iPad. Your support will directly fund cutting edge animators, and pay the video editor, sound designer and artists whose artwork and photos are sampled in the clips, as well as operating costs in getting these clips finished and released to the public.You can help in two ways: by financially supporting the project alongside many others who believe in it (anything from ONE dollar up!); by promoting the url and cause to your network.

MORE THAN LUCK > Ideas Australia Needs Now

More Than Luck: Ideas Australia Needs Now is an anthology of ideas for citizens who want real change and a to-do list for politicians looking to base public policies on the kind of future Australia needs. Produced by The Centre for Policy Development this book shows the practical steps we can take to share this country’s good luck amongst all Australians – now and in the future.

2012: Time for Change documentary in Australia

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 Undergrowth is pleased to announce the next Australian public screenings of the documentary 2012: Time for Change in DARWIN and BRISBANE (see below).


In this time of rapid ecological, economic and consciousness change-before-our-eyes, it is more important than ever to have a positive vision of the future, a roadmap that shows us how things really are, and guides us towards where we want to be.

“2012: Time for Change” presents an optimistic alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom. Directed by Emmy Award nominee Joao Amorim, the film follows journalist Daniel Pinchbeck, author of the bestselling 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, on a quest for a new paradigm that integrates the archaic wisdom of tribal cultures with the scientific method. As conscious agents of evolutions, we can redesign post-industrial society on ecological principles to make a world that works for all. Rather than breakdown and barbarism, 2012 heralds the birth of a regenerative planetary culture where collaboration replaces competition, where exploration of psyche and spirit becomes the new cutting edge, replacing the sterile materialism that has pushed our world to the brink.

The Ayahuasca Sessions

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The Ayahuasca Sessions is a companion collection of interviews by journalist Rak Razam with the curanderos, shamans, ayahuasqueros and seekers that drink ayahuasca. In over two dozen sessions Razam lets the shamans (and the seekers) explain in their own words the demands and dangers of their profession in the 21st century and what they think the unprecedented explosion in Western interest in shamanism forbodes.

Boldly designed and with over 100 black and white photographs, the collection features interviews with Guillermo Aravelo, Percy Garcia, Ron Wheelock, Dennis McKenna, Ph.D, Jan Kounen, Alan Shoemaker, and more. A classic text for those interested in the booming business of ayahuasca tourism, entheogens, spirituality, anthropology and counter-culture studies.

In A Perfect World 41: GALACTIVATION!

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Experiential journalist Rak Razam interviews Dan Schreiber, Australia's answer to Terence McKenna, a grand intellectual thinker and the founder of Starseed Gardens in the Byron Bay Shire. In this epic, far-reaching conversation Schreiber explores the heart-mind-pineal relationship of consciousness and shares his experiences learning from tribal peoples across the globe. What is the entheogenic connection between the Amazon and the Outback, ayahuasca cosmovision and the Dreamtime at the End of Time? Learn the secrets of the Australian cane toad–and its DMT/ bufotenine secretions–as Schreiber explains its role as an activator for the tryptamine-acacia fields across Australia. How does the devic world under the surface of nature itself fuel the current flowering of planetary consciousness? Schreiber describes the cascading role of entheogens shaping planetary culture to the tipping point we are now living through, and the whole-systems theory of Gaian "galactivation" as we remember our personal and collective awakening… This conversation is itself a catalyst and a turning point for moving forward: A highly recommended, lengthy dialogue that links up many existing theories into a collective whole to guide us deeper into the new paradigm…

In A Perfect World 39: Spirit Messengers

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On the road in Peru with Mitch Schultz, who talks about the making of his documentary The Spirit Molecule, based on the Rick Strassman book of the same name, and why he was driven to make an independent documentary about DMT. In 2002 Schultz had his first experience with dimethyltryptamine and the entities therein: nothing would ever be the same. Schultz convinced Dr. Rick Strassman to lend his story and credibility as the narrative backbone of the documentary, studying DMT in controlled medical conditions with legal patients under the auspices of the US government from 1990-1995. Why has nature seeded DMT throughout most living things: as a strategic neurotransmitter, a language for nature to communicate within itself? What is the value of contact experiences with entities in innerspace? How can film communicate a glimpse of the DMT realm and how ready are mainstream audiences for it? Join experiential journalist Rak Razam and filmmaker Mitch Schultz in search of the answers...

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