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Senthorun Raj

In this podcast Senthorun Raj from Australia talks about attending the human rights conference.

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In a recent interview at the Wellington Town Hall on March 17, 2011, Senthorun Raj from Australia shared insights into a human rights conference attended in New Zealand. The interview, which is part of a podcast, was conducted by Jim Whitman and spanned a duration of five minutes. During the conversation, Raj highlighted the profound impact of indigenous participation and voices at the conference, noting the active integration of indigenous customs and values in the conference methodologies—something Raj feels Australia is yet to achieve effectively. In Australia, while traditional acknowledgments like 'welcome to country' are noted, the depth of diverse, particularly indigenous voices, is limited in comparison to New Zealand's approach.

Raj remarked on the genuine commitment of the conference to diversity, where the constituent body and the content discussed are reflective of each other, moving beyond mere rhetoric. The conversation shifted focus to indigenous contributions regarding identity before western influence, with Raj applauding the recognition of complex, pre-colonial sexual practices, desires, and intimacies present among diverse ethnic communities. Discussion of such topics provided a platform to understand sexuality in its rich historical contexts, challenging the singular, westernized perception of sexual identity that has often overshadowed nuanced cultural narratives.

Moreover, the interview touched upon the intersections of various elements—culture, race, faith, spirituality, and geography—in shaping identity and belonging. Importantly, economics was highlighted as a factor integral to understanding identity, with financial mobility shaping one's capacity to participate in sexual communities.

The conversation also delved into the criminalization of certain practices like sex work and how it has led to adverse health outcomes and infringed upon individuals' rights to autonomy over their own bodies. Raj stressed the need for decriminalizing such activities to improve sex workers' access to healthcare and create regulated conditions for their work, advocating for their agency akin to professionals in any economic sector.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Record date:17th March 2011
Interviewer:Jim Whitman
Location:Wellington Town Hall, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004193).