Arts News Monash Arts Site Mon, 24 Apr 2017 08:05:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Waleed Aly wins Silver Logie from stunning field of celebrities ]]> Mon, 24 Apr 2017 08:05:33 +0000
The Project host and Monash lecturer Waleed Aly has won the coveted TV Week 2017 Silver Logie Award for Best Presenter.]]>

New PhD scholarship rounds ]]> Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:42:16 +0000
The recruitment of talented and high quality students worldwide is one of the key strategies … Continue reading New PhD scholarship rounds ]]>

The recruitment of talented and high quality students worldwide is one of the key strategies of Monash University. To help achieve this goal, the university has reviewed current practice and announced two significant changes with regards to graduate research student recruitment:

  • Increase from two to four graduate research scholarship rounds per year; and
  • Separation of domestic and international applicants for scholarship rounds.

This initiative led by Monash Graduate Education (MGE), will take better advantage of the recruitment windows for applicants from the northern hemisphere, and ensure competitiveness for both local and international markets. Changes will be implemented from 1 June 2017 following the closure of applications for the current scholarship round.

The table below highlights the key dates for the current round and each of the new scholarship rounds:




Applications open

Closing Date

Enrolment period





31 May 2017

1 Jul – 31 Dec 2017



1 Jun 2017

31 Aug 2017

1 Jan – 30 Jun 2018



1 Jun 2017

31 Oct 2017

1 Jan – 30 Jun 2018




1 Sep 2017

31 Mar 2018

1 Jul – 31 Dec 2018



1 Nov 2017

31 May 2018

1 Jul – 31 Dec 2018



1 Apr 2018

31 Aug 2018

1 Jan – 30 Jun 2019



1 Jun 2018

31 Oct 2018

1 Jan – 30 Jun 2019

Note that there is no change to the current Scholarship Round closing Wednesday 31 May 2017 that is open to BOTH domestic and international applicants. 

Applications for the new, separate scholarship rounds 3 and 4/2017 will open on 1 June 2017 as indicated in the table above.

Further Information

For more detail about the change to Graduate Research Scholarship Rounds, please refer to the following MGE Intranet page.

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The global opportunities with Arts at Monash ]]> Wed, 12 Apr 2017 05:05:16 +0000
Arts/Law (2012) graduate Sarah Holloway co-founded Matcha Maiden, a global e-commerce organic matcha powder supplier, … Continue reading The global opportunities with Arts at Monash ]]>

Nic Davidson & Sarah Holloway, Founders of Matcha Maiden
Nic Davidson & Sarah Holloway, Founders of Matcha Maiden

Arts/Law (2012) graduate Sarah Holloway co-founded Matcha Maiden, a global e-commerce organic matcha powder supplier, and about a year ago started the physical venue Matcha Mylkbar in Melbourne, soon opening in Sydney. Sarah shares her experience making the most of Monash’s global exchange opportunities with her language studies and how this advantaged her in both her law career and current business.

She says, ‘languages have really propelled my career and personal life. I can’t even describe the tangible benefits. It helps you in everything you do.’ She shares tips about the world’s ‘blue zones’, the benefits of matcha, and on advice for future students:

‘I always say that if you’ve got a remote interest in being global and not just local, travelling, or even mind-opening, then Monash is the best place to be.’

For the full interview, listen to our podcast:

Study at Monash


Monash research positions available ]]> Fri, 07 Apr 2017 05:39:29 +0000
Three Graduate Research positions are now open in the School of Philosophical, Historical and International … Continue reading Monash research positions available ]]>

Three Graduate Research positions are now open in the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies. Please note applicants who already hold a PhD will not be considered.

2017 Monash Master of Arts Scholarship in Philosophy

Application deadline: Friday 28 April 2017

A Master of Arts candidate is being sought in the topic of women and freedom in the history of philosophy, or a related topic in philosophy more generally. The student’s research will be connected to a larger project, ‘Women on Liberty:  From the Early Modern Period to the Enlightenment (1650-1800)’, funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant (project no. DP140100109). Supervisor: Associate Professor Jacqueline Broad, Philosophy, School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, Monash University.

Read the full candidate requirements, remuneration and application details.


Monash PhD Position in Philosophy

Application deadline: Friday 12 May 2017

A PhD candidate is being sought in Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science. The successful candidate will be part of a 3 year interdisciplinary research project on mind wandering and spontaneous thought in wakefulness and sleep. Supervisor: Dr Jennifer Windt, Lecturer, School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies

Read the full candidate requirements, remuneration and application details.


2018 Monash PhD Position in Philosophy of Mind/Cognitive Science

Application deadline: Monday 31 July 2017

A PhD candidate is being sought in Philosophy of Mind/Cognitive Science in association with the Australian Research Council Project “Measuring the Mind: A Framework for Building a Consciousness Meter.” Supervisor: Dr Tim Bayne, Professor, School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies

Read the full candidate requirements, remuneration and application details.

Calvin Fung’s winning short story and research ]]> Fri, 07 Apr 2017 00:08:55 +0000
Calvin won the Monash University entry for his short story, ‘The Beggar and the Glimpse’, … Continue reading Calvin Fung’s winning short story and research ]]>

Calvin Fung
Calvin Fung

Calvin won the Monash University entry for his short story, ‘The Beggar and the Glimpse’, in the Monash Undergraduate Prize for Creative Writing, an annual prize open to any undergraduate student in Australia and New Zealand, now in its fifth year (the 2017 prize is now open closing 12 April). Award-winners are announced at the Emerging Writers’ Festival each year and their work published in Verge, a journal produced by Monash Arts Creative Writing students.

Calvin’s work centres on a story about a young man in Hong Kong dealing with the umbrella protests that happened in 2016. On the Emerging Writers’ Festival website, ‘The Beggar and the Glimpse’ features the judge’s comments:

“successfully addressing the moral tug-of-war between political action and traditional family values, taking recent political history as the subject matter. The immediacy of the story and the depiction of unfolding events were compelling. Good writing in an unconventional (non-Anglo) idiom.”

Originally from Hong Kong, we spoke to Calvin about his move to Monash, his short story as well as his plans for the future, which include centering gothic literature and Hong Kong as a setting in his PhD.

How did you come to be at Monash?

When I was 16 I went to the Chinese University in Hong Kong (CUHK) to study. After two years I came to Monash on exchange and I decided that Monash was much more suitable for me and so I transferred. I did a Literary Studies major but I also did creative writing units with Professor Chandani Lokuge – I did her introduction to creative writing and her advanced fiction writing. I feel like she taught me how to write! And I did my Honours year in Literary Studies at Monash and my thesis topic was ‘Writing the Self in the Gothic Autobiography’.

What did your Honours thesis explore?

Since secondary school, I’d wanted to study Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw. And so I studied the way in which the narrative is transmitted in the text as well as in my favourite novel, James Hogg’s The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.  I looked at how life-writing and autobiographical elements in these two texts allow us to uncover more about the self and desire.

This exploration of self and desire seems linked to the entry you won an award for in the international Undergraduate Awards last year. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

I was studying a bit of digital narratology, like in video games. And for one of the research workshops in Honours, I studied sexual and gender identities in video games. I’m getting this work published in a journal, and it was a version of this that I submitted and received an Undergraduate Award for.

Interesting. Are you continuing an exploration of these identities in your PhD in creative writing?

Yes! That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m really interested in 19th or 20th century literature. I really love gothic literature. I think it destabilises a lot of binaries. I have a particular interest in critical theories as well.

I also want to experiment with narrative as well, and play with how the story is told. I’m influenced by Jeanette Winterson’s ‘Written on the body’; her mode of narration was very inspiring. In Winterson’s novel, you never really know if the narrator is male or female whereas typically we find that’s a given in a story, that you know the gender of the protagonist. Very basically, we like to know what ‘sex’ he or she or they are, but she deprives us of that and I think that’s quite new and that’s something I want to play around with. And, also, I want to explore psychological disassociation as well. In gothic work, like in Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories, we have the unreliable narrator, and that’s something I want to play around with as well.

So I’m going to write a gothic novel set in Hong Kong. I really want to return home with my writing. I wanted to do an Asian/Hong Kong gothic work. There’s not much of that already and is an area worth developing. I would say mainly I want the work to be about identity, especially identities that are often suppressed in Hong Kong – marginalised communities.

Hong Kong, photo courtesy Calvin Fung
Hong Kong, photo courtesy Calvin Fung

‘The Beggar and the Glimpse’ gives us a glimpse of that return home with your writing. Can you share with us a bit about that?

The story was based on what happened in Hong Kong in 2016. Basically, during Chinese New Year in 2016 there were riots in HK and it was very violent. I thought I was looking at something from a war region but kept realising it was from my home. I was really emotionally affected and I wanted to express something. So I decided to write this story. I wrote it really quickly compared to my other short stories, like in 1 or 2 weeks.

This story is very different from my normal style. Usually, I like to write romance fiction, especially romance that doesn’t deal with normative relationships, but this is the first time I’ve attempted political fiction. It’s a new region to me.

It seems to tackle different issues between the generations in Hong Kong that were brought up during the umbrella protests there last year. Can you tell us a bit more about this?

I definitely wanted to explore the generation gap, as we have a stereotypical notion that the older generation is more conservative and I guess you can see this in Brexit, where the newer generation want to branch out. We have that in Hong Kong as well – people who are pro-establishment and anti-establishment.

After all these protests and outbreaks of students trying to fight for their freedoms or young people trying to fight for their futures, the older generation feels like we’re trying to usurp their authority in some way. You can have many different interpretations of this but what I wanted to explore was a new sense of distrust. People could no longer trust each other.

Mistrust seems to be a cornerstone in this short story, linked to the story’s title and ending, where a boy giving money to a beggar glimpses at an older couple then is charged with a confrontation of mistrust from them. Why was this so important to convey?

I thought was important was that the older couple couldn’t trust the younger boy, even though the younger boy didn’t do anything at all. And I feel like years ago, this moment in the story might not have happened. When you see someone giving money or being charitable it’s read as an admirable trait but now there’s that distrust. I think it’s significant because when you look at someone doing something and you already have this interpretation or predetermined notion of them because of all of the politics going on, we can no longer believe in the good in people any more.

Hong Kong
Hong Kong

The colour red comes up a lot as well, can you share with us what that means?

Red in Chinese culture is important for many reasons. For one, red is used to scare off monsters in mythical legends. So red is an important colour but in a different society, red is blood, it’s bloodshed, it’s violence, it’s love, it’s a very strong and passionate colour. So mixing traditional values with the depiction of violence we get red because it’s blood and it’s Chinese New Year at the same time. I wanted to incorporate that.

What about your ideas behind weaving in food and Cantonese, the language of Hong Kong?

I think this is another part where I tried to experiment with the story. I showed this short story to some of my relatives who understand Cantonese. They look at these words and they understand, but to a different audience they might see it and feel distant from what I’m trying to say because of these foreign words in italics. So what I wanted to do was instill a sort of curiosity so that maybe they would investigate further into the politics of Hong Kong – which I really hope people will do.

Read ‘The Beggar and the Glimpse’, available in Verge 2016.

Submit an entry to Verge 2017 (closes 9 April).

Submit an entry to the 2017 Monash Undergraduate Creative Writing Prize (closes 12 April).

Study at Monash



2018 Walter Mangold Language Scholarships ]]> Wed, 05 Apr 2017 06:31:39 +0000
TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIPS FOR EXCHANGE & STUDY ABROAD STUDENTS! Walter Mangold Language Scholarships are available to full-time university students in Victoria who complete second year academic requirements in a modern language and are approved for an exchange or study abroad program in 2018.]]>

A sociological study of patients’ use of digital media ]]> Wed, 05 Apr 2017 02:26:40 +0000
How do different patients use digital media in a bid to influence clinical research? And how is this digital media use shaped by sociocultural factors? Funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery grant, Monash has partnered with Alberta University in a majors sociological project to determine how Australian patients from different condition-specific communities use digital media to influence research agendas on novel treatments and their development and availability.]]>

Culture to go? Symposium explores creative and cultural industries futures ]]> Tue, 04 Apr 2017 05:10:00 +0000
Debates around the creative industries, and the ‘creative cities’ and ‘creative classes’ associated with these, … Continue reading Culture to go? Symposium explores creative and cultural industries futures ]]>

Debates around the creative industries, and the ‘creative cities’ and ‘creative classes’ associated with these, have now been raging for two decades. The celebratory rhetoric associated with their early expressions have been met by empirically informed critical research.

This has pointed to the economic reductionism and over-inflated expectations brought by this policy agenda; the realities and inequities of creative labour; the growing exclusion of creative producers and suburban consumers from the urban core; and the general erosion of any value for culture other than its contribution to jobs and growth.

Yet this critical work often forgets, or disavows, the optimistic – even utopian – impulses which gave rise to the great expectations placed on the cultural and creative industries from the 1970s onwards. Our take-downs can often forget the possibilities still (we hope) inherent in the idea of culture, and the crucial importance of thinking about the ways in which it is produced and consumed.

In a world that has recently taken a turn to the political dark side but which contains immense capacities to be transformed into something human, where do we stand in relation to the question of cultural economy?

This symposium brings together leading Australian and overseas researchers and thinkers in this field. They will outline how they see the contemporary stakes in various aspects of the cultural economy. They will cast a critical eye to the future and look at where we might go in the next decade if given a chance.

Some of this might be utopian and speculative, but perhaps out of this will come a chance to seize the initiative and develop a new program for culture, not just digging trenches for the coming onslaught against it.

Interested in attending this symposium?

Cultural Economy Futures: A Symposium
DATE: 11 April, Tuesday
TIME: 09:00 am – 6:00 pm
LOCATION: Level 7, 271 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Download symposium flyer (PDF)


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Part II: Raising the political stakes with Jeanne d’Arc and Dr Ali Alizadeh ]]> Tue, 28 Mar 2017 22:51:17 +0000
I think truth is something we, artists and scientists alike, are all interested in in … Continue reading Part II: Raising the political stakes with Jeanne d’Arc and Dr Ali Alizadeh ]]>

I think truth is something we, artists and scientists alike, are all interested in in different ways. My novel might propose a truth about what it means to be a revolutionary subject, and a scientist might propose a truth about the cause of global warming. So we’re interested in truths in different ways. And I think there’s a lot more we have in common than not.

This interview is a continuation of Part I: Raising the political stakes with Jeanne d’Arc and Dr Ali Alizadeh where we explore Dr Alizadeh’s decades-long research into the controversial life and death of Jeanne d’Arc, depicted in a comprehensive new literary work by Dr Ali Alizadeh titled The Last Days of Jeanne D’Arc due out this year. We discuss political writing, the phenomena and ideology of real revolution, the question of war, and the revolutionary potential of Jeanne d’Arc in contemporary discourse, politics and concepts of universalism.

The search for truths… as someone who’s always wanted to be a writer, I’m curious if there was a book that got you started?

I loved reading adventure stories, I loved Zorro. He was my favourite comic book hero. I had a couple of books about him that I remember reading a lot, obsessively. My grandmother used to read a lot to me as well, when she babysat me. I’m pretty sure the influence of that is still with me. And interestingly, I guess, war and history and politics also affected me a lot, because I grew up in Iran during the revolution and I felt that even as a child what I was reading had to be somehow connected to the world I was living in. 

At least one or two generations of people in the Western world now have not experienced an actual war or a revolution. This is not a criticism but there seems to be a de-politicisation amongst readers and writers in the West, where people at best can only talk about this idea of identity politics. But for people like me politics is a very real thing, and I experienced that from a really early age as a very young child. That’s why I guess I was drawn to Zorro, he’s a political figure as well. 

Joan of Arc statue in the French Quarter in New Orleans, USA.
Joan of Arc statue in the French Quarter in New Orleans, USA.

It’s kind of interesting when you look at the origins of action heroes and comic book heroes in US popular culture – they’re also political. Today we have Superman and Batman and they seem to be battling each other for no reason other than their egos, but once-upon-a-time there were political stakes. And stories with real political implications were the stories my grandmother used to tell me and I think they really influenced me. 

Later on in life, in my late teens when I thought I would become a writer, I was reading a lot of the things other kids were reading at the time like avant-garde poetry, things that were a bit underground, and I still like them, but I think to me it’s been quite important as I’ve developed to make a connection between my formative experiences as a writer, the formative things that I was reading – things like Zorro! – and what I’m writing now. 

I think that’s why I’m going back to history and things like that, history, politics, revolutionary writing, which is at odds with contemporary Australian writing scene. Most of my peers in Australia would not be producing that kind of writing at all but I’m returning to my origins in a way.

This de-politicisation you mention, do you think writers can afford to stay away from politics given the current political climate?

That’s a good question. In Australia, I would say the Indigenous rights movement has gone mainstream, environmental concerns have gone mainstream, general views about race, gender, they are totally mainstream – what would have been activism in the 90s is now what I call mainstream moralism. In the 90s, you would have been a radical if you talked about being queer or about immigrant rights or reclaiming the streets. Today, these are the values of our bourgeois ruling class. 

So that means more writers are writing about those things. It is very common now to find some kind of environmental concern, or some sort of sympathy for refugees or whatever in a novel by a best-selling novelist published by a major commercial house, much more so than before.

But I would say what’s happened is that what we are seeing is not a political move but more of an ethical or a moral move.

I think political writing proper is still very rare in Australia. And that’s writing that I think really aims to make the reader, or make the artform, instigate some kind of a change in the politics of the world. Not just in the way we live, not just by getting people to be more ethical about recycling their rubbish or whatever, I mean, not just that, but actually writing that is directly about politics. 

And I have a definition of politics: politics really is about the relationship between the people and how they are governed. That’s a very classic definition of politics. I know we use ‘politics’ as with the word ‘revolution’ very loosely and freely these days – there can be a ‘food revolution’, ‘IT revolution’, ‘fashion revolution’. But I don’t. There really have only been a few actual revolutions in history and revolution is a real historical phenomena where a government is changed and the ruling classes toppled –  that’s a revolution, and politics to me is something associated with that as well. 

The word politics to me has its own integrity so that’s why I really rail against the idea of identity politics for example. I don’t think identity has anything to do with politics. When it does it’s dangerous, and turns into sectarian politics which produces fascism. But I think when we talk about immigrant rights, minority rights or whatever we are not engaging with a political question. I think concerns like that constitute an ethical or moral question. So, today, despite the ethical tone on environment, refugees, etc, I still don’t think Australian writers are engaging with politics the way I define it.

How do you see Australian writers tackling politics then?

I’ve done a lot of research into contemporary poetry and I think you do see a few Australian writers that tackle politics. Like, for example, the poet Lionel Fogarty, who’s viewed by some scholars and others to be a sort of representative of an Indigenous identity, and I’m sure it is a very legitimate way to look at his work, but when I read his work I also find a real questioning of dominant Australian ideology. And I think that sort of relationship with ideology is what some genuinely political art does. 

By ideology I mean the dominant values of the society because we say in Marxism that there is a relationship between the dominant values and the dominant class. So if today, for example, we decide that we should all of us drive less because it’s better for the environment, and if this becomes such a dominant value, and I would argue it has, then I’m sure somebody’s making money from it, and I’m sure they are the most powerful class in society who are making money from it. So you know this is where some of us Marxists end up being labelled as conservative by so-called progressives because we question dominant ideology. We say look at any given point in time / dominant ideology, no matter how progressive it might look, is serving the economic, material interests of the ruling class. 

So I think when writers attack ideology, then that’s where we can get some real political action.

Not in the work of writers who happily endorse progressive values of the ruling class but writers who say, no, there is hypocrisy for example, in the way you champion minorities. And then they go bravely to places where sometimes they shouldn’t go. And if you’re a writer like me, before you know it you get accused of racism just because you question the concepts of charity and sympathy, for example, in your writings. Publishers are so jittery about that sort of thing. They’re not sure how readers might interpret them. 

But I think from time to time you get writers, for example Christos Tsiolkas, who’s now a sort of establishment figure in Australian literature. Looking at some of his early writing, novels like Dead Europe and Jesus Man, he was really railing against the dominant values of the ruling middle-classes in Australian society and he was, if you like, trying to be offensive, intentionally. Being offensive is one way to do the kind of thing I’m talking about, and could be immature, and sometimes it is just immature. There are moments when some writers are prepared to do things that may not be good for their careers, that may make them unpopular, but they write this sort of thing anyway. But if the story of Christos Tsiolkas is anything to go by, we can see that if a writer wants to really make a living as a writer he or she has to make a U-turn, and of course in Tsiolkas’s more recent writing that’s what we see, and his fans are celebrating his new ethical tone, the fact that he’s not just railing against society but he’s offering solutions. What are these solutions? I don’t know. But in The Slap, the solution was I guess, to suggest that people should just learn to get along, don’t destroy things, preserve them. 

It’s a real problem of our time, especially for our writers, and I have many private conversations with writers and a lot of them tell me that they will not write against dominant ‘progressive’ ideology, because they know they will not be published if they do that, or they will be misunderstood, or they will not get a grant – there are real economic concerns here. If a book is considered too controversial and the message in it is not easily palatable for a progressive literati – and in Australia the literary culture is by and large ‘progressive’ – then the literary scene will not support that author. But you do occasionally get people like me. I was chastised for my last book. I was almost publicly humiliated for doing the sort of writing that I’m encouraging, and I was called all sorts of horrible things. Ultimately, I thought, that’s fine. We need to be able to speak out against dominant values, and I think we should be able to do that in literature, and also at universities. I fear that there are cultural trends that are trying to prevent that.

For those interested in research, what advice do you have for them?

The main thing I can say about doing HDR at Monash or anywhere else is that you need commitment and passion. Because I’ve seen too many very bright students given advice on what is ‘good to research’, and not going very far because they haven’t developed their own interest. One of the best things I was told recently was to start a project that I would do even if my project got no funding, something that I would do anyway even if I got no money or recognition for it.

When I did my PhD I knew I wanted to end up writing a book on Jeanne d’Arc, so it helped that my PhD was also a part of that project, otherwise I would not have been able to complete it. Many things happened along the way, financial pressures, social pressures, and I think that to survive those pressures and to do really well, you need to find something that has real personal resonance, something that you want to be remembered for. Avoid the trendy topical ‘research priority’ of the week – far too many bright minds have been sacrificed in on the altars of short-term academic careerism. 

Finally, what are your last words on Jeanne d’Arc and what do you hope readers will get out of your forthcoming novel?

Her story has been told many times, but I think I’ve told it in a new way, in a way that may scandalise some readers, but I hope it does justice to her story because I think it’s an amazing story.

I think the thing that I hope people would get out of the book is, firstly, the realisation that truly radical subjectivities like hers are possible. I want people to be reminded that someone as revolutionary as Jeanne really did exist.

We live in an age where we think change is impossible. Or that the most rudimentary reforms is the best we can hope for. There’s nothing we can do, we feel totally impotent, or maybe we can, you know, drink fair trade coffee and change the world by doing that. I think it’s really important to be reminded that people like Jeanne who really genuinely changed the world really did exist. And that they did it in ways that are really profound, shocking and disturbing.

I think it’s really important to be reminded that to change the world one must really fight, and one must make real sacrifices. 

I would like us to look at people like her more realistically and take them more seriously. And maybe even recognise elements of her in ourselves. I personally remind myself of her courage, regularly. And there are other elements of her personality that are really amazing and inspiring too, and I hope people would get that from the book.

Dr Ali Alizadeh is in the School of Languages, Linguistics, Cultures and Literary Studies and coordinates two units: Writing in Australia and Reading the City. Among Dr Alizadeh’s books are the collection of poetry, Ashes in the Air (UQP, 2011), shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, Poetry; the work of creative non-fiction Iran: My Grandfather (Transit Lounge, 2010), shortlisted for a NSW Premier’s Literary Award; and the novel The New Angel (Transit Lounge, 2008). His most recent book is a work of fiction titled Transactions (UQP, 2013), long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. 

Dr Alizadeh is interested in political writing, poetry and fiction that explore controversial themes such as history, violence and war. His research is mostly in contemporary writing, especially contemporary Australian writing, and also philosophy, literary theory and Marxism, and he supervises a range of postgraduate research that has an affinity with his research areas.

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