During this photocamp I also plan to scope and to start to make some photos for the Our River Our Country project. I have yet to make any photos for the latter project, as it is still in the embryonic stage of designing the project, inviting other photographers to participate, and taking advice from gallery directors and curators about how best to respond to the Godson Collection. There is still a lot of preliminary work to do before we start applying for grants for a curator and various residencies.
The photo above was made near the Nor’west Bend at Morgan on the western side of the River Murray. The Nor’west Bend is where, in October 1839, the overlanders, who were driving their cattle and sheep on the Overland Stock Route between Sydney and Adelaide killed 11 Aboriginal people in retaliation to the local indigenous (the Ngayawung) people) attacking the overlander’s party and stock and killing the overseer (Thomas Young). This is one of the early massacres of aboriginal people in South Australia. The overland stock route was a site of frontier conflict and aboriginal resistance. The South Australian colony was almost bankrupt and any threat to the overland route threatened the financial viability of the Colony. Continue reading →
When you step into history of water and country in Anglo-Australian society you quickly reconnect with the colonisation of Australia, the pre-Mabo narratives of Australia as an empty landscape (the doctrine of terra nullius), the colonialist discourses that we are rooted in colonialist ideologies and legacies and racist law. These justify and legitimate the nigger hunts in the colonial history of frontier conflict involving white men riding out on hunting expeditions to hunt and exterminate aboriginal people, as an exercise in land clearing.
A core colonial ideology is all about progress and destiny, the planting of flags and the arrival of legitimate historical narrative. This settler narrative is a heroic tale of the British as the discoverers, explorers and pioneers of the country, of how these white men came to settle a strange country and transform it by their science and technology, capital and labour, thus creating a civilisation out of a wilderness. This narrative is silent about a population that has been almost exterminated; and it denies that the wiping of Australian Aborigines should be considered a genocide.
This discourse repudiates the alternative narrative of invasion and dispossession of the original inhabitants. Section 127 of the Australian Constitution pre-1967, was a section in which Aboriginal Australians were not classified as people but as part of the flora and fauna. This represented the extinguishment of their rights to land. Continue reading →
Some background text to the project has been written, and there are a few links to provide reference points for the project. It is looking quite promising at this early stage, despite the lack of a website for the project. At the moment this blog is the only online presence for the project.
The 1st exhibition has been planned for the SALA Festival in Adelaide in 2019, with the gallery at Atkins Photo Lab decided on. The design of the exhibition in this rectangular space has been tentatively mapped out: there will be 6-9 photographers and 12-14 prints–maybe more– in the exhibition, with each responding differently to the general Godson Collection from their own perspective.
Some may just do the odd image for the specific exhibitions whilst others may link or connect parts of their own projects to the general Godson Collection. The responses will be quite diverse: the photographers could rephotograph, reinterpret or critique the Collection in general and they will be using using contemporary, classical and alternative technologies. Continue reading →