The Vivid Festival, which lights up the streets of Sydney over June, is a big feature for this month’s visual sociology for June-July 2018. We marvel at the wonder of an enchanted Cinderella-esque Sociology of Trolleys. We meet a cool watermelon and other creatures along the way. The highlight of the past two months is Dark Emu. Guess who had front row tickets to this vanguard work by Bangarra Dance Theatre?
Based on Bruce Pascoe’s wonderful and important research into Australia’s pre-history – the agrarian and aquaculture innovation by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people prior to invasion is the focus of this beautiful dance performance.
“This work cultivates a physical and visceral response to Uncle Bruce Pascoe’s book and our deep Australian knowledge. Whether we embrace it or not, we are this country – we are of the land, the water, the stars & the dark in between. As Australians awaken from a kind of collective amnesia, these are stories, ideas and practices we should all be able to access, learn from and respect… I feel like Australia is ready…. Dark Emu is a sense that we are part of something greater.” – Yolande Brown, co-choreographer.
“We’re told every day that the world is falling apart around us, but maybe if we just gripped onto something that was there before all this, it would ground us a little. Dark Emu reminds us to take a breath and cling to our piece of land.” – Daniel Riley, co-choreographer.
You must experience this work. The choreography and music are stellar. The dancers carry large props to phenomenal effect – from large rocks, to wood that is rearranged into shelter for the women and later fences to entramp them. A dizzying sequence centres on blow flies representing the contempt of the colonisers for the traditional custodians and their land, which they tried to destroy.
Played in Sydney until 14 July then touring nationally.
Continue reading Vivid Festival 2018 and Other Delights
A handmade market, existential sociology of trolleys, new superheros for the ages – Blackie Blackie Brown and El Jalapeño – plus lots more for the visual sociology of May 2018!
Gorgeous afternoon at the Finders Keepers market! Bought lots of handmade goodies from these women makers. 5 May
Continue reading The Heroes We Deserve
Visual sociology of my travels around the North and South Coast of New South Wales for fieldwork and some overnight training, from early October to the end of November 2017.
During the week, I was doing fieldwork research and look at all the trolleys I saw in one day! It was a Sociology Of Trolleys bonanza. 7 October 2017
Continue reading Out in the Field
A ripper of a visual sociology for June-July, 2017, begins with an interview about racism in dating, followed by a jubilant NAIDOC week community event in Redfern. We indulge in a plethora of thrilling art. We travel through Inner Western Sydney. We come upon environmentally friendly revenge by a spurned lover. And the sociology of trolleys gives us three surprising appearances.
This was my day: filming on race and dating with Santilla Chingaipe and Kaila Perusco for Conscious Dating Co. Thoughtful discussion of sexual racism, meaningful relationships, how to address structural and unconscious bias in Australia, and much more. Intelligent, funny and generous women plus an awesome crew, with beautiful food and hosts. Parliament on King is a luscious cafe and it makes for a beautiful set! Book lovers’ heaven. (8 June) Continue reading The Gift
This visual sociology for the month of April is dedicated to Aboriginal and migrant artworks, plus a special apperance by the Sociology of Trolleys from inner western Sydney. First, let’s start with a panel discussion I spoke on.
Panel: Race and Conscious Dating
On 26 April, I was a panellist on a thoughtful discussion about race and dating with journalist and documentary filmmaker Santilla Chingaipe and multi-talented author and editor Andy Quan. Continue reading Art and Injustice
Here’s our visual sociology for October 2016! I began the month ill and amazed that Christmas decorations were already up around Sydney, and I started heavy travel for work.
These puppies cheered me up when I was very sick. 1 October 2016
Continue reading From Western Sydney to Melbourne
We zip through Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and back home to Canberra for this visual sociology, so strap in for a look past January-February 2016. Get ready for some hardcore existential public art, profound reflections on racism and injustice and lots of gallahs.
Play. 01 January Continue reading Did You Enjoy Your Start?
My next instalment of the Sociology of Trolleys: There are many studies on why *online* shopping trolleys are abandoned (poor website design; lack of incentive or commitment by customers; and so on), there is little attention given to the reasons why people abandon shopping trolleys in everyday life.
Researcher Franck Cochoy has done some research on how shopping trolleys shape shopping behaviour (for example, by visually representing the volume of our spending by virtue of how full our trolleys are). But this research does not examine abandoned carts.
Many people think that trolleys are abandoned because kids are using them to push each other around. As such wayward trolleys are often seen as an act of social deviance by young people. In my forthcoming posts I’ll look at how abandoned carts are policed both informally at the community level and more formally through rewards and penalties (it’s actually a lucrative business). The truth about shopping trolley “deviance” is less about youth and more about social class.