Love Is… Australian Wedding Fashion 

I’m at the “Love Is… Australian Wedding Fashion” exhibition at the  Powerhouse Museum.

This was a very interesting exhibition but it’s not really about “Australia.” It’s about White Australia. It starts with a room about “early history” – which begins with “convicts.” Already Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are erased, but to add injury, the room uses an unnamed Indigenous song that plays in the background to a room full of White colonisers. There is only one Aboriginal designer in the entire exhibition – Dharruk and Darkenjung woman Robyn Caughlan (in this video) – but no couples. Continue reading Love Is… Australian Wedding Fashion 

Vivid Festival 2017

A bonus visual sociology, so we can all share in the glowing loveliness of the Vivid Festival, an annual event in Sydney. Runs from May to June.

[People gather in front of a fountain that is lit up with a large red lotus flower. In another scene, a structure shaped like a tree – with a tall concave stump and three cylindrical disks on top – is lit up like a tree with flying birds and leaves spreading and growing. Music coming from the installation is a pleasant instrumental]

Continue reading Vivid Festival 2017

Luke Briscoe on Indigenous Science

Luke Briscoe, Co-Founder of Indigilab, sings about how one day the land will be returned to the traditional custodians of Australia, Aboriginal sand Torres Strait Islanders. His message was the hope that Indigenous culture and science will be recognised for its unique and important contribution to Australian society.

He also spoke about constitutional recognition of Indigenous people and he presented the Indigenous Science Declaration to the March for Science organisers.

I attended the March for Science as part of my participant observation research, and specifically to hear Briscoe speak and in solidarity of underrepresented scientists.

 

Collette Dinnigan, “Unlaced” 

Collette Dinnigan “Unlaced” exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum. The South-African Australian designer found early success with her commitment to French lace. This exhibition shows some of her most famous designs throughout her career and here you see works for clients such as Dita Von Teese, Nicole Kidman, and Helena Christensen.

Continue reading Collette Dinnigan, “Unlaced” 

Invasion Day Protest 2017

No pride in genocide! I am in Sydney, land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, who have looked after these lands for over 75,000 years. I pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging.

The 26 January is a painful day for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is a date commemorating the day British ships (”the First Fleet”) arrived on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands. It is a day that marks the decimation of First Australians; the dispossession of their land; the removal of children to be raised in Missions and in White foster homes with no ties or knowledge of their culture (“the Stolen Generation”); amongst many other human rights crimes. This history impacts Indigenous life chances in the present-day.

On the 26th, I joined 10,000 people in Sydney who marched in solidarity with Indigenous Australians to tell the Australian Government to change the date of Australia Day so that First Australians aren’t being excluded through a national holiday making genocide. Another 50,000 people marched in Melbourne, and tens of thousands more did the same in cities and town around Australia.

Below, you can read my tweets of the protest as it unfolded.

Intergenerational crowd protesting for Indigenous rights on 26 January 2017. Continue reading Invasion Day Protest 2017

Million Dollar Mermaid

Million Dollar Mermaid: Annette Kellerman is a current exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum. Kellerman was an Anglo Australian woman who broke many records and was a superstar in her day. Born into a highly educated and musical family in Sydney, she was diagnosed with rickets as a girl. She took up swimming to strengthen her legs and showed such prowess that male athletes encouraged her to take up high diving in the early 1900s, which high class Anglo Australian women did not do at the time. Still a teenager and having swam across the mighty Yarra River in Melbourne, she went to London in 1905 and competed in men’s marathon swims in the Thames, Seine and Danube rivers. Continue reading Million Dollar Mermaid

Tall Man

“tall man” by Vernon Ah Kee (2010) a video installation depicting the Palm Island protests in 2004, following the autopsy results of Mulrunji Doomadgee (aka Cameron Dooadgee), confirming his death at the hands of police.

The title of this work refers to the role of Councillor Lex Wotton who acted like the tall man in Aboriginal stories; the boogey man or spirit “who elicits the truth from wrong doers.” The film depicts protests against police brutality and a call for the end to deaths in custody which almost uniquely affects Indigenous Australians. “We are oppressed people,” explains a woman after this footage.

Taronga Zoo

A visual sociology of Taronga Zoo as a happy holidays, from me to you!

The most magical non-magical animal is not the horse at all. It is the mighty zebra. From all the zed animals in this world, happy holidays!

Continue reading Taronga Zoo