Friday, November 26, 2010

A man with no country
(is empty inside)

Was procrastinating on my favourite photography site when I found this amazing set of documentaries. Go and treat yourself to this series of superbly produced short films about sustainable, alternative living, or at least the some of the music created by the people who are their subject. Got me so excited to try and start up the same sort of thing here (minus the road kill eating perhaps). I just moved house, and not physically being in the same place as some of your best friends can really show you how easily they can slip away. I don't want to fade into the mortgage enforced confinement and mediocrity that haunts the rest of society. The sense of community I have with my friends right now is honestly the best thing I have ever had in my life or can imagine having again. Don't see why we can't keep doing this till we get old ;)

Eliya makes amazing pictures

My feet are so haggard........

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Remembering the SIEV X

The SIEV X sank on the 19th of October, 2001. 'SIEV', stands for 'Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel', 'X' designates it was never assigned a number. This particular SIEV was loaded with about 400 people when it developed engine problems en route to Christmas island. It was two full days until they were rescued, by which time most of the women and children had drowned. I was invited by my friend Bede to take photos of a vigil on the 9th anniversary of this tragedy last week, organised by Amnesty International. It was an experience I will not soon forget.

The vigil was held at the national memorial on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. It consists of a series of white polls, one for each of the 353 people who died, each uniquely hand painted by schools, churches and community groups around the country.

This memorial is such a hauntingly beautiful spectacle, I was amazed I had never experienced it before. I was even more amazed that 9 years later, we are still observing the same politics of fear that to this day, has prevented an official inquiry into the many unanswered questions surrounding this incident. The same politics of fear, that two weeks prior to the sinking of SIEV X, allowed the Howard government to deliberately decieve the Australian people that asylum seekers had thrown their children overboard, in an effort to demonise some of the worlds most desperate people, to appear to be taking a 'strong' stance on this issue and placate to the racist sentiments of their voting base.

As i wandered through the white poles, I wondered if Australians remembered these people when they voted for Tony Abbot and his promise to 'stop the boats' last election. I wondered if they thought the fabric of our society would be torn so completely asunder by allowing these doctors, engineers and linguists to enter our society, that is was worth their lives being lost into the depths of the Indian Ocean. I wondered if they weighed the benefits of keeping this nation state we invaded 'racially pure', against those 146 children, 142 women and 65 men. If they knew of the anguish of the husbands and fathers who had already arrived, risking everything to prepare a home for them, only to be enmeshed in the crippling limbo of temporary protection visas. If the words under all those pages of black ink would change their mind, or if they would simply black out the truth themselves.

I hope that by this time next year, on the 10th anniversary of this tragedy, we will have progressed away from viewing the desperate, persecuted people of other cultures as 'queue jumpers' and towards viewing them as human beings. There will be a much bigger vigil at the same location then, I really hope to see you there.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Even Columbus looks better on the back seat of a bike
and all my fears get washed away in a stream of blinking lights

My good pal Dossi was kind enough to send me this photo I took on his 35mm.

It's of my buddy Mal shredding the gnar on his 20" bicycle, down in ol' weston creek.

I have never really felt comfortable taking action shots of this pastime I have invested so much of my life in, the images on my LCD screen never seemed to approach the sort of accurate representation of life that I look for in photographs. Riding BMX is such an indescribable, fluid experience for me. I can't really imagine my life without it. Every time I have tried to capture it with my camera in the past, I realised I was incapable of doing so.

I really liked this photo however, shooting on film seems to have given me an abstracted perspective, as if my knowledge of it's slow chemical development made me consider much more carefully my vantage point. It's the first time I feel I have come close to capturing that ephemeral feeling that makes me love these little bikes so fucking much. Its a good feeling, and I hope to experience it again soon.

That being said, the summer is comming, and I'm gonna hand this fucking thesis in and do my best to get on the other side of that lens as much as humanely possible.

Peace, and live for fun!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Bohemian Masquerade Ball

The Bohemian Masquerade Ball went down a few weeks ago at Albert hall. It was the funnest night I have had in a long while.

It started with drinking straight whiskey from an empty beer bottle, and you know the night is gonna be good when it starts like that.

Towards the end of the night, i decided to pull out my camera to try out my speedlight I never use. I think the images accurately convey how intoxicatingly intoxicated everyone was. Its amazing what a flimsy mask and a bit of Johnnie Walker can do to those pesky things we call inhibitions.

Enjoy, and if you missed out, make sure I see your ass there next year!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tassie by treadly

Me and a couple of friends are hitting the road at the end of the year to see Van Diemen's land by bike. Uni is so unbelievably hectic right that the anticipation of just how fucking awesome this trip is gonna be is the one thing that is really keeping me going.

If anyone is keen for an adventure-let us know!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Eat to beat the devil!

So my partner George found this while looking up old posters at work.

Way too funny not to put up here.

His hand is legit the same size as his head!


Thursday, August 19, 2010


I recently had the pleasure of attending two rallies in the city last Saturday.

On the eve of an election in which Australia faces the very real possibility of an ultra conservative government being elected, it was heartening to see so many people on the streets to show their resentment to the despicable, racist and homophobic agenda of disinformation which both major parties have engaged in over the previous weeks.

The first was organised by the ACT Refugee Action Committee and the second by Equal Love Canberra.

I cannot express the despair I feel when I see a political party, openly proclaiming to 'stop the boats' as one of their major election promises. Usually, the racism that is so deeply rooted in our society has at least some pretense of concealment.

I could write at length about the absurdity of such a claim, how out of the 170 000 migrant visa granted in 2008-09, only 1.5% were for onshore asylum applicants, of whom a third were 'irregular maritime arrivals', how the mechanisms of disinformation and ubiquity of corporate owned media has led to our society being controlled in a way to which it is completely oblivious, but really, John Pilger says it much better in his 2009 Sydney Peace Prize acceptance speech.

If you have time to do anything before making up your mind who to vote for on Saturday, I plead that you make time to watch this. For an Australian who is an internationally renowned author and documentary maker, and someone who has been named International Reporter of the Year, and won the United Nations Association Peace Prize and Gold Medal, I had never heard of him until a few short months ago. Funny, isn't it?

On July the 19th, 1936, Dolores Ibárruri implored her country to fight against the military might of a fascist bourgeoisie, who resented a progressive democratic movement of people that sought to remove their privilege and distribute their wealth more equitably.

While we don't face the horror of war in the coming days, I feel we do face the real prospect of reversing years of progress that has been willed by the hard work, sacrifice and determination of courageous, progressive Australians. We face an enemy that is much more subtle and subversive.
The only way societies progress year by year, decade by decade is,
because people will them to. Hemingway and Orwell understood this when they risked their lives in a civil war that was not their own, they understood that the borders of our nation states should not be the borders of our conscience. I hope you do as well when you go to the polling booth tomorrow. Maybe i'll even see you there if you vote at Turner school, ill be the guy in orange, handing out these.

At the start of the Equal love rally, my DSLR gave up the ghost, so i shot the rest on my film SLR. Thank the lord for good ol' 35mm. Enjoy!