‘But art and ideas come out of the passion and torment of experience: it is impossible to have a real relationship to the first if one’s aim is to be protected from the second’ (The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings by James Baldwin)
February 6th, 2014
FORGOTTEN & STOLEN GENERATIONS
Hi, today I’d like to share some material related to trauma and art from Australia
You might like to visit the Inside: Life in Children’s Homes and Institutions, an exhibition based on personal histories of the Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants and all those who experienced institutional care as children. You can view the many written accounts, artwork, music, photographs, etc, exhibited and created by the Forgotten Australians, the thousands of children, which up until recently, were taken from their families and were incarcerated in institutions, convents and monasteries across Australia, where many were abused, tortured and exploited by those supposed to take care of them.
The Inside exhibition was on show at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra from 16 November 2011 to 26 February 2012 http://nma.gov.au/blogs/inside. The online exhibition can be viewed at http://www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions/inside_life_in_childrens_homes_and_institutions/home/
One of the participants is Rachael Romero an artist, who was incarcerated in the Convent of the Good Shepherd (Magdalene) Laundries inSouth Australia when she was a teenager. You can view her art on http://nma.gov.au/blogs/inside/2011/11/02/magdalene-diaries/ and http://nma.gov.au/blogs/inside/category/art/painting/
The Magdalene Laundries were run by the Catholic nuns and church in many parts of the world. Thousands of very young girls were incarcerated, abused and exploited in these Laundries. Many of these girls were pregnant and their babies were given up for adoption by the nuns and the authorities involved.
‘Momma’ is a song written by Leanne Hawkins, another survivor of this institutionalised care http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4OmrRCJJ7M
Leanne Hawkins created this video as ‘a way of bringing forward the lack of Human Rights that faces all Forgotten Australians by re-visiting St Joseph’s Girls Orphanage, near Mt Panorama, Bathurst, NSW, Australia, where her mother was placed aged 3 in 1942 and St Michael’s Anglican Girls Home, Kelso, near Bathurst in NSW, where both her sister aged 4 and she aged 5 were placed in 1966’.
There are more songs by other singers about the Magdalene Laundries in Europe in other parts of my website. Another relevant song is ‘A call for justice’ by Mark Torr http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfXGNPuiOGM
Finally, for those interested, a film perhaps worth watching about the Stolen Generation of Australia is the Rabbit Proof–Fence directed by Phillip Noyce in 2002. The music of the film is by Peter Gabriel (Long Walk Home).
Some short videos about the Forgotten Australians and the Stolen Generation (50, 000 Aboriginal children were removed from their families and were placed in foster homes or institutions) are the following
I’ve been working on this drawing for the last few days and I am once more amazed by how much one can depict, explore and narrate in a drawing, in the small space of a piece of paper, in comparison to written expression.
Dedicated to my son….