Myall Creek Part 2
Responding to an awakening prompted by reading Mark Tedeschi's book 'Murder at Myall Creek—The trial that defined a nation' (see Myall Creek Part 1), I stopped, en route to Gilgandra, for the first time in my life at the site of the Myall Creek massacre to pay my respects and contemplate the possibility of a photographic project that could represent a personal step towards reconciliation.
It was 40°. The middle of the day. A hot wind. The bush was resting and a few apostle birds scolded our intrusion. Knowing what had occurred there, I couldn't help but feel the solemnity.
Ruby and I took the Serpent Walk through the dry woodland, stopping at each plaque on the way to read the information that informed us of the background circumstances and events leading up to the atrocity.
We arrived at the memorial granite boulder that had been transported from 60 kilometres away. Placing my camera bag on the ground, I stood for a minute or two in contemplation before scanning the scene and mulling over ideas for recording it respectfully. A few crucifixes decorated with Indigenous artwork had been placed near the base of the boulder amongst stones. I spent about half and hour photographing the memorial as I had found it, left a comment and signature in the visitor's book and we departed.
I will be back. There is more that I would like to do in that place; work that I hope will show respect and have meaning.
Soundtrack: March of remembrance by Brett Michael Wiesman & Josquin de Pres (Licenced from smartsound.com)
Thanks for sharing your creativity, Rob. Tedeschi's book is on my reading list.
Well, there is a great story here that you have rehearsed and i look forward to viewing/experiencing the next stage in its evolution. I fear most folk are quite unaware of the conflicted relationship between early pioneers, the constabulary, the powerful land owners and our indigenes Australian or first people. My child hood was spent in a region where local place names spoke of murder, poison and harassment of the Australian Aboriginal. I was in Townsville when the inquiry into the Palm Island death in custody proceedings got underway in 2005-6. Signs were placed outside the court house advising Aboriginal people to go home!!! Ignorance can be sublime if it was not so dangerous. I am intrigued by the use of the crucifix as a motif here at this site. As a metaphor for pain and sacrifice it is curiously apt albeit from another world. Thanks, Rob.
A very respectfully and beautiful presentation.
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