Photography Redfern Proof: Exhibition as Medium

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When photographs documenting activism are exhibited in a national portrait gallery, they test the efficacy of an exhibition to override the subjectivities of the "museum effect" and to engage the viewer to think about broader sociocultural debates. This study closely examines a thirty-year trajectory from activism for self-determination, photographic representation to exhibition, in order to show how personal and political insights can inform visual practice. The analysis is framed by reference to recent locational studies and media representations of Redfern, an inner-city suburb of Sydney, long identified with Aboriginal activism. After demonstrating a tenacious reactionary bias in the mainstream media, the author concludes that hard-won cultural and visual transformations can never be taken for granted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-162
Number of pages25
JournalVisual Anthropology Review
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Exhibition
  • Gemes
  • Land rights
  • Photography
  • Redfern

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