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Snapshot Photography and Migrant Women - A Tasmanian Experience


Goc, N, Snapshot Photography and Migrant Women - A Tasmanian Experience, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (2016) [Published Creative Work]


Snapshot Photography and Migrant Women – A Tasmanian Experience Dr Nicolá Goc Between 1945-1975 thousands of migrant women from Britain and Europe arrived in Tasmania and along with migrant men and children they were part of the largest number of free migrants to arrive in such a short period of time in the island state. For more than three decades this population increase, along with the post-war baby boom, saw Tasmania’s population increase by 1.5% annually and played a vital role in the state’s economy. Many migrant women worked in family businesses, in factories such as Cadburys, Silk and Textiles, Patons and Baldwin and the Waverley Woollen Mills, and at the same time they were also the primary domestic workers in the family home, caring for and nurturing their growing families. While the contribution of migrant men has been widely acknowledged migrant women have received little public acknowledgement for their contribution and their dedication and commitment to creating a new life and producing a new generation of Australians. They "just got on with it and did what had to be done", as one woman from Yorkshire said. These women, many of whom are now in their 70s and 80s, have rarely had the opportunity to reflect upon their experiences of migration. But through exhibition the public can hear the stories of migrant women told through their family photographs and listen to their voices retelling their experiences. The exhibition creates a bespoke domestic period settings: a 1950s sitting room, a 1970s sitting room, a 1960s bedroom and a 1950s-60s kitchen to reflect the home environment in which migrant women and their families interacted with family photography. At the most intimate level a migrant woman’s sense of separation and loss, and her feelings of hope, her aspirations and her achievements are often found expressed in her family snapshots. Whether behind or before the camera, or writing notes to distant family and friends on the verso, migrant woman used the snapshot camera as a communication tool. Dog-eared, faded snapshots brought from the home country and now kept in old biscuit tins or albums are amongst the most revered material objects to be found in a migrant woman’s home, they provide a tangible visual link to a distant, disparate world. In this exhibition you will see family snapshots from Polish, Greek, Italian, English, French, Scottish, Belgium, Slovenian, German, Dutch, Estonian, Latvian, Philippines, India and many other cultures. You will also see snapshots of new homes being built in the Tasmanian suburbs; first picnics at Tasmanian beaches; newly purchased corner stores. And of course there are photos of family celebrations from both hemispheres – the arrival of a new baby; a wedding; a confirmation; a christening; a funeral. And there are snapshots of family feasts displaying an abundance of traditional home-cooked foods – joyful occasions to be shared through snapshot photographs with distant family and friends. These family snapshots also provide an important memory prompter enabling migrant women today to recall their unique experiences of migration. Using photo elicitation Dr Goc has interviewed some 20 women for this exhibition. Without their generosity and their willingness to share their experiences through their family photographs this exhibition would not have been possible.

Item Details

Item Type:Published Creative Work
Keywords:social media, media representation,, snapshot photography, migrant women
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Communication and media studies
Research Field:Journalism studies
Objective Division:Information and Communication Services
Objective Group:Information services
Objective Field:News collection services
UTAS Author:Goc, N (Dr Nicola Goc)
ID Code:108894
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2016-05-10
Last Modified:2018-02-20
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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