Wednesday, 19 March 2008

In response to the Lhasa rioting ('An Intense Longing for An Unequivocal Truth') and the second-plus-a-bit anniversary of the Cronulla riots ('Her Place Among the Virile Races of the Earth'), I submit for reader enjoyment two photomontage pieces dated this month.

An Intense Longing for An Unequivocal Truth: Photomontage, March 2008

Catalogue of contents (photos are numbered according to order of appearance, beginning at top-left)


Hilary Swank in character for a promotional photo for 'Million Dollar Baby' (2004, dir Clint Eastwood), with film review in The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 October 2005.


New Canterbury Road, 15 July 2007, 6.27pm.


Illustration by Jim Woodring, published with a review by Paul Bibby in The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 April 2007. Woodring was in Sydney for a spoken word performance at The Studio, Sydney Opera House.


Spectators at a gay rights rally, mid-1980s, opposite St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst Road.


Shanghai residents flock to the Bund in recognition of the handover of the former colony of Hong Kong (now labelled a special administrative region by the Communist Party) to The People's Republic of China, 21 July 1997.


While working with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan, in 1951 Madge Dean, my great-aunt, takes her summer holidays in Hong Kong and Singapore. She sails on the Empire Pride to Hong Kong harbour.

"Liz and I were taken on a drive through New Territories," writes Madge, "as close as one can go to Communist China. The Chinese peasant women resented having their picture taken, and I had to sneak up on these to get those strange hats, with the black cloth drapery."


'Lhasa streets tense', BBC News website, Sunday 16 March 2008. Photo caption: “Tibetan sources say that as many as 80 people were killed during the unrest, though Chinese authorities said just 10 people had died.” On Tuesday 18 March 2008, the evening news includes a segment on Hu Jintao, who gives one press conference each year. This year, the Chinese president (and 'Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China'), chose this day for the event, prompting comments by the broadcast journalist to the effect that the choice of day for the gathering was of interest in itself.


The sketch I made and included, colourised as an overlay, dates from 1989 and is untitled.


Shanghai neighbourhoods empty into the streets as residents celebrate the handover of Hong Kong to the People's Republic, 31 July 1997.

Ten & eleven

Bjork, Charles Betz' blog, posted 12 May 2007. Bjork is superimposed onto the East Timorese flag.


'A group of Chinese – From a sketch by our special artist', Illustrated London News, 1861.


Three more photos of gay rights protest, this time on Oxford Street adjacent Taylors Square. Other participants on the day were conservative Christians, such as are visible in the two bottom photos. They also carried banners. The top photo shows two policemen who supervised the event, one of whom is mounted on a horse.


The background colours are an assemblage comprising the Indonesian flag (red and white) and an element (the yellow border on three sides of the image) taken from the Tibetan flag (not currently used in any official way).

Her Place Among the Virile Races of the Earth: Photomontage, March 2008

Catalogue of contents (photos are numbered according to order of appearance, beginning at top-left)


Bondi Beach, 9 March 2008, 6.12pm.


Catherine Zeta-Jones photographed at a promotional event in Sydney; photo in The Australian, 11 March 2008.


Commonwealth Park, Canberra, 26 January 2008, 8.08pm.


Eighteen-year-old Mecca Laa Laa, one of 17 Muslims who stepped onto the sand at Cronulla as qualified surf lifesavers in February 2007; she wears a ‘burqini’ which she says “doesn't make me any different”; photo in Middle East Online, 4 February 2007.

Five - thirteen

Twelve-year-old Huda Ghaliya discovers her family has been killed by a bomb blast during a picnic on a beach in Gaza; images from MSNBC website, 19 June 2006.


Bondi Beach, 9 March 2008, 6.24pm.


Woolworths ad on Channel Seven, 2 August 2007, 7.05pm.


"Urakami Catholic cathedral was destroyed by the atom bomb, only these portions of the entrance porch standing. A wooden Japanese school is built here now," writes my great-aunt Madge Dean while travelling and photographing Japan in 1949.


Bondi Beach, 9 March 2008, 6.04pm.


Canterbury Road, 22 July 2007, 1.18pm.


File photo on Year of the Surf Lifesaver page, SLSA website; caption: “Celebrating 100 years of heroes”.


‘Original 1940's photograph of a young Pacific Islands woman shielding her face,’ purchased on eBay on 4 March 2008.

Twenty one

Bondi Beach, 9 March 2008, 6.35pm.

Twenty two

Beatrice Dean (nee Kewish), my grandmother, on a beach near Melbourne in the 1940s.

Twenty three

Beatrice Kewish, her friend Dora, and Bea’s sister Reba Kewish at a beach near Melbourne in the early 1920s.

Twenty four

Beatrice Kewish in the 1920s performing eurhythmics after moving from Leongatha in country Victoria, to Melbourne. Classes took place at the local Presbyterian church. She is about 21 years old.

Twenty five

Bondi Beach, 9 March 2008, 6.05pm.

Twenty six

Porn ‘beurette’.

Twenty seven

Bondi Beach, 9 March 2008, 6.07pm.

Twenty eight

Henry Andrews, painting of William Pleater Davidge as Malvolio in Twelfth Night, c.1846, from the Maugham Collection of Shakespearean characters, Theatre Museum, Covent Garden, London.

Blue text is from an unpublished personal memoir - ‘Growing’ - by Peter da Silva, 2002.

Yellow text is from a book title, ‘Ils Disent Que Je Suis Une Beurette’ (Paris, Fixot, 2000), by French author Soraya Nini.

No comments: