Book, stay, enjoy. That's

Saturday 16 March 2024

A trip back to a rebellious time in Tasmania

A new exhibition at the Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery will take a trip back to convict times in Tasmania before a nationwide tour.

Thousands of English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish convicts transported to Australia, as well as people resisting colonial invasion and forced into the convict system, will be brought back to life in a first-of-its kind digital exhibition that aims at revealing a new understanding of the convicts’ contribution to the struggle for Australian democracy.

The Monash University-led convict exhibition UNSHACKLED will be exhibited from now until July 28 at TMAG before embarking on a national and international tour.

UNSHACKLED reveals how Australia’s convict workforce of 160,000 collectively resisted the exploitation of their labour in their place of exile, leading to improved conditions, embryonic unionism and ultimately the end of transportation.

It also focuses on the more than 3,600 political prisoners who were transported to Australia as convicts for protest, democratic reform, media freedom, unionism, and anti-colonial revolution, many of whom had significant political impact advancing democracy.

Monash’s School of Media, Film and Journalism and project lead, Associate Professor Tony Moore, said political prisoners are a major focus for the exhibition.

“Few Australians realise their homeland was once the British Empire’s Guantanamo Bay, where about 3600 rebels, radicals and protesters were transported as political prisoners in the late 18th and 19th centuries. ‘Death or Liberty!’ was the rallying cry of a stream of political exiles including liberals, democrats and republicans; English machine breakers, trade unionists and Chartists; radical journalists, preachers and intellectuals; and of course Irish, Canadian and even American revolutionaries," he said.

“This rag tag bunch of journalists and political activists accused of sedition, as well as industrial and rural protesters, trade unionists, rebels and revolutionaries will capture the hearts of new generations. Their political impact in their place of exile helped democratise Australia.” 

Over 20% of Australians have convict ancestry, and the figure is 70% for Tasmanians.

Stories will be showcased through mini-documentaries, large scale animated projections, animated portraits, as well as collected material artefacts, from cruel instruments of punishment to weapons of resistance.

UNSHACKLED has been created by Roar Film and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in partnership with Monash University.

The exhibition will travel around Australian capital cities and regions, the UK and Ireland from September 2024 to 2026. Click here for more information, including the UNSHACKLED trailer.

No comments:

Post a Comment