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Snapshot Photography and Migrant Women: A Tasmanian Experience

28 May 2016 4:57 PM | Anonymous

Image: Leva Saulis

After World War II, 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. There would not be many among us whose families have not included women from this migration, and as a society we are immeasurably richer for it.

The Snapshot Photography and Migrant Women exhibition was based on stories collected by Dr Nicolá Goc, Researcher at the University of Tasmania. She used the women's snapshot photographs to assist them in recalling memories of their migrant experience. The exhibition was so much more than photographs framed on a wall. Whole rooms were created -- kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms -- complete with the treasures of a lifetime, the photographs sent back and forth to families across the years.

Dr Nicolá Goc spoke to members about the process of putting together the exhibition, and gave us some insights into a number of women and their stories. In addition to showing us their precious photographs, Nicolá was able in many instances to let us hear snippets of their stories told in their own voices.

After the talk we visited the exhibition in the company of Nicolá and Elspeth Wishart, Senior History Curator at TMAG. It was the kind of exhibition that's very hard to leave, and in the end we had to round up the last of the guests so that the museum could close for the night.

Thanks very much to Nicolá and Elspeth for a wonderful exhibition and a night to remember.

About Nicolá Goc

Dr Nicolá Goc is a senior lecturer in Journalism, Media and Communications at the University of Tasmania. She is a feminist scholar with a commitment to better understanding the lives of women and the ways in which they use various forms of media in their lives. She has written widely about the media's representation of the 'deviant' female, exposing the ways in which the media demonises women. 

The Snapshot Photography and Migrant Women Exhibition comes out of her research on post-war migrant women and an examination of the ways in which they use family photography as a form of social media. Nicolá interviewed more than 50 women in Tasmania over three and a half years for the project. The exhibition was made possible by a Tasmanian Community Fund Grant. 

For more photos see the Photos section on our website. Thanks very much to Elspeth Wishart for photos taken at our event.

Above, from left: Anne Tucceri, Nicola Goc and Helen Kalis.

Above: Friends member Joy Smith absorbed in a photo album.

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