Finding Your Way Home
Kingston East Neighbourhood Group,
Career Employment Australia,
Woodridge State High School,
Woodridge State School
Logan M.A.D. Association Inc.
- 12 Oct 2014, 10:00am to 11:00am
Rousing drums, hand-painted banners, outrageous costumes, colourful props and occasional giveaways signal yet another public procession proclaiming civic pride - but why are the postcards addressed to real-estate agents? Why is a woman dressed as a prisoner marching next to a garden fairy? With a multitude of signifiers on display, where are the insignia and logos? What is the meaning of the muted banners that depict faraway landscapes?
Finding Your Way Home, by Sharka Bosakova and Stephanie Stainlay, is an event that has emerged from thirty-six community workshops where participants were prompted with a simple question: what reminds you of home? The topics of ensuing discussions ranged from childhood memories, nostalgic triggers and wartime recollections, to degraded environmental habitats and the now-distant Australian dream of home ownership.
The workshops were held in the North Logan suburbs of Woodridge and Kingston that are troubled by their past: a disproportionate population from disadvantaged* and refugee backgrounds implies a persistent contention with the repercussions of poverty, mental illness, violence, exile, war and social dislocation. However, when the artists began working with the community groups and social services in the region, they found that the dire statistical profile was a poor account for the vitality of the residents and workers who remained dedicated, enthusiastic and compassionate, despite often bearing the brunt of their unsettling social environment.
The resulting event is exuberant but its unconforming elements hint at something less transient: the ingenuity, resourcefulness, optimism, youthful energy and defiance that do not only sustain at times of difficulty but ultimately, also provide paths out of adversity. These are, perhaps, the mechanics of an intrinsic resilience.
* Woodridge and Kingston are ranked by the SEIFA socio-economic index in the bottom 5% of Australian suburbs. (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011 Census)