Walking into the cinema, seeing it in half-light, finding you seat, away enough, close enough, tilt enough, far away together. Expectant. Cinema’s unique use of darkness and light creates an atmosphere of promise.
The sisters and I took a long time selecting our seats and sitting in them. Not in the cinema but at our first meeting to begin the project. The atmosphere of promise was here too. We shared language, folklore and song. A long time to sit with each other, listen to each other, wait for each other. We were trepidatious, not wanting to overstep, not add to the hurt and in those moments the motion was incremental, ponderous, devastating.
The pandemic contributed every possible obstacle, ones that we now know so well. Masks, distance, close contacts that rolled to and fro through communities. Postponements, online meetings, worry, delays and insecurities that for me at least held me catatonic. And hurt was inevitable though unintended.
These sisters so generous in their honesty and so incredibly skilled in their art and story. Dancing in front of the camera, talking me through their stories, they share their deep connection with country. The sisters shared the deep continuing hurt in a city where the leaders and community often only pay lip-service to our full story. Sharing the past as tourism treasures, buildings, objects and time-marks. All the while forgoing a carpet of heavy hearts and the opportunity to learn contemporary practises.
The micro films that have resulted from this work together will be available to preview on May 19th before a full screening in July 2023.
This is one of a series of posts about the Precious Fragments project funded by Creative Victoria. The funding is to support the development of backstory to the City of Luxville in a juxtaposition of Irish and Wadawurrung cultures to investigate place, identity and connection.
The Precious Fragments project will use three distinct languages:
- Gaeilge – Irish – this will be given in italics.
- Language – Wadawurrung – this will be given in CAPITALS.
- English – Australian – this will be given in Sentence Case.