NotesMicro-Histories is a creative narrative work - practices of story-telling, packaging, and performative art; deploying ethnographic data to explore particularity of migrant trajectories.
Displayed as part of a group exhibition involving creative responses to five sites of immigrant labour - Migrant Camps, Snowy Hydro, Port Kembla Steelworks, Woomera, Melbourne Suburbs.
Immigration centres and industries that employed refugee and immigrant labour in the post war period can be thought of as nodes in an interdependent spatial and transnational labour network. The physical sites and projects featured in this exhibition convey this network, its nodal points and inter-cultural social interactions through a study of Migrant Camps, Snowy hydro-electric power, Woomera (defence) and raw- material production Port Kembla Steelworks, trans-Asian suburbanisation in Melbourne. ARC DPDP190101531 Architecture and Industry: Immigrants' contribution to nation-building, 1945-1979.
Micro-histories is an installation comprising a bench with embroidered cushion and a box containing 11 stories. This work explores each migrant trajectory as a letter - a major currency in the everyday lives of immigrants - to the imagined archive of forgotten histories. The setting of bench-cushion-letters – creates a setting for quiet (solitary) reading within the museum. It invites a reflective viewer interaction with the content – untying, unfolding, reading, refolding, retying – and placing back in the box. And possibly a different connection to the ‘other migrant individual,’ a distinct ethics of care; and a pause (space/time) in the museum.
This work contributes to narrative practice histories related to the spatial setting in which we read stories. The story is formed into a package likened to (snail) mail; it contributes to the more recent practice of alternative ‘zine’ publications, challenging their distribution at large scale zine fairs, by bringing intimacy into the museum setting. The stories written in 3rd person with 1st person quotations, explore time and memory within narrative genres, as part of an oral history tradition. Shown at the Museo Italiano - national and international venue. Reviewed two international journals (2023), academic review; Rete Italia (Radio linked to Il Globo
Extent1 URL link to the Matterport 3-D scan of the exhibition
1 pdf describing the critical-creative process of micro-histories
1 jpg of the installation at exhibition
Place of publicationMuseo Italiano
SeriesDignity of Labour