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Bitter Fruit

Australian photographs to 1963

Michael Graham-Stewart, Francis McWhannell, Jonathan Dickson

Bitter Fruit
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are warned that this book may contain images of people who are deceased.

Bitter Fruit is a brand new title from Michael Graham-Stewart, showcasing a collection of early photographs, many previously unpublished, focusing on Indigenous Australians. Presented in a beautiful hardcover, this is a breathtaking document of the Australian experience.

The photographs reproduced in this book were collected over the past decade or so. During this time, online archives have grown in number and size, raising questions about what should be made available to the general public, and who should decide. At the same time, it has become easier to find information about the people who took the photographs, the places they were taken, and, most importantly, the individuals depicted.

If this book has a purpose, it is to offer a sequence other than the familiar one, to broaden and to texture our sense of the histories of the place we know today as Australia. In these photographs, we can find evidence of wrongdoing and suffering, but also of resistance, adaptation, and continuity. Then, too, the images frequently reveal the agency of their 'subjects' - a force that can transcend the problems associated with the moment of making.

Praise for Bitter Fruit:
'A breathtaking document of Australia’s past ... This publication does not aim to fix interpretations, but relies on the power of the images themselves to convey emotions and to tell stories. It gives a good insight in the life of Aboriginal people. Its captivating record is a start rather than an end point.' - Nic Klaassen, Flinders Ranges Research

Michael Graham-Stewart specialises in gathering up colonial photographs in order to reconstruct the complex stories that such materials encode. His particular interest is in exploring the ways in which photography operates not only as an instrument of oppression, but also as a means of connecting with people of the past. Michael has published several books on photography, including Surviving the Lens: Photographic Studies of South and East African People, 1870–1920 (2001), Out of Time: Māori & the Photographer (2006), Framing the Native: Constructed Portraits of Indigenous Peoples (2011), and Negative Kept: Māori and the Carte de Visite (2013). A Scot, raised in England, he currently lives between London and Auckland.

Francis McWhannell is an independent writer and curator from Aotearoa New Zealand. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Museums and Cultural Heritage from the University of Auckland. He has contributed to various publications, including Painting: A Transitive Space (Auckland: ST PAUL St Gallery Three, AUT University, 2017) and Dynamo Hum: Denys Watkins: Selected Paintings 2004–2016 (Auckland: Rim Books, 2017).

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Category Aboriginal and Indigenous
Format Jacketed hardback
Size 285 x 230 mm
ISBN 9780646936390
Extent 280 pages
Price: AU$110.00 including GST
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