08 Jun Her Place
Her Place is a 3-day series of writing and photography workshops that celebrate women’s connection to place.
For the past two centuries, Outback Australia has been the mythic domain of rugged men and bush poets.
Women’s experiences and artistic and/or literary expressions of Outback Australia have been largely absent from public narrative and, in turn, the national psyche.
Women have long been a part of our remote landscape and yet precious little is recorded and preserved about their experiences and artistic and/or literary impressions.
When women are included in public celebrations of connection to land they tend to be defined by their relationships to the men of the land: wife, mother, daughter, sister. And they are categorised as a sub group; for example, ‘women of the west’ – or, if they are indigenous – Aboriginal women of the west.
Does it matter?
Most people living in remote areas of Australia know women who are dealing with succession issues – her right to own the land she works, independently or in partnership.
So yes, the fact women’s connection to land is not ‘the norm’, matters.
There are other shadows in this story.
One station owner told The Write Road:
“It constantly amazes me what women put up with to be out here – isolation, violence, poverty. It’s more than loss of financial assets or absence of resources that make her stay. In many cases she is unwilling to tear her spirit away from the land she loves.”
These non-visible narratives inform women’s connection to land, her ‘right’ to be there.
The reality is women have their own, independent, fully realised, rich and identifiable connection to the Outback; their individualised understanding and wisdom informed by the complexities of what it is to be human in a harsh landscape, ranging all the extremes from love to hate, reverence to fear, sometimes all at once.
Her Place exists to give visibility and voice – in an everyday way – to this connection,