The rising up of Plantation Voices

Plantation Voices: Contemporary conversations with Australian South Sea Islanders opens this weekend.  It has been an exciting week with the exhibitions team in full exhibition installation mode.

Staff carefully arranging material in the display cases in the exhibition

Staff carefully arranging material in the display cases in the exhibition

The walls have been painted, photographs have been framed, and original 100 year old albums have been secured into their case. Special objects on loan to the exhibition have arrived from Mackay City Library, Queensland State Archives, National Archives of Australia and the Queensland Museum.

State Library and Queensland Museum conservators, Kelly Leahey and Solitaire Osei working on the Queensland Museum objects going into the exhibition

State Library and Queensland Museum conservators, Kelly Leahey and Solitaire Osei working on the Queensland Museum objects going into the exhibition

To add to the excitement three new digital stories have been commissioned by the State Library of Queensland.   These stories tell personal recollections about important places connected to Australian South Sea Islander communities and their sense of place and belonging.

Filming a digital story in the little community of Joskeleigh on the Capricornia Coast.

Filming a digital story in the little community of Joskeleigh on the Capricornia Coast.

New contemporary artworks by Australian South Sea Islander artists have now all take their place in the exhibition.  They provoke interesting conversations about blackbirding, identity, agency, resilience and strength of this community.

Plantation Voices brings together the old and the new histories to create a new dialogue about Australian South Sea Islander history, culture and identity.  This exhibition opens access to the faces, names, words and voices held in archives and showcases them as a significant part of our cultural landscape.

If you would like to follow the highlights from the Australian South Sea Islander community day this Saturday 16 February, go to Instagram and follow @statelibraryqld.

#slqPlantationVoices #ASSI25years

Imelda Miller – Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland