I spent last weekend, in the hospitality of my host Diane McGirr and her partner, Dave. She lives on her farm with horses and sheep. At dinner we seemed to delve into many topics; race, the history of this country, the prison system, the similarities of British colonialism in island countries etc. My question before I came here was how come a young country with a decisive history of immigration created a situation such as the asylum seekers camps in Manus Island. But then again, the United States of America did the exact same thing in the early nineteen forties after the Japanese bombings of Pearl Harbor. Many Japanese refugees were sent to Perry Island before they could enter the United States.
Diana and Dave, wanted me to see the effects of bush fires on the environment, and we delved into quite a few stories about different areas that had been seriously affected. Aboriginals in various communities in Australia have used controlled burning as a method to stimulate new growth in the forest, but as noted by Kimberley Berley, an environmentalist and conservation expert, who is head of the Western Australian Environmental agency and fire control in Western Australia, this method is good for certain plants but does not necessarily benefit other plants and animal species. He showed me a map, which displayed the effects of population growth on the natural environment in Western Australia. The middle of the state was still good but the beach and coastal environments had become vulnerable to natural forces.
I am living right by the beach, which is a threatened environment. What you notice most about the man made landscape around where I live, is the attempt we humans make to dominate nature. Visually it’s a Floridian landscape, where cars dominate the priority and functionality of what’s made. Pedestrians can just watch them whizzing by because they will stop for nobody. The tarmac seems to dominate as much greenery as possible as it attempts to grapple its counterpart.
As Kim reminded me, he is presented with the constant struggles of fighting to preserve nearly extinct species such as yellow and white underbelly frogs, possums and different plants and birds inhabiting this geological hotspot. If it isn’t clearing for housing, there are mining initiatives, deforestation and many other challenges present, such as underground water being re-diverted to be used for Perth’s water supply, a diversion that creates problems for species dependent on this water.
I DON’T BELIEVE IN KILLING PEDESTRIANS
DON’T ELIMINATE ME, I AM HUMAN.
(T-shirts to be made)
’Good Evening’ she is bubbling all over and wanting to talk. My mouth still hurts from the fall, blisters packing upper and bottom lip. ‘Good evening’ I say. She begins to talk about the other woman who she had been talking to, and then she catches herself. I tell her that I think she is friendly and she catches herself’ and says’ Am I too loud.’ I tell her ’No you are just being yourself’. She smiles and relaxes caught in the moment and she realizes I see her and its ok. And she wishes me a good evening, and in that small interchange I feel as if I have made someone happy and I have a friend. She is so real in her awkwardness. The next day, I meet another woman in the supermarket who makes a big deal to tell me how nervous she is because she has been away from work for a week. I tell her that all will be good and that she should not worry and that things will work out fine. So with all the security of perfection and bourgeois/ middle class living – there is the murmur of insecurity and imperfection—all good in my eyes.