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Curators’ acknowledgement

“We pay our respects and dedicate the Unsettled exhibition to the people and other Beings who keep the law of this land; to the Elders and Traditional Owners of all the knowledges, places, and stories in this exhibition; and to the Ancestors and Old People for their resilience and guidance.

We advise that there are some confronting topics addressed in this exhibition, including massacres and genocide. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be advised that there may be images of people who have passed away.”

Laura McBride and Dr Mariko Smith, 2021.

Dark Days - Brendan Beirne
Campaspe River Massacre, VIC, 1839. Image: Brendan Beirne
© Brendan Beirne

Massacre Sites 2018-2020
Brendan Bernie
Reproductions from the Dark Days photographic project.
Australian Museum Collection Digital Acquisition

Massacres exist in the memories of all First Nations communities today; they are much more than death toll statistics. The land and its spirits will forever remember the blood spilt and innocent lives taken so violently.

These images of landscapes illustrate the unquiet places where Aboriginal people have been slaughtered. Many sites visited, known or occupied by Australians have hidden histories. Using infrared camera technology to capture a sense of the unseen history through the seemingly peaceful-looking landscapes, these images allow us to understand the lands we live, work and play on have contested and unsettled histories.

Dark Days - Brendan Beirne
Hawkesbury River NSW, 1790s. Image: Brendan Beirne
© Brendan Beirne