How a regional race riot from the 1860s is impacting artists today

Australia’s first race riot has an uncanny parallel to contemporary narratives, which are fleshed out in a new exhibition at 4A exploring alternatives to the violent re-telling of history.
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Installation view of John Young Zerunge’s video, The Burrangong Affray, at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Arts, Sydney (2018). Photo: ArtsHub.

When we think of race riots in Australia, the first point of reference is usually the Cronulla Riots (2005). But, sadly, violence sparked by a lack of cultural understanding has a much longer history.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina