Traditional Black and White Photography

Forest Conflict

Fléctere si néqueo súperos Acheronta movebo
If I cannot move Heaven, I will raise Hell
Virgil, The Aeneid

These images document Western Australian activists and protestors against ancient forest logging from 1994 to 2003. They show some of the means used to delay logging operations and gain media coverage for the forest they loved. The protesters who lived in the forest camps tolerated primitive conditions; in winter cold, mud, smokey fires, burnt raw food and fines. This was despite the huge sums of money raised in Perth.

The environment is the ultimate concern for all humanity. The wanton destruction of the Karri forest is only one aspect of the current environmental disaster, but is one I can deal with locally. It is our duty to act in whatever way we can, we were not powerless

" . . . His alliance with the forest protestors paid off, and John soon had access to activist networks of forest protestors. ‘Simon Two Dogs would ring me up at two o’clock in the morning and say “John! It’s on at Wattle, Boodanoo Road. Three o’clock.” So I’d grab a couple of Nikons and drive down to Boodanoo Road and sort of stumble through the darkness in the bush, then wait 'til dawn when the logging industry came in. They call it an industry but they don’t actually produce anything. They just destroy things. I’d go around the forest doing my thing with Vietnam War vintage Nikons. And later with the addition of a Leica"

Dr Sarah Drummond, John Austin Survey II.i catalogue essay 2917

  • Forest Conflict
Umbrellas Rally, Perth 1998 - © John Austin Seven Dead Emus, Qunninup, 1996 - © John Austin Forest Watch Banner, Lane SF, 1998 - © John Austin Wompies Road Dragon, Wattle SF, 1998 - © John Austin Noriko's Banner, Wattle SF, 1998 - © John Austin
Pentapod, Wattle SF, 1998 - © John Austin Penny's Dragon II, Wattle SF, 1998 - © John Austin Penny's Dragon III, Wattle SF, 1998 - © John Austin Penny's Dragon V, Wattle State Forest, 1998 - © John Austin
Penny's Dragon IV, Wattle State Forest, 1998 - © John Austin Immature Quokka, Setonys bracyurus, CALM Science, Manjimup - © John Austin Spider, Boorara SF - © John Austin Patrick Weir, Northcliffe SF, 2014 - © John Austin
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