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A snapshot in time captures fascinating lives

THE stories of thousands of migrant women who arrived in Tasmania at the end of World War II are being told in a moving new exhibition at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG).

“Snapshot Photography and Migrant Women: A Tasmanian Experience” uses family photographs and audio recordings to chronicle the experiences of migrant women from Britain and Europe who came to Tasmania between 1945 and 1975.

Along with migrant men and children, these women were part of the largest number of free migrants to arrive in such a short period of time to the state.

The women’s stories have been collected by University of Tasmania researcher Dr Nicolá Goc, who used snapshot photographs of them – most of whom are now in their seventies and eighties – in recalling their memories of their migrant experience.

“This exhibition is an interactive and immersive experience,” Dr Goc said.

“More than just photographs on walls, it recreates the domestic spaces in which women displayed, stored and shared their family photographs.

“Post-war migrant women have received little public recognition for their contribution to Tasmanian society, and I hope this exhibition provides recognition and insight into their experiences.”

Dr Goc said many of the women whose stories had been captured in this exhibition worked in family businesses and in factories, as well as being the primary domestic workers in the family home, caring for and nurturing their growing families.

Accompanying the exhibition is a video display in the Argyle Foyer at TMAG titled “Everyone is Human: Stories of Recent Migration”, which presents the stories of six migrants who have arrived in the state since 2004.

In this display visitors can view the stories of refugees fleeing violence and persecution, an aspiring Manga artist and a dynamic cricketer, all of who now call Tasmania home.

Snapshot Photography and Migrant Women and Everyone is Human will be on show at TMAG until Sunday 22 May.

Caption: Leva Saulis’ (left) and Rita Somers’ (right) stories feature in the Snapshot Photography and Migrant Women exhibition at TMAG. Image courtesy of TMAG.

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