Underfoot: history from below | Overland

Jinghua: Part of what we wanted to do was to find the stories missing from the narrative, but I’m really resistant to the idea of heroes… I don’t want to topple one statue and put up another.

Liz: But it’s much harder to find out much about the lives of people who don’t get a statue… We had to go into our research without a predetermined idea of what the final story would be. And it’s this, I think, that’s more useful for those of us on the Left than mining the past for forebears, or new heroes: seeing its radical unfamiliarity.

Liz and I wrote a feature for Overland on Underfoot (our Footscray history multimedia project) and how everyone can make and write history. Read it here.

You Can’t Ask That

If you want to watch me on the telly, I’m in the new season of the ABC series You Can’t Ask That in an episode about Chinese Australians. Stream it on iview or wait for it to air every Wednesday at 9pm (I’m on June 9).

Jinghua holds a placard saying 'What does dog taste like?'

Underfoot: underground histories from Footscray 3011

Finally it’s launch day!

Underfoot presents four virtual audio tours through Footscray’s past. Liz and I bring an intimate lens to local history as we wander the streets and the archives looking for people like us: queers, migrants, radicals and artists. There are some big conversations about capitalism, nationalism and settler nativism, as well as some finely aged gossip.

Each track comes with a map, transcript, photos and notes so you can either explore these places in real life (observing social distancing!) or just enjoy the stories while staying home. You can even dive into some historical research yourself if you’re so inclined.

Here it is: Underfoot.