Academic Books, Book Chapters, Reports & Reviews

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Parragirls: Reimagining Parramatta Girls Home through art and memory

Bonney Djuric

2019

Parragirls profiles the transformative artwork Parragirlsrealised in collaboration with contemporary artists and communities since theParragirls Memory Project began in 2012. This vividly illustrated book revealshow art can change places and perceptions, in this case the long-neglected siteof Parramatta Girls Home in Western Sydney, located on the lands of theBurramattagal people of the Darug nation. Centred on the art and activism of itsformer residents, this is the first publication of its kind to use images andcreative writing to open up the difficult spaces of an Australian former childwelfare institution, one where significant abuse took place right up until itsclosure in 1974, as evidenced in the royal commission into child sexual abuse. 'Parragirls is an impressive book that serves as both an art publication and a record of social change. As an enduring testament to the experiences of the Parragirls – a collective of former residents of Parramatta Girls Home, where abuse and cruelty were rife – it charts the work of the Parragirls Memory Project across seven years of visual art, performance, events, exhibitions, writing, advocacy and activism...Parragirls is able to deliver something that is at once rigorous in its detailed presentation of a clear model, and accessible through its compelling narrative.' ― Eugenia Flynn, The Saturday Paper