The Staging Post

The Staging Post, a film by Jolyon Hoff, 2017. Courtesy The Staging Post/Cisarua Learning.

The Staging Post, a film by Jolyon Hoff, 2017. Courtesy The Staging Post/Cisarua Learning.

To mark Refugee Week last week, the museum was honoured to host the Sydney screening of the 2017 feature documentary The Staging Post in partnership with Settlement Services International. The Staging Post was produced and directed by Jolyon Hoff, an Australian documentary filmmaker who was living in Indonesia in 2013 when the Australian government instigated mandatory detention for all asylum seekers arriving by boat, with no possibility for resettlement in Australia. Jolyon had never met a refugee, so he headed for the village of Cisarua (about an hour south of Jakarta), known as the staging post for boats embarking for the offshore Australian territory of Christmas Island. It was there that he met two young Afghan Hazara refugees, Muzafar Ali and Khadim Dai. ‘We liked each other straight away’, Jolyon later said, ‘and that day we decided to start a project together.’

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Digital preservation

Examples of the scanned image quality from degraded negatives. Images: © Estate of Denis George / ANMM Collection ANMS1274[615] and ANMS1273[043].

Examples of the scanned image quality from degraded negatives. Images: © Estate of Denis George / ANMM Collection ANMS1274[615] and ANMS1273[043].

It’s in the nature of all materials to degrade and break down, some faster than others. Even with our conservation, preservation and archiving techniques designed to slow that degradation, objects from our collection need a bit of extra help to survive. While digitising the National Maritime Archive last year, I came across a surprising discovery: a collection of photographic negatives that were degrading while in our archive storage. Continue reading

Time in motion: capturing the clockmaker’s art

How many people does it take to assemble a clock?

For the replica of John Harrison’s H3, currently on display as part of Ships, Clocks & Stars: the Quest for Longitude, the answer is two master clockmakers. David Higgon and Sean Martin, from Charles Frodsham & Co, London, spent four days reassembling a thousand pieces to create the working model.

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What it takes to be a Bollywood star…

It’s only 3 more sleeps until winter school holiday programs kick off at the museum. From saris to shipwrecks, block printing to Bollywood, this winter we have taken inspiration from our East of India exhibition as we focus not only on historical Australia- India trade but also on celebrating Indian culture and contemporary India-Australia connections. And we couldn’t have fully committed to an Indian themed program without somewhere mentioning Bollywood right?

bollywood music video promo photo

While I have had terrific fun shopping for saris to festoon the walls of Kids on Deck and reading countless Indian folktales in the search for some just-right storytelling material, I am perhaps most keenly anticipating our youth workshop program (for ages 8-14) this holidays in making a Bollywood music video.

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Film exploring Indian Australian identity – a must see!

New Indian Aussie radio host and commentator Shailja Chandra being interviewed for film.

New Indian Aussie radio host and commentator Shailja Chandra being interviewed for film.

Over the next few months there will be some Indian-Australian visitors who will have the opportunity to see themselves in our exhibition East of India – Forgotten trade with Australia exhibition. No, we haven’t commissioned portraits – they are participants in a short film called Indian Aussies: Terms and Conditions Apply commissioned by the museum especially for our exhibition. The film has been produced and directed by Anupam Sharma of Film and Casting Temple, you might remember him as a judge on the SBS reality TV show Bollywood Star. Continue reading