Between Industry and the Earth
July 20th – August 10th 2008
Environmental destruction in Indonesia is still ignored by the government and many Indonesians. The government gives more attention to economic, social and political development than to protection of the natural environment.
In the current drive to rapid industrialization and economic growth, government and corporations in Indonesia have lost touch with the delicate balance that must be maintained between human activity and the natural world. Transmigration policies see the movement of large numbers of people from one part of Indonesia to another where they have no historical connection with the land and where they are used to clear large tracts of land for commercial farming and industrial development. The continual expansion of natural resource industries including oil, natural gas, mineral and timber along increasing urbanization has brought with it massive environmental destruction.
The loss of native animals and plants, pollution, soil degradation and erosion, increased flooding, drought and landslides have all increased as a result of uncontrolled development and corporate greed. Corruption in all levels of government including the military which is a large owner of mining and other industrial developments contributes to unsustainable environmental practices.
While the social, economic and political contexts in Australia are different to those in Indonesia, the environmental issues facing Australia today are largely the same. As in Indonesia, Australia is also facing environmental issues such as erosion, soil degradation, drought, flooding, air and water pollution, deforestation, salinity and the impacts of mining and mineral exploration. The dispossession of indigenous Australians following colonization disrupted their traditional custodianship of the land which had been in place for tens of thousands of years. Australians today need to develop the understanding that indigenous Australians have of the interconnectedness of humans and the natural world and our role in protecting and caring for the earth for the benefit of all (animal, plant and human) today and for generations to come.
With this exhibition I explore ideas about the ecological/environmental issues in Australia and Indonesia. I look at where we are, how we have got here and where we might go from here. In this way I hope to contribute to the discussion and action that must take place for us to create a world fit to pass on to our children and our children’s children